Robo Dummies – Coding In Real Life

Robo Dummies – Coding In Real Life

Have a go at the Circus activity "Robo Dummies"

Programming can often seem like a daunting impenetrable world, with this challenge you will control a ‘Robo Dummy’, through a series of 4 challenges. The aim of this session is to learn coding techniques through teamwork as you direct Robo Dummy using code blocks across 4 scenarios. Each scenario gets a little more complicated and requires the use of new code blocks for you to complete the task. It is important to work as a team and test out your approach as you will only get one opportunity to supply your completed code to the Robo Dummy.


Each scenario has an example programme which can be given to the Robo Dummy to run a maximum of 2 times. So, use it wisely.

Scenario 1 Fancy A Coffee (10 minutes)

Direct the Robo Dummy to get a cup of Coffee from the table.

  • Pick up the Coffee

  • Return to his starting position

  • Put the coffee down

Scenario 2 Dealing with Obstacles

Life is never easy for Robo Dummy. This time we need to be able to turn away from other dummies.

  • Once again get Robo Dummy to pick up the Coffee

  • Use the new blocks supplied to get him to walk to the other dummies before turning.

  • If that went well bring back the Coffee

  • Put the Coffee down

Scenario 3 Those pesky commuters

Someone has dropped a rucksack in Robo Dummy’s way.

  • How can we make Robo Dummy negotiate this new obstruction on his way to the tasty beverage?

  • You should have some new blocks that will Robo Dummy to take evasive action and help him make decisions

  • Use the new blocks to help Robo Dummy overcome the new obstacle

Scenario 4 Life can be hard for dummies

Someone is determined to keep Robo Dummy away from the Coffee

  • Robo Dummy now has two obstacles to overcome

  • Robo Dummy also now has an additional skill that allows him to determine the type of obstacle he faces

  • Use these new blocks to help Robo Dummy defeat the Coffee obstacle course one more time


Coding can seem daunting and often impenetrable to those of us who have not done automation, it can even be daunting for those that have. Visualising programming and using a simple pseudocode language such as the one used here in a real life scenario can help us to make more sense of it. Doing this with teams and learning together is also a great way of learning how to code and test that code, making us better, more effective testers.

Key Takeaways:

  • Understand basic concepts of coding

  • Know how flow of control in a programme works

  • Gain an insight into how code can be created and tested

  • Working closely with each other improves understanding and outcomes.


Alex Reynolds
Alex Reynolds
Quality Engineering Community Lead at Lloyds Bank
Quality Engineer in Lloyds banking group, who started off life as a software engineer working on Radar Systems and made the logical move into the finance industry! Alex leads the QE Community in Lloyds bank with over 600 members and an active community of testers and quality engineers. Alex has a love of learning and helping people to learn and develop their own careers. He also has a keen interest in Mindfulness and Meditation and has been practicing for over 25 years. He was one of the founding members of the Mindfulness and Meditation Community in LBG 3 years ago which now boasts over 2500 members.
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