2006 FIRST LEGO League Forum Archive

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   BENELUX
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       NANO
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       The Open European Championship of FIRST LEGO League Bodo Norway
       tips
   BRAZIL
       The Open European Championship of FIRST LEGO League Bodo Norway
   CANADA
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   ISRAEL
       The Open European Championship of FIRST LEGO League Bodo Norway
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       NXT HELP
       The Open European Championship of FIRST LEGO League Bodo Norway
   KOREA
       ********
   Make International Contacts
       FLL Team Websites
       NanoQuest Scoring Program
   MEXICO
       The Open European Championship of FIRST LEGO League Bodo Norway
   Nano Quest Downloads
   Peru
   SCANDINAVIA
       The Open European Championship of FIRST LEGO League Bodo Norway
   SINGAPORE
       The Open European Championship of FIRST LEGO League Bodo Norway
   SOUTH AFRICA
       The Open European Championship of FIRST LEGO League Bodo Norway
   TAIWAN
       The Open European Championship of FIRST LEGO League Bodo Norway
   TURKEY
       The Open European Championship of FIRST LEGO League Bodo Norway
   UNITED KINGDOM
       Disclosure and Silicon Spray
       For Coaches
       Kicking Things Off...
       NXT help
           wot nxt
       Research
       The Open European Championship of FIRST LEGO League Bodo Norway
   UNITED STATES
       Equipment Questions
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           Equipment Marketplace
           LEGO Building Questions
           Motor Questions
           NXT Specific Questions
           RCX Specific Questions
               Rotation-Angle Sensor Problem
           Table Construction
           Table Setup
               Mat Placement
       FLL Coaches Handboook - pdf available for downloading
       Gracious Professionalism
       JFLL
           Building and Technical Discussions
           JFLL Coaches' Guide (Read Only)
           Miscellaneous
               Any JFLL in Ky
               JFLL - Idaho
               JFLL GA
               JFLL-Washington state
               Texas JFLL Teams
           Research Questions & Tips
               tshirts
           Team-related Questions & Tips
       Marketing, Fundraising and PR
       Miscellaneous
           fll forum
           Have advanced to World Festival - Now what?
           The Open European Championship of FIRST LEGO League Bodo Norway
       Nano Quest Downloads
       Programming Questions
           General Programming Questions
           Miscellaneous Programming Questions
               RobotC
           NXT) NXT-G Questions
               How to use a decimal in calculations with NXT software
               NXT-G Move Block - Duration Unlimited doesn't work
               problems with your new NXT
               Unpredictable 90 degree turn for Molecular Motor
           NXT) Robolab Questions
           RCX) Robolab Questions
           RCX) Robotic Invention System (RIS) Questions
       Regional Information
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           Arizona
           Arkansas
           California
               North L.A. & SFV Teams
               San Diego Teams?
           Colorado
           Connecticut
               CT State Event Scores
           Delaware
           Florida
               Between Season Events
           Georgia
           Hawaii
           Homeschool
               Homeschool FLL Team Issues
               Homeschool FLL Team Results
               Homeschool Teacher's Lounge
               Homeschool Teams
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               Western Maine Teams
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           Minnesota
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           Montana
           Nebraska
           Nevada
           New Hampshire
               Greater Nashua Area
           New Jersey
           New Mexico
           New York
           North Carolina
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           Ohio
           Oklahoma
           Oregon
           Pennsylvania
           Rhode Island
           South Carolina
           South Dakota
           Tennessee
           Texas
           Utah
           Vermont
           Virginia
           Washighton D.C.
           Washington
           West Virginia
           Wisconsin
           Wyoming
       Research Questions
           Getting Kids to Focus
       Resources - For Coaches, by Coaches
           FLL NXT kits for sale?
           Team Awards
       Rule and Mission Questions
           Atomic Force Microscopy
           Bonus Objects
           General Questions
               Additional Parts?
               Atom Manipulation
                   Challenge 2006
                       Location of robot -legomynano3284
                   Table Stability
               Jigs
               lego taker a parter
                   CAN YOU USE THE LEGO TAKE A PARTER
               magnets
                   CAN YOU USE THE LEGO TAKE A PARTER
               Missions CD
               peirce questions helpful to us
               Rule #5????
               YOU YO
           Individual Atom Manipulation
               atom munipulation
               Catch the white red your doomed
               moving them all
               Watch out for the red cool off with the white!
           Miscellaneous
           Molecular Motor
           Nanotube Strength
               how do you get the truck up?
           Self Assembly
               ORIENTATION
           Smart Medicine
               more points with channel?
           Smell
           Space Elevator
               what happens if opposing team doesn't show up?
           Stain Resistant Fabric
           Strategy Questions
               Ultrasonic Sensor use
       Team Mentoring
       Tournament Directors' Forum
       World Festival
           NASA Archive?

Folder: BENELUX 02/09/2007 10:26:50 GMT



Folder: Batterijen & voeding 11/28/2006 12:39:47 GMT
Over de batterijen staat niet veel in de regels. Er is wel door veel groepen onderzocht wat de beste batterijen zijn, maar het blijft een verhaal met voor- en na-delen. Het lijkt ons de moeite waard om een voeding te maken die, op basis van een willekeurige accu/batterij een vaste spanning afgeeft naar de RCX. Zolang het geheel van voeding en batterijen in het batterij-huis van de RCX past lijkt het mij een volledig legitieme methode. Een groot voordeel is dan dat de prestaties van de robot niet meer afhangen van de soort batterijen of de conditie van de batterijen. Heeft iemand al ervaring met het bouwen van zo'n voeding?

Discussion: de rcx By: innotech1203 11/10/2006 15:06:26 GMT
hallo,
wij zijn tegen het probleem aangelopen dat de rcx steeds vanzelf iets anders doet. dit is erg irritant je moet dan steeds opnieuw beginnen. hebben meer mensen hier last van wij horen het graag ?
groetjes innotech

Discussion: Batterijen By: GLRBOTS2 11/28/2006 12:39:47 GMT
Hoi, het probleem met de batterijen is ons ook bekend. Wij doen het op de volgende manier. Elke keer als we gaan programeren gebruiken we volle, net opgelade 2700 maH, batterijen. Zo proberen we steeds met dezelfde spanning de RCX te programmeren.


Folder: NANO 10/20/2006 01:17:51 GMT
NANO is cool!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Discussion: Nano By: TURBOTECHS2255 10/20/2006 01:17:51 GMT
Who dosen't know that?


Folder: Team websites 01/11/2007 13:28:24 GMT
Wij willen alle teams die uitkomen in de BENELUX Finale in Delft op 27 januari a.s. heel veel succes wensen en dat we een leuke dag gaan hebben.

Wij hebben ook hard aan onze website gewerkt, kijk maar eens op:

www.risbotics.nl

Als jullie team ook een website heeft, maken wij daar graag een link naartoe, en zouden het ook leuk vinden als jullie ook naar ons gaan linken.

Tot in Delft!

Risbotics.



Folder: The Open European Championship of FIRST LEGO League Bodo Norway 01/30/2007 19:03:05 GMT


Discussion: Participating Teams By: Risbotics11 01/30/2007 19:03:05 GMT
RISBOTICS team wins the BeNeLux Finals in Delft (Netherlands), january 27th. 2007 (BeNeLux=3 countries Belgium/Netherlands/Luxemburg)

The Risbotics team is very proud to be the team that received the Champions Award.

Of course they worked for it, but it is also a reward for other very important issues. The team has enjoyed working with technique over the years and sharing that with others. The researching and making and preparing the presentations, truly have fun and be respectful within the team and to others. This is surely noticed and recognised by the jury.

We want to thank EVERYBODY for all they have done. Starting with the organization and all volunteers, you have done a great job!

But also our school, teachers, parents, families of the team and our sponsors. The Risbotics have enjoyed the finals and the big crowd that cheered all teams. The nerve breaking waiting took a long while, but the reward was worth it all! The TU Delft Champion*s Award!!

see also our website: www.risbotics.nl

  1. Message by: Maerlant 01/30/2007 19:03:05 GMT
    Hello Risbotics,

    Congatulations from Picobello!
    We will see you in Norway, hopefully with a better performing robot from our side.
    Is it a good idea to try and get rooms at the same hotel together with Telgenborg? Would be fun!

    Succes!
    We are,....Picobello!


    1. Message by: GMT



Folder: tips 02/09/2007 10:26:50 GMT
heeft iemand tips over de missie van 2007, of een site met info?

ps tips zijn van harte welkom


Discussion: heeft iemand voor ons tips. By: AC Nano Madness 1133 11/01/2006 15:31:35 GMT
Hallo iedereen.
heeft iemand heir tips voor ons. wij doen voor het eerst aan FLL mee en hebben graag wat tips. heb je reacties laat het maar achter

  1. Message by: 10/12/2006 15:59:18 GMT
    Deleted


    1. Message by: telgenborch 10/25/2006 00:11:25 GMT
      Tips:
      - Lees United States forum. Hier staat veel meer informatie dan op het Benelux forum.
      - Zoek op internet naar "fll" of First Lego League".
      - Vergeet het onderzoeksproject niet, hier gaat veel tijd in zitten.
      - De robot opdrachten zijn niet makkelijk. Het is niet erg als je er maar een paar kunt rijden.

      Geert Willem van Manen
      Basisschool de Telgenborch, Almelo.


    2. Message by: 10/25/2006 21:04:07 GMT
      Deleted


    3. Message by: 10/25/2006 21:04:42 GMT
      Deleted


    4. Message by: Tikimabrains 10/25/2006 21:08:08 GMT
      Hallo omdat iemand met onze mail geknoeid heeft hier nogmaals onze mail.

      Hallo veel zul je niet aan ons hebben wat betreft ervaring.
      Ook wij doen voor de eerste keer mee en willen graag wat tips die usefull zijn.

      Groetjes en veel succes namens de tikimabrains van basisschool de Meerhoef in Veldhoven.

      Ruud van de Looij


    5. Message by: AdelbertusAlkmaar1233 11/01/2006 15:31:35 GMT
      Hallo allemaal,

      ook wij doen voor het eerst mee en ik heb mij er echt op verkeken! De robot werkt nu wel (voor en achteruit rijden, draaien en gooien...), maar ik begrijp de missies niet echt..moet je de materialen voor die missies nu ook zelf in elkaar zetten? En is er misschien een lokatie waar de missies duidelijker omschreven staan?
      Tips zijn voor mij ook heel welkom!

      Alle teams veel succes,
      groetjes uit Alkmaar!


    6. Message by: GMT



Folder: BRAZIL 03/12/2007 12:54:39 GMT



Folder: The Open European Championship of FIRST LEGO League Bodo Norway 01/30/2007 15:09:42 GMT


Discussion: Participating Teams By: Risbotics11 01/30/2007 15:09:42 GMT
RISBOTICS team wins the BeNeLux Finals in Delft (Netherlands), january 27th. 2007 (BeNeLux=3 countries Belgium/Netherlands/Luxemburg)

The Risbotics team is very proud to be the team that received the Champions Award.

Of course they worked for it, but it is also a reward for other very important issues. The team has enjoyed working with technique over the years and sharing that with others. The researching and making and preparing the presentations, truly have fun and be respectful within the team and to others. This is surely noticed and recognised by the jury.

We want to thank EVERYBODY for all they have done. Starting with the organization and all volunteers, you have done a great job!

But also our school, teachers, parents, families of the team and our sponsors.

The Risbotics have enjoyed the finals and the big crowd that cheered all teams.

The nerve breaking waiting took a long while, but the reward was worth it all! The TU Delft Champion*s Award!!

see also our website: www.risbotics.nl

Discussion: For Coaches By: TechBrick893 10/25/2006 06:47:33 GMT
We have prepared two useful documents for the NanoQuest Challenge:

A field worksheet for the Nano challenge.
* Scaled 1" to 1'
* PDF contains two pages with a color and B&W image
* Images are sharp (created from source art).

Sample Scoring Sheet
* We found that running training sessions that are timed and scored is immensely valuable

Both are available at:

http://www.techbrick.com/Lego/Lego2006/Resources/resources_worksheets.htm

// Marco

________________________________________
Marco Ciavolino
Enktesis, LLC
1603 Belvue Drive
Forest Hill, MD 21050
410.838.8264
fax 1-413-410-2773
marco@ciavolino.com
________________________________________

Discussion: free the probe By: Coleigo Apoio - 6105 03/12/2007 12:54:39 GMT
We noticed that the nanotip in a few hours of use gets curved, so it makes harder to separete it from the surface. Could we change the nanotip side before our round to avoid disadvantages?

apologizes for the bad english, brazilians here =D

Translation to portuguese:

N*s percebemos que o nanotipo em algums horas de uso fica curvado, fazendo com que fico mais dif*cil de separ*-lo da superf*cie. N*s poderiamos mudar o lado que o nanotipo est* encaixado para evitar desvantagens na hora de desprend*-lo?

desculpas pelo ingl*s ruim, brazileiros aqui =D

  1. Message by: fll-freak 03/12/2007 12:54:39 GMT
    Yes you may. In fact, you are supposed to. According to the USA Q&A, the axle should be rotated every few matches.

    -Skye



Folder: CANADA 11/15/2007 03:40:34 GMT



Folder: Practice Tournaments 09/25/2006 04:29:05 GMT
I've started this folder for people to discuss the possibility of hooking up with a team from your area for a practice tournament.


Folder: Greater Toronto Area and Surrounding Regions 11/11/2006 01:14:13 GMT


Discussion: Looking for some practice! By: MarkhamWeebots2839 11/11/2006 01:14:13 GMT
Hi Folks!

I realize that there's an official page for practice tournaments on the
fllontario site, however I think it'll be easier to get one started here and then have it posted on that page.

I'm a rookie coach from the Markham area who'd be interested in somehow arranging a practice tournament with a nearby team. I'm thinking that we wouldn't even need 2 tables really, we could get by with one.

If anyone is interested, please post a reply.

Take care, and good luck with the season!
--Mike, Coach of the Markham Weebots

  1. Message by: Whizards 09/25/2006 16:25:30 GMT
    Hi Mike!

    My organization has about 2 or 3 teams (I'm not too sure how many) and I think a little practice tournament would be great!

    We were discussing about getting one going and such. I also know two judges that may be able to help out in 'officiating' the practice tournament!

    Now, I have to get a bit organized with this, but what time frame are you looking at? Are you thinking maybe two weeks before the real one so they have a couple of weeks to work on it?

    - Errol
    Workshop Whizards
    http://www.ctworkshop.net/fll


    1. Message by: MarkhamWeebots2839 09/26/2006 05:08:08 GMT
      Hi Errol,

      Wow, 2 or 3 teams! It's great to hear that you've got so many kids interested! I'm doing this outside of a school or organization (just an interested father), and I've only been able to rustle up 4 kids for this year.

      However, they're eager, and we're all new and having fun so far.

      I, too, have to get a bit organized, but your 2 week date sounds about right. I'm going to have a better idea once we meet this weekend. I'll have a better sense of what's ahead, and where we are.

      Which tournament are you referring to when you say 'real one'?

      Also, even if we can't get a full-fledged practice tourney going, I still think it would be a great idea to get the kids together. We should see if we can arrange that regardless. Please feel free to email me anytime, mstreet@yorku.ca.

      Take care, and I look forward to hearing from you,
      Mike
      Markham Weebots


    2. Message by: Whizards 09/26/2006 16:26:08 GMT
      5:30 am? 4:30am? WOW! You're awake really early!

      I'm not too sure which tournament I'm referring to when I say the 'real one'. *laugh* I still have to figure out how the whole tournament thing works, so I plan on talking to the tournament organizers.

      We can hold the practice tournament at our head office location, so there should be enough space (hopefully).

      I already have a table, but I didn't put the sawhorse on it, nor the lights, because it's heavy and big enough as is!

      I think that it would be great practice for the kids, even if their robot is only half built! :) So, I can try and rustle up some adults to act as 'judges' so they can also practice their projects in front of people they don't know.

      In case I don't get a hold of you, my email address is:
      errol@ctworkshop.com

      I have a class tonight, and the day of the class I try and tie up as many loose ends as I can, and I find that I have a lot of loose ends needing tying. So I feel sorry for anyone asking me to do anything on Tuesdays, I'm all frazzled and such. :)

      - Errol
      Workshop Whizards
      http://www.ctworkshop.net/fll


    3. Message by: Finding Nano 4894 10/19/2006 03:17:02 GMT
      wow! who can wake up at 5:30am in the morning? i for one cannot.
      mike, i think a practice tournament would be awesome because i'm so giddy about the "real tournament" (as Errol put it) that i think i'd totally freak out, so i need to practice.
      where's the head office location? and we have to put sawhorses and lights on top of the table? but then and again, which table are you talking about, Errol? do you mean the board one or the one you eat at? 2 weeks before the real tournament would be a good time to have a practice, but i'm quite sure that my team would be not quite finished (no offense to my team), as most of us are very lazy. however, i'm also sure that we'd get most of it done, if the teachers nag at us, which some of them have been doing in a so very obvious way (no offense to them, but i must be honest).
      you might think i'm dumb, but after browsing through people's messages, i can't help but ask: what is a rookie team?


      1. Message by: sempar5621 10/19/2006 05:23:06 GMT
        A rookie team is a team that's doing the FIRST Lego League thing for the very first time (even if some of the mentors have been with other teams before).


      2. Message by: Whizards 10/19/2006 16:34:11 GMT
        Hi Sharon,

        If you ARE interested in coming to our practice tournament, I could see about adding you in. I don't know how much room we have and it's dependent on the number of people that are coming already, but the more the merrier, so it would be great to meet other teams.

        If you could email me at errol@ctworkshop.com, I can answer all your questions about the practice tournament I'm holding. It's not "OFFICIAL", it's just something I'm doing with a few of the teams I know so that we 'newbie' teams can get a feel for what it would be like.

        :)

        - Errol


        1. Message by: Finding Nano 4894 10/24/2006 03:35:15 GMT
          hi Errol,
          well, i'm interested, but my teacher is planning to have a practice tournament for my group, so never mind.


    4. Message by: Finding Nano 4894 10/20/2006 00:24:07 GMT
      oh, so i'm in a rookie team too! i'm interested in the practice tournament, but all of my team have to be interested to join, right?


      1. Message by: Whizards 10/20/2006 20:28:32 GMT
        *laugh*

        Yes, you can email me if you'd like. I can give you more details there.


    5. Message by: Finding Nano 4894 10/31/2006 03:13:58 GMT
      hey, did someone delete my message? i thought i wrote that my team isn't coming to the practice tournament. apparently, coach has something else in mind. i told him about the practice tournament time and he totally misunderstood me. now, he's made a deadline for this project and we're trying to get as much finished as possible. however, there are 'a lot' of slackers who are saying 'oh, i don't know how to build lego' and therefore spent their time gossiping with others about other people's businesses, and people who are pretending to act serious when they're talking about things that are extremely off topic, like who in the group speaks japanese, and so on. also, some are lazing off while others do the work, then they come and yell and say 'shut up' to those hardworkers who have discovered how a structure works and are patiently trying to explain it to them. there are, i think, the equal number of hardworkers as slackers, which really upsets me, but i can't do anything about that. the slackers think i'm uncool and don't even pretend to listen to me (maybe i'm exaggerating a bit). but we're still making progress. our table/board thingy has been made and we're on our way to the finish line.
      *why am i writing about this?


      1. Message by: Whizards 11/04/2006 00:45:15 GMT
        Hi Sharon,

        Does that mean you want to come to our practice tournament? Could you verify that for sure?


    6. Message by: Finding Nano 4894 11/04/2006 19:43:07 GMT
      my team is coming to the practice tournament/preparation thingy at i think it's John Oliver or David Thompson or the Calarny (is that how you spell it?) high school, i forget which, on Nov. 24, according to my calendar. is that the one your talking about?
      never mind. i just looked at http://www.fllontario.org/practice_tournaments_2006.htm
      and i don't think it's the one i'm talking about.
      if it really isn't the one i am talking about, then no, my team isn't coming.


    7. Message by: Whizards 11/06/2006 17:18:12 GMT
      Hi Sharon,

      All this time, and I finally realized you were in BC. :) Actually the small practice tournament I'm holding is in Toronto, and I just realized we're full anyways. So no worries. Ours is this Sunday.

      We are so woefully unprepared. *laugh*


    8. Message by: Finding Nano 4894 11/10/2006 03:50:56 GMT
      this sunday? wow. i think your team must have done a lot of progress to be ready to present something on sunday! ~sigh of jealousy


      1. Message by: Whizards 11/11/2006 01:14:13 GMT
        Certainly not!

        I'll be able to finally meet Doreen, Paul and Mike, and they will attest to the fact that my team is definitely not prepared. :)


    9. Message by: GMT



Folder: Q & A 11/21/2006 20:24:49 GMT
Post a Question...Get an Answer!!
(at least that's the way it's suppose to work!)
--> "Add Discussion" to start a new question <--


Folder: robot design 11/16/2006 16:59:31 GMT
Hi folks, we are still 0 for 9 in the mission department. I just wonder if being gearless is a factor. Can you share? any help is appreciated....destroying missions actually would be progress. Sigh!

Discussion: Happy to help... By: Under Pressure 3108 11/16/2006 16:59:45 GMT
but yet not quite sure what you are asking for...

~Jesse

  1. Message by: challengers121 10/31/2006 05:16:58 GMT
    sorry to be vague....I meant that our robot design does not have any gears....do you think this is a drawback? Do most teams use gears? Thanks for the help.


    1. Message by: Mindstorm Masters 11/03/2006 02:34:20 GMT
      The first (half) mission we did was to just push the little truck onto the cable tester. Any robot that has wheels and motors can do that. I don't think you'd need gears for that. Then back up into the start area again.

      Just do one thing. Make it work. When that works, do the next thing.

      Have you written any programs yet?


    2. Message by: Whizards 11/04/2006 00:48:07 GMT
      Our original robot had no gears.

      If you don't need gears, you don't need to put them in. :)


    3. Message by: Finding Nano 4894 11/10/2006 03:57:05 GMT
      my team has started to program, and some of my team mates, like me, are quite confused with the sensors. we tried the practice-program-sensor-things and each one of them had to include these loops, or whatever you call them. what i don't get is, what are they for?


      1. Message by: Whizards 11/11/2006 01:22:26 GMT
        *laugh*

        What are loops for or what are sensors for?

