Dancing with drones

11 January 2017

Sphero is a small robot that is programmable via an iPad. In the P.E. class, the IIL pupils have managed to totally transform the robot into a dancer combining both artistic creativity and computer programming talents.

Corporal expression is an artistic activity which involves body movements that greatly appeals to the pupils creative abilities. As well as physical  exercise,  pupils learn to express themselves with body movements both in real and imaginary situations in front of an audience whilst taking into account  dimensions such as speed, space, height and direction.

The aim of this activity is to improve the pupils reactions to others and their surroundings. As far as animated objects are concerned, Sphero takes after the drone and is perfect for exploring  the world of animated objects which up until now any exploration has been very limited.

Pupils began by practicing different body movements using various rhythmic tempos(2, 4, 6, or 8 beats), whilst performing various actions (moving forward, reversing, jumping, rolling, running , etc.).

Once a series of movements have been created and put together, the pupils then began to program the Spheros to act out the same sort of actions (moving forward, reversing, rolling, left, right, etc.) and finally compare the two creations.

The next step of the project was to initiate the pupils to a dance which involved synchronizing their own movements with those of the Spheros:

Finally, the learning of movement, of music and of computer programming are combined  in a creative and artistic perspective. The deployment of iPad in a1-to-1 basis (an iPad per pupil) makes a lot of sense as it allows our budding artists the freedom to program the Spheros, to film and visualize the progress of their creations, with the necessary tools.

The exploitation of technology in this type of project is far from the image of static students who remain glued to their screens. It provides a clearer picture of what technology actually brings into the school, particularly with regards to having a more open approach on the different disciplines and teamwork.



The videos were blurred to protect the right image of our students.