Coding Robotic Pathways With Dash

Global Communicator
Robot character


Dash and Dot are robots that can sense, act and think! Coding with robots is great fun!! Students use block coding iPad apps to control their robots.  Students will have a ball designing, testing theories and refining their code to create paths for the robots to follow.  

This activity will take several class periods. The students will learn how to use the Blockly App, create and plan the code and then test their robot. 

These robots can purchased from the REMC SAVE project. Do a search for Dash and Dot for catalog pricing. 

Students will:

  • Be exposed to sample paths for Dash Robots.
  • Be able to code the Dash robot through the given path.
  • Be able to test and problem solve solutions needed to get Dash through the path.
  • Be able to create their own pathways. (extension activity)

Vocabulary Words:

  1. Algorithm: An algorithm is a list of steps to finish a task.

  2. Program: A program is an algorithm that has been coded into something that can be run by a machine.

  3. Debugging: Debugging is finding the problem with the program or code and fixing it.

  4. Sequencing: Sequencing is putting steps in correct order so computers can read the commands or Algorithm.

To prepare for this lesson:

  1. Students may have some familiarity with Dash robots. They may have used similar block coding in other activities. For this activity, you can go as basic or as complex as you want to. 
  2. Watch the Directions on how to use the Blockly App for Dash.  
  3. This video gives an explanation of how to tape paths on the floor. These paths are a bit sophisticated.  You may want to be a bit more simplistic for time constraints. 
  4. This could be one station in your room, or you could have numerous stations and rotate students through every 20-30 minutes. THIS PROJECT WILL BE WRITTEN FOR ONE CLASS STATION.
  5. You will need to create a floor plan for the Dash robot to travel through.

NOTE: If you have multiple Dash robots and want to have numerous stations, you will need one dash for each station You will need one iPad or tablet for each station with Blockly for Dash downloaded to your iPad or tablet.


  • You will need an open space for this project.
  • One Dash Robot
  • One iPad or tablet with Blockly for Dash downloaded
  • Scissors
  • Colored Duct Tape
  • Rulers/ yardstick
  • Worksheet for students to record their code

See the Accommodations Page and Charts on the 21things4students website in the Teacher Resources. 

Directions for this activity:

  1. The teacher says to students, ”Today you will become programmers. Dash is lost and needs to go home. To get home, he needs to follow the path on the floor correctly. Your job is to problem solve and write the code so that Dash can follow the path correctly to get home.”
  2. Show Video on how to use the Blockly App for Dash. 
  3. Have the students experiment first with the Blockly App so they know how to use it after watching the video. 
  4. The students may have to perform guess and checks to see what works best.
  5. Students will document their plan on the worksheet to show their teacher how Dash went through the path.

Different options for assessing the students:

  • Observations
  • Check for understanding
  • Students will turn in the worksheet below with their findings. 

MITECS: Michigan adopted the "ISTE Standards for Students" called MITECS (Michigan Integrated Technology Competencies for Students) in 2018.

Innovative Designer
4a. Students know and use a deliberate design process for generating ideas, testing theories, creating innovative artifacts or solving authentic problems.
4b. Students select and use digital tools to plan and manage a design process that considers design constraints and calculated risks.
4c. Students develop, test and refine prototypes as part of a cyclical design process.
4d. Students exhibit a tolerance for ambiguity, perseverance and the capacity to work with open-ended problems.

Computational Thinker
5a. Students formulate problem definitions suited for technology-assisted methods such as data analysis, abstract models and algorithmic thinking in exploring and finding solutions.
5d. Students understand how automation works and use algorithmic thinking to develop a sequence of steps to create and test automated solutions.

Dash Robots are needed.
iPads or a tablet are needed.

App, Extension, or Add-on:
Blockly Android
Blockly iOS

Blockly App for Dash Video

Taping the Floor Video



Write a story about Dash’s trip. Where did he go? What did he do?

Write a path for Dash with specific code and give it to a student to solve.

This task card was created by Courtney Conley and Linda Maison, Utica Community Schools, February 2018. Updated February 2024.