        Loops are great if you want to repeat something.

        Sensors are used if you want to sense something. Like light sensors, or touch sensors.

        This website:
        http://www.ortop.org/NXT_Tutorial/html/essentials.html

        Has some great beginner tutorials which you can watch.

        If you want, I could explain it, but first tell me if it's sensors or loops you are having problems with. :)


        1. Message by: Finding Nano 4894 11/16/2006 03:51:06 GMT
          thanks Errol. so that's what loops are for! i thought they were for decorating the screen or something, because they're colourful.
          how did you find that sight? it's great! however, it seems to take so long just to load one of the excercises. is it because my internet is slow or is it the site? because the site itself downloaded real quickly.
          also, i don't really understand the sensors. it seemed so easy in the practices at "control template" or something like that, but when we actually had to get it to do a task, it wasn't as easy.


          1. Message by: Whizards 11/16/2006 16:59:31 GMT
            How did I find the site? I try to read everything in the FLL Forum, and I follow all the links that I possibly can. :)

            What are sensors? A sensor tells the robot when something specific happens.

            - Touch sensor: Tells the robot when a button is pressed
            - Light sensor: Tells the robot what colour it senses
            - Ultrasonic sensor: Tells the robot if it heard a loud sound

            This is great, so what?

            Well, you could have the robot do different things depending on what it 'sensed'.

            ROBOT: "Oh, I hit a wall, I guess I should stop my motors"
            ROBOT: "Oh, I heard a loud sound, I guess I should start my motors"

            These are examples, but sensors are great ways to make the robot do different things without you, the human, telling it what to do.

            If you create a LEGO bumper with a touch sensor and place it in the front of your robot, you could program the robot to sense if the bumper is pressed. If the bumper is pressed, then that means it has 'bumped' into something, and it should probably change direction, or maybe turn around, or maybe spit out a sound file saying, 'OUCH'.

            You can get it to do whatever you want. You could make it simple by just having the robot START when you press a touch sensor.

            The COACHES' Primer, the one Skye has created, has some mission samples in the Appendix, have you guys gone through that? Sensors and Loops and such are very basic programming elements which need to be mastered. :)

            - Errol


Discussion: What does gearless mean? By: Whizards 10/31/2006 03:21:19 GMT
Allo,

Yes, what do you mean by a gearless robot?

- Errol

  1. Message by: 10/31/2006 03:21:19 GMT
    Deleted


Discussion: FLL for ages 15+ ?? By: MELbots 11/10/2006 04:04:06 GMT
I was all gung ho on startin' up a Robotics club here at my high school, registering with FLL, and entering and competing in the tournaments and challenges. Problem is, all my students are 15+ which makes it tough to register for FLL events that are for ages 9-14. :-(

My question was: Are there any FLL events for ages 15+ ?

Robb Wynn
Teacher @ M.E. LaZerte HS
Edmonton, Alberta

  1. Message by: MELbots 09/29/2006 23:01:34 GMT
    ok! I'm gonna answer my own question!
    I had sent out a couple emails and here are a couple replies:

    Karen Rosenthal (FIRST Regional Director - Canada) wrote:

    The first is FVC - FIRST Vex Challenge - it costs $275 US to register, $375 US for a bundled kit and whatever your local tournament cost is. check out the following websites:
    http://www.usfirst.org/vex/ and http://www.vexlabs.com/. There is going to be a competiton for this in BC and Ontario - both on Nov 25/06.

    The other is our major competition - FRC - FIRST Robotics Competition - it costs $6000 US to register - for that you get admission to one regional event and a kit of parts that includes gears, wheels, motors, transmissions, controllers, etc. Check out http://www.usfirst.org/robotics/ . The only competitions for this in Canada are in Waterloo, ON and Toronto - in spring 2007


    Walter Kowalchyk (FLL ALBERTA) wrote:

    There is an older league we are just starting up in Alberta to get going. This group will be in conjunction with the world organization as well.

    For now- we are only allowing students aged 9-14 (with leniency in either direction) to officially compete. We are in the final stages of allowing/ working out the logistics for 15 and 16 year old to join this year- but not allow them to win every event, or go to the worlds.

    Still in process of working it out


    1. Message by: MELbots 09/29/2006 23:06:22 GMT
      hmmm...hopefully a local *affordable* alternative pops up that doesn't require travel expenses or $6000 registration fees! (gulp!)

      Maybe by next year, when my students (and I) are all trained and ready to roll, there will be something for us to compete in! :-)

      Robb Wynn
      Teacher @ M.E. LaZerte HS
      Edmonton, Alberta


    2. Message by: MarkhamWeebots2839 10/01/2006 02:28:23 GMT
      Unfortunately, Canada is often on the short end of the stick when it comes to these sorts of things. I'm quite happy that there is anything to compete in at all, but it would be nice to have a little more variety and support north of the border.

      Regardless, you are truly in an interesting position. You've got the students, the interest, I assume the robot(s), but no competition.

      Have you considered perhaps running your own thing? It sounds like the FLL in your area is looking to expand favourably, but maybe you could your own thing started in the meantime. Perhaps a neighbouring school or something?

      Either way, good luck with it, now and in the future.

      --Mike
      Coach of the Markham Weebots #2839


    3. Message by: Under Pressure 3108 10/14/2006 01:13:29 GMT
      Well FIRST started out with high-school robotics. if you mean you want to do lego league with your 15+ kids I'm not sure Canada would have a 15+ program. In fact I'm not even sure why the age limit on FLL IS 15. Isn't the whole point to encourage people to work as a team and such? Although First robotics is kinda the same. I guess I just answered my own question. Alright I'll stop talking now...


    4. Message by: botzealots1105 10/15/2006 01:07:38 GMT
      Minnesota is trying out a High School Robotics League. You can read about it at hightechkids.org It is just a local program.
      Mike


    5. Message by: Mindstorm Masters 11/02/2006 23:42:57 GMT
      Maybe some of your keener HS students can become Student Mentors for a FLL club at one of your feeder Junior HS? If you can get a club started there, they might be able to buy your equipment from you so you can buy the things you need for the VEX challenge, which would be the right age group.

      I think we might have some VEX challenge high schools here in BC -- if you are the first in Alberta then I'm sure you could come to our competition.

      But FLL with 15 year olds? My team has ages barely 8, 8, 9, and a few just turned 10 (one might be 11 but not sure). That wouldn't be very fair. It would be fun to have a senior FLL division, where age 15, 16, 17 could compete against their own age group. I'd support that!

      I saw some very advanced LEGO teamwork at the Seattle Robothon at the beginning of October. The mixed teams had ages from, I dunno, 11 to adult. Mom, dad, teen son, younger daughter, that kind of thing. It was GREAT to see them working together on a 3 hour challenge.

      Good luck to you
      -- Nora (formerly from Calgary)


      1. Message by: Finding Nano 4894 11/10/2006 04:04:06 GMT
        ages 15 and up? why, that's high-schoolers! no fair. anyways, it would be nice if the groups were age, i don't know, 8 to adult. that would make it not as difficult.


    6. Message by: Mindstorm Masters 11/03/2006 06:08:17 GMT
      Hmm, that reminds me. At the Seattle Robothon, there were competitions for line following, advanced line following, walking robots and maze runners. There were lots of fancy robots, but the winner of the maze running competition was an RCX Lego one (programmed in C I think). (I have a great video of the winning run through the maze.) I think there was a Lego entry in every class, the Lego robots can be quite competitive at this level. Most of the competitors were adults; a large team from some technical university in Mexico were there in force.

      You could still have your robotics club using the equipment you have, and plan on attending the Robothon in Seattle next fall, or there is a similar smaller event in Vancouver in the fall as well.


Discussion: How far is everyone? By: ByronBlockHeads4008 11/21/2006 20:24:49 GMT
I'm not being nosy, I just wanna know if everyone is on the same page as we are. We're going very slowly.

Our team is at a stage of chaos at the moment. We are all over the place! It's actually quite funny.

Hope to hear from someone soon! I'm hoping to make some friends this year!

Chloe, team manager
Byron Blockheads

  1. Message by: Randazzo1589 10/06/2006 16:55:06 GMT
    I'm glad to hear that we are not the only ones in chaos. We are a rookie team, I have 2, and no ass. other than myself. I have begged and pleaded for help. I am trying to stay somewhat organized but I think it would help if there was more info that was cleaner on programming the NET. We are having a hard time doing basic things let alone trying to start on missions. I am trying to stay positive even with several telling me to throw in the towel. I have a few kids that REALLY want to see this through.
    Jennifer
    Randazzo teams


    1. Message by: SMART 10/06/2006 23:51:28 GMT
      Jennifer,

      Are you using NXT? If so, have you tried the tutorials on the ORTOP site? I don't have the link handy, but they are really easy to follow and should have your programmers going pretty quickly.

      - Peter


    2. Message by: Randazzo1589 10/07/2006 04:54:04 GMT
      Yes we are using NXT and no I dont have that site. I was trying to use the site at high tech kids site. Didnt know about this other site. Do you have the address? Any help would be greatly appreciated.

      Jennifer


      1. Message by: SMART 10/08/2006 18:45:32 GMT
        Here is the site...

        http://www.ortop.org/NXT_Tutorial/

        It is recommended that rather than run these tutorials off of the ORTOP site you download them and run them locally if possible. Here is more information about how you can do that...

        http://cgsweb.catlin.edu/msrobotics/html/downloads.html

        - Peter


        1. Message by: Randazzo1589 10/08/2006 19:50:14 GMT
          Thanks so much!I already have one of my team looking at it.

          Jennifer Hall
          Randazzo


      2. Message by: Finding Nano 4894 10/17/2006 02:48:56 GMT
        gosh! i wish i was better at computers!
        what's an NXT? my team has been divided into groups, and i'm not in programming or anything of that sort, so i haven't been worrying about the computer stuff, until now...
        my team is also in chaos, and so far, for costumes, we're planning to dress as fishes. nice, eh? any other ideas?
        sharon


        1. Message by: sempar5621 10/18/2006 01:57:53 GMT
          The NXT is the big white "brain" block of the newer Lego Mindstorms set. It's the thing that you program and hook up sensors to, etc.

          For the older set the "brain" is called the RCX (and is yellow).


          1. Message by: Finding Nano 4894 10/19/2006 02:39:43 GMT
            thanks sempar5621.
            hey, what do you do if you're building a lego robot structure thing and you've run out of a certain kind of lego piece?


            1. Message by: sempar5621 10/19/2006 05:17:34 GMT
              We haven't gotten that far yet; but, there's something in the rules about you being able to use any Lego piece in existence (even if it didn't come in the kit) as long as it's not extra electronics. So, if you can find that certain kind of Lego piece anywhere you can use it (assuming it's non-electric).

              From part 8 (Materials) "There are no restrictions on the quantity or source of non-electric LEGO pieces.".


            2. Message by: Finding Nano 4894 10/20/2006 00:28:35 GMT
              oops, nevermind. my question was already answered


    3. Message by: Quarky Dawgs 10/08/2006 21:52:01 GMT
      Thanks for sharing the links! We are going slowly but I am trusting the "process". I wish I had more time to "play" with the NXT myself. We'll all make it and the kids will have fun learning.


    4. Message by: Electromagnetic Disturbance 10/08/2006 23:02:07 GMT
      Did anyone else have problems after installing shockwave? I'm still not getting the pictures.
      Thanks, Susan


      1. Message by: SMART 10/10/2006 17:20:06 GMT
        I did on one computer I tried to use. Ended up having to uninstall Shockwave and Flash, reboot, reinstall, then try again. Ended up working, but a pain.

        - Peter


    5. Message by: Under Pressure 3108 10/10/2006 00:01:21 GMT
      Jennifer,

      Don't Give Up!!!

      I'm 13 and a member of a rookie team as well and we are just learning the NXT programming too. Some of my teammates are better at programing than the others and are teaching the other ones the more complicated aspects of the NXT program. If you have any specific programming questions we'll be watching the forum and we can help you out!


    6. Message by: Randazzo1589 10/10/2006 03:53:48 GMT
      Thanks, the team and myself appreciate your upbeat answer and will probably be posting questions.

      Thanks again,
      Jennifer
      Randazzo


    7. Message by: Whizards 10/10/2006 18:18:44 GMT
      Allo, I don't know if this will help, but I keep a blog of everything I'm doing, with Lesson Plans (I make them up on the fly)

      It could be helpful to someone out there. :)

      Just to let you know, I'm not that far ahead or anything...we haven't even started working on the missions, I'm trying to train them to be able to program!

      - Errol
      Workshop Whizards
      http://www.ctworkshop.net/fll


    8. Message by: sempar5621 10/11/2006 19:00:35 GMT
      Our current status can essentially be described as freaking out. We don't have our NXT kit or field setup kit (or the Coach Handbook, etc.) yet and when I phoned Spectrum this morning they didn't have any record of the order which they could find. Apparently some of the Canadian team orders got lost somewhere between the FLL Registration and Spectrum; so, at the moment our kit isn't here and isn't on its way (but they're currently trying to find it to get that resolved). If anyone else hasn't received their kit yet; they should definitely phone and make sure their order wasn't another one that was lost (I don't know how widespread the problem is but it's certainly very stressful for our team).

      We've watched the mission videos, have been doing programming exercises (e.g. from the Coach Primer by Skye), started doing some teamwork exercises and a little bit on the research project; but, since don't have an actual kit yet or field setup so it's very difficult to actually plan out how the field will operate.


      1. Message by: Whizards 10/11/2006 19:55:57 GMT
        Wow, that IS stressful.

        Normally, I would say to train them on programming, but if you don't even have your NXT kit yet, then that's pretty brutal.

        We're starting our mission programming next week.

        If anything, at least you guys will be a shoe in for the Project. :) Imagine the presentation you can do with all that time!


      2. Message by: zap85 10/11/2006 19:58:13 GMT
        I have had negative experiences with Spectrum as well - they do seem to make a lot of mistakes with orders and I have learned to follow up regularly. I hope your kit arrives soon!!

        In the meantime, you should take advantage of the extra time to focus on the research project. Many teams leave it until the last minute, so you have a chance to really shine in that area if you take extra time with it. Our team really loves the project, because they have a lot of fun developing their skit.

        You can read the Coaches Handbook online - there is a folder inside the United States area of the Forum which has links to the pdf Files. And use the time to read through the UFAQ on Skye's site as well.

        And if you have a choice of which tournament you can attend, make sure you get registered for one of the later ones so that you have as much time as possible to work with the robot once it does arrive. If you do have to go to an early one, make sure the kids let the judges know that their robot kit arrived late, so the judges know how much your team managed to accomplished in a short time.

        Good luck!!

        Doreen (in Toronto)
        Coach, Team ZAP!


      3. Message by: Finding Nano 4894 10/24/2006 04:10:28 GMT
        i agree with zap85. you should use this extra time on researching nanotechnology imformation, which my teacher tells me is so important, and it is, because what good would it do to do a project on nanotechnology and not know a single thing about it?
        also, you can do the other things, like developing a skit, costume, and all that kind of stuff.
        have faith, and i hope your kit arrives soon (actually kinda copied line from zap. hope zap won't mind)


    9. Message by: 10/13/2006 16:17:11 GMT
      Deleted


    10. Message by: tanrobotics 10/17/2006 06:45:04 GMT
      Current status: BEHIND SCHEDULE

      This is the first year we are coaching 2 teams instead of one, so it has been quite chaotic to say the least. Also, we had to get the kids up to speed with the NXT as well as the changeover from building with "bricks" into building with "sticks" is a bit of a change for some of the kids.

      It is also quite a bit a challenge to teach the kids enough nanotechnology for them to be able to do the project. We had to cover everything from biology, chemistry, electromagnetism, and basic atomic theory... all this to kids from Gr. 5 - Gr. 7! How do you guys do it?? Most of the fundanmental materials are not covered until at least Gr. 10 or 11 for most kids!

      Anyways, we have one mission completed and several still in the works, but this is way behind where we were last year.

      Paul Tan.
      Co-Coach of St. Clement's Lego Robotics Teams:
      Nano Penguins 1
      Nano Penguins 2


      1. Message by: Whizards 10/17/2006 20:17:00 GMT
        Wow, if you guys are experienced this and STILL way behind, then I guess that makes me feel better!

        Today we are going to look at a couple of missions. We'll also try and hone in on a project topic, which they still haven't decided on.

        We do have the logo decided on. :D


        1. Message by: zap85 10/18/2006 02:32:04 GMT
          Hey Errol, they're not just experienced, they're last year's champions! But take heart - as a rookie last year I was told that most new teams only solve two or three missions. That kept our expectations realistic.

          Paul, it makes me feel better too, to hear about any other team struggling with the nano topic and learning the NXT, because those have certainly also been issues for our team. The project topic seemed overwhelming to the kids at first.

          We'll be at the Greenwood competition again - we look forward to see your team(s) there again.

          And as far as our progress? Last year, as raw rookies, the kids had one mission solved by mid-October. This year? We're a little farther along than that, but certainly feeling the time crunch. A big time sink for the next few weeks will be dealing with the limited memory issue as the kids figure out how to get all their mission programming in the NXT.

          No matter how far you've gotten with any of it, I hope you're all having fun!

          Doreen
          Team ZAP!


          1. Message by: Finding Nano 4894 10/24/2006 04:37:29 GMT
            OMG they were last years champions? that is so cool. it comforts me that some other teams are still having trouble because then my team seems quite alright! almost all our stations are finished, and while playing with the robot prrogram thingy, several of the boys have discovered how to program the robot, and it was quite good! legonano is so much fun!!!
            anyways, Doreen, it seems as if you're no longer a rookie team, so i just wanted to ask, how was it last year at the tournament? was it exciting, frightening, nervousing (if that's a word) or what? were there a lot of judges? did they ask a lot of questions? what were some of them?


            1. Message by: zap85 10/24/2006 05:41:47 GMT
              Hi there,

              The Penguins were last year's Ontario champions, we saw them compete and they were a really neat group of kids.

              Last year at our rookie tournament, it was all of those things you mentioned. The kids on our team all had a great time, but yeah, I think they were definitely nervous going into it. I'm the coach, so I wasn't nervous so much as just really busy keeping track of everything, like making sure they got to their interviews on time.

              The judges are all really friendly and not scary, so don't worry there. If you read the UFAQ on the www.fllfreak.com website, there are lots of example questions in there. We just practiced those questions with the team beforehand, and some others that we made up for practice.

              The most important thing to remember is that when you are at a tournament, the whole point is for you to show the judges (and everyone else - other teams and spectators) how much you have learned, how much fun you had, and what your team is all about.

              Doreen, Coach
              Team ZAP!


              1. Message by: Finding Nano 4894 10/25/2006 00:35:23 GMT
                thanks Doreen. what you wrote really comforts me.


            2. Message by: tanrobotics 10/26/2006 05:53:29 GMT
              Yes, we were last year's champions, and the kids had a blast when we went down to represent Ontario in the World Festival tournament in Atlanta.

              If you want to get a feeling for all the tournaments, take a look at some of our videos and pictures from last year:

              http://www.scsrobotics.org/video

              http://www.scsrobotics.org

              Please excuse the mess of the web site, but the kids have not had much time to fix it up this year (as you might imagine from my message about being behind schedule!)

              Paul Tan
              Co-Coach of St. Clement's Lego Robotics
              Nano Penguins 1
              Nano Penguins 2

              Hope to see all of you in the Greenwood and Trafalgar tournaments! (we decided to split the two teams into different tournaments, as I didn't feel I can manage the chaos of two teams in the same tournament -- to rookies: yes, the tournaments are VERY hectic... be sure to remember to schedule in bathroom and snack breaks for the kids!)


    11. Message by: Mindstorm Masters 10/26/2006 01:02:10 GMT
      Errol: Love your website! Thanks for the link. I am a rookie coach too, and you're right, it is so important to get the kids to focus!

      -- Nora


      1. Message by: Whizards 10/30/2006 16:33:55 GMT
        Thanks Nora!

        I hope the blog would be helpful for the next coach after me. Plus, writing my 'overwhelmed' experience down helped me to stop mulling it over in my head night after night. :)


    12. Message by: Under Pressure 3108 11/11/2006 22:34:21 GMT
      Some of our challenges are done. A couple are half done. A few of them have been "sabatoged" by the changes we have made to the robot for other missions. its a bit of a dilemma and we are currently working on it. as for our skit project I have been writing and re-writing it for a while. its going good but it still needs more information. but its a working progress

      ~Jesse


    13. Message by: nano2569 11/15/2006 08:06:05 GMT
      Jesse:

      Are you a coach or a team member?

      I thought the kids were the only ones who were suppose to write their skit?


      1. Message by: Under Pressure 3108 11/21/2006 20:24:49 GMT
        Jesse is one of the older members of our team (13) but we are all rookies. Since he is my son he tends to ignore the words "Don't post to the forum without letting me know". He has written every word of the script with the research input of the team.

        -Michelina
        Coach Under Pressure


    14. Message by: Finding Nano 4894 11/16/2006 03:54:59 GMT
      Jesse, uh, how many challenges are you doing?


    15. Message by: GMT


Discussion: robot designs By: challengers121 11/01/2006 03:08:49 GMT
Hi folks,
I'm new with a great team but we are just at the robot design stage....i know this is the creative stuff but wondering if there are any resources to "borrow" design ideas from??? Any suggestions....we already made the robot based on the design in the book but a few other ideas would be helpful. Cheers, Dale

  1. Message by: challengers121 10/18/2006 04:11:14 GMT
    Hi folks,
    I'm new with a great team...we are at the design your own robot stage. i know this is one of the creative pieces but I'm wondering if there are any design type sites to "borrow" a few ideas from. Any suggestions are welcome. cheers, dale


    1. Message by: Whizards 10/18/2006 14:08:47 GMT
      Hi Dale,

      If you go to the folder:

      United States/Miscellaneous
      http://www.firstlegoleague.org/scripts/webx.dll?13@@.ee998f9

      You will find near the bottom a discussion on NXT Robot designs. Personally, I haven't looked at them, but I'm trying to keep in my head most of the questions that have been asked in this forum. :)

      Now, your question could have been about the RCX. If it was, there are tonnes of designs on the internets. :)

      - Errol


    2. Message by: challengers121 10/18/2006 22:41:29 GMT
      Thanks Errol....we appreciate the help! The designs are great! Dale


    3. Message by: Finding Nano 4894 10/19/2006 02:51:08 GMT
      speaking of designs, do we have to design some dorky (that's what teacher called them) costumes to wear for the tournament? are any other groups doing that?


