Unit 6 Lesson Plan: Object Manipulation

Grade Level:



9th Grade General Math & Science

Concepts Addressed:

In this unit, students will learn about the different types and categories of robot manipulators. Students will be presented with robot manipulators from the real world, and shown the basic principles behind their operation. Students will then create their own object manipulator for use on their competition robot.

Learning Objectives:

  • The students will be able to demonstrate the basic concepts of manipulators and accumulators.
  • The students will be able to design examples of each.

STEM Connections:

Students use real world examples of manipulators found in their community.

Materials Needed:

  • Unit Guide
  • Paper
  • Pencils
  • Rulers
  • Internet Access
  • Dictionaries
  • VEX Robotics Kit
  • Storage containers
  • Online Resources
  • Computer with Autodesk Inventor

Key Terminology:

Day to Day Lesson Plan:

Day 1:

Introduction to unit, Key Terminology Worksheet, Engineering Notebook

Find out what students already know about object manipulators.

Arrange students into teams to come up with definitions for key terminology.

Allow student groups to present their findings to the class or to their small teams.

Provide basic concept development.


Day 2:

Manipulators work on Terminology Worksheet, descriptions and explanations of each type of manipulators, students create a list in engineering notebook.

Review concepts from Day 1.

Allow student teams to research robotic manipulators in their community. Examples: Construction industry, manufacturing industry, and medical applications.

Students can make sketches into their Engineering notebook that feature each of the different types.

Students can also use Autodesk Inventor to sketch some of the manipulators that they find.


Day 3:

Presentation on accumulators

Complete and review vocabulary worksheet

Students will create a list and begin to make sketches in their engineering notebook on the descriptions and explanations of each type of accumulator

Students can also use Autodesk Inventor to show the types of accumulators


Day 4:

Activity Brainstorm, sketches in Engineering notebook, approval to start creation of an Object Manipulator

Explanation of the brainstorming process

Arrange students into teams and provide specific topics for brainstorming

Designs for Manipulators

Designs for Accumulators

Allow students to sketch or use Inventor to create plans for their manipulator


Day 5:

Begin the building process of the manipulator


Day 6:

Function testing and redesign


Day 7:

Finish any last minute redesign

Presentation by groups on their robots


Day 8:

Engineering notebook submission

Post evaluation from group presentations

Opportunity to go back and review any concepts where students struggled.


Engineering Notebook “Seed Questions”:

  1. Why would you choose one type of a manipulator over another type?
  2. How can your data from your test improve your redesign?