How Does a Touch Sensor Work?

Students learn about how touch sensors work, while reinforcing their similarities to the human sense of touch. They look at human senses and their electronic imitators, with special focus on the nervous system, skin and touch sensors. A PowerPoint® presentation explains stimulus-to-response pathways, how touch sensors are made and work, and then gives students a chance to handle and get familiar with the LEGO touch sensor, including programming LEGO® MINDSTORMS® EV3 robots to use touch sensor input to play music. Students take pre/post quizzes and watch a short online video. The mini-activities prepare students for the associated activity. This lesson and its associated activity enables students to appreciate how robots can take input from sensors, and use that to make decisions to move.