      1. Message by: sempar5621 10/19/2006 05:20:34 GMT
        Some teams do, some teams don't. I'm of the opinion that it's some harmless fun. If you do have costumes you certainly won't be alone (some of the FIRST staff are known for their elaborate hair styles and costumes).


      2. Message by: Whizards 10/19/2006 16:38:00 GMT
        What kind of team spirit is that? *laugh*

        I'm HOPING my team comes up with silly costumes, that makes it more fun!

        To one the costume could be considered 'dorky'. To another, it may be 'flamboyant' or 'fun'. :)

        - Errol


        1. Message by: 10/20/2006 04:12:52 GMT
          Deleted


        2. Message by: Finding Nano 4894 10/20/2006 04:13:51 GMT
          i agree. costumes are just for fun. so is the skit, in which i am suppose to act like someone i'm not. i'm supposed to act sporty.
          did you see the movie, or whatever it was? there were people wearing cheese hats. they looked really odd, but i hope my rookie team ends up looking like that.
          *okay, this is extremely out of topic, but would you rather be short and skinny or tall and fat? i hope it's not a rude question. don't answer if you don't want to. i just saw it in a book i was pretending to read because the teacher was looking, or at least he looked like he was.


          1. Message by: Whizards 10/20/2006 20:30:20 GMT
            Wow, is that ever off topic.

            I would rather be happy with who I am, then it doesn't matter.


            1. Message by: Finding Nano 4894 10/24/2006 04:39:55 GMT
              good answer, although it doesn't answer the question.
              *you don't have to answer it.


              1. Message by: Whizards 10/24/2006 15:22:49 GMT
                It does. :) It doesn't matter to me, that's my answer.


                1. Message by: Finding Nano 4894 10/25/2006 00:37:13 GMT
                  ha ha ha ha ha ha ha!


    4. Message by: Finding Nano 4894 10/31/2006 03:38:09 GMT
      ok, speaking of robot designs, lets change the topic to costume designs, ok?
      coach says that you have to look like winners in order to be winners, which doesn't make any sense to me because if i saw someone in a scrambled eggs costume, that person would seem to me as a total un-winner, in other words, freak, unless it was halloween, because if it was, i think that costume would be great.
      it's hard to think of something for Finding Nano. i wished we had picked an easier name, like theninjas or something, because it's easy to look like a ninja. challengers121 is a good name because that team can dress up as mad scientists by wearing frizzy wigs and long white coats and circle shaped glasses. whizards is another example of a good name because that team could dress up as wizards or witches by wear pointy hats and waving magic wands in the air. i like Finding Nano, but it's hard to think of a costume for that. any suggestions?


      1. Message by: SMART 10/31/2006 05:01:26 GMT
        You do realize your team name is a take-off on "Finding Nemo" - yes? Surely that should be the source for your creative costume.

        By the way, that was a very popular name last year (Finding Nemo that is) since it was Ocean Odyssey. At the world festival there was a very nice team that did a whole musical about their research to the tune of the Finding Nemo song. And they did it in two languages!

        - Peter


    5. Message by: challengers121 10/31/2006 05:23:35 GMT
      Finding Nano costumes....maybe posters of >>>.Have you seen 'buckyball type dude"...microscope type glasses ...


    6. Message by: Finding Nano 4894 11/01/2006 03:08:49 GMT
      thanks SMART and challengers121


Discussion: sensors By: challengers121 10/19/2006 15:56:59 GMT
Could someone direct us to some information for the sensors? espicially the light sensor (can it make light, or detect light?)

  1. Message by: fll-freak 10/19/2006 15:56:59 GMT
    Both the NXT and the RCX light sensors detect the amount of light that hits the sensitive phototransister. From within your program you can get a relative measure of how much light hit the sensor. A larger number means more light.

    Both the NXT and RCX light sensor can operate in a powered or unpowered mode. The powered mode turns on a small light buld (red LED). The light from this LED travels away from the sensor, bounces of the first object in the way and then comes back to hit the sensor. This mode is useful for line following or other such activities. But if all you want to know is if it is daytime or nightime, then run the sensor in unpowered mode. Now the only light that can hit the sensor is whatever ambient light there is.

    A good reference on the RXC light sensor can be found in the online book "Building LEGO Robots for FLL" available here:

    http://www.hightechkids.org/index.php?2-1-1071

    -Skye


Discussion: computer problem By: Finding Nano 4894 10/24/2006 03:58:36 GMT
hey, is anyone else having problems with going to this site? i was trying to go to www.firstlegoleague.org when they said that i couldn't, and that it had something to do with timing. is it because someone was hacking in?! OMG, that's so scary. but who'd want to hack into Finding Nano?

  1. Message by: Whizards 10/20/2006 20:31:29 GMT
    No problems here, your internet may be temporarily out.

    No hacking worries.


    1. Message by: Under Pressure 3108 10/21/2006 02:41:09 GMT
      sometimes if you don't type in the " WWW " part it gives you an error message but thats about all I've ever seen

      -Jesse


    2. Message by: Finding Nano 4894 10/24/2006 03:56:25 GMT
      no, i don't think it was because the internet was out because i was able to go to other sites. also, i did type in the www part so that isn't it, either. however, my computer seems alright again. 'seems' alright. thanks for the help.
      *ahhhh, hackershackershackers


Discussion: Individual atom manipulation By: ByronBlockHeads4008 10/31/2006 03:45:13 GMT
Hello all!
OK. We have a new problem. Our robot keeps running into this mission and completely destroying it!!!!!! Does anyone have any idea why?
And no, we aren't programming it wrong, it just started doing this on its own!!!!
Someone PLEASE HELP!!!!!!!
Chloe, Byron BlockHeads

  1. Message by: sempar5621 10/20/2006 17:18:30 GMT
    It would help if you mentioned whether you're using the NXT (White "brain") or the RCX (Yellow "brain"). For the RCX changing batteries to a new set can cause things like that if you were setting the values in the programming using non-fresh batteries.


    1. Message by: Whizards 10/20/2006 20:32:27 GMT
      No idea here, do you have a video showing what you mean by "completely destroying it"?

      My kids do that on their own without the use of a robot. *sigh*


      1. Message by: Finding Nano 4894 10/24/2006 04:42:36 GMT
        hahaha, that's very funny (no offense)
        and really, what do you mean by 'completely destroying it?


    2. Message by: ByronBlockHeads4008 10/26/2006 20:20:05 GMT
      Okay, we have measured the exact start location on the base, 11cmx11cm. If you understand good for you.
      Now, all of a sudden, without us changing any actions, it started swerving and running into this mission. I almost forgot - sometimes it destroys the nanoprobe too.
      I know this isn't much information, but it's the best I've got. We use the yellow brain, as you like to call it!
      Now, what could be going wrong: the laptop we use, the robot itself, or something I haven't considered?
      Thank you so much. I am more grateful than words can express!!!

      Chloe, of Byron Blockheads


      1. Message by: fll-freak 10/26/2006 20:25:03 GMT
        Since it was working before and now it is not you have a few possibilities:

        1) The program changed. Even very small changes could have significant effects.

        2) The mechanism/robot changed. Even very small changes could make big differences. Even something a small as of wheel is pushed into the robot more than it used to be.

        3) The battery voltage is different causing differenct behaviour.

        4) Little (nano scaled) gremlims have decided to take up living in your robot. Often playing Barry Manillow songs at high volume will make them leave.

        -Skye


    3. Message by: ByronBlockHeads4008 10/26/2006 20:22:12 GMT
      Oh yeah, and it destroys the area of the nanoprobe where the magnets are, and it also bumps into the wobbly platter and the rubber bands fall off. Does that help???
      Chloe, Byron Blockheads


    4. Message by: Whizards 10/30/2006 16:35:47 GMT
      It could be a motor thing. Sometimes, when motors go bad, it becomes more difficult for them to spin.

      Have you tried changing the motors?

      - Errol


    5. Message by: Finding Nano 4894 10/31/2006 03:45:13 GMT
      are you sure you didn't change any actions? maybe you accidentally hit a button and didn't notice your mistake.


Discussion: Base By: ByronBlockHeads4008 11/10/2006 04:21:06 GMT
OK. My good programmer here has a hunch. Do we have to start in the exact position as shown on the mat or can we start anywhere inside the base area??? We really need to have a for sure answer.
PLLLLLEEEAAAASSSSSSEEEE reply soon!!!!
Chloe and programmer, Michael, of Byron Blockheads

  1. Message by: SMART 10/26/2006 21:24:05 GMT
    You may start your robot anywhere in base, but your robot must be completely in base when it starts. Also remember that the base has an invisible ceiling. This is very clear in the rules so I suggest review that.

    There is no "starting mark".

    - Peter


    1. Message by: ByronBlockHeads4008 10/27/2006 15:24:56 GMT
      Okay, that's great! I remember Michael seeing that little black box area on the mat and thinking that's where the robot always had to start.
      Now, with this "invisible ceiling", where will I fing information about this exactly? I don't remember anything.

      Thanks SO much!
      Chloe, Byron Blockheads


      1. Message by: fll-freak 10/27/2006 17:51:52 GMT
        Its in the rules.
        -Skye


      2. Message by: SMART 10/28/2006 15:23:44 GMT
        Go to this page...

        http://www.firstlegoleague.org/nobanner.aspx?pid=21380

        Then click on the link for the rules, and look at rule 11 - they have a picture of the base with the ceiling.

        Please do review especially the rules link, the missions link, and the Q&A link. It is very important to understand the rules and mission requirements and only by reading these will you have a full understanding. After that, if something still isn't clear the forum is a good place to go.

        One tip, on teams where I've had a lot of new team members we would spend 10 to 15 minutes per meeting reviewing and discussing the rules and their implications till we felt we understood them.

        Regards,

        Peter


    2. Message by: Finding Nano 4894 10/31/2006 03:50:22 GMT
      ahhh. i read the rule 11, but i don't get why we need a ceiling.


      1. Message by: SMART 10/31/2006 05:08:04 GMT
        If there were no ceiling a team could make a really long attachment that reaches across the board and they would only need to drive slightly out of base to use it. The designers of the game chose not to allow this. I suspect because they want to see more autonomous robots that can move to the target.

        Remember though once you start the robot there is no ceiling. Your robot can extend attachments etc. but you have to make sure you're completely out of base before you can score a mission.

        - Peter


    3. Message by: Finding Nano 4894 11/01/2006 03:12:48 GMT
      oh, i get it. thanks Peter.


    4. Message by: tanrobotics 11/03/2006 22:17:09 GMT
      A team did that in the Maine competition in 2000 (Volcano Panic - we had to travel down to Maine since there was no Ontario tournament at the time).

      The kids built a 3-4 ft long stick out of lego and dropped it from the base (it had to deliver a lego "sensor" into the crater of the volcano), thereby removing the need to have their robot climb up the curved slope of the volcano!

      Paul Tan.
      Co-Coach of St. Clement's Lego Robotics
      Nano Penguins 1
      Nano Penguins 2


      1. Message by: fll-freak 11/04/2006 00:47:43 GMT
        That sounds like the LRT team! We meet them in the finals during Arctic Impact. They beat us with a long pole!

        -Skye


    5. Message by: Finding Nano 4894 11/10/2006 04:21:06 GMT
      that sounds cool. my coach said that the robot could go back to base so you can change its arm. also, if your robot suddenly stops dead, you can bring it back to the base, lose 3 points, and do a different station, but who cares about points? we all joined to have fun, right?


Discussion: Space elevator question #2 By: ByronBlockHeads4008 10/26/2006 22:47:21 GMT
We have so many questions!!!
In what position does the space elevator rest on the mat? Dana here is a bit confused.
Thanks!!!
Chloe and Dana, Byron Blockheads

  1. Message by: fll-freak 10/26/2006 22:47:21 GMT
    Read Q&A question QA8 here:
    http://www.firstlegoleague.org/default.aspx?pid=23730

    -Skye


Discussion: New robot attachments By: ByronBlockHeads4008 10/31/2006 03:54:23 GMT
We're all full of questions!!!!!!!
Our builder Paolo came up with a new question- can he attach felt fabric to the bottom of the sliders we use on our robot? He wants to make it slide more smoothly on the mat.
Is this against the rules?
Hope to hear from someone soon!
Chloe and Byron Blockheads

  1. Message by: fll-freak 10/27/2006 18:06:36 GMT
    Try reading rule 8.

    b must be made entirely of LEGO elements in original factory condition

    This type of question is also covered in the UFAQ at http://www.fll-freak.com/faq

    -Skye


    1. Message by: Under Pressure 3108 10/28/2006 01:39:19 GMT
      Good idea though! Kudos to Paolo!


    2. Message by: 10/31/2006 03:54:23 GMT
      Deleted



Folder: Resources - (Links, Tutorials, and Tips) 10/31/2006 03:18:05 GMT
Post all your links, tutorials, or tips n' tricks here!
Start a *New* Discussion (click "Add Discussion") for each new post (unless replying to an existing discussion)

Discussion: NXT Links... By: MELbots 09/29/2006 22:06:46 GMT
Hey all,

Rookie FLL'er here! I just started up a Robotics club at M.E. LaZerte High School in Edmonton and was looking around for some resources on the net for NXT.

Here's the few I found that were helpful:

NXT Tutorials
Philo's NXT page
LEGO Education
LUGNET - LEGO User's Group
HighTechKids - NXT Resources

hope they help! :-)

Robb Wynn
Teacher and Rookie Robotics Coach

Discussion: LOST PIECES!!!!!!!!!!! By: ByronBlockHeads4008 10/13/2006 18:37:21 GMT
Yes, we are still building.
Is it alright to bring in our own pieces to replace lost pieces in the official LEGO set?? We cannot find a few red pieces for the "INDIVIDUAL ATOM MANIPULATION" mission. Is it OK to bring in our own??

Thank you for your generous help!

Chloe Desgroseilliers, Byron BlockHeads

  1. Message by: fll-freak 10/13/2006 18:37:21 GMT
    Of course. Read over the Materials rule and the UFAQ. You will see that with the exception of electrical parts you can use any factory original LEGO part.

    -Skye


Discussion: Mission worksheet and scoring sheet By: TechBrick893 10/31/2006 03:18:05 GMT
We have prepared two useful documents for the NanoQuest Challenge:

A field worksheet for the Nano challenge.
* Scaled 1" to 1'
* PDF contains two pages with a color and B&W image
* Images are sharp (created from source art).

Sample Scoring Sheet
* We found that running training sessions that are timed and scored is immensely valuable

Both are available at:

http://www.techbrick.com/Lego/Lego2006/Resources/resources_worksheets.htm

// Marco

________________________________________
Marco Ciavolino
Enktesis, LLC
1603 Belvue Drive
Forest Hill, MD 21050
410.838.8264
fax 1-413-410-2773
marco@ciavolino.com
________________________________________

  1. Message by: Finding Nano 4894 10/31/2006 03:18:05 GMT
    thanks marco. how'd you find them?
    *i have a friend named marco, too! but i don't think you are the same person.



Folder: Team Introductions 11/25/2006 01:08:12 GMT
This folder is to introduce yourself and your team.

Discussion: Workshop Whizards - Hello from Toronto! By: Whizards 11/10/2006 03:38:25 GMT
Allo All!

Well, I went and made a folder called Team Introductions, since there wasn't anything in the Canada Forum, I hope that is ok.

If not, by all means, delete it!

My name is Errol and I am the coach for The Workshop Whizards, and we had our first meeting last night! In fact, we are a rookie team and I have to admit I am almost overwhelmed about the amount of information out there!

I think I'm going to start a blog about it. :)

Anyway, just wanted to see who else was out there. Considering that in Ontario alone there are 136 teams registered, ONE of you must check the forum!

Is there a moderator for the Canada forum?

  1. Message by: BrightLights2006 09/20/2006 16:51:14 GMT
    Hi Errol!

    My name is Rob, and I am the coach for the Bright Lights out of St. Catharines. We too are a rookie team, and I'm facing the same information overload you are. Out first "official" team meeting isn't scheduled until next week.

    Good to hear from you!


    1. Message by: fll-freak 09/20/2006 17:06:10 GMT
      Errol,

      There are no moderators as in other forums. There are staff individuals that monitor the content for foul language. They do not monitor for accuracy of any information. In fact, FIRST staff to not read the forum at all. This is a resource for coaches and is very unofficial.

      What you will find are a dozen long time coaches that act as unofficial moderators. They answer the bulk of the questions, make sure that bad information is reversed, and that some basic civil guidelines are followed. We do not tolerate rookie bashing and we push Gracecious Professionalism.

      You will also likely find that the Canadian branch of the forum (and the other non USA branches) are likely to be rather dead. What will be posted are community related information as you have just done. Those that can read English will find their way to what will be a treasure trove of information on the USA site.

      -Skye


      1. Message by: Whizards 09/20/2006 18:31:08 GMT
        Ah, thanks Skye!

        I didn't know if it was proper for me to just go and make a folder without someone 'official' approving it. I did it anyways, but I was willing to accept the consequences in case that wasn't allowed.

        If anything, I'm hoping that the people in charge of tournaments will be on the forum so that we can ask them questions too! :) Maybe I can make a folder called local tournament questions, or something like that.


        1. Message by: fll-freak 09/20/2006 18:45:41 GMT
          I would suggest creating a folder called "Regional Information" then adding a subfolder called "Greater XYZ area". You can use that for information about tournaments in the XYZ area.

          As for having the Tournament Directors on the forum, don't hold your breath. Most of them will not have asked for the forum code, others do not have the time. Some of them do not even know they will be Tournament Directors in a month's time!

          Trying to get tournament information is the ugly side of FLL. As a volunteer organization, FIRST cant impose standards of excelence like providing an active forum member, having a website, or even sending out an information packet in advance. Many teams will be left to call FIRST to get the contact information for the state partner, then talk to the state partner to get the local director's contact information.

          -Skye


    2. Message by: Whizards 09/20/2006 18:27:34 GMT
      I spent four days for 8 hours each day on FLL research and prep work. I still don't think I have a proper handle on it! :)

      Anyways, I'm very grateful to the amount of material out there.

      I've already written a long and rather verbose account of my first meeting. If people are interested in that, I can post it on a website somewhere.


    3. Message by: MarkhamWeebots2839 09/20/2006 18:29:42 GMT
      Hello Fellow Canuckers!

      I'm the coach for team 2839, the Mark ham Weebots. We are also complete rookies in this, and are having a blast so far!

      I'm very glad to hear from some of the other Canadian coaches out there. You're right. You'd figure with so many Canadian teams, that there' be a little more activity in this forum.

      I'm personally hoping we can get a forum going with a little more communication regarding tournaments and venues. I know things are still in flux around the whole issue, but let's hope that the tournament coordinators will use this forum to communicate with us.

      I too, am planning on starting a team log for the kids. I know they'll be quite happy to see their progress charted in a log like that.

      I notice that you're from Tor onto. If you're interested, perhaps we could contact each other and perhaps arrange a practice tourney with some teams? Just a thought...

      Take care all, and good luck,
      Mike.


    4. Message by: IceChips2534 09/20/2006 19:12:45 GMT
      Hi everyone,

      I'm the coach for the Ice Chips (2534) and we're from the North Bay area in Ontario.. This is my third year doing this, and I'm still learning lots. It is lots of hard work, but boy is it worth it!!

      As Sky said earlier, make sure you check out the US portion of the forum. Don't hesitate to post to it if you have a question. There are very valuable pieces of information about strategy, rules, programming, projects, etc. I make it a habit of trying to check each day on my lunch break for any new posts since it is so helpful.

      Another web site to keep track of is fllcanada.org. There are links to the provincial sites. At least for Ontario, that is where you will find information about the regional tournaments.

      I would like to invite everybody to the regional tournament in Sudbury, Ontario. It is held at Science North on November 25'th. While the drive may be a little further for some teams, it can be made into a weekend trip since the kids can spend the extra time at the science centre, touring the Big Nickel mine, etc.

      Best of luck and don't forget to have fun!


    5. Message by: Whizards 09/21/2006 00:14:46 GMT
      I'm blogging my experience. :)

      If anyone is interested, you can check it out:

      http://www.ctworkshop.net/fll/

      Good to meet all of you, by the way! I will try and get in touch with tournament people and see what I can find out because I have a few questions about it! I will post the results here!


    6. Message by: zap85 09/21/2006 02:57:12 GMT
      Hello from another Toronto team.

      I am the coach for ZAP, a homeschool team. This is our second year competing, and this year we are also mentoring a couple of new teams.

      I can certainly remember how overwhelming it all felt last year as a rookie coach. There is a huge learning curve for new teams. I agree with the advice to check the US forum regularly, and you should also check the Challenge Q&A section in the US (not Canada) area of the website every week. If you haven't found them, go to these websites which have the best basic information for getting started: www.fll-freak.com (the home of the UFAQ), www.hightechkids.org, and www.ortop.org.

      One other piece of advice: don't assume anything, particularly concerning the missions. It's easy to read into things and make assumptions that are wrong and will mislead you.

      With regard to tournament registration in Ontario, the tournaments are listed on the website at www.fllontario.org. The Qualifying Tournaments are the competitions which advance teams to the provincial competition. Practice Tournaments (if there are any) are just for fun, and have nothing to do with advancing to another level of competition.

      There isn't a formal way of organizing who goes to which qualifying tournament, so it is up to you to get in touch with the director of the tournament where you want to compete, and find out when and how they are handling their registrations. Keep in mind that this early, they are still getting organized themselves and there may still be changes in the dates and locations of some of the Ontario tournaments.

      Last year our team competed at Greenwood College in Toronto, and it was an excellent tournament - well organized, a good emcee, friendly atmosphere, excellent and friendly judges, and we were able to get some written feedback from the judges (although this was only because I specifically asked for it). We also competed at the provincials at Crescent School, and it was a much larger tournament so a very different, but also really fun experience.

      Good luck, ask lots of questions, and remember that if the kids are learning and having fun, that's really all that matters.

      Doreen, Team ZAP!


