Week 3 Learning Goals
Explore biomechanics of the human body
Week 3 Overview
Learning Objectives
Students will investigate how different mechanisms inspired by a human arm perform to pick up objects. They will use the Low-Fi Lever and Mechanical Hand models they completed in class, along with a pneumatic Robot Arm, to see if they can transport a given object across the line on the table. They will take research notes to document if the test is successful. Students will understand how scientific/engineering principles are related to biology and that different principles can result in the same function.
Before the Lesson

View Slides: 2.3.5. Pneumatic Robot Arm Assembly

Activity 40 min

Three Stations:

Station Materials
Lever Lego Man
Hand Cardboard Piece
Pneumatic Arm Pink Pong Ball

Low Fi Lever:

Design an adaptation that will enable your lever to lift each object to 90 degrees, hold for 10 seconds, and lower back down without damaging the object.

Mechanical Hand:

Use your mechanical hand to pick up and move the 3 objects.

Pneumatic Arm:

2 groups of students will go to the teachers work area use the pneumatic arm to pick up and move the 3 objects.

Iterate 10 min

Brainstorm a concept that improves each device's ability to pick up the object.

Reflection 10 min

Students share what ideas they came up with to improve their devices.

  • Can any of the designs accomplish all the functions of an arm and hand?
  • How the robot is made determines what it is able to pick up.

  • What is the correlation between the complexity of the design and the functions the design can accomplish?
  • The more functions the design can accomplish, the more complex it is because it is closer to the design in nature.

  • Is it possible to replicate nature in an engineering design?
  • It is very difficult to replicate nature because nature is complex. We often have to take parts of the design rather than the entire design when designing something inspired by nature.

    One thing from nature can inspire more than one design.

Student Materials
Instructional Slides & Materials
Teacher Resources
Web Resources