Exploratory Art Through Robotic Spheres
Integrated Art & Technology Curriculum

 

Technology is awesome, but it is easy for students and teachers alike to forget that technology is just another word for tool. As we began to play with robotic spheres, we quickly realized the potential for pure play was great, but we needed to take some time to think about how these tools can be used to teach skills in the visual arts and beyond. Technology can be a marvelous conduit to learning, but only if learning objectives come first.

What we present here is a result of our considerable contemplation on the topic. We have prepared a “menu” of different activities, with each activity idea accompanied by an image, a short description, teacher tips (highlighted in yellow), and art history connections (highlighted in blue). Each activity is also categorized by accompanying disciplines including computer science (the integration of hardware and software through programming), engineering (strategic application of science and math to problem-solving), mathematics, science, and additional technology.

This menu is incomplete – there will always be more ideas, and we will add more detail as we and our students identify additional points of success or frustration. Experience with new robotic spheres may also lead to the invention or re-imagination of activities.

In preparing this document, we have primarily explored the various iterations of the Sphero and Ozobot. The Sphero line can be directly controlled using a mobile device or programmed to follow a specific set of instructions. The not-quite-spherical Ozobot can also be programmed to follow a set of instructions, or it can follow lines and commands drawn on paper.

We hope to continue exploring the possibilities of different robotic spheres, but if you get hands-on before we do and have some ideas to share, we would welcome them! If you have questions about any of the projects, we would likewise be glad to answer any questions you might have! You can get in touch with us via e-mail at and .

 

Project Ideas:
1. Design a Tool Holder
2. Design a Maze / Containment
3. Design an Obstacle Course
4. Time-Lapse Photography
5. Path on Sand / Dry Pigment
6. Marble Painting
7. Paint Rolling
8. String Painting
9. Reverse Printmaking
10. Spirographic Art
11. Linear Landscapes
12. Cubist Cut-Out
13. Color Fields
14. Abstract Line Art
15. Abstract Shape Art
16. Mobile
17. Organic Tiles
18. 3D Geometric Sculpture
19. Programmed Skyline
20. Collaborative Shape Art
21. Linear Motion Art
22. Perfect Symmetry
23. Paint Experiments
24. Graphing Measurements

 

 

The complete curriculum is available as a FREE PDF.



A marker holder for the Sphero Sprk+ is
available as an STL file for 3D printing.

 

 

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Content and Design © Matthew Hagaman