    7. Message by: crusaders106 09/22/2006 03:05:53 GMT
      Hello from Newfoundland. It's nice to hear from other Canadian teams, especially the rookie teams. This is a great experience and we're sure you'll enjoy every minute of it. We've also participated in the World Festival in Atlanta for the past 3 years, and if there's ever an event to participate in, that's it. Wow! Others have mentioned the US section of the forum, and I'd like to also add that it's the place to go to see active discussions about rules, strategies, and concerns that most of us are probably having also.
      Good luck to everyone.

      Norm (coach), St Francis School, Team 106


    8. Message by: KHL635 09/22/2006 14:14:21 GMT
      Hi From Kingston!

      We are a rookie team made up of homeschoolers. As novices we are definitely feeling that "steep learning curve", but are enjoying the process of figuring things out. We*d be interested in getting together with others for a practice tournament, even if it means a driving to the Toronto area.

      Christine, KHL635


      1. Message by: sempar5621 09/29/2006 18:13:16 GMT
        Hello (also from Kingston)

        I'm mentoring a rookie team and we just finished confirming that this could happen yesterday. We haven't had our first meeting yet (and I haven't seen the kids) but I'm very excited for that next Tuesday. I've been a coach for an FFL team once before, but, that was when I was a student on a FIRST Robotics team and the adult mentors took care of a lot of the logistics which I now get to figure out first hand.

        I personally have some interest in a practice tournament before the real tournament; but, would have to talk it over with the team first. Since us mentors are all part of a Queen's organisation (the Computing Students' Association) I can book a room on the Queen's campus for a practice at no cost.

        Tim


        1. Message by: KHL635 09/29/2006 18:19:05 GMT
          Sounds great, please keep us posted.

          Christine
          cbibic@cogeco.ca


    9. Message by: Block-Robotics-4670 09/28/2006 16:31:49 GMT
      Hello from Windsor!
      I'm one of the rookie coaches for an all girls team called the Royal Girls from Block Robotics. 2 of the girls were on the boys' team last year but 2 are new. I have so much to learn!!! Thanks for all the great links. Although there isn't that much going on at the end of Ontario, we do have alot just across the border. Happy building!
      Kimbamor (coach) Royal Girls, Team 4670


    10. Message by: Gizmos&Gadgets1645 09/29/2006 20:46:55 GMT
      Greetings from Port Perry! We're a rookie group too. We actually have 2 teams running out of our school... We're new to everything - including the forum - so I thought I'd drop a line and make contact! Cheers, Kirsten


      1. Message by: 10/06/2006 15:46:53 GMT
        Deleted


    11. Message by: ByronBlockHeads4008 10/06/2006 15:38:20 GMT
      Hello fellow LEGO Challengers!!!!!!
      So, how's it going yall?

      Yes, we're rookies too, although we have been participating
      for about 4 years. We've never gotten to the Challenge before, but maybe this is our lucky YEAR!

      Our team is the Byron Blockheads in Byron, London. We are actually a class and our science topic is, of course, the LEGO Challenge. How fun is that?!

      So, hope maybe somebody can drop a few lines of wisdom for us all! Can't wait to (hopefully) see you at the Challenge!

      Chloe, team manager


    12. Message by: Robofish1906 10/10/2006 22:07:37 GMT
      Well, here we are from Fisherville Junior High in Toronto. We are located just to the left of center at the top of the city limits. We are new, completely new, with a team of 10 made up of grade 7's and a couple of 8's. So far we have enjoyed assembling the game board and pieces. Now we need to figure out (to some stunned disbelief- What, no plans?) how to build the machine that will do all these tasks. Should be fun and it is great to be on board. We are called Robofish.


    13. Message by: 10/17/2006 01:47:11 GMT
      Deleted


    14. Message by: 10/17/2006 01:54:15 GMT
      Deleted


    15. Message by: Finding Nano 4894 10/17/2006 02:38:51 GMT
      well, I'm sharon. I have no idea why I have to be the one to check this site, but actually, it's quite cool. i am not from toronto, but oh well. vancouver is close enough! this site is really confusing to me.
      my team (15 people including me) and I are from mcbride. the name 'finding nano' was made when a friend of mine suddenly and weirdly thought about the movie 'finding nemo', which is a touching movie that i'm sure you have watched. anyways, we just changed nemo to nano and viola! our name is made. we are all so confused with practically everything, and we are all so nervous. the tournament thing is in about a month and we've just picked our team name, but we're getting started. we've pretty much planned out who is doing what, and we're starting to work on the 'real thing' now. if we have any trouble, i'll just post it up and hopefully all questions will be answered.


      1. Message by: Whizards 10/17/2006 20:19:42 GMT
        No worries sharon, the site was confusing to me when I first logged on too.

        Mind you, I first logged on before the site was ready, and there were no posts or anything and I was really confused how to read messages and post messages. Then I realized there were no messages to read.

        Took me another month to figure out how to read unread messages without individually going into each folder. :)


        1. Message by: Finding Nano 4894 10/19/2006 02:58:44 GMT
          Errol, you logged on before the site was ready? cool!
          i'm quite glad at the moment. my group and i are starting to get along, so some progress has been made, although some people are still fooling around when the teacher is gone.
          at first i was very nervous about this whole nano lego thing, but now, i'm actually having fun! it's great!


    16. Message by: MarkhamWeebots2839 10/17/2006 03:56:02 GMT
      Welcome aboard! Make sure to post any questions you may have, in the United States forums. You'll get much faster responses to questions posted there.

      Good luck!
      --Mike
      Coach of the Markham Weebots #2839


    17. Message by: RoboPirates3846 10/19/2006 21:56:07 GMT
      what would happen if you are missing pieces, can you use bioncle pieces?


      1. Message by: fll-freak 10/19/2006 22:18:32 GMT
        Sure can. Read the UFAQ (http://www.fll-freak.com/faq) for the long answer.

        -Skye


    18. Message by: nano2569 10/30/2006 07:41:08 GMT
      Great to see so many messages from Canadian teams. The last time I looked in this folder it was almost empty!

      Our team, the Nanostormers ( http://www.nanostormers.com are a rookie team from Victoria BC.

      Some days, it feels like there's a lot of reading for coaches, but the kids are having fun and learning lots of interesting stuff. I just have to remind myself that that is why I volunteered.


      1. Message by: Finding Nano 4894 10/31/2006 02:46:02 GMT
        almost empty? impossible. and this whole nano lego thing is meant for kids to learn and have fun, right?
        anyways, is everyone who is using this site a coach? 'cause it seems like that.


        1. Message by: fll-freak 10/31/2006 02:55:06 GMT
          Yes this forum is intended for coaches or for students monitored by their coach. Read disclaimers 2&3 when you first log in:

          2) FIRST LEGO League requires that an adult be present at all times while team members are viewing the forum.

          3) The coach is responsible for closely monitoring all team member submissions to the forum.

          -Skye


    19. Message by: tanrobotics 11/05/2006 08:43:27 GMT
      Hi Everyone!

      We are two all girls teams from St. Clement's School in Toronto. Our success last year has encouraged a lot of kids to join this year, so we are coaching two teams:

      Nano Penguins 1 (Grade 7/8)
      Nano Penguins 2 (Grade 5/6)

      Nano Penguins 2 will be competing at the Greenwood tournament, and Nano Penguins 1 will be competing at the Oakville Trafalgar High School Tournament.

      Good Luck everyone, and I hope to have the pleasure of meeting all of you at the various tournaments!!

      Paul Tan.
      Co-Coach of St. Clement's Lego Robotics

      ps... sorry about the late introductions, but I finally got a chance to get both teams on track, so I finally can catch up on all the messages in these forums!


      1. Message by: Whizards 11/06/2006 17:19:58 GMT
        Catch up on all the messages? Good luck! I've been trying to keep up every day but there's so many! :)


        1. Message by: tanrobotics 11/06/2006 17:56:41 GMT
          Lol... believe it or not, I finally did read all the messages ;)

          Paul Tan.


          1. Message by: Finding Nano 4894 11/10/2006 03:38:25 GMT
            good for you Paul!

            ps. okay, i like penguins and everything, but why so many?


Discussion: Under Pressure! Hi from North Bay!!! By: Under Pressure 3108 10/21/2006 02:39:24 GMT
Hi Guys!

We are a rookie team from north bay. we got our team name from of course the classic Queen and David Bowie song "Under Pressure". And the fact that we were under a lot of pressure to come up with a name. so I finnally threw out "how about under pressure???" and we decided on that! our website is http://flashagames.ca/fll/index.html . its a spinoff site to my friends gaming site flashagames.ca!!!!

We are really excited to be participating in this FLL thing. My brother and I saw the team "Ice Chips" in action and then we saw them performe at sudbury!!!! awesome team!!!

We got sooo excited we started our own!!!!!
hi once again!

-Jesse

  1. Message by: Whizards 10/17/2006 20:21:45 GMT
    Welcome Jesse!

    More and more Canadians on the site...and also posting a new thread as opposed to just replying to mine. *laugh*

    - Errol


    1. Message by: IceChips2534 10/18/2006 22:34:25 GMT
      Hi Jesse.

      It's great to have another northern team. Don't hesitate to get in touch if you have any questions or want to brainstorm. As well, the registration for the Sudbury tournament is underway. Check out the www.fllontario.org web site for the link to Science North. The registration will close later this month.

      Jean - coach
      Ice Chips


    2. Message by: Under Pressure 3108 10/21/2006 02:39:24 GMT
      Hi Jean,

      Thnks for the offer of help, and yes we have registered for the tournament already.

      My mom wanted me to thank you for giving her name to the guy in Sudbury. She will probably email you soon.

      The team is interested in meeting with your team before the tournament to say hi and maybe compare strategies or whatever.

      -Jesse


Discussion: Any teams in BC? By: Mindstorm Masters 11/25/2006 01:08:12 GMT
We are a rookie team based in Tsawwassen, which is south of Vancouver and just north of the US border.

Are there any teams nearby that we can connect with ... maybe say Hi! or get some mentoring help? I think it would be fun for our kids to meet a team that has already competed, but really we'd just like to meet ANYONE who is in the same boat.

  1. Message by: Finding Nano 4894 10/26/2006 20:13:06 GMT
    hi!!!! we're a rookie team from bc too!
    my name is sharon and we're from vancouver.
    nice to meet you.
    sorry we're first timers. can't change that for now.


    1. Message by: Mindstorm Masters 10/26/2006 23:16:56 GMT
      Nice to meet you, Sharon. Whereabouts are you in Vancouver? Will you be going to the competition at the end of November?


    2. Message by: nano2569 10/30/2006 07:36:23 GMT
      HI:

      I'm coaching a rookie team from Victoria, the NanoStormers.
      There's only one tournament in BC, so we'll meet you in a few weeks!

      Our kids are just starting to work on a website.
      http://www.nanostormers.com

      Hopefully, it will get more interesting in the next week or so. At this point, it's mostly a discussion on logos.

      --
      Christine


    3. Message by: Finding Nano 4894 10/31/2006 02:53:18 GMT
      hi beach grove robotics and christine. i'm in the...city of vancouver, the greater vancouver? i'm not sure if that answers your question, does it?
      there's only one tournament? why's that? and does that mean that people from toronto have to travel all the way from there to bc just to come to a tournament? and the tournament is on Nov. 25, right? (just checking)


    4. Message by: Mindstorm Masters 10/31/2006 19:43:29 GMT
      Hi Christine, thanks for checking in.

      How far behind are you? I feel like we are just getting started, although we've accomplished a lot, there is so much more to do.

      The BC tournament organizers say there are no other teams in my area; we'd sure like to meet some other teams. When you come over from Victoria, what are your plans? Are you coming the day before -- we are right on the way of course. Are you staying over night? There is a small inexpensive motel in Beach Grove that might be suitable if you have not already made other arrangements. I can't speak for the rest of the team, but we might possibly be able to talk about billeting, if you are interested.

      Let me know if we can be of any help to you.
      -- Nora


    5. Message by: nano2569 11/05/2006 05:56:27 GMT
      HI:

      We're coming over on Friday. Actually, I had trouble getting the exact times for the tournament and thought the set-up Friday night might include the kids!

      We aren't travelling as a team (the kids are all bringing their parents!). Those of us without family in Vancouver will be staying in Richmond. It seemed to have a decent selection of hotels and was fairly close to the tournament.

      Our team is doing fine. They've got a good robot design and a fairly good outline for their research presentation.

      It's me who feels behind. There's so much reading. Just tonight, I discovered we've been setting the atoms up wrong on the table. Will it change the results? Maybe, maybe not.

      I keep wondering what I've missed. It was just this week I discovered that the Vancouver tournament finishes on Saturday not Sunday!

      As I said, the team is doing fine and having fun. That's what counts.

      --
      Christine


      1. Message by: Whizards 11/07/2006 18:12:00 GMT
        Hi Christine,

        You've been setting up the atoms wrong? Heck, my team hasn't even begun to THINK about the atoms to worry whether or not it's set up wrong. :)

        I think they're looking at the atoms as a lost cause.

        - Errol


    6. Message by: Mindstorm Masters 11/07/2006 18:07:36 GMT
      Maybe we'll meet some more team reps at the Coaches' Breifing tonight (Nov 7 at 7:00 - 8:30pm). It's at David Thompson (Vancouver), the same high school where the tournament will be.

      http://www.fllbc.org/calendar/event.2004-09-24.4860988150

      -- Nora


    7. Message by: nano2569 11/15/2006 08:02:10 GMT
      I'm in Victoria and couldn't get to the coaches briefing.

      Any words of advice from what I missed?


    8. Message by: Mindstorm Masters 11/16/2006 08:53:09 GMT
      The big surprise to me was that there are 40 teams registered! Yikes! Not all came to the meeting, by a long shot.

      But, since I've read nearly every thread here I guess there were not any other surprises about the missions. They went over the mission models and discussed how they would be scored. There was some confusion on some things, but nothing that has not already been hashed out here -- and coming to the same conclusion. That was all the meeting was about.

      There will be two double tables set up -- one will be active while the other is reset for the next round. They confirmed that tag-team swap-outs would be allowed, that was my main question -- I'm not sure we'll be organized enough to make use of that option, but at least it's an option. They said the Teamwork interview(?) would be "fun". Parents will not be allowed in the Teamwork or Technical interview rooms; only Coaches and teams. Parents allowed and encouraged at the Research Presentation; in fact anyone, even from another team, can see any Research Presentation, as long as there is enough room. There will be practice tables and you have to schedule a 2.5 minute or 5 minute time slot for your team to use them.

      A quick show of hands revealed that all (or nearly all) the rookie teams will be using NXT. The more experienced teams are heavily invested in RCX and have not switched in most cases. Not everyone had attempted or accomplished the space elevator at that time.

      I had to leave right away afterwards. I suspect the good stuff was discussed after the real meeting, as always. There was a mix of experienced coaches and rookies like us.

      We got the draft schedule today by email. Did you get yours? We won't be up against you, it seems.


    9. Message by: Finding Nano 4894 11/25/2006 01:08:12 GMT
      another big surprise is that my team is now 2 teams. i'm on the Rainbow Ninjas team. there still is a Finding Nano team, it's just that we split up. that is because a team drop out, so now mcbride is just filling them in.


Discussion: Team in Quebec ? - Une *quipe au Qu*bec ? By: RobotSAPiens3659 11/10/2006 03:45:11 GMT
Hi,
We are the Robot SAPiens, a rookie team based in Montreal. The FLL doesn't see to be really big in Quebec province! Is there any other teams around here ?

Bonjour,
Nous sommes les Robot SAPiens, une toute nouvelle *quipe bas*e * Montr*al. Le FLL ne semble pas tr*s populaire dans la province de Quebec! Est-ce qu'il y a d'autres *quipes dans notre coin ?

See you, * bient*t,

Natalie
Coach - Robot SAPiens

  1. Message by: Briqueleurs9999 11/04/2006 00:25:14 GMT
    Et oui a Sorel-Tracy mais pas une *quipe FLL mais JFLL les tout petits. Ca n'est pas support* par FIRST cette ann*e au Canada aussi nous ne sommes pas officiellement inscrits mais pour nous c'est une premi*re afin de d*couvrir la dynamique et d*marrer pour vrai l'ann*e prochaine. Non FIRST n'est pas tr*s fort au Qu*bec en fait inexistant a ma connaissance.


    1. Message by: Finding Nano 4894 11/04/2006 19:34:36 GMT
      ok, i'm not from Quebec but, hey Natalie and Briqueleurs9999. my french isn't very good so i don't know you guys are talking about, can i ask a question? how come there are these chinese-looking words in your writings?
      curious sharon


    2. Message by: Briqueleurs9999 11/05/2006 15:27:29 GMT
      Sharon,

      You probabily have your Pc characters set for standard ASCII or english only, this cover your usual needs. The chinese sign appearing on your screen are probably the accent aigu and accent grave whith are modifier (change the prononciation)for the "e" letter and less often the "a". Yor Pc setup doen not interpret correctly those and present it as garbage.

      Serge


      1. Message by: Finding Nano 4894 11/10/2006 03:45:11 GMT
        hi Serge,
        i never knew that. thanks for the tip.


    3. Message by: RobotSAPiens3659 11/09/2006 00:09:46 GMT
      Bonjour aux Briqueleurs!

      Je suis bien contente de voir que nous ne sommes pas seuls! Souhaitons que l'*v*nement se r*pande plus au Qu*bec... En esp*rant peut *tre vous rencontrer l'an prochain! :-)

      Les Robot SAPiens



Folder: The Open European Championship of FIRST LEGO League Bodo Norway 01/30/2007 15:11:14 GMT


Discussion: Participating Teams By: Risbotics11 01/30/2007 15:11:14 GMT
RISBOTICS team wins the BeNeLux Finals in Delft (Netherlands), january 27th. 2007 (BeNeLux=3 countries Belgium/Netherlands/Luxemburg)

The Risbotics team is very proud to be the team that received the Champions Award.

Of course they worked for it, but it is also a reward for other very important issues. The team has enjoyed working with technique over the years and sharing that with others. The researching and making and preparing the presentations, truly have fun and be respectful within the team and to others. This is surely noticed and recognised by the jury.

We want to thank EVERYBODY for all they have done. Starting with the organization and all volunteers, you have done a great job!

But also our school, teachers, parents, families of the team and our sponsors.

The Risbotics have enjoyed the finals and the big crowd that cheered all teams.

The nerve breaking waiting took a long while, but the reward was worth it all! The TU Delft Champion*s Award!!

see also our website: www.risbotics.nl

Discussion: Space Elevator By: nanobyte1202 11/10/2006 00:00:02 GMT
Does anybody understand how this is supose to work? How does the elevator go up? We have followed the instructions but the last two pages are not working.

  1. Message by: fll-freak 09/22/2006 01:15:57 GMT
    If you visit the USA section, there is a large discussion on this topic.
    -Skye


    1. Message by: BerkshirePark624 10/02/2006 18:58:12 GMT
      The person without the container goes to the bottom of the elevator. Then it hooks under somehow.


    2. Message by: 10/19/2006 03:25:20 GMT
      Deleted


    3. Message by: Finding Nano 4894 10/25/2006 00:41:52 GMT
      berkshire, sorry, but i don't understand you. please rephrase.
      also, why is there a message under your message saying i deleted something? what did i delete?


      1. Message by: Whizards 10/25/2006 16:07:24 GMT
        One thing you have to be sure of is that you made the Space Elevator exactly as specified.

        Now you have two sets of red flexible axles attached to the two pulley gears acting as wheels.

        They are on each side of the elevator.

        When the elevator is standing up, they rest on the ground, and you can push them in. When one is pushed in, a red '2 stud' axle that is attached to it lifts up. The same happens on the other side.

        These two '2 stud' axles acts as a locking mechanism, you place the elevator underneath it, so that when you pull the wheels out, the red '2 stud' axles lowers down and keeps the elevator in place.

        So, when one team pushes in a wheel, it unlocks one half of the elevator. The other team has to push in the wheel on their sid and it unlocks the other half. The 2nd elevator lift (with the yellow container), which is heavier, will pull the locked in elevator to move upwards.

        - Errol


    4. Message by: Finding Nano 4894 10/26/2006 20:23:31 GMT
      thanks errol, but what are 2 stud axles? i think that this axle thing is really important because with no clue what it is, my team has no idea what you were trying to explain.


      1. Message by: fll-freak 10/26/2006 20:28:50 GMT
        Axle length is measured in "stud lengths". One stud length is the distance from the center of one "bump" (stud) to the next stud on a LEGO brick. You can therefore use a long LEGO brick/beam as a ruller for axles.

        Therefore a 2 long axle is a very short little guy. Still in the macro scale, but fast approaching micro!

        -Skye


    5. Message by: Finding Nano 4894 10/26/2006 21:00:26 GMT
      thanks. we experimented on it and it is so cool!


    6. Message by: 11/10/2006 00:00:02 GMT
      Deleted


Discussion: Check USA folders for Mission questions By: zap85 10/19/2006 03:28:33 GMT
Hey everyone, I just want everyone to be aware that there are already large discussion areas for every mission, if you check the United States area of the Forum. There are also discussion areas for the Research project and various technical/programming issues over there.

This area for Canada is most useful for making regional connections and asking questions related to local tournaments etc.

Doreen,
Coach, Team ZAP! (in Toronto)

  1. Message by: Finding Nano 4894 10/19/2006 03:28:33 GMT
    thanks Doreen. it was really useful.


Discussion: Release Form By: BrightLights2006 10/20/2006 04:23:23 GMT
There is a "Content, Release, Hold Harmless and Authorization to Reproduce Physical Likeness" form at the FLL Ontario site:

http://www.fllontario.org/pdf/Release_Form_Collection.pdf

but it more or less seems cut and paste fromthe standard US one (references to the state of New Hampshire - the home of FIRST/FLL?)

Is this an acceptable legal document for temas to use at Canadian events?

-Rob Antonishen
Team Bright Lights
St. Catharines, On.

  1. Message by: zap85 10/04/2006 02:22:17 GMT
    Hi Rob, that looks like the same release form we had to sign last year for both the Toronto Regional and the Provincial. I remember we had to cross out State and enter Province on it somewhere. You shouldn't need to take it until the day of the tournament so you can check with your tournament director ahead of time.

    Doreen
    Team ZAP!
    Toronto


    1. Message by: Finding Nano 4894 10/19/2006 03:36:15 GMT
      AAAHHHH! i've just read a bit of the release form. so you'll either be video-taped, photographed, or interviewed? i am so dead. i always get nervous when it's picture time, even when it's with my family, and i just stammer when i'm near a judge (actually, i don't know because i've never been anywhere near a judge). oh...i don't want to let my team down! should i just not go to the tournament?


