This is a fairly correct ten-pin bowling-pin scaled for the 73mm (2 7/8") Sphero. Pin is 128mm (5 3/64") tall.
Files are a horizontal single pin print, an upright single pin print, and a set of 10 upright. May need a fairly large print plate (and a lot of time and filament) to get all 10 in one print.
Overview and Background
These bowling pins are scaled for the Sphero, but can be used with any fairly small educational robot, like: Dash/Dot, LEGO EV3, Bit Extra Bot, etc. They can be an engaging element as a part of a maze, Rube Goldberg machine, or just for remote-control robot bowling.
Lesson Plan and Activity
Robot Bowling Maze Programming Challenge
Goal: Program the small robot (Sphero, EV3, or other) to start at one end of a maze of obstacles, navigate the obstacles, and knock down the bowling pins at the end.
Activity: Set up a maze and use programming (not remote control*) to navigate the maze and knock down the bowling pins.
This activity can be adapted to any classroom at any level with a small robot and space for the maze, from the simplest "move forward 3 units, turn 90 degrees" introductory programming, to a more advanced robot using sensors to accept input and avoid obstacles.
Obstacles can be classroom objects, custom 3D printed items, dimensional lumber (2 by 4s), or anything really. As long as the robot has to navigate the path to the bowling pins.
One obstacle with two 90 degree turns might be appropriate for a primary classroom, and a complex maze with different angles, hazards, dead ends, etc. might be appropriate for a secondary engineering or programming curriculum.
It is recommended that the bot have sufficient distance before the first pin to build up a little momentum. Just like real bowling, barely tapping a pin is unlikely to knock over more than just that pin.
The point of the pins at the end is to present an engaging goal/reward for completing the maze. The maze activity will certainly work without the pins, but the sport/competition/things-chaotically-running-into-one-another-and-falling-down element at the end will increase engagement. In other words, it is fun!
* Remote control robot bowling (with or without obstacles) is a great way to engage people, but adding the programming element certainly increases the educational value!
A small programmable robot
Video of the 10 colorful pins (one of each color of PLA we have) and a remote-controlled Sphero in action