When Robots Horse Around

Here's your nightly math! Just 5 quick minutes of number fun for kids and parents at home. Read a cool fun fact, followed by math riddles at different levels so everyone can jump in. Your kids will love you for it.

When Robots Horse Around

January 31, 2016

Riding a horse sounds like a ton of fun, but it isn’t easy. These huge animals can weigh over 1,000 pounds and gallop more than 30 miles an hour, while you hang on trying not to fall off. And if the horse doesn’t feel like carrying you, it will try to shake you off. It might be smart to practice on a non-living, toy one first. So our friend Amber J. asked, what is the biggest robot horse on Earth? Well, we couldn’t find a fully horse-shaped robot…but if you’re okay with it not having a head, here’s a machine that could count. This robot from DARPA can carry up to 400 pounds, while a horse can carry only about 1/5 of its own body weight. It turns out the biggest robot in the world is an animal, though: Tradinno, the 56-foot-long fire-breathing dragon! It stands 27 feet tall, stretches its wings almost 40 feet across, and weighs 11 tons. When you think about riding that thing, a real horse sounds easier.

Wee ones: Who is taller, you or a 3-foot-tall robotic horse? Find out your height rounded off in feet!

Little kids: If you take your headless robotic horse for a walk, how many legs do you have together?  Bonus: If you can pick up 10 pounds and that’s 1/5 of your weight, how much do you weigh? Try counting up by 10s!

Big kids: If Tradinno’s wings stretch 40 feet total and they’re equal length, how long is each wing? Bonus: If you and your friends each weigh 50 pounds, can 4 of you together ride a horse that can carry 250 pounds?

The sky’s the limit: If you make your own pet Tradinno, but only 14 feet long instead of 56 feet, how wide would its wings stretch if you wanted the same proportions (ratio) as the real one? (The real one has wings 40 feet across.)

 

 

 

Answers:
Wee ones: Different for everyone…find out if you’re taller or shorter than 3 feet (36 inches).

Little kids: 6 legs, since the horse has 4.  Bonus: 50 pounds (10,20,30,40,50).

Big kids: 20 feet total.  Bonus: Yes! since together you all weigh only 200 pounds.

The sky’s the limit: 10 feet, or 1/4 of 40, since the new length is 1/4 of the real length of 56.

And thank you Amber for that fire-breathing math question!

Print Friendly

About the Author

Laura Overdeck

Laura Overdeck

Laura Bilodeau Overdeck is founder and president of Bedtime Math Foundation. Her goal is to make math as playful for kids as it was for her when she was a child. Her mom had Laura baking while still in diapers, and her dad had her using power tools at a very unsafe age, measuring lengths, widths and angles in the process. Armed with this early love of numbers, Laura went on to get a BA in astrophysics from Princeton University, and an MBA from the Wharton School of Business; she continues to star-gaze today. Laura’s other interests include her three lively children, chocolate, extreme vehicles, and Lego Mindstorms.

More posts from this author