      1. Message by: sempar5621 10/19/2006 05:27:29 GMT
        I think you'll be having too much fun to notice that there's pictures/cameras/judges :-) The judges are all friendly people, too, they try their best not to be intimidating.


      2. Message by: Whizards 10/19/2006 16:30:36 GMT
        That's why in my team, every week I video tape them. :)

        In our practice tournament, I'm going to get 'official' looking people to ask them technical questions so that they can get used to judges and being in the spotlight.

        - Errol


    2. Message by: BrightLights2006 10/19/2006 15:45:41 GMT
      The idea here is that they may want to use photos/videos in their material, and don't want to hunt down people for permission after the fact.

      see this thread
      MI FLL Volunteer Moderator "Gotta brag" 10/15/06 1:29pm for someone who's daughter ended up in this year's coaches handbook.

      -Rob A>
      coach - Team Bright Lights


      1. Message by: Finding Nano 4894 10/20/2006 04:23:23 GMT
        wow! that is one proud papa! and the video taping your team is a good idea! maybe my team should do that too! i hope sempar is right about the judges, and that they are friendly and not intimidating.


    3. Message by: 10/20/2006 04:20:55 GMT
      Deleted


Discussion: Does Someone Got Tips For us?? By: AC Nano Madness 1133 11/22/2006 06:32:45 GMT
Hello everyone!

Are there any teams have good tips by program the robot and building the robot. If you have a answer or something to say, let a messege behind on the forum.

AC Nano Madness team

  1. Message by: Whizards 10/12/2006 17:06:32 GMT
    *laugh*

    That's a rather all encompassing question!

    It does depend on whether you are using the RCX or the NXT. I would read through in the US/Programming Folder, you will find some tips there.

    As well as in the Canada folder, you will find Resources (Tutorials, Links, and Tips).

    Other than that, there is a LOT of stuff on NXT and RCX which cannot be covered in one simple post. :)


    1. Message by: ByronBlockHeads4008 10/13/2006 15:33:30 GMT
      Wow, the whizards are right, you're covering a lot of territory. What specifically do you need some advice on? There's a whole lot out there.

      Which program are you using, NXT or RCX? I know the RCX pretty well as our team has been using the RCX for almost four years now.

      Happy to help you at any time if you need it!

      Byron Blockheads


    2. Message by: Finding Nano 4894 10/19/2006 03:46:21 GMT
      does "building the robot" mean building the lego thing? because for some reason, my friends and i are building lego structures. some of the instructions were difficult, and we made a big mess, so we decided to make it up, which ended up with a strange looking piece. we spent, like, three hours working on it. in the end, we just took it apart and redid it in 15min! it was bizzarre.
      sharon
      *ignore spelling errors. too lazy to check.


      1. Message by: sempar5621 10/19/2006 05:31:52 GMT
        If you mean these structures then no, that's not the robot itself. Those are parts of the playing field that your robot will have to interact with (and it's important to follow those instructions exactly so that the playing field you build is as close to the one at the competitions as possible).


        1. Message by: Finding Nano 4894 10/20/2006 04:29:08 GMT
          oh...yeah, i was meaning those. so it's very important to follow the instructions? my friends and i were too lazy to redo it when we were done so we just created a different weirder version. i thought we might extra marks for creativity. guess i was wrong. thanks anyway.


          1. Message by: Whizards 10/20/2006 20:27:46 GMT
            Hi Sharon,

            You have to create the EXACT models for two reasons:

            1) You only have enough pieces to fit each model exactly
            2) The competition models will be exactly those models. Having models that don't fit in the right spot, or don't work, would be a disservice to your team. :D

            One of my kids built the nano cable tester all strange. He subsituted pieces in when he couldn't find them, and in the end, it was the wrong shape, the wrong size, and didn't work at all. I had to rebuild it from scratch for him.

            :)


            1. Message by: Finding Nano 4894 10/25/2006 00:31:39 GMT
              wow. i never knew it was that important! thanks.


    3. Message by: Under Pressure 3108 10/28/2006 01:14:11 GMT
      Here's a tip.

      Make sure you dont become to attached to what your model looks like . dont be afraid to change your robot based on your program. our robot does that alot and is now totally different!

      ~Jesse


    4. Message by: Finding Nano 4894 10/31/2006 03:57:25 GMT
      oh really? i never knew that. thanks Jesse.
      sharon


    5. Message by: Under Pressure 3108 11/04/2006 01:17:58 GMT
      Yeah. Never get attached to ANYTHING in this. Always be open to changes

      ~Jesse


    6. Message by: Block-Robotics-4670 11/22/2006 06:32:45 GMT
      Remember it is easier to remove a piece/attachment after it has been used then to replace/add an attachment. Since it is only 2 1/2 min you don't want to waste time building for each mission. Try to group attachment missions together. Plan it out on paper then build and test. That is so hard to do because everyone just wants to build. Good Luck!!!


Discussion: Q&A Page Ignoring Question By: Under Pressure 3108 11/04/2006 01:10:09 GMT
OK well I shouldn't say the are ignoring us per se, but I sent them a question and it's been two weeks and they have emailed me 3 times saying "Q and A page updated" or whatever. they are telling me that they have updated it yet ours is STILL not on their.

Am I doing something wrong?

  1. Message by: fll-freak 10/14/2006 02:32:18 GMT
    The email you got was a blast to all teams indicating a change. Not all questions make it into the Q&A. If yours has not, it was not deemed of wide enough interest for the Q&A. I am surprised that you have not gotten a short reply from FIRST with a custom answer.

    -Skye


    1. Message by: Under Pressure 3108 10/14/2006 02:41:34 GMT
      Not wide enough interest? I feel slightly insulted! You would think they would at least answer it in an email like you said Skye. Thanx anyway!

      Cheers,


    2. Message by: Under Pressure 3108 10/28/2006 01:03:00 GMT
      Sorry to post again but i have sent this thing 3 times and they are still snubbing me. Anyone know whats going on?

      ~Jesse


      1. Message by: fll-freak 10/28/2006 01:09:43 GMT
        It may be that your email is not getting to them. It may be filtered by some spam filter along the way. It may also be that your filter has deleted their reply on its way to you.

        FIRST tries as hard as possible to answer all email. Try to send it again, but this time to add a read receipt so that you know when it was read.

        -Skye


    3. Message by: Under Pressure 3108 10/28/2006 01:20:33 GMT
      I dont understand. I use Google Mail not Outlook or anything so its slighty different.

      Also gmail was telling me it could not contact DNS servers. is that important?

      ~ A Very Embarrassed Jesse


      1. Message by: fll-freak 10/28/2006 02:01:09 GMT
        I am not familiar with Google mail, but many mail programs will allow a user to add a "read receipt" to an email as you compose it. This is like when you send a package registered mail When the person get the package, the carrier (USPS, UPS, FedEx, ...) sends you back an email, telling you that your package arrived. You can do the same thing with email. You send the email, and when the person reads it (opens it) they automagicaly send you back an email telling you.

        Poke around with Google mail to see if they allow you to do this. Perhaps a Google mail guru might like to jump in? Please?

        Now as far as the DNS error, that might be fairly serious. DNS stands for Domain Name Service. Its this huge database that translates human readable computer addresses like www.firstlegoleague.org into something your computer can use (129.86.124.23). Without DNS, we would all have to remember sequences of 4 digits computer address. If you always get a DNS error when trying to send email to FIRST, than that would explain your problem. If you only only get once in a while, than its just a local glitch. DNS computers can sometimes not be available and your computer may have to ask a few times before it gets the name translation. This is probably way more than you needed.

        1) Try to find out if Goggle does mail receipts and if it does, use it.

        2) Don't worry about DNS unless the error happens more than just once in a while.

        You could also send me the email you want to send to FIRSt and I would forward it to you. My address is Skye@fll-freak.com.

        -Skye


    4. Message by: Finding Nano 4894 10/31/2006 04:00:31 GMT
      sorry i can't help you. i don't know much about emails, but did you send it to the right person/people? maybe it was supposed to be .com but instead you typed in .ca
      clueless sharon


    5. Message by: Under Pressure 3108 11/04/2006 01:10:09 GMT
      Well im pretty sure i typed it in right!

      Skye,

      I'll try emailing it to you. Cos' the dns thing happends every time i send an fll message

      ~Jesse


Discussion: Sat We Compet Right? By: beaubots 11/25/2006 02:14:19 GMT
Lets talk for Sat

  1. Message by: beaubots 11/11/2006 00:05:18 GMT
    Good luck to all teams in Toronto


    1. Message by: Whizards 11/11/2006 01:12:31 GMT
      Good luck!

      -Errol


    2. Message by: Finding Nano 4894 11/16/2006 04:26:14 GMT
      why am i so nervous, and more importantly, why don't you guys seem nervous? i'm jiggling like a jelly in the inside!


      1. Message by: Whizards 11/16/2006 16:51:03 GMT
        That's easy, I'm a coach, it's not up to me to 'perform'. :)

        Stressed? Yes, big time, but not nervous.


        1. Message by: Finding Nano 4894 11/25/2006 01:09:51 GMT
          wish i wasn't stressed...
          lucky!


    3. Message by: Mindstorm Masters 11/25/2006 02:14:19 GMT
      Today at our final practice we had our best run at the table ever! We're ready!

      -- Nora


Discussion: Provincial Tournament - Ontario By: Under Pressure 3108 12/12/2006 04:21:12 GMT
We are a rookie team that has qualified for the provincial tournament in Oakville on Dec 9. This has come as a bit of a shock (okay maybe more than a bit). Coming fresh out of the Northern Ontario Regional Tournament (only 8 teams) we were wondering if any vetern teams would like to give us a heads up on what to expect. I have been told that the missions are run in elimination rounds instead of the three guaranteed rounds that regionals had. How does that work? I know that the day will be more hectic than what we have experienced so far but will there be time to talk to other teams?

- Michelina
Coach - Under Pressure
North Bay, Ontario

  1. Message by: Whizards 11/30/2006 16:35:51 GMT
    Congratulations!

    I'm not a veteran coach, but being a rookie myself, I like to cheer rookies on!

    If I remember correctly, you posted about being really stressed, I'm glad all the work paid off! :)

    -Errol


    1. Message by: Under Pressure 3108 11/30/2006 17:20:44 GMT
      Thanks Errol

      The team really pulled things together the last two days before the tournament and I'm pretty proud of them. Robot design and performance were not their strong points so we have something tangible to work on for the next few days. We are (and by "we are" I mean "I am") a bit in awe of the size of the event that we are heading to. Is there some other thread that I have missed to find out how some of the Southern Ontario teams did at their tournaments?

      - Michelina
      Coach still Under Pressure but not as much


      1. Message by: Whizards 11/30/2006 17:46:29 GMT
        Paul Tan (nanopenguins) and Doreen from Team Zap were posting a few things, but I can't remember, because they also sent me emails describing their tournament experiences.

        I am SOOO glad I had veteran coaches in my city, they helped me so much. :)

        Paul Tan is hopefully bringing his team over this monday to practice on my competition table, trying to get the team to experience as many different competition tables as possible.

        He's going to the provincials too, and it will be great to see what a 'provincial' team can do!

        There are a few other teams I'm associated with (who haven't posted on this forum) who have also spoke a bit about their tournament experiences. They were rookies too, so when it's all over, I think we're going to get together, relax, speak of the immensity of it all, and rejoice that it's over. *laugh*

        It was a fun experience though, don't get me wrong. :)

        - Errol


      2. Message by: zap85 11/30/2006 20:53:40 GMT
        The website at www.fllontario.org is posting the award winners for all the Ontario events. They are linked off the Qualifying Tournaments page. The Provincial Tournament page lists all the teams which have so far qualified for provincials.

        The Photo Gallery has a bunch of photos from provincials last year. The venue will be different this year but it should give you a sense of the size.

        Doreen


    2. Message by: zap85 11/30/2006 18:43:20 GMT
      Hi Michelina - congratulations! How exciting! Last year we were in a similar situation, qualifying for provincials in our rookie year, and it was such a blast.

      The provincials is in a different location this year than last, so I don't know what will be the same or different to what we experienced last year. The biggest shock to us was simply how much bigger and more chaotic the provincial tournament was, with forty teams.

      Hopefully they'll send us an email with a schedule before the tournament. Last year, they ran three round-robin matches, and then took each team's highest score out of those three matches. The teams with the top 16 scores moved on to elimination rounds, which were sudden-death - ie, team 1 was paired with team 16, and the winner moved on, the loser was out.

      The project and technical interviews happened throughout the round-robin competitions, so we were kept running between table matches and interviews, and it was really important to keep on top of the schedule and to keep track of the kids to make sure they could get to the right place at the right time.

      Yes, there was time to visit with other teams but not much because everyone always had the next interview or match to get to. Our team didn't qualify for the eliminations so that certainly gave us more time to watch other matches and cheer for friends, because all the interviews were over by then and we could just hang out.

      As a rookie coach, my goal was just to get through the day with my sanity -- I took Tylenol before the day even started, knowing it would be loud and chaotic! -- and without losing any kids or equipment. We survived, and it was lots of fun.

      So have fun preparing for the tournament, post here if you have more questions, and we'll look for you on tournament day to say hello.

      Doreen,
      Coach, Team ZAP!


      1. Message by: Under Pressure 3108 11/30/2006 21:18:40 GMT
        Thank you so much for this Doreen. Everyone posting to this forum has been so helpful and I would not have survived this season without all of you sharing your wisdom and experiences.

        -Michelina
        Coach Under Pressure


    3. Message by: tanrobotics 12/01/2006 15:52:48 GMT
      Hi Michelina!

      Congratulations on making it to the Provincials! I read some of your posts and I am glad that you stuck to it and made it through!

      With 40 teams at the provincials, it will be a lot more hectic and chaotic. The kids are a lot more nervous, so make sure you get there early to calm them down. (I remembered how nervous they get when I saw the rookie members of our team start freaking at the regional tournament -- the vetran members were being calm though).

      As Doreen pointed out, there is a playoff elimination round (if you did not experience it at your local regional tournament). All other aspects (Teamwork, Technical, Project) count the same way, and the Champion's award is awarded independent of the playoff elimination (or at least it was last year).

      There is enough time between rounds (and at lunch) to try to meet and talk to other teams (well, it depends if you are trying to get the team do last minute fixes on your robot or not).

      Take a look at some of the pictures at the fllontario site from last year's tournament. Also, you can look at our pictures at:

      http://www.scsrobotics.org

      and our videos (hidden from public)

      http://www.scsrobotics.org/video

      They might give you a better feel for the tournament.

      If you get in early the day before, and if you need anything at all (lego parts, directions, tourist sites), send me an email at paul@web2xml.com. I can give you and your team a hand with anything.

      Paul Tan.


    4. Message by: nanowood5351 12/04/2006 19:14:39 GMT
      Michelina, don't worry your kids will perform. The provincials will be more hectic than with 8 teams from the north challenge. The Nanowoods competed in Oakville as a Rookie team also (just like Errol) and our kids performed behond expectation and had a hoot.

      Just keep someone focused on the schedule. With 40 teams you have to be on top of things. St Mildred's is a great school and the organizers of the Provincials are top shelf.

      One of the judges you may want to look up is Krista Jones (my wife. She has been judging for the last few years and is from Temisceming Quebec. She would be happy to speak with the kids about their robot and challenge and what to work on for next year.

      Note: My understanding is the Presentation portion may run up front and prior to the FLL Challenges. This will keep things running on time and allow teams to focus on the challenges without being time starved thinking about the Challenge.

      Best of luck at the Provincials.

      Regards,

      Murray Buckler

      Nanowood 5351 Coach


    5. Message by: Under Pressure 3108 12/04/2006 19:34:10 GMT
      Thanks to all of you for great words of encouragement and for helping us to prepare for what the day may be like. I look forward to meeting some of the experienced coaches hearing more of your stories.

      -Michelina
      Coach Under Pressure


      1. Message by: zap85 12/11/2006 22:38:15 GMT
        So Michelina, how do you feel now that the tournament is behind you?

        It was great meeting you and I'm sorry I didn't get to see you again at the end of the day. Whenever I glanced at someone in a green t-shirt, though, they seemed to be having a good time so I'm hoping that your team enjoyed the whole experience.

        It was a really well-run tournament - kudos to the organizers and congratulations to all the winning teams!

        Doreen Hyndman
        Coach, Team ZAP!
        Judges' Award - Ontario Provincials


        1. Message by: Under Pressure 3108 12/12/2006 04:21:12 GMT
          Doreen, it was a great day. The kids were pretty pumped and just being a part of the provincials in our rookie year has been a huge accomplishment. We had many meetings that seemed like we were getting nowhere so I'm thrilled that the kids made it this far and that we all had this experience. Everyone we met from the volunteers and organizers, through to the judges, refs, and other teams were friendly and willing to talk. I have so much information to work with for next year that I don't know where I'm going to put it all.

          Congratulations to your team for winning the Judges Award. Hope we get a chance to meet again next year. Thank you again for all the posts you made to this forum that helped get me through. You and all the other experienced coaches that share knowledge on this forum are truly representative of what FLL is all about.

          -Michelina
          Coach Under Pressure
          North Bay, Ontario


Discussion: HELP!!!! NXT WONT TURN ON By: cheeseblocks4367 12/05/2006 04:49:12 GMT
Our nxt was working fine one day and the next day it wouldn't turn on. We tried recharging our batteries and even putting in new ones. Any ideas

  1. Message by: Mindstorm Masters 12/01/2006 11:08:52 GMT
    I found with one of our NXT's that the recharagable battery did not seat well when the cover was on. I removed the cover, added a thin strip of cardboard to fill up the emtpy space and replaced the cover. This seems to have solved the problem.


    1. Message by: cheeseblocks4367 12/03/2006 08:03:50 GMT
      We've tried inserting both the single pack and double a bateries and all we get is a dull beeping sound.


    2. Message by: Mindstorm Masters 12/04/2006 19:40:19 GMT
      That sounds like the "clicking brick" syndrome. Do a Search on this forum for discussions on that. See if that looks like your case.

      If that is your problem, there is a Lego support page on that issue, and a new firmware update you can download.
      http://mindstorms.lego.com/Support/Updates/


      1. Message by: Brian001 12/05/2006 03:45:14 GMT
        I agree that you should likely download the patch from LEGO and apply it, but the actual clicking is just the NXT in firmware update mode. In other words, you will get that clicking any time the reset button (in the deep pinhole below the USB port) is pressed.
        Step 1) Download and install patch from LEGO
        Step 2) use a LEGO antenna or the traditional bent paperclip to fully depress the reset button for five seconds.
        Step 3) Download new firmware to the brick using the NXT-G environment (under the "Tools" menu)

        --
        Brian Davis


    3. Message by: Mindstorm Masters 12/05/2006 04:49:12 GMT
      Brian, thanks for clarifying that.

      -- Nora


Discussion: Aiming Templates By: MentalBlocks4952 12/01/2006 18:53:42 GMT
Are we allowed to use a piece of bristol board with preset aiming lines (for each mission) on the table? It would be in home base and used simply as a guide?

  1. Message by: tanrobotics 12/01/2006 18:53:42 GMT
    No.

    All aiming jigs MUST be made out of lego parts. That's part of the challenge ;)

    Paul Tan.


Discussion: How do you get an arm to move up and down and sideways By: cheeseblocks4367 01/19/2007 05:27:39 GMT
Our team is having trubble designing an arm that can move up and down and side to side. Any ideas?

  1. Message by: eagles5849 01/19/2007 05:27:39 GMT
    If you use a motor you can make your arm move up and down. If you would like your robot to move side to side you will have to make your robot turn side to side. I do not think it is possible to do both in one task since your motor is only able to move in two directions (forward/backwards)


Discussion: Placement of objects in base. By: cheeseblocks4367 12/04/2006 02:42:50 GMT
When it says the dirt trap the molecule and the arm bone ball are placed in anywhere in the base, does it mean we choose the placement or do they choos it.

  1. Message by: MI FLL Volunteer Moderator 12/03/2006 15:44:49 GMT
    You choose it. It could even be on top of your robot which is also in Base.

    Generally when you come up to the table, the dirt trap will be somewhere in or around Base, and probably the Buckyball and molecules will be in it. That's the easiest place for the ref/table-reset-guy to put them so they don't wander off. You are then free to move them to whereever it is convenient for you - even off the table if you want. Just don't put them in your pocket and run away with them at the end of the round!

    - Gary


    1. Message by: cheeseblocks4367 12/03/2006 21:36:23 GMT
      Thanks but are we aloud to rearange them in between missions.


      1. Message by: SMART 12/04/2006 02:42:50 GMT
        You can manage objects in base as you see fit. The housekeeping rule even allows you to work on things outside of base within reason. Read the rules and the UFAQ - I'm pretty sure this is well answered.

        - Peter


Discussion: Whare can I watch a past FLL event By: fllrobots2006 12/31/2006 21:42:16 GMT
Is there any place that I can watch a past fll event on the internet???

Discussion: Robot acting erraticly By: stingrays2516 01/23/2007 00:14:08 GMT
Our robot is acting very strange. The robot does something different every time we run the same program. Has anyone ever had the same problem with the NXT? If so, could we have some tips on how to fix it?

  1. Message by: eagles5849 01/19/2007 05:31:28 GMT
    our robot is acting the same way using the RCX model. It seems to act erraticly when it is overloaded. For example, when motors are asked to turn too many rotations when it is being blocked or restricted. Unfortunately we have not come up with a solution. We can only change our program. You may also want to check your batteries, when they get low the robot does not seem to function well.


    1. Message by: cheeseblocks4367 01/22/2007 22:31:23 GMT
      we are having the same problems. what exactly do you mean by blocked our restricted.


    2. Message by: eagles5849 01/23/2007 00:14:08 GMT
      When the robot is completing a mission sometimes it gets caught on a mission piece. When it is blocked and restricted from moving it will "go crazy" and act erratically.
      I know sometimes an icon becomes corrupt in the program and can cause issues. I'm wondering if this is the problem and perhaps by re-entering a program in a new file, this could maybe fix the problem. Our team is going to try this tomorrow.


