Aliens, Planets and Nebulae! Mission 9 – Rogue Robot

Mission: Rogue Robot

Level(1-5): 5 (Bad robots – just think of what can go wrong…)

Location: Nano Solar System

Description: The Automicrobotic 5000 has gone rogue.

In the Nano Solar System there is a new robot that has been designed to help further science and society. It is called the Automicrobotic 5000 (or the AM5000) and has features that allow it to practice diplomacy, scientific reasoning, problem solving, and mining operations. Unfortunately the final prototype has had an error and has been unresponsive to its designers or other authorities.

The AM5000 has headed out of the solar system and is on track to collide with the largest space station in the neighboring solar system of the Macroid people. This could cause a war between the Nano and Macro systems. They have had a very delicate treaty that could break with an AM5000 collision in to one of its population centers.

The AM5000 is 10 feet tall, has nuclear power, is heavily armored, and is shielded (against EMPs). It uses nuclear propulsion, can reason and negotiate, and is very suspicious of scientists. It has a very strong self-preservation protocol. The crew’s ship can catch-up the AM5000, but will need to find a way to bring it back.

MASS has assigned your crew to capture the AM5000, create a diagnostic test for the AMS using code (on paper, python, scratch, …), and return the robot and test to the Nano scientists. To be able to catch up to the AM5000, the crew will need to do some math. The AM5000 is currently 100 million kilometers away from the Nano system and is moving at 5 million kilometers per hour. The crew needs intercept the AM5000 when it gets to 220 million kilometers in distance. What time will that happen?

Assignment: Crew members will develop a diagnostic test for the robot. The idea is to think about what questions to ask the robot that the robot can input. The crew can decide how many questions, how to score, and if they want to code it up. The crew will also need to devise a creative plan to capture the robot and return it to the Nano system.

Note: This is a good time for the facilitator to add conditions for solutions to incorporate other subjects (science, history, writing).

Ability Point Potential (rough rubric):

  • 2 ability points will be awarded for teams that use diplomacy and negotiation to bring the robot back
  • 2 ability points will be awarded for a working and well thought out diagnostic test
  • 1 ability point will be awarded for reasonable plans for capture.
  • Any attempts to destroy the robot can result in loss of character and/or ability points. The robot will not respond well to force and so any actions that are too forceful will result in penalties up to and including loss of characters.

Facilitator Notes:

  • The facilitator can chose to write a script for the robot interaction with the diagnostic test and capture to play along with the crews.
  • The time-to-capture problem can be changed to functions and higher level math problems from algebra 1 to calculus to meet learners needs.

Mission 9 Wrap-up

Once learners are ready, have them present their plan for capture and diagnostic test.

Once solutions are finalized, award ability points.

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