Da Vinci's Designs

Program ● Robotics ● EV3 ● Grades 3-8

A robot is a device that is designed and programmed to perform a task either autonomously or with human input. Robots typically come in two forms: those resembling humans or role-specific robots, such as NASA space probes and Mars Rovers. Robots are generally used to perform either dangerous or monotonous tasks. The challenge facing robotics engineers is that the robot knows only what is written into the program. The design of the robot must also be capable of performing the task at hand. In this unit, students will experience both the designing and programming roles of being a robotics engineer.

This LEGO® Robotics - Da Vinci Robots curriculum is designed to introduce students to the world of not only building, but also programming basic robots. The robots in this unit will approach some of the designs of Leonardo da Vinci, taking a unique perspective by applying robotics principles to the challenges da Vinci faced.

Robot Intelligence

Students will learn in the lesson how to construct their base robot which will be used throughout the many of our Robotics lessons. They will learn how to program their robots to complete basic tasks during this first lesson.

This lesson also appears in the following programs:
  Robotics: Robotics 101 (link)
  Robotics: Envirobots (link)
  Robotics: Robotic Control (link)

Gear Glider

This lesson introduces the use of the robot as a power source with a separate mechanism. Students create a launcher, then apply principles of kinetic energy and friction to make a glider fly.

Mona Lisa EVolv3d

In this lesson, students will focus on the artistic side of da Vinci. They will use their robots to automate certain drawing tasks to efficiently reproduce the same features while learning about mass production and printing presses.


This lesson involved interaction with the environment by building with robots. The robot will use an additional motor to bring a bridge platform to a gap, lower the platform, then cross the bridge.

Smart Siege

Students will learn how to program the color sensor to recognize different colors, then act based on what color the sensor sees. They will also design a multi-purpose arm for the robot using the medium motor for power.

Water Well

In this lesson, students will be introduced to the concept of gears and how to implement them. With that understanding, they will create a robot to simulate retrieving water from a well using a motor and gears to raise and lower a container.