Discussion: How do teams do it? By: eagles5849 11/15/2007 03:40:34 GMT
This is my second year coaching a robotics team. I was amazed at how many missions other teams accomplished last year. Any secrets on how to complete most of the missions in only a few months? Are teams allowed to use more than 10 students on their team but only have 10 compete?

  1. Message by: Limit Busters 198 01/20/2007 04:08:27 GMT
    More expierenced teams tend to have an advatage because they have built a library of subroutines they know works that just call.
    But the point of this is to help YOU, so here are a few tips:
    - Use as much sensors as possible. The rotation sensor doesn't count;-)
    - Use feedback from landmarks (mission models and wall) such as hitting wall until square, etc.
    - Create programs that don't require the exact same placement in Base everytime
    - I'm amazed ever year at what is done

    I believe you are allowed to have more than 10 students, just 10 to compete. That is what we did. If anybody knows differently, please let us know!

    Hope this helps,
    Limit Busters


    1. Message by: eagles5849 01/20/2007 17:24:37 GMT
      I thought some teams may be creating a library. Besides following a line do you have any suggestions of what other programs would be useful to add?
      Thanks for your help.


    2. Message by: Mindstorm Masters 01/22/2007 11:04:50 GMT
      Although we did not do all the missions, we had good attempts at seven of them. We were a rookie team this year, with nine kids. The oldest kid was 10, and one kid did not really qualify as a nine-year-old. A team of three students got the first mission to work; then everyone paired up again to give us four more fairly decent attempts. (One of these only ever worked once or twice, but they decided it was "done" anyway.) Two other missions were programmed by small teams just days before the tournament, and one of those worked perfectly every time.

      I made the kids really study the models, handle them and play with them and see what made them tick. I found at first they seemed really reluctant to touch the mission models once they were complete and set up on the table ... all those years of teachers telling them not to touch stuff.

      Then I made them tell me at least 2 or 3 different approaches that might work and to analyse which approach seemed simplest. The pros and cons of each solution. Only then could they go to work with programming or building. They weren't allowed to just run off with only one half-baked idea.

      The robot was based on the tribot and we did not have fancy attachments that came on and off. We used a Lego rubber band to hold one part out of the way for some of the missions, but the robot was pretty simple.


    3. Message by: zap85 01/25/2007 17:08:15 GMT
      I'd love to know the secret, too. My second-year team developed solutions to all the missions this year, but a few were not reliable and they certainly couldn't run all their outings within the 2-1/2 minutes. It was a definite improvement over last year, however, even though it wasn't where they had expected to be.

      From observing other teams, I think the level of experience, and the sheer number of hours the team has to work on the missions, both make a big difference for most teams in accomplishing more of the missions. Lots of brainstorming helps too - the larger the pool of ideas, the better chance of hitting on something that they can work with successfully.

      The problem I have is that the kids on my team waste a lot of meeting time with defending their ideas, even when it is pretty clear that something is not working and it is time to move on and try something else. They are emotional rather than logical in their arguments. This year they were most successful when one or two would work on something on their own time (they each had their own robot kits), and bring it back to the group once it was working. If they invested a lot of time and effort and couldn't get very far, though, it was a different story, because they would still defend their idea and the meeting time would slip away from them as they argued.

      So I have little advice to offer, but I'd certainly welcome suggestions from experienced coaches on how to keep our meetings more productive!

      Doreen, Coach
      Team ZAP!


      1. Message by: fll-freak 01/26/2007 00:35:00 GMT
        Success is directly correlated with hours invested. A one hour a week team is not going to do nearly as well as a 6 hour a week team.

        A third year team will do better than a rookie team.

        Good mentors are also important. Not ones that give away the farm, but ones that can ask the questions or teach the skills that allow the kids to shine.

        Teaching kids how to throw away work that they are invested in is hard. It helps if they are told in advance that what they are working on is just a rough draft idea that we will learn from. If they have the expectation that their widget "will be the solution (if it works)", then they will fight tooth and nail to keep it. If they go into the idea thinking it will likely be abandoned or at least modified, then they are not as emotional during the review phase.

        -Skye


        1. Message by: zap85 01/29/2007 16:09:59 GMT
          Thanks, Skye. Reading your comments, I can suddenly see that I've never done a good job setting the expectation that the solutions should continue to evolve.

          Doreen


    4. Message by: nano2569 02/24/2007 09:34:27 GMT
      We were a first year team that had programs to do at least part of all the missions. The only thing they didn't do was dump the dirt dumper.

      One of our kids came up with an attachment ('the plow') that they wanted to use to do many missions. At different points it was used to push the truck, move the pizza molecules, activate the space elevator, push the dirt trap and activate the self-assembly nanotube.

      Once the kids discovered the many uses for that one design, they started writing programs that would do all of them.

      We did have one kid who had built many RCX cots, but no FLL experience. No one had any NXT experience when our set arrived.

      Fairly early on, we took the list of missions and divided them up. 9 missions x 2 attempts = 18 divided by 6 kids = 3 missions for each kid and each mission would be attempted at least two different ways.

      They weren't in teams at that point and didn't have the same set of missions as anyone else. I think cutting the number down to 3 made it feel like something they could think about. They weren't programming or building robots, just coming up with an idea of how to do the mission.

      To assign the missions, we went around a circle and everyone got to pick a mission so most of them got their first choice (both attempts for a popular mission were gone fairly quickly). Then we went backwards around the circle for the second choice, and forwards for their third. They felt like they had some choice in what they were working on.

      The next meeting (2 weeks later), everyone was suppose to come back with ideas on how to solve each of their three missions. That's when 'the plow' attachment showed up and everyone could see how it could be used to do so many things.

      My plans went out the window and they jumped right into programming. By the end of that meeting, they had robot that could push the truck on the ramp, move the pizza molecules and move the dirt trap into place.

      At that point, they were using a robot that looked a lot like the one from the manual. They had built it on 'kick-off day.'

      The early success gave them the confidence to dream up solutions to some of the harder missions.


    5. Message by: mini miners 4923 11/15/2007 03:40:34 GMT
      We are a second year team that doesn't understand the concept of subroutines. Can you explain or direct me to a resource that addresses it?


Discussion: Sticky Magnets By: eagles5849 01/20/2007 17:26:54 GMT
Has anybody come up with a creative way to separate the magnets without them reconnecting? The magnets are so strong that even when our robot does separate them, they do not remain separated.


Folder: DEUTSCHLAND 01/30/2007 15:00:02 GMT



Folder: The Open European Championship of FIRST LEGO League Bodo Norway 01/30/2007 15:01:49 GMT


Discussion: Participating Teams By: Risbotics11 01/30/2007 15:01:49 GMT
RISBOTICS team wins the BeNeLux Finals in Delft (Netherlands), january 27th. 2007 (BeNeLux=3 countries Belgium/Netherlands/Luxemburg)

The Risbotics team is very proud to be the team that received the Champions Award.

Of course they worked for it, but it is also a reward for other very important issues. The team has enjoyed working with technique over the years and sharing that with others. The researching and making and preparing the presentations, truly have fun and be respectful within the team and to others. This is surely noticed and recognised by the jury.

We want to thank EVERYBODY for all they have done. Starting with the organization and all volunteers, you have done a great job!

But also our school, teachers, parents, families of the team and our sponsors. The Risbotics have enjoyed the finals and the big crowd that cheered all teams.

The nerve breaking waiting took a long while, but the reward was worth it all! The TU Delft Champion*s Award!!

see also our website: www.risbotics.nl

Discussion: Weltall-Fahrstuhl By: Nano Scientists 11/11/2006 13:01:16 GMT


  1. Message by: sapotage1241 10/05/2006 16:00:19 GMT
    Hallo,
    wir suchen einen Partner aus der Region Waldorf f*r den Weltall-Fahrstuhl.

    Gruss SAP-o-tage


    1. Message by: sapotage1241 10/05/2006 16:00:26 GMT
      Hallo,
      wir suchen einen Partner aus der Region Waldorf f*r den Weltall-Fahrstuhl.

      Gruss
      SAP-o-tage


    2. Message by: Herta-Roberta-Girls 11/06/2006 20:50:33 GMT
      hallo wir suchen patner aus der region nrw!!! wenn ihr interesse habt meldet euch!!! bis dann!!


    3. Message by: Herta-Roberta-Girls 11/06/2006 20:54:44 GMT
      ich m*chte ersten unseren coach herrn kemper gr**en und zweitens mein team herta roberta girls!!! heaggg....dl!!!! eure annika


    4. Message by: Herta-Roberta-Girls 11/06/2006 20:56:25 GMT
      ich m*chte erstens unseren coach herrn kemper gr**en und zweitens mein team herta roberta girls!!! heaggg....dl!!!! eure annika


    5. Message by: gyronics1223 11/11/2006 13:01:16 GMT
      hi,
      bevor ihr ein anderes team f*r den Fahrstuhl habt, m*sst ihr auch sicher sein, dass ihr gegen sie antretet. Nach unserem Wissen besteht die Vorrunde nur aus 3 L*ufen und es sind ja mehr als 3 Teams vor Ort.

      Aber trotzdem noch ein gutes Gelingen und viel Gl*ck, dass ihr einen Partner findet.

      Gyronics


Discussion: One Member in two teams possibel? By: turborob1174 11/17/2006 19:56:58 GMT
Hallo
One of my child of my group likes to be in an other team, too. He likes to be in both teams. Is this possible?

  1. Message by: fll-freak 09/28/2006 17:48:29 GMT
    It may be possible to be on two teams during the build season, but it will be VERY hard at a competition. He may have to be in two places at the same time. I would discourage this idea.

    -Skye


    1. Message by: N217 11/17/2006 19:56:58 GMT
      Actually, the Coach's Handbook says that kids can only be on one team.


Discussion: RCX Speicherpl*tze By: 1161sap-revelators 11/11/2006 20:56:53 GMT
Gibt es eine M*glichkeit, die Speicherpl*tze 1 und 2 im RCX freizugeben? Wir k*nnen nur 3, 4 und 5 belegen. Es soll aber eine M*glichkeit geben, diese beiden ersten Pl*tze zu l*schen ohne das der RCX seine Grundfunktionen vergi*t.

  1. Message by: Mission Impossible 09/30/2006 20:54:19 GMT
    Mit welchem Programm arbeitet ihr denn?
    ROBOLAB oder ROBOTICS INVENTION SYSTEM?

    MfG Team
    Mission Impossible


    1. Message by: 1161sap-revelators 10/01/2006 08:14:34 GMT
      Robolab - Wir haben die Antwort aber schon ( durch Zufall ) selbst gefunden. Trotzdem Danke!


    2. Message by: Herta-Roberta-Girls 11/06/2006 20:58:47 GMT
      Kann man 2 anschl*sse auf einen stecker stecken??? (also auf speicherplatz 1,2,3,??)


    3. Message by: leibniz-robots 11/09/2006 07:30:13 GMT
      nein das entspricht nicht den Regeln und kann auch zu einem Kurzschluss f*hren


    4. Message by: Herta-Roberta-Girls 11/11/2006 20:56:53 GMT
      Aso danke f*r den tipp???


Discussion: Atommanipulation By: Herta-Robots 11/10/2006 20:58:51 GMT
Darf man bei der Atommanipulation ein Hilfsbeh*lter benutzen?
In dem man alle Steinchen in den Hilfsbeh*lter schiebt und aus der Base einen anderen Beh*lter holt,der mit roten Steinchen gef*llt ist und ihn auf die Platte stellt?

  1. Message by: Herta-Roberta-Girls 10/11/2006 11:50:16 GMT
    kann mann fuschen


    1. Message by: Herta-Roberta-Girls 10/11/2006 11:51:24 GMT
      schreib ma zur*ck


    2. Message by: Herta-Nano-Robotics 10/11/2006 12:02:15 GMT
      geht ma auf die seite:http://www.hands-on-technology.de/firstlegoleague/fll2006/questions#v

      da steht alles f*r regeln

      gru* herta-nano-robotics


    3. Message by: Herta-Roberta-Girls 11/10/2006 20:58:51 GMT
      aso danke f*r dem tipp!!!!!!!:-)


Discussion: 2 Roboter By: Herta-Robots 10/22/2006 20:44:46 GMT
Darf man auch 2 Roboter starten lassen?
Z.b.der eine bleibt in der Base und der andere macht die Aufgabe.Nach der Aufgabe kann man die Roboter wechseln.

  1. Message by: sapotage1241 10/11/2006 18:07:46 GMT
    siehe Regeln
    nur 1 RCX


    1. Message by: Microrobots1009 10/22/2006 20:44:46 GMT
      W*hrend eines Laufes von 2,5 Minuten d*rft ihr nicht wechseln. Aber ihr k*nnt bei einer neuen Runde einen anderen RCX benutzen.
      Die creative-robots aus Herten


Discussion: frage zur bande By: jts 1010 10/19/2006 16:57:34 GMT
ist es erlaubt, die innenseite derbande als f*hrung zu benutzen? Prof.Pi*s Kid*s

  1. Message by: Microrobots1009 10/19/2006 16:57:34 GMT
    Klar, k*nnt ihr dran entlangfahren. Aber nicht oben *ber die Kante kommen!
    die micro-robots aus Herten


Discussion: Debugging mit Robolab By: UniversalRobots 11/21/2006 18:13:08 GMT
Hallo,
wir bauen in unsere Programme immer T*ne ein, um zu "debuggen", Welche M*glichkeiten habt Ihr gefunden? Kann man den Steb-By-Step Modus sinnvoll nutzen?
Gruss
HoM

  1. Message by: Ruskobots 11/21/2006 18:13:08 GMT
    me no no


Discussion: Roboter By: Rover Kids 11/11/2006 13:02:04 GMT
Darf der Roboter auf dem Spielfeld Teile von sich abfallen lassen?

Gru* Rover Kids

  1. Message by: Microrobots1009 10/30/2006 18:50:20 GMT
    Darf er, nur liegen sie dann auf dem Tisch und werden- meinen wir- nicht von dem Schiedsrichter entfernt. Damit m*sst ihr rechnen.
    Creative Robots


    1. Message by: gyronics1223 11/11/2006 12:55:52 GMT
      Hi Rover Kids,
      wir haben das hier in den Regeln gefunden:

      27) SCH*DEN AM ROBOTER
      Falls ein Roboter Aufl*sungs- oder Verschleisserscheinungen hat und Teile von ihm auf dem Spielfeld abfallen, kann das Team die verlorenen Teile jeder Zeit per Hand oder mit Hilfe des Schiedsrichters einsammeln.

      Damit m*sste euere Frage ja beantwortet sein, ihr d*rft also die abgefallenen Teile wieder einsammeln, das ist kein Problem

      Viel Gl*ck
      Gyronics


Discussion: Suche Kontakt zu erfahrenem Coach By: SqueezeBots1352 01/27/2007 16:59:08 GMT
Hallo allerseits,

da ich vor genau einem Monat zum ersten mal einen Baukasten in der Hand hatte und zum ersten Mal bei der FLL eine Team coache, w*rde es mich freuen mal mit einem "alten Hasen" zu reden. Arbeite als Software-Supporter und habe soweit alle technischen Grundlagen, aber da ich erst kurz vor Anmeldeschlu* *berredet wurde die Kids zu coachen, wollte ich gerne einfach einen kurzen Erfahrungsbericht zu den Wettbewerben h*ren. 0179 / 2018629 Rufe zur*ck!

Dankesch*n
Markus

Weitere Frage:
Kann ich mit dem Beh*lter f*r die Aufgabe "Schmutzresistenter Stoff" bereits aus der Base heraus starten, oder mu* ich echt erst aus der Base raus und dann zur*ck und den Beh*lter holen!? Finde die Regeln da nicht ganz eindeutig...

  1. Message by: jts 1010 11/01/2006 16:49:44 GMT
    Hej Markus, die Kiste wird direkt aus der Base heraus transportiert. Prof. Pi`s Kid`s 1010


    1. Message by: SqueezeBots1352 11/02/2006 22:55:48 GMT
      Alles klar! Dankesch*n! :)


    2. Message by: HoldrumHawks542 12/04/2006 23:33:54 GMT
      I think that all teams should coraperate like we did. We acted as a team and looked what happened. We are now in the Mont Olive tournement. Team work is a very important part to winning if you are on a team. So cooroporate and be a team


    3. Message by: Herta-Roberta-Girls 01/27/2007 16:59:08 GMT
      Hallo!!! wollte mal wissen auf welchen pl*tzen ihr so seid???? schreibt mal!!! danke herta robertas


Discussion: Punkte!? By: RoboFightaZ 11/05/2006 23:38:10 GMT
Hi Leute,

ich w*rde ganz gerne mal wissen auf wie viel Punkte ihr in den 150 sek. so kommen w*rdet, als Orientierung?

DoNy

Discussion: Schlaue Medizin By: Nanonauten 11/08/2006 20:11:20 GMT
Hallo zusammen!

Wir haben eine Fage zur Aufgabe Schaleue Medizin.
Darf man die Sonde innerhalb der Base in einer Vorrichtung des Roboters plazieren oder muss der Roboter die Medizin selbst vom Boden aufnehmen?

Gr**e
Die Nanonauten

  1. Message by: Microrobots1009 11/08/2006 20:11:20 GMT
    Man darf im Roboter selbst platzieren, allerdings nur in der Base.
    die Robofreaks aus Herten



Folder: Feedback 09/13/2006 02:39:58 GMT



Folder: FIRST Feedback 12/19/2006 18:09:35 GMT


Discussion: Awards By: CV CA Volunteer Moderator 10/09/2006 19:26:08 GMT
This year's awards list is greatly truncated from previous years, and I'm wondering what the rationale is.

Under robot design, the only award I see is, well, robot design. Whatever happened to Innovative Design, Robust/Consistent Design and Programming (admittedly separating innovative and robust programming was a bit much)?

I was also sad to see the Universal Design Award disappear. In 2004, we recruited research judges from the local disabilities agency, and they have enthusiastically come back to volunteer each year since, even though the theme isn't No Limits any more. It was nice for them to know that No Limits had a lasting legacy, and now it's gone.

Of course, I could always reinstate these awards locally, but the students won't necessarily be preparing for them (Universal Design, in particular, requires somewhat targeted thinking). Also, for precedence, it would be good if the awards that we give are consistent with the ones awarded at other FLL tournaments.

Finally, fewer awards means recognition for fewer students (though some would argue that each award means more). Last year as a judge at State, I came across some excellent teams that I felt were worthy of recognition, but I could only give my award to one of 88. Only 14 teams of 88 received awards (16 awards were given, but 2 teams received 2), whereas the previous year, 27 awards were given to 69 teams. This year, it sounds like even that number will decrease.

If trophy cost is an issue, how about plaques for the optional and/or "subcategory" awards like Creative Presentation & Research Quality?

Yolande

  1. Message by: MI FLL Volunteer Moderator 10/06/2006 18:10:25 GMT
    Here's the list of awards from the MichiganFLL site: http://eng-sci.udmercy.edu/precol/fll/awards06.html
    There are sub-categories within the major sections, with a footnote that smaller competitions may choose not to have all the awards. We have a couple sites with capacity of only 16 or 20, and one at the Detroit Science Center that is somewhat of an expo with only 8 teams.

    Universal Design is listed as TBD.

    As I recall, last year Robust Design became Consistency. One team I know wondered just what they got the award for, as they were consistently mediocre. (OK, they said a stronger word than mediocre, but you know how kids are.)

    - Gary


    1. Message by: CV CA Volunteer Moderator 10/09/2006 19:26:08 GMT
      One criterion for robot consistency which makes sense to me is choosing the "best worst" score. Basically, compare every team's LOWEST score, and see which team ends up at the top of the heap. That way, teams with 3 zeroes aren't awarded for being the "most consistent".

      I also received an interesting communication this weekend regarding the Universal Design Award (see below). It sounds like the award is alive, even though FIRST hasn't specifically listed it on the official website under "awards".

      Yolande
      ---------------------
      The First Lego League and The Freedom Machines Project have partnered
      for the past two years to present the Universal Design Award (UDA) at
      the World Festival. This year, a conscientious effort is being made
      to inform the FLL Partners and Tournament Organizers about the
      materials that are available to increase the knowledge and
      understanding about how Universal Design (UD) can be integrated into
      the FLL challenge projects. You will find a video history and other
      instructional aids, including winners of the UDA at the past two
      World Festivals, some animation clips and links to UD websites on
      this web page >>> www.freedommachines.com/FLL/FLLUD.htm <<<. If you
      would like to receive a FREE DVD containing all the video content
      posted on the web page indicated above, please reply to this email
      and provide a mailing address. On the FLL awards page, you will find
      a reference to the optional "Local Awards". It is hoped these
      instructional aids will make it possible for the local tournament
      organizers to consider presenting a Universal Design Award. Feel
      free to contact me if you have any questions and/or comments. Below
      is a list of the segments included on the web page indicated above
      and on the free DVD:

      The web page >>> www.freedommachines.com/FLL/FLLUD.htm <<< contains:
      *** Dean Kamen talks about his universal design philosophies.
      *** Examples of universal design.
      *** 2005 FLL World Festival UD Winners
      *** 2006 Animation Promo
      *** 2006 Animation UDA Presentation
      *** 2006 FLL World Festival UD Winners
      *** 7 Principles of UD
      *** 3 examples of UD Applied to Nanotechnology Challenge Projects.
      *** UD Websites

      Thanks and regards,
      Richard Cox
      President
      The Freedom Machines Project
      Richard Cox Productions


Discussion: Walk-away items By: CV CA Volunteer Moderator 12/04/2006 08:06:52 GMT
Every year, tournaments are held where volunteers are needed to bring their field set-ups (all unofficial tournaments rely on volunteer teams to lend their fields for practice and competition tables). Every year, some items inadvertantly "walk away" from these tables, and are never found.

This year was the worst. Of the 4 field set-ups, 2 buckyballs, 4 ATP molecules, and 2 pizza molecules disappeared. (We also lost several dirt pieces and white atoms from the "tipsy table", but these are easy to replace). We had the teams take inventory before packing up, but the missing items never showed up. The teams that lost these items need them to practice for later tournaments, and I'm afraid that in future years, no one will want to bring their field set-ups. If that happens, our local tournament will cease to exist.

Small items that are not dual-locked to the mat are extremely vunerable to being carried off inadvertently, especially from the practice tables. Hard-to-find specialty items that walk away are especially disastrous.

