Primary Roamer Move and Turn Group

How to Program Primary Roamer to Move, Turn and Wait

Direction, Turning and Angle


You’ll learn how Roamer’s shape contributes to an understanding of direction, turning and angle.

Playing Turtle

A child plays Turtle when they imagine themselves to be the robot. When they move and turn like the robot they think about what they’ve got to do to make the robot to achieve a task. Playing Turtle makes the Roamer an object to think with and connects students to powerful mathematical ideas.


The analogy of nose and tail reinforces the idea of direction. You can stress this more by using Transfers making Roamer Characters. When students do this they increase their empathetic bond with the robot.


Roamer helps children understand angles in two ways:

  1. Turn – The sweeping action of Roamer turning like the hands of a clock.
  2. Shape – The angles shown by Roamer’s pathways.

Forward Instruction


You’ll learn how to program the Roamer to move forward and backward.

Forward Instruction Number [1 to 100] Moves the Roamer forward Number of units.

Backward Instruction Number [1 to 100] Moves the Roamer backward Number of units.

Example Program Moves Roamer forward 5 units. Moves the Roamer backward 3 units. Roamer moves forward 5 units and backward 3.

Technical Note

The correct technical phrase for moving forward and backward is linear movement. We use the term ‘move’ as a general term to describe the Roamer moving forward or backward. You’ll become familiar with the phrase move and turn, which we use to describe Roamer’s linear and turning movements.


FD 5 BK 3 GO

Turn Left and Right


You will learn how to program Roamer to turn left and right.

Left Turn Instruction Number [1 to 999] Turns the Roamer Left Number of units.

Right Turn Instruction Number [1 to 999] Turns the Roamer Right Number of units.

Example 6 Turns Roamer left 60 units. Turns Roamer Right 30 units. Roamer turns left 60 and then right 30 units.

Units of Move and Turn


You’ll learn about defaults and units of movement and turn.

Default Units

A default is a setting or value automatically assigned to an application. This implies that you can give the unit a different value.

Default Units for Forward and Backward

The default unit for forward and backward is 20 cm. It’s the same length as the Roamer body. We chose this unit to make the robot a yardstick to help students develop their estimation skills.

Default Units of Turning Left or Right

The default unit for turning is one degree.

Example Moves Roamer Forward 3 default units (3 x 20cm = 60cm) Moves Roamer Backward 12 default units (12 x 20cm = 240cm) Turns Roamer Right 30 degrees. Roamer moves Forward 60cm Backward 240cm and Right 30 degrees.



You’ll learn how to make Roamer stay still and silent.

Wait Instruction Number [1 to 100] Makes Roamer stay still and quiet for Number of seconds.

Example Moves Roamer Forward 3 (3 x 20cm = 60cm). Makes Roamer stay still and silent for 5 seconds. Moves Roamer Backward for 3 ( 3 x 20cm = 60cm). Roamer moves Forward 60cm, Waits still and silent for 5 seconds then moves Backward 60cm.


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