ReadyAI – Elementary School – Grades 4-6

Unit 9: Landmark-based Navigation & Cozmo’s Freetime

Essential Question

How Does AI Navigate?


In this lesson, students will begin to learn about AI navigation. They should recognize the major difference between AI and robotic navigation, that is, the ability to move based on objects’ location as well as the ability to self-position. Students will experiment with this in preparation for a class competition, linking AI navigation to other previously learned skills.




  • Students may demonstrate their ability to program their AI units around obstacles.

Written Responses

  • Students may be evaluated using the complete the summative mastery quiz.


Students will be able to

  • Contrast robot movement with AI navigation.
  • Show programming of AI navigation.
  • Compete with other students in terms of navigation commands

Tools and Materials

  • A tablet, laptop, or phone (2-3 students per device)
  • Projector linked to device with Cozmo app or to a computer to share the PowerPoint Presentation
  • Pencils (1 per student)
  • Whiteboard or large sheets of paper (to be saved for future classes)
  • PowerPoint 9
  • Handouts 9.1 – 9.2
  • Teacher Resources 9.1 – 9.3

Connecting to Prior Knowledge

  • Is AI Better than Humans?

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Teaching Guide

Warm-up (10 minutes)

Teacher begins by creating a small obstacle course with desks, chairs, or other items from the classroom.

Teacher plays a game of blind obstacle course. Teacher asks for a volunteer. Teacher blindfolds student. Other students have to give the student directions to get around obstacle course such as desks, chairs, etc.

Then, the teacher can introduce AI based navigation, which would provide commands for the person to make decisions on. For instance, a student may be told, “When you touch a desk, move around it.” The initial simple robotic movement, on the other hand, would not proceed once obstacles have been touched.

Optional Activity: Ask for one pair of volunteers, one to navigate and one to follow simple directions. Teachers may continue this game to see which student can navigate  through the course the fastest. Alternatively, student groups may compete with one providing the directions/rules and the other following.

To conclude the warm-up, the teacher can highlight the difference by asking a student to play the role of a smart, AI-driven robot with rule-based commands. (See Teacher Resource 9.1 for an explanation as to the differences.) Such commands might be “When Bump Desk, Turn Left and Move Forward.” (See Teacher Resource 9.2 for such codes.) A handful of such rules can serve to navigate the student representing AI-powered robots through the obstacle course without students providing the directions.

Groups may compete to see who can provide the necessary rules to their member to navigate him or her through the obstacle course.

Teacher resources:

Teacher Resources 9.1 offers an explanation as to the differences between rule-based commands and sequence based commands. The device-based app currently can only process sequence based commands. Thus, a student would need to program the entire sequence in to get the AI unit to correctly navigate through an obstacle course.

Teacher resource 9.2 provides an explanation of some of the codes necessary for this lesson.

Check for understanding:

What is the difference between AI powered navigation and robotic navigation?


Now that you fixed your problem, please help me troubleshoot mine.

Teacher Presentation (10 minutes)

Teacher begins by demonstrating AI navigation using simple commands. The teacher then moves towards more complex concepts such as moving towards objects.

The teacher asks, “What makes this AI?” Possible answers include

  • AI unit can be prompted to move towards as opposed to giving a set distance.
  • AI unit changes angles in order to approach the object in a way to manipulate it.

Teacher asks, “How can AI navigation be linked to other functions you have already learned?” Many answers may be correct.

Teacher demonstrates how AI units can be prompted to go towards a cube such as by tapping it.

Teacher then layers challenge on instruction by placing one cube in front of another. Teacher asks, “Can your AI unit navigate around one cube to get to the other?”

Teacher then demonstrates how to navigate such advanced AI directed navigation. Reference Teacher Resource 9.3 for assistance in doing this.

Teacher states, “Let’s see what you can program!”

Teacher resources:

See Teacher Resource 9.3 for assistance with programming navigation.

Check for understanding:

What makes your unit’s navigation real “AI”?


Let’s see how you can use AI navigation!

Guided Practice (15 minutes)

Teacher states that during the practice session of the lesson, students will practice programming navigation into their AI unit. The goal of this period of the lesson is to provide sandbox time with navigation since it is fundamental to later student projects.

Additionally, students should follow the checklist on Handout 9.1. Once they are able to successfully complete a task, they should put a check in the box and posit what possible applications that ability may have.

Students can complete the checklist on their worksheet on their own with the teacher circulating. Students who need assistance may ask the teacher for guidance. For students who complete the list faster than others, teacher encourages students to present challenges to others in their group or in other groups such as who can program navigation faster or who’s AI unit can navigate to the object the quickest.

The teacher asks, “What groups think they are the fastest?”

Teacher resources:

In Handout 9.1, students will keep track of what they can do as well as the applications this might have.

Check for understanding:

Students should complete Handout 9.1, checking off what they are capable of doing.


Teacher introduces the competition between the AI units.

Student Production (25 minutes)

Teacher states that students will do two things in this production period:

  1. Demonstrate their ability to program navigation, and (if time permits)
  2. Brainstorm what areas navigation may be useful for.

Teacher invites each group to send one member with their AI unit to a central part of the classroom. The teacher then says there will be a series of competitions. In each session, students will have to quickly program a feature involving navigation. The group who completes it the slowest will be eliminated until there is only one group remaining.

Here is the list of possible challenges beginning with the easiest to the most challenging. Teachers may skip as necessary.

Optional Activity

Teachers may not eliminate anyone. Instead, the teacher may use a point-based system so that everyone continues to play.

Navigation Activities

  1. Navigate to a face
  2. Navigate to a face with the red light
  3. Navigate to a face with the red light blinking
  4. Navigate to a cube
  5. Navigate to a cube and pick it up
  6. Navigate to a cube, pick it up, and move it a specified distance
  7. Navigate to a cube before anyone else
  8. Navigate to a cube and pick it up before anyone else
  9. Navigate to a tapped cube
  10. Navigate to a tapped cube and pick it up before anyone else.

If time remains, students may be asked to go back to their groups and use Handout 9.2 to brainstorm areas in particular career fields where navigation may be useful.

Check for understanding:

Were you and your group able to program your AI units to {insert task}?


Where is AI navigation useful in {insert career field}?

Closure (5 minutes)

Teacher will ask students to share applications for AI navigation in various fields.

Teacher may note the limitation of AI in that it has to be designed for a specific navigational purpose (i.e. driving, transportation, industry, etc.).

Students assist in putting away their group’s AI units and connected devices.

Check for understanding:

Students share thoughts on AI units’ usefulness in navigation.

Students may also take the summative assessment if teacher desires (See Handout 9.2, and Answer Key).