I have 2 suggestions:

1. For future challenges, try to limit the number of "mobile" pieces. Those mobile pieces you do use should be commonly used and easy to replace (like the red and white atoms).

2. Create a "mobile piece replacement pack", which can be ordered separately from Lego or Pitsco. Any piece which is not anchored by dual-lock would be included in this set, and teams and directors of smaller tournaments could order these so that lost field elements could be replaced. Alternatively, include extras of easily lost, hard-to-find pieces (many teams could have used an extra bucky ball).

Yolande

  1. Message by: LA FLL Volunteer Moderator 11/26/2006 07:26:29 GMT
    In Louisiana, a tournament of 30 teams, We got some extra stuff sent from HQ for the tournament, apparently without request, just as you suggested. I figured it was the same for all, but maybe not. If you let me know what you need and where to send it, I'll see what we have and send it to you. contact me at scotmar@bellsouth.net


    1. Message by: CV CA Volunteer Moderator 11/27/2006 17:12:25 GMT
      Thanks! Will be in touch.

      Yolande


    2. Message by: CV CA Volunteer Moderator 12/04/2006 08:06:52 GMT
      All's well that ends well, I guess. After the teams unpacked at home, a few items were found and made their way back to their rightful owners, and the remainder were graciously supplied from the surplus of Rus's Technobots and Scot of LA.

      The one downside to all of this is that it took more than 2 weeks to get everything returned, and some of the teams only have 3 weeks between tournaments, so valuable time was lost. It would be better if early tournaments have extra pieces on tournament day so that teams who volunteer to bring kits can go home with replacements on the same day.

      Yolande


Discussion: Rule #20 Needs Revised By: bluecheesyflamingos 12/19/2006 18:09:35 GMT
I am post this on here as I hope Scott will see it. There are coaches and refs alike on forums who would like so see rule #20 revised for clarity. Please read this thread:

http://www.firstlegoleague.org/scripts/webx.dll?230@@.ee9b041

Thanks, Carla :)
Coach
Blue Cheesy Flamingos
MI Team


Folder: Forum Feedback 02/11/2007 16:33:53 GMT


Discussion: Forum Password By: tangerinesours37 11/25/2006 05:40:27 GMT
Okay, I've looked and looked (and probably overlooked) for the answer to this question: How do I change our team's forum password?

Thanks in advance.

Ray

  1. Message by: fll-freak 10/11/2006 12:45:04 GMT
    This crazy software will not allow you to change your password! You can change your name but not your password. Go figure.

    -Skye


    1. Message by: redrobots2924 10/11/2006 16:40:45 GMT
      That's very interesting. So if a team member (or members) starts to abuse their use of the forum you have no means of stopping them then?

      Phil


      1. Message by: fll-freak 10/11/2006 17:00:02 GMT
        Correct. Although you could change the log in name and not tell them. I must say that as a coach I never let the kids have access to the Forum in the first place. Too much stuff gets discussed that would "give away the farm". Plus the fact that if more than one person uses the account the ability to track what messages you have not read is lost.

        -Skye


    2. Message by: tangerinesours37 10/12/2006 01:15:04 GMT
      Thanks for the information. Maybe they'll change that for next year.


    3. Message by: TechnoBots 11/25/2006 05:40:00 GMT
      It's my opinion that the team members (kids) should not be using the forum. Unrestrained use turns it into a chat room. You'll find yourself sorting through hundreds of trivial postings to find the useful info you're looking for. Reserve access for coaches and mentors only, please!
      Rus
      TechnoBots, 529


Discussion: email subscriptions By: NanoNavigators_2114 10/19/2006 16:23:37 GMT
Does anyone have the email subscriptions working? In the options you can choose

Email - Get an email message every time a new message is posted.

I have this chosen but I get no emails.....anyone have this working or is this a dead feature?

Thanks,

Jeff

  1. Message by: fll-freak 10/12/2006 15:23:50 GMT
    I have used this in the past, but the flood of emails forced me to turn it off. I have not had it on this year. Does the system have your proper email address?

    -Skye


    1. Message by: NanoAttack4594 10/12/2006 15:51:05 GMT
      I have it working, but I agree, the volume of e-mails is astounding!

      Nanoattack4594


    2. Message by: Whizards 10/12/2006 17:07:16 GMT
      I did have it working too. Have you checked your junkmail folder?


    3. Message by: WHSrobotics628 10/12/2006 22:58:31 GMT
      Jeff,

      The e-mail subscription feature works just fine. That's how I knew you posted. I'm getting a few per day, the most interesting "auf Deutsch". They make me want to brush up on my German!

      Schmoebot


    4. Message by: Under Pressure 3108 10/14/2006 02:51:38 GMT
      ours works. quite possibly the may have the wrong address. did you type it wrong?


    5. Message by: NanoNavigators_2114 10/19/2006 16:23:37 GMT
      Skye - My email address is correct so I am guessing comcast is blocking the emails. Can someone post one of the emails they recieve so I can get the sender email address to ask comcast to unblock it.

      Thanks!

      Jeff


Discussion: Message Centre By: Mindstorm Masters 11/03/2006 17:03:57 GMT
When I click on Message Centre I get a list of all the new messages posted. I'm new here, so they are all new to me. Cool, except it also includes all the messages in the Archive section, going back to 2001.

Any way to get out of that? or do I have to click on all the old messages to show that I've "read" them? Or just not use the Message Centre at all, I guess.

Thanks if you can help.
-- Nora

  1. Message by: fll-freak 11/02/2006 20:53:10 GMT
    You must have turned on checking of messages by using the "Change subscripts" button at the top level. This would include the archive.

    The simple solution is simply to click on the Preferences button, go to the bottom of the page, click on the "Mark all as old" and then hit the update button.

    You will still be subscribed to the archive, but that will not change in the future.

    -Skye


    1. Message by: Mindstorm Masters 11/03/2006 16:54:13 GMT
      Thanks Skye. My co-coach says that is exactly what she did -- changed subscripts.

      We really appreciate all the help you lavish on this site! Thank you so much. Are you actually running a team as well? Amazing!


      1. Message by: fll-freak 11/03/2006 16:59:32 GMT
        Your thanks are welcome. I am not an active coach. My original team has aged out. My kids are either in college or on their way soon.

        But although I gave up active coaching, I have not given up my mentoring and volunteering. The program is just too important to stop helping with.

        Although, I have been giving though to going back to the elementary school and picking up another bunch of kids. My wife has even given her OK!

        -Skye


Discussion: Forum availability after World Festival By: CV CA Volunteer Moderator 02/11/2007 16:33:53 GMT
I would like to request that the forum be kept open over the summer, rather than shutting down after April's World Festival. I realize that FLL must do "housecleaning" of the forum over the summer, but there are many of us who plan to teach summer classes, and having the forum archives available in read-only format (no new posting), would at least give us access to the wealth of resources that are already there. Much good info on NXT can be found here, which is not available elsewhere, and to have this resource shut down when we need it most seems a shame.

Last year after the season's end, I continued to use the forum 2-3 times/week, searching for technical info without posting until the last day the forum was open, and I'm anticipating even heavier use this year.

Yolande

  1. Message by: Mindstorm Masters 12/19/2006 20:20:09 GMT
    I also would like to make use of the forum during the "off" season. There are so many technical issues that I was just not able to keep up with, but I would like to investigate further, or have the kids do some controlled experiments based on some of the threads.

    Please keep it open!

    Thanks.

    -- Nora


    1. Message by: SMART 12/19/2006 21:31:23 GMT
      Agree - if there is a way to keep it open even read only that would be helpful.

      - Peter


    2. Message by: MI FLL Volunteer Moderator 02/11/2007 16:33:53 GMT
      Some of you may want to look at ChiefDelphi.com which is the premier forum for FRC. There is an FLL section which currently is not populated that much.

      Caveats - It is a bulletin-board system so it might be blocked by some school systems. Registration is individual, not team, so students can register themselves (with all the cautions that can come from that).

      Benefits - There are hundreds of posts each day on a variety of subjects. When you are logged in, you can search for what you want to read. It is up year-round.



Folder: LEGO Feedback 04/20/2007 20:17:57 GMT


Discussion: Parts of the Month Club By: fll-freak 04/20/2007 20:17:57 GMT
Dear LEGO,

I understand why you do not sell pieces individualy. You have thousands of parts in your catalog and the logistics would be mind boggling. There is also the Bricklink avenue if you need a few strange parts to finish some creation.

But I think you could increase your sales and my LEGO collection if you provided more variety in your bulk brick sales via your catalog. Month after month the same basic parts are available. 2*4, 2*2, 1*2, in various colors, wheels, and assorted roof tiles. Its often the case that I do not even look at that part of the catalog because I know what will be there.

How about putting some excitement back into my dull life? Every month introduce a new bag of assorted LEGO parts. Make them collections of bricks, Technic parts, decorative parts, and specialty items. Perhaps 50 items of 5 to 10 different parts.

I would thing this would increase your sales and perhaps even reverse the sagging interest in building toys. Now parents would have the ability to make smaller purchases between birthdays without breaking the bank. Kids might be able to buy them with allowance. You may also increase creativity from kids that just build the model as is and them place it on the shelf.

You might wonder what to do with the bags that do not sell that month? You could either continue to make them available till the supply runs out, or you could mix up the old bags, and sell them as 'grab bags' for a slightly reduced price.

-Skye

  1. Message by: RoboVipers735 10/24/2006 00:43:46 GMT
    I second that emotion...way to go Skye..let us know what there response is...

    Thanks RoboVipers Melbourne Florida


    1. Message by: redrobots2924 10/24/2006 01:10:32 GMT
      What if we all send in a letter or e-mail like this to Lego. Would that make more of an impact or no? Thank Skye for getting the ball rolling.

      Phil
      Coach - Red Robots


    2. Message by: CV CA Volunteer Moderator 11/03/2006 18:58:47 GMT
      Yep, what they all said. Lego Technic pieces are especially hard to come by -- would love to see more of those, either stray pieces or boxed sets. There used to be great Technic models (like the rubber band racer) under $20 whose parts could be cannibalized into other mechanical devices. I haven't seen any replacement sets for those in teh last 5 years, only a zillion permutations of Star Wars models.

      Yolande


    3. Message by: 11/03/2006 19:00:58 GMT
      Deleted


    4. Message by: nanocats4394 11/16/2006 22:43:50 GMT
      You have a good idea. This would also help thr LEGO company in sales. You could, if haven't already, tell the company. This could change buying legos. Great job!!

      --Nano Cats Rep.


    5. Message by: TechnoBots 11/25/2006 06:14:22 GMT
      I gave up trying to buy from both Lego shop-on-line and customer service early in the game after trying to get replacement parts for my team's 4 Mindstorms sets. Shop-on-line does not have what we need, and if you can't provide the customer service people a part number (where do you find THAT?) or the EXACT Lego name of a part, they seem to be lost and unable to help. I even e-mailed photos of the parts I needed and THEY couldn't identify them! I no longer consider them a source and never even think of them anymore. It does seem that Mindstorms users are "step-children" in the Lego parts market.

      Pitsco has an on-line catalog and makes a few parts available. The print catalog seems to have more than the on-line catalog, but not really a full selection. Pitsco prices are high and shipping/handling charges drive costs to an almost prohibitive level. I paid $7.50 s/h for a rotation sensor that cost 67-cents to mail. (Never again!)

      I browse eBay frequently and have bought RCX's, motors, and wheels on occasion. Also,I use www.Bricklink.com frequently -- 30 times so far this year. Bricklink is an on-line network of literally Thousands of Lego/Technic/Mindstorms users-vendors from all over the Lego World. They sell new & used individual parts of all type & color. It takes some time to learn your way around the site, but it's worth the investment.

      Don't be shy of European vendors on Ebay or Bricklink, especially from the UK. Europeans are a lot closer to Billund, and a lot more in to Legos than we are, so have a huge variety of parts to offer. Shipping times are suprisingly short -- only 6 days from England to my CA address by air-letter! I have bought from vendors in Canada, England, Germany, Holland and France with good results.

      I personally would like to see Lego sell the Technic lift arms (also called "beams" by some)in packs of six or more, classified by length and color; rather like they do the gears, pins, and plates.

      Any one at LEGO reading this??

      Rus
      FLL coach of the Champion's Award winning TechnoBots


    6. Message by: LawnGnomes2312 04/20/2007 20:17:57 GMT
      Skye,

      You have a good idea. If you notice on the LEGO website, they now have a pick-a-brick section of the store where you are able to pick the parts (limited to what they have there) that you might want. Technic is always a challenge. Also, if you utilize the LEGO Ambassadors to get the information to LEGO as well as sending the letter directly to them, you might get more notice. If you don't know where to find them, check with your local LUG (LEGO users group). I know several Ambassadors here in the Seattle area.

      Also there are local MINDSTORMS fans who have some of the same complaints. You might want to pass on the information to them as well. I will tell those here (one of whom helped to develop the NXT) and see what LEGO will do.

      Heidi



Folder: FRANCE 01/30/2007 15:02:42 GMT



Folder: The Open European Championship of FIRST LEGO League Bodo Norway 01/30/2007 15:04:09 GMT


Discussion: Participating Teams By: Risbotics11 01/30/2007 15:04:09 GMT
RISBOTICS team wins the BeNeLux Finals in Delft (Netherlands), january 27th. 2007 (BeNeLux=3 countries Belgium/Netherlands/Luxemburg)

The Risbotics team is very proud to be the team that received the Champions Award.

Of course they worked for it, but it is also a reward for other very important issues. The team has enjoyed working with technique over the years and sharing that with others. The researching and making and preparing the presentations, truly have fun and be respectful within the team and to others. This is surely noticed and recognised by the jury.

We want to thank EVERYBODY for all they have done. Starting with the organization and all volunteers, you have done a great job!

But also our school, teachers, parents, families of the team and our sponsors.

The Risbotics have enjoyed the finals and the big crowd that cheered all teams.

The nerve breaking waiting took a long while, but the reward was worth it all! The TU Delft Champion*s Award!!

see also our website: www.risbotics.nl


Folder: ISRAEL 01/30/2007 15:11:44 GMT



Folder: The Open European Championship of FIRST LEGO League Bodo Norway 01/30/2007 18:25:01 GMT


Discussion: Participating Teams By: Risbotics11 01/30/2007 18:25:01 GMT
RISBOTICS team wins the BeNeLux Finals in Delft (Netherlands), january 27th. 2007 (BeNeLux=3 countries Belgium/Netherlands/Luxemburg)

The Risbotics team is very proud to be the team that received the Champions Award.

Of course they worked for it, but it is also a reward for other very important issues. The team has enjoyed working with technique over the years and sharing that with others. The researching and making and preparing the presentations, truly have fun and be respectful within the team and to others. This is surely noticed and recognised by the jury.

We want to thank EVERYBODY for all they have done. Starting with the organization and all volunteers, you have done a great job!

But also our school, teachers, parents, families of the team and our sponsors.

The Risbotics have enjoyed the finals and the big crowd that cheered all teams.

The nerve breaking waiting took a long while, but the reward was worth it all! The TU Delft Champion*s Award!!

see also our website: www.risbotics.nl

  1. Message by: IAFLLModerator 01/30/2007 18:25:01 GMT
    Congratulations to you! One of our tournament planning team members did a study abroad at TU Delft -- I will let him know about your successful day there!

    Enjoy -

    Camille
    Iowa (USA) FLL



Folder: JAPAN 01/30/2007 15:13:09 GMT



Folder: NXT HELP 10/15/2006 01:19:25 GMT
add discussions to this folder if you have any questions about the new NXT robot!

Discussion: question By: lego125 10/15/2006 01:19:25 GMT
As you all know, the NXT is new and not too much is known about it. The old robot was around for years and you could find research about it anywhere. Does anyone know some resources we could use to help us come up with a design or at least to get a better understanding of the new Robot?

Sincerely,
The Scott Lego team

  1. Message by: botzealots1105 10/15/2006 01:19:25 GMT
    go to the United States forum page. Similar questions have been asked there



Folder: The Open European Championship of FIRST LEGO League Bodo Norway 01/30/2007 15:13:49 GMT


Discussion: Participating Teams By: Risbotics11 01/30/2007 15:13:49 GMT
RISBOTICS team wins the BeNeLux Finals in Delft (Netherlands), january 27th. 2007 (BeNeLux=3 countries Belgium/Netherlands/Luxemburg)

The Risbotics team is very proud to be the team that received the Champions Award.

Of course they worked for it, but it is also a reward for other very important issues. The team has enjoyed working with technique over the years and sharing that with others. The researching and making and preparing the presentations, truly have fun and be respectful within the team and to others. This is surely noticed and recognised by the jury.

We want to thank EVERYBODY for all they have done. Starting with the organization and all volunteers, you have done a great job!

But also our school, teachers, parents, families of the team and our sponsors.

The Risbotics have enjoyed the finals and the big crowd that cheered all teams.

The nerve breaking waiting took a long while, but the reward was worth it all! The TU Delft Champion*s Award!!

see also our website: www.risbotics.nl


Folder: KOREA 02/21/2007 15:57:01 GMT



Folder: ******** 02/21/2007 15:57:01 GMT
**** ****** ********** ****** ******** ****** ********.
****** **** ****** ******.


Folder: Make International Contacts 04/06/2007 06:45:54 GMT



Folder: FLL Team Websites 01/11/2007 12:42:09 GMT
Hi First Lego League enthusiasts,

We are the RISbotics from Eindhoven in the Netherlands. We are competing in the FLL for the third year in a row.

We just have our website on the net and we like to ask you to make a link available on your website. (If you give us your websitedetails we can make a link to yours!)

Lots of luck to you in the competitions coming, we are competing in the so called BeNeLux finals, January 27th 2007 in Delft, Netherlands. (BeNeLux = Belgium/Netherlands/Luxemburg, so it is a 3 country final). We hope to advance to the Open European in Norway or to the World festival in Atlanta.

That*s all for now, hope to hear something from you soon!

www.risbotics.nl



Folder: NanoQuest Scoring Program 10/08/2006 04:54:36 GMT
Hi fellow coaches,

I developed a small program intended for coaches, to help the teams understand the NanoQuest mission and the point structure. And ... it is as fun way to do the practice runs!

The program will install with two types of shortcuts: one for use with the team, and an advanced
mode, which could be used for smaller tournaments.

With the program, clicking on the mission logos will cycle through the possible scoring. It has a 2:30 timer, with alarm.
On the top right, the help button will explain more options.
The FLL logo on the left will bring you to the FLL web site (with your browse).

For Mac users: sorry, it runs on Windows platforms only. (.Net to be precise)

If you want to have a quick peek, there is a screenshot.

Have fun using this!

Pieter
Coach NanoBots 425
San Jose, CA



Discussion: Where is it? By: Limit Busters 198 10/08/2006 01:03:39 GMT
Where is this program? It sounds VERY neat, and may prove useful to us. How long did it take to do this?

Limit Busters 198

Discussion: Where is it? By: Limit Busters 198 10/08/2006 04:54:36 GMT
Where is this program? It sounds VERY neat, and may prove useful to us. How long did it take to do this?

Limit Busters 198

  1. Message by: redrobots2924 10/08/2006 04:54:36 GMT
    You can find the thread which contains this program
    here


Discussion: Help a team in need By: LawnGnomes2312 03/26/2007 05:41:43 GMT
Hello,

We are the Gothic Lawn Gnomes from Washington, USA. We have learned about a team that was started in war-torn Afghanisan through the vision of a passionate man who moved from the Phillipines to Kabul to help with the rebuilding of Afghanistan. This team has no means of getting to World Fest, but would really like to attend. Our team has adopted them and we would like to see if others would like to join with us to help the Afghan Robotics Team (ART) get to Atlanta in April.
Anyone else want to help?

Here*s the wish list for ART:

Be able to come and participate at the FLL World Festival this coming April. We need funding for 8 persons (4 Afghans and 4 Filipinos) who are part of the team.

Used Laptop PC (I*m currently using our office laptop to coach the team)

NXT Kits and LEGO Mindstorms RCX Kits

Coaching materials ex. Books about LEGO Robotics, DVDs etc.


Thank you

Heidi Lovett

Coach, Gothic Lawn Gnomes

  1. Message by: tinytech2483 01/30/2007 04:53:40 GMT
    Just one question...
    If they need basically everything, how did they qualify for the World Festival?

    -Tiny Tech


    1. Message by: LawnGnomes2312 01/31/2007 07:34:25 GMT
      Thank you for reminding me to ask them about the invitation! I forgot to do that. We are working on that part too. Either way, they are starting FLL in Afghanistan and still will need all that stuff and our encouragement!

      Heidi


    2. Message by: OikosRoboticsTeam4469 03/12/2007 06:32:04 GMT
      Hello Friends,

      I'm the coach of the team from Afghanistan. We are really not qualified to join the WorldFest since there was no tournament that was held here. We were encouraged by the coach of the GothicLawnGnome Team to attend the WorldFest and the organizers graciously granted our request.

      I have started a team last 2005 in the southern part of the country and started a new one when we moved to the capital. My goal in attending the World best is to be able to learn more about how to start this program with the schools here and conduct tournaments. Most importantly, I would like to encourage the Afghan kids to adapt the FLL Core Values which I believe will make a positive impact in their communities and to the whole country.

      I bought the RCX kit, challenge kit and registered the team for the Nano Challenge. I asked for some help for our team since I have limited resources here and am working for a small Non-Governmental Organization (NGO) here.

      I hope that this answers your inquiries about us. Please let me know if you have other questions.

      Blessings to you,

      David G. Delos Santos


      1. Message by: 03/23/2007 15:51:22 GMT
        Deleted


      2. Message by: CV CA Volunteer Moderator 03/26/2007 05:41:43 GMT
        I wish I had seen these posts sooner. How close are you to your goal (of attending the World Festival)? What needs still remain?

        Yolande


Discussion: Did anyone apply for the lottery places in Norway? By: The Next Generation 03/24/2007 17:12:05 GMT
Hi,

We were just wondering if anyone had applied for the four places in Norway which were open to any team?

If you did what did you do for your application? We did a short video clip and a document with photos on...

