Divination is a supposed ability of some humans to guess and predict the future. In reality, fortune tellers rely on randomness and probability to make their predictions. But … can robots see the future?
What is randomness? What is probability? They seem very complicated things to understand. In reality, we often see random events and probability-based outcomes, but we don’t realize it.
A random event will be one that no matter how much we repeat, we do not know what the next result will be. For example, if we toss a coin, can we tell if it will come up heads or tails? Tossing a coin is a random event
Results based on probability can be estimated, that is, we can try to predict the outcome. For example, if in a bag I have 20 black stones and one white, I put my hand inside the bag, I stir without looking and I take a stone, do you think it will come out black or white? Almost certainly black, but it could be white. Ultimately, the probability that it is black is greater.
If you think so, we can experiment to understand it better.
You’re going to reschedule Zowi. If you don’t remember what this means, check out the Project “Zowi, the alarm robot”.
Also remember that the buttons will stop doing what they did before and will have other functions.
Experiment 1 – Zowi and randomness
Let’s test what randomness is. To do this, search the Zowi app for this same project.
Once you have reprogrammed Zowi, follow these steps:
Press the Zowi A button to enter MODE 1: Zowi Guess.
When Zowi shows a question mark, ask him a question that can be answered with a “Yes” or a “No”.
Tap it to get Zowi to answer you.
How can Zowi guess things? Magic? Of course not… Actually, Zowi chooses an answer “randomly”.
Did you know…?
Throughout history the strangest and most absurd ways have been invented to predict the future. For example, looking at a cheese, throwing wild asparagus on the ground or reading used shoes.
Experiment 2 – Zowi and probability
Now we will check how probability works to understand it better. Let’s turn Zowi into a dice!
Follow these steps to play Zowi like a dice:
Press the B button to enter MODE 2: ZowiDado.
Zowi will display a question mark.
Tap it and it will display a number between 1 and 6.
Whether something is more likely or less depends on all the possible outcomes. For example, on which die is it easier to roll a 3, on a 6-sided die or a 20-sided die?
And what is more likely on a normal die, that a number greater than 2 will come up? Or less than 2? Try Zowi as many times as you want and write down the results. Then check how many times numbers above 2 have come out and how many times below 2.
Did you know…?
The opposite sides of the dice that we usually see, the six-sided ones, always add up to 7: 1 + 6 = 2 + 5 = 3 + 4
Experiment 3 – Zowi, paper and scissors
And what can randomness be useful for? Well, to program games! The last mode of operation of this new program for Zowi is… A game!
We are going to use randomness to play Rock, Paper, Scissors with Zowi.
Press buttons A and B at the same time to enter MODE 3: Rock, Paper, Scissors.
Again, Zowi will display a question mark
Tap it on the head and it will show you a symbol in its mouth that represents one of three possible responses.
Look at the pictures below to remember the symbols and who beats whom.
This symbol is stone
This symbol is paper
This symbol is scissors
rock Paper Scissors
Did you know…?
The first players of “Rock, paper or scissors” were the Japanese feudal lords in ancient times, who played this game but with martial arts techniques.
What games can you think of that you could play using the 3 modes that we have seen in this project? Could you come up with a game where Zowi is needed with these modes to play?
Summary of new modes when pressing buttons:
Button A – MODE 1: Zowi Fortune Teller
Button B – MODE 2: Zowi Dice
Button A + B – MODE 3: Rock, Paper, Scissors