How Computers Solve Mazes – Introduction to Pathfinding

Learn about the fundamentals of the pathfinding algorithms behind apps like Google Maps. Learn about applications in videogames by pathfinding in environments with obstacles and different terrains.

  • Ages:

    13-17

  • Equipment:
    Laptop required
  • Available locations:
    • Online
  • Pricing details
    Price:

    £10

For online courses: these require you to have a capable computer to work on and a broadband internet connection. Most PC/Mac computers from the last 5 years will be fine but you can view our recommended detailed system requirements here. For on campus courses: laptops are provided for all junior courses, as well as Music, Unity, Creative Design & YouTube senior courses. Laptop rental is available for all other senior courses (£50 extra).

How Computers Solve Mazes – Introduction to Pathfinding

For online courses: these require you to have a capable computer to work on and a broadband internet connection. Most PC/Mac computers from the last 5 years will be fine but you can view our recommended detailed system requirements here. For on campus courses: laptops are provided for all junior courses, as well as Music, Unity, Creative Design & YouTube senior courses. Laptop rental is available for all other senior courses (£50 extra).

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How Computers Solve Mazes - Introduction to Pathfinding

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In this course picker times will be displayed in timezone chosen above but all times shown elsewhere will reflect the UK Times these events take place.

February
Online - Remote Learning
Tue Feb 22nd 5:00pm-6:00pm 1 Days
Total£10
March
Online - Remote Learning
Tue Mar 29th 5:00pm-6:00pm 1 Days
Total£10
May
Online - Remote Learning
Tue May 10th 5:00pm-6:00pm 1 Days
Total£10
June
Online - Remote Learning
Wed Jun 15th 5:00pm-6:00pm 1 Days
Total£10

Course highlights

How do pathfinding apps work?

How do pathfinding apps work?

Learn about the super simple and clever Dijkstra pathfinding algorithm and how to code it in Python.

Visualise maze solving algorithms with a graphical user interface

Visualise maze solving algorithms with a graphical user interface

Use Pygame to build a personalised maze solver

See applications of pathfinding algorithms in video games and beyond!

See applications of pathfinding algorithms in video games and beyond!

Using Construct, we will create an environment with obstacles and different terrains to navigate objects through using pathfinding code.

Photo: How Computers Solve Mazes – Introduction to Pathfinding

Course Overview

Ever wondered how a computer can solve a maze so quickly? In videogames, how do your non-human enemies decide what path to take to track you down so ruthlessly? How can self-driving cars determine the best, most fuel-efficient route to a far off destination? How do lunar rovers decide their next move?

Look no further, as we take a super fun dive into what are known as Pathfinding Algorithms. Discover the theory behind the world-famous Dijkstra Method and then code it with Python. We will then implement our algorithms on personalised mazes through a graphical interface so we can watch the navigation happening in real time!

Next we code personalised environments using Construct 3 and apply our algorithms to objects navigating through different terrains avoiding obstacles. Can they find the fast route? Can they avoid the insurmountable obstacles?

In this session the instructor will demonstrate the tools onscreen and take questions throughout. The instructor will provide links to any relevant downloads at the END of the session for students who wish to attempt their own activities afterwards.

FireTech Experiences are a new series of short, high interest, fun and engaging tech demonstrations and talks. These are delivered in webinar style, using Zoom, with the main expert tutor showcasing a new interesting aspect of technology and learning. Apart from Zoom, no other downloads are required.

What your child will learn

  • Understanding of what pathfinding algorithms are and graph terminology
  • Understanding of the Dijkstra algorithm and be able to code them in Python applying it to different problems including mazes
  • How to use a graphical user interfaces to simulate the algorithm in a more interactive way
  • How to use Construct to code an environment with obstacles and different terrain weights and applying pathfinding algorithms to objects

"I learnt so much and the course has definitely made me consider studying computer science and coding in the future."

Aaniya, Teen student