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Project Suggestions

This section consists of several suggested design projects. Each has a main theme and a few suggestions on how the idea could be developed. The teacher should adapt these ideas to suit the circumstances.

In addition to these ideas the Roamer Activity book and most of the Activity books for the accessories contain ideas and themes suitable for Roamer design projects.

North American Indian Project

Design an Indian and an Indian village.

Program the Roamer to perform the Eagle Dance. What other dances could it perform?

Investigate the North American Indian culture. Look at design in their society: houses, tools, clothing, pottery, religious artifacts, weapons, art, musical instruments ... What materials did they use? What inspired their designs? What manufacturing methods did they use?

This type of project can be applied to any culture. It can also have an historical perspective. For example, a Roman project.

Moon Buggy

Design and build a robot Moon Buggy capable of exploring the surface of new planets. The robot should be able to travel and take photographs of what it sees. Using a disposable camera like Fotofast is one possibility.

The crux of this design is the camera mounting and the mechanism for operating the camera. Another key problem is deciding a strategy for taking photographs of the terrain to ensure maximum information is gathered.

What other features should an explorer robot like a Moon Buggy have?

Alternative character ideas using a camera include paparazzi, newspaper photographers or spies.

Fashion Parade

Design Roamer fashion outfits and organise a fashion show. Modern robotic fashion does not restrict itself to using cloth and some designs even act as extensions to the robot itself.

Program Roamer to 'walk down' a catwalk and move like a fashion model. Select appropriate music for the show.

Roamer Jewellery - Catch That Thief!

Rosie Roamer had just started a new job. Being a forward young Roamer who believed in equal opportunities, she was working on the colonisation project. On her second morning, without thinking, she put on her latest 'Flashing Globe' necklace and matching earrings which had been specially designed for her by her friend Debbie.

Of course, when she arrived at the construction zone and started to change into her weightless overalls, she realised that it was not very suitable for working in and that she would have to take it off.

Unfortunately during the day someone stole it from her space locker. Rosie enlisted the help of Constable Collins to help her get it back. They spotted the thief wearing the jewellery and an exciting chase ensued, which ended with a space jeep crashing.

This project gives plenty of scope both for characterisation and for programming Roamer to act in a variety of different situations and circumstances.

Design a range of jewellery for the Roamer.

Remember the Roamer is a robot - the jewellery could be equally inspired by animal, alien or human. It could even be novel robotic jewellery. Robotic jewellery, for example, could include flashing lights or be made to move!

Explore human jewellery and personal decoration. Look at different cultures and the symbolic meaning behind the designs. Create a mythology behind the central motifs of the Roamer jewellery.

Bus Project

The objective is for the children to design a bus route around an imaginary set of streets and program the Roamer bus to travel the route.

This is an example of a 'system design' problem. Although it is radically different from characterisation, the Design Process still applies. The key to the design is to develop a mathematical model defining the ideal bus route. The Roamer is used to simulate how the bus travels around its route.

The full scope of the project is very sophisticated. However, the teacher can vary the activity to meet the needs of pupils of different age groups and the time available.

Children of Southmead involved in the simple version of Bus Project.
    1. The children should place the bus stops where they think they should be.
    2. Make the Roamer into a bus.
    3. Program the bus to travel around the route.
    1. Note the positioning of the local bus stops. Are they next to hospitals, schools, factories, etc.
    2. Measure the distance between the local bus stops.
    3. Consider the safety aspects.

    Use the information to position the bus stops.

    1. How long do they take to load and unload passengers?
    2. How does this vary with the time of day?
    3. Does it change with location, e.g. bus stop next to old people's home?
    4. What delays will the bus experience because of other traffic, traffic lights, the need to follow the highway code, etc?

    Use the information to program the Roamer bus journey.

    1. Work out a timetable for a single bus route.
    2. Create a large area that requires several bus routes to provide a good service.
    3. Work out the routes and timetables for several buses.

It may be worthwhile visiting the local bus depot and asking the people there how they design their routes.


Design a Roamer scarecrow. It need not stand still nor stay quiet. Older children could consider moving arms and flashing lights. How could the birds be repelled?

Rescue Droids

This is an ideal project if there are several Jackets available. The idea can be based on the old television puppet series "Thunderbirds". Each Jacket can be designed as a different type of Rescue Droid with features suitable for an emergency. Other children can write stories and build models of a catastrophe which needs the Rescue Droids to save the day. The "Accident Controller" has to decide which rescue equipment the robot needs and then dispatch it to the scene.

Construction Robots

As for the Rescue Droids, the children can use a set of Jackets to create a range of construction robots. The designs can vary to suit different projects like railway builders, dam builders, power station constructors etc. The idea can be extended to include a set of Demolition Droids or Mining Robots. One idea might situate these robots on another planet, preparing it for Earth colonisation.

Traffic Control Robot

This traffic robot can not only direct traffic with its 'hands' or traffic light system but it can hand out parking tickets, tow away cars, provide street lighting and act as an ambulance in an emergency.

Circus Robots

Design a set of circus robots and program them to perform the greatest show on Earth.

Jungle Droids

Design a set of jungle robots and write stories about their way of life and the adventures they have. Program them to perform the stories.

Character Ideas

Chimnet Sweep
The Mad Hatter
Roman Centurion
Greek God/Godess
Chinese Junk
Town Hall Clock
Robot Zoo Animal
Tracker - Hunter
Mata Hari
Girl Guide

Loch Ness Monster
Mobile Home
Pinball Machine
A Queen
A Traffic Warden

Luxury Liner
Film Star
Sumo Wrestler
Ghengis Khan
Dr. Livingstone
Joan of Arc
Guard Dog
Hay Bailer
A Princess
Lawrence of Arabia
Snow White

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