  1. Message by: Risbotics11 02/10/2007 20:01:52 GMT
    Hi TNG-team,

    hope to meet you in Norway! We will be there. We preferred going to Bodo over Atlanta. (we could choose as we are the Benelux champions).
    One question, why are you acting so secretly? FLL is actually also about sharing information and experiences. We the RISbotics are open transparant and like to share everything,
    check our website: www.risbotics.nl

    Do you know wich teams from the uk are coming to Bodo??, does your team have a website or knows other team websites that we can link to ours?

    well that's all for now, bye
    RISbotics from Eindhoven, the Netherlands


    1. Message by: The Next Generation 02/12/2007 18:01:20 GMT
      Acting secretly?

      No sorry we dont know what teams have chosen to go to Bodo, but we know 3 out of these teams are sadly we came 6th we needed to come 5th for an international place...
      The C.R.A.C.K. Team
      Technobotts
      UP 'n' ATOM
      Widcombe Wrobotiers
      Nano Doctors

      The only website I know is www.nanomania.org but they havent qualified for an international place...We would have a website but none of us have that much technical information at the moment.


    2. Message by: Risbotics11 02/16/2007 10:30:52 GMT
      News from FLLOEC 2007, Thursday February 15, 2007 .
      Press release!

      22 teams applied for the four lucky places in FLLOEC 2007.
      Around 200 youths wanted to travel to Bod*. The jury had one inspiring discussion Thursday February 15. It was not easy to choose four teams from all the high quality and creative applications. The decision is now made, and we welcome these four teams to Bod*:

      * Robojordan team from Amman, Jordan
      * Hudson*s Robotics team from Dhahran, Saudi Arabia
      * The Next Generation team from Hexham, UK
      * Super Hyper Quantum Kangaroos from Oregon State, USA

      in this press release on the fll oec site I read that you The Next Generation team is one of the lucky teams!

      Congrats,

      Risbotics

      Lots of success and we will meet you all in Norway.

      www.risbotics.nl


    3. Message by: The Next Generation 02/25/2007 10:51:09 GMT
      Thanks!! We are over the moon and can't wait to meet you and all the other teams competing.


    4. Message by: Limit Busters 198 03/24/2007 17:12:05 GMT
      We applied for the lottery places, and fortunately, we were successful. However, our administrators insisted the time from now until competetion was not enough to organaize it and raise the money(we are from the US,) so we were forced to decline the oppurtunity. But we will be attending the World Festival in Atlanta. See all of you there.

      Limit Busters


Discussion: World Fest Teams By: Spooner Tech Team 04/06/2007 06:45:54 GMT
Our team would like to talk to the other teams going to World Fest in April of 2007. We are The Spooner Tech Team from Spooner, Wisconsin, USA. Our e-mail is: spooner_techteam@hotmail.com

  1. Message by: coleclippers670 03/14/2007 20:45:41 GMT
    Hi! We are the Cole Clippers from Norwell, Massachusetts. Our team is comprised of 2nd, 4th, 5th and 6th graders and we are thrilled to have the opportunity to compete in Atlanta and to meet the other teams! We would be happy to chat with you. We don't have our own website or email address, but you can reach us via the coach at genebellana@verizon.net We look forward to hearing from you!


    1. Message by: Limit Busters 198 03/24/2007 17:13:17 GMT
      We are the Limit Busters from Greenville, SC. We will also be attending the World Festival in Atlanta. Hope to see you there.

      Limit Busters


      1. Message by: Spooner Tech Team 03/25/2007 08:37:32 GMT
        Congradulations! For making state and moving onto World. We have meetings on Monday & Friday after school and would like to e-mail you and talk! We just got home from a big fund raiser to fund our team to World, how are you doing?
        Our e-mail is: spooner_techteam@hotmail.com
        Hope to hear from you, we can e-mail a picture of our team so you can recognize us at world and maybe you can send a picture of your team so we can find you at world. Can't wait to hear from you! The Spooner Tech Team


    2. Message by: CV CA Volunteer Moderator 03/26/2007 01:54:05 GMT
      We will be in Atlanta at the FVC Championships (our team of high school students volunteers at the local FLL tournament). We are FVC team #3617, Metal Gear. I'm not sure how far apart the FLL & FVC pits are, but feel free to stop by & say "howdy". We're hoping to make our rounds through the FLL pits if we can.

      Yolande


      1. Message by: Spooner Tech Team 03/26/2007 02:40:22 GMT
        Boy do we want to meet you! This is our team's last year with FLL and we are going onto Vex. At the moment we are building and figuring out the Vex robot. If you have time, could you e-mail us back. Where are you from? Do you have pictures? Can't wait to here from you! Spooner Tech Team spooner_techteam@hotmail.com


      2. Message by: LawnGnomes2312 03/26/2007 08:41:49 GMT
        Congratulations to you all! Our team is the Gothic Lawn Gnomes (though there is nothing Gothic about us), and we will be in Atlanta as well. We are representing WA state and are a rookie team. The kids are between age 10 and 15 (birthdays change things...). Everyone is really excited, and a bit overwhelmed by the whole experience.

        I am eager to meet you all in just a few weeks.

        Heidi


    3. Message by: CV CA Volunteer Moderator 04/06/2007 06:45:54 GMT
      Here is a link to a pit map with all the team number assignments. We'll be looking for you.
      http://155.212.10.234/uploadedFiles/...07_pit_map.pdf

      Yolande



Folder: MEXICO 01/30/2007 15:15:53 GMT



Folder: The Open European Championship of FIRST LEGO League Bodo Norway 01/30/2007 15:16:40 GMT


Discussion: Participating Teams By: Risbotics11 01/30/2007 15:16:40 GMT
RISBOTICS team wins the BeNeLux Finals in Delft (Netherlands), january 27th. 2007 (BeNeLux=3 countries Belgium/Netherlands/Luxemburg)

The Risbotics team is very proud to be the team that received the Champions Award.

Of course they worked for it, but it is also a reward for other very important issues. The team has enjoyed working with technique over the years and sharing that with others. The researching and making and preparing the presentations, truly have fun and be respectful within the team and to others. This is surely noticed and recognised by the jury.

We want to thank EVERYBODY for all they have done. Starting with the organization and all volunteers, you have done a great job!

But also our school, teachers, parents, families of the team and our sponsors.

The Risbotics have enjoyed the finals and the big crowd that cheered all teams.

The nerve breaking waiting took a long while, but the reward was worth it all! The TU Delft Champion*s Award!!

see also our website: www.risbotics.nl

Discussion: Informaci*n general sobre FLL en M*xico By: descubre y crea, AC Explora 10/01/2006 23:34:30 GMT
Estimado Equipos FLL en M*xico:

Les recordamos las fechas de los torneos en M*xico:
Torneo Regional Estado de M*xico 18 de noviembre 2006 ITESM Campus Edo M*xico
Operadores Regionales - Colegio Chrsita Corrigan - Dr. Jos* Luis Mu*oz
Torneo Regional Edo de NUevo Le*n 11 de noviembre 2006 ITESM Campus Monterrey
Operadores Regionales - Liceo de Monterrey (Varones) - Lic. Ruperto Villarreal

Torneo Nacional FLL s*bado 25 de noviembre 2006 en Papalote Museo del Ni*o en la Ciudad de M*xico.

saludos,

B*rbara G*mez de Navarro
Directora
Explora descubre y crea, AC

Discussion: Bienvenidos al Foro de discusi*n FLL M*xico By: Bernardo EDC-M*xico 11/16/2006 01:47:29 GMT
Este espacio esta dirigido a todos aquellos que tengan dudas respecto al torneo FLL M*xico, Espero que lo usen adecuadamente y logren sacarle el m*ximo provecho. Todos estan invitados a participar y a colaborar con las preguntas y discusiones.
Saludos!

Bernardo Estrella
Coordinador T*cnico
edcM*xico

  1. Message by: NANOFORGER6366 11/11/2006 19:58:21 GMT
    Que tal Bernardo, tenemos una duda... una vez iniciada la corrida el robot puede regresar a la base para algun cambio de accesorio y continuar con las misiones?

    Saludos!


    1. Message by: 3c.01 11/16/2006 01:47:29 GMT
      Si si puede. Observacion... Si el robot es tocado por los ni*os antes de que llegue a la base, se les quita una molecula de mugre (las azules).
      Gabriel Munoz


Discussion: REGRESA EL ROBOT A LA BASE By: NANOFORGER6366 11/16/2006 01:40:17 GMT
HOLA

ES NUESTRO PRIMER A*O EN ESTE CONCURSO, ESTAMOS UN POCO CONFUNDIDOS SOBRE SI EL ROBOT PUEDE REGRESAR A LA BASE PARA HACER ALGUN CAMBIO DE PIEZAS Y CONTINUAR CON LA CORRIDA

SI ALGUIEN LOS SABE Y NOS PUEDE AYUDAR....

HELP HELP HELP

  1. Message by: clubhousepalaciopostal6390 11/12/2006 00:05:35 GMT
    HOLA NANOFORGERS:

    POR FAVOR REVISEN LAS REGLAS. EFECTIVAMENTE SE PERMITE CAMBIO DE PIEZAS UNA VEZ QUE EL ROBOT ET**EN EL CUADRO LLAMADO BASE.

    SALUDOS,

    TAMARA
    CLUBHOUSE MEXICO -PALACIO POSTAL


    1. Message by: NANOFORGER6366 11/13/2006 19:42:00 GMT
      En las reglas 6,18 y 23 comenta algo al respecto pero no es claro, se dice que puede regresar a la base, pero no comenta si podemos colocarle algun accesorio para continuar con las misiones...

      Saludos


    2. Message by: 3c.01 11/16/2006 01:40:17 GMT
      El robot puede regresar a la base y el equipo puede cambiar y/o agregar piezas
      Christa Corrigan


Discussion: moleculas de pizza By: nitroknights6326 11/29/2006 17:31:04 GMT
* cue pas is El robot deja as molecules dentro pro despues la saca

  1. Message by: 11/28/2006 22:21:52 GMT
    Deleted


    1. Message by: NANOGENESIS12002 11/29/2006 17:31:04 GMT
      no ganas puntos ya que el puntaje se toma como queda la mesa al terminar el tiempo en otras palabras el puntaje que obtienes es donde quedaron las moleculas al final

      Nanogenesis


Discussion: MOTOR MOLECULAR By: NANOGENESIS12002 12/04/2006 01:38:30 GMT
Esta permitido empujar con el robot la molecula de ATP amarilla una vez que ya este puesta en el marco negro por favor denme una respuesta en la brevedad posible

Nanogenesis



Folder: Nano Quest Downloads 12/08/2006 22:28:20 GMT



Folder: Peru 10/03/2006 18:00:17 GMT



Folder: SCANDINAVIA 01/30/2007 15:04:37 GMT



Folder: The Open European Championship of FIRST LEGO League Bodo Norway 01/30/2007 15:05:24 GMT


Discussion: Participating Teams By: Risbotics11 01/30/2007 15:05:24 GMT
RISBOTICS team wins the BeNeLux Finals in Delft (Netherlands), january 27th. 2007 (BeNeLux=3 countries Belgium/Netherlands/Luxemburg)

The Risbotics team is very proud to be the team that received the Champions Award.

Of course they worked for it, but it is also a reward for other very important issues. The team has enjoyed working with technique over the years and sharing that with others. The researching and making and preparing the presentations, truly have fun and be respectful within the team and to others. This is surely noticed and recognised by the jury.

We want to thank EVERYBODY for all they have done. Starting with the organization and all volunteers, you have done a great job!

But also our school, teachers, parents, families of the team and our sponsors.

The Risbotics have enjoyed the finals and the big crowd that cheered all teams.

The nerve breaking waiting took a long while, but the reward was worth it all! The TU Delft Champion*s Award!!

see also our website: www.risbotics.nl


Folder: SINGAPORE 01/30/2007 15:17:02 GMT



Folder: The Open European Championship of FIRST LEGO League Bodo Norway 01/30/2007 15:17:41 GMT


Discussion: Participating Teams By: Risbotics11 01/30/2007 15:17:41 GMT
RISBOTICS team wins the BeNeLux Finals in Delft (Netherlands), january 27th. 2007 (BeNeLux=3 countries Belgium/Netherlands/Luxemburg)

The Risbotics team is very proud to be the team that received the Champions Award.

Of course they worked for it, but it is also a reward for other very important issues. The team has enjoyed working with technique over the years and sharing that with others. The researching and making and preparing the presentations, truly have fun and be respectful within the team and to others. This is surely noticed and recognised by the jury.

We want to thank EVERYBODY for all they have done. Starting with the organization and all volunteers, you have done a great job!

But also our school, teachers, parents, families of the team and our sponsors.

The Risbotics have enjoyed the finals and the big crowd that cheered all teams.

The nerve breaking waiting took a long while, but the reward was worth it all! The TU Delft Champion*s Award!!

see also our website: www.risbotics.nl

Discussion: test By: team_pluto 12/05/2006 22:58:46 GMT
test

  1. Message by: 11/19/2006 17:12:33 GMT
    Deleted


    1. Message by: 11/19/2006 17:16:36 GMT
      Deleted


    2. Message by: NanoKatz4061 12/05/2006 22:40:20 GMT
      yall are stupid


    3. Message by: NanoKatz4061 12/05/2006 22:40:51 GMT
      waz up


    4. Message by: NanoKatz4061 12/05/2006 22:41:08 GMT
      what it is hoe


    5. Message by: NanoKatz4061 12/05/2006 22:44:32 GMT
      we'll beat you guys so bad BWAHAHAHAHAHAA....HA!


    6. Message by: NanoKatz4061 12/05/2006 22:45:10 GMT
      no you wont


    7. Message by: NanoKatz4061 12/05/2006 22:49:29 GMT
      arron is gay


    8. Message by: NanoKatz4061 12/05/2006 22:50:44 GMT
      ANTONIO'S A FAGET!


      1. Message by: fll-freak 12/05/2006 22:53:50 GMT
        And you sir, and very close to having your account terminated. Are you aware that what you write becomes a permanent record in the Forum for people to see for years to come? That right now hundreds of coaches are receiving an email notifying them that a new email was posted by the NanoKatz and allowing them to read it?

        -Skye


    9. Message by: NanoKatz4061 12/05/2006 22:58:46 GMT
      sorry


Discussion: what if some thing doesn't work By: NanoKatz4061 12/07/2006 22:31:49 GMT


  1. Message by: NanoKatz4061 12/05/2006 22:57:54 GMT
    what if one of the pieces are missing or something doesn't work correctly


    1. Message by: fll-freak 12/05/2006 23:55:11 GMT
      What parts are you talking about and what is not working?

      And Why are you posting to the Singapore forum when you are a team from Alabama?

      -Skye


    2. Message by: NanoKatz4061 12/06/2006 22:31:49 GMT
      our nxt brick doesnt work with our battery pack, the battery pack is fine, but the nxt isnt working with the battery pack in it


      1. Message by: fll-freak 12/06/2006 23:05:51 GMT
        Did you try simple AA baterries in your NXT? If those work, you may be having the problem that a few other people are having. They find that the contacts to the battery pack do not touch unless they put a bit of card stock in the hole first.

        -Skye


    3. Message by: NanoKatz4061 12/07/2006 22:29:52 GMT
      yes. and the AA bateries work.

      but we would pefer to save money and recharge batties, instead of buying new bateries every time we run out.

      but we have fixed the problem but thanks anyway


    4. Message by: NanoKatz4061 12/07/2006 22:31:49 GMT
      thx any way though.


Discussion: what if some thing doesn't work By: NanoKatz4061 12/05/2006 22:58:11 GMT



Folder: SOUTH AFRICA 01/30/2007 15:19:54 GMT



Folder: The Open European Championship of FIRST LEGO League Bodo Norway 01/30/2007 15:20:37 GMT


Discussion: Participating Teams By: Risbotics11 01/30/2007 15:20:37 GMT
RISBOTICS team wins the BeNeLux Finals in Delft (Netherlands), january 27th. 2007 (BeNeLux=3 countries Belgium/Netherlands/Luxemburg)

The Risbotics team is very proud to be the team that received the Champions Award.

Of course they worked for it, but it is also a reward for other very important issues. The team has enjoyed working with technique over the years and sharing that with others. The researching and making and preparing the presentations, truly have fun and be respectful within the team and to others. This is surely noticed and recognised by the jury.

We want to thank EVERYBODY for all they have done. Starting with the organization and all volunteers, you have done a great job!

But also our school, teachers, parents, families of the team and our sponsors.

The Risbotics have enjoyed the finals and the big crowd that cheered all teams.

The nerve breaking waiting took a long while, but the reward was worth it all! The TU Delft Champion*s Award!!

see also our website: www.risbotics.nl

Discussion: Greetings By: MI FLL Volunteer Moderator 09/29/2006 18:50:03 GMT
Greetings from your friends in Michigan. We hope to see the excellent South African teams in the US again this spring!

- Gary V


Folder: TAIWAN 01/30/2007 15:21:26 GMT



Folder: The Open European Championship of FIRST LEGO League Bodo Norway 01/30/2007 15:22:08 GMT


Discussion: Participating Teams By: Risbotics11 01/30/2007 15:22:08 GMT
RISBOTICS team wins the BeNeLux Finals in Delft (Netherlands), january 27th. 2007 (BeNeLux=3 countries Belgium/Netherlands/Luxemburg)

The Risbotics team is very proud to be the team that received the Champions Award.

Of course they worked for it, but it is also a reward for other very important issues. The team has enjoyed working with technique over the years and sharing that with others. The researching and making and preparing the presentations, truly have fun and be respectful within the team and to others. This is surely noticed and recognised by the jury.

We want to thank EVERYBODY for all they have done. Starting with the organization and all volunteers, you have done a great job!

But also our school, teachers, parents, families of the team and our sponsors.

The Risbotics have enjoyed the finals and the big crowd that cheered all teams.

The nerve breaking waiting took a long while, but the reward was worth it all! The TU Delft Champion*s Award!!

see also our website: www.risbotics.nl


Folder: TURKEY 01/30/2007 15:05:56 GMT



Folder: The Open European Championship of FIRST LEGO League Bodo Norway 01/30/2007 15:06:52 GMT


Discussion: Participating Teams By: Risbotics11 01/30/2007 15:06:52 GMT
RISBOTICS team wins the BeNeLux Finals in Delft (Netherlands), january 27th. 2007 (BeNeLux=3 countries Belgium/Netherlands/Luxemburg)

The Risbotics team is very proud to be the team that received the Champions Award.

Of course they worked for it, but it is also a reward for other very important issues. The team has enjoyed working with technique over the years and sharing that with others. The researching and making and preparing the presentations, truly have fun and be respectful within the team and to others. This is surely noticed and recognised by the jury.

We want to thank EVERYBODY for all they have done. Starting with the organization and all volunteers, you have done a great job!

But also our school, teachers, parents, families of the team and our sponsors.

The Risbotics have enjoyed the finals and the big crowd that cheered all teams.

The nerve breaking waiting took a long while, but the reward was worth it all! The TU Delft Champion*s Award!!

see also our website: www.risbotics.nl


Folder: UNITED KINGDOM 03/06/2007 00:22:59 GMT



Folder: Disclosure and Silicon Spray 11/22/2006 19:23:52 GMT
A couple of questions on process :

a) on the Q&As within the FLL website, there is a very interesting section - Q20 - http://www.firstlegoleague.org/default.aspx?pid=23730 on adding pieces to the dirt trap. (memo : there is an even longer set of conversations inside the US blog !). A team has read this and plans to build around the dirt trap to try ensure the dirt (blue) bits are caught. There is also a section on the website that says teams should advise judges, in advance of the tournament, about things they plan to do that might be controversial. Is this one example where disclosure is to be encouraged ?

b) I have been asked if it is OK to spray silicon onto the Lego gear trains to ensure free movement. This seems OK to me, but has this happened before ? In your eyes, is it legal and should there be disclosure ?

Mark Sheard
Mentor,
TecnhoBotts, Rudham Rabbitz and others ....

Discussion: Answers By: fll-freak 11/22/2006 19:23:52 GMT
i a) on the Q&As within the FLL website, there is a very interesting section - Q20 - http://www.firstlegoleague.org/default.aspx?pid=23730 on adding pieces to the dirt trap. (memo : there is an even longer set of conversations inside the US blog !). A team has read this and plans to build around the dirt trap to try ensure the dirt (blue) bits are caught. There is also a section on the website that says teams should advise judges, in advance of the tournament, about things they plan to do that might be controversial. Is this one example where disclosure is to be encouraged?

Here is the USA, it would not need to be disclosed. This is a fairly common approach.

i b) I have been asked if it is OK to spray silicon onto the Lego gear trains to ensure free movement. This seems OK to me, but has this happened before ? In your eyes, is it legal and should there be disclosure ?

This is not OK. The rules specificaly outlaw lubricants. Read the materials rule.

-Skye

  1. Message by: SMART 11/22/2006 14:54:53 GMT
    To add to this please don't spray any foreign substances onto your robot. If any of this ends up on the table it could seriously impact other team's robots aside from being against the materials rule.

    - Peter


    1. Message by: BEEPS05 11/22/2006 19:23:52 GMT
      Skye,

      thanks



Folder: For Coaches 12/02/2006 15:17:42 GMT

We have prepared two useful documents for the NanoQuest Challenge:

A field worksheet for the Nano challenge.
* Scaled 1" to 1'
* PDF contains two pages with a color and B&W image
* Images are sharp (created from source art).

Sample Scoring Sheet
* We found that running training sessions that are timed and scored is immensely valuable

Both are available at:

http://www.techbrick.com/Lego/Lego2006/Resources/resources_worksheets.htm

// Marco

________________________________________
Marco Ciavolino
Enktesis, LLC
1603 Belvue Drive
Forest Hill, MD 21050
410.838.8264
fax 1-413-410-2773
marco@ciavolino.com
________________________________________



Discussion: Access to forum by team members By: SHeeN 12/02/2006 15:17:42 GMT
Do your team members access the forum? There is a lot of junk here (esp from Nanocats and Ruskobots). It makes it really difficult to make the forum useful. Is everyone sensible on the US forum?

  1. Message by: MI FLL Volunteer Moderator 12/02/2006 15:17:42 GMT
    Sensible? Who, us? :-)

    Yes, unaccompanied minors can create discord in the Forum. When it gets bad (multiple days worth, inappropriate language) those of us designated as "Moderators" send an email to the team mentor. If it's really bad - I've only noticed it once this year - a sysop somewhere in the FIRST organization can eliminate posts.

    What students don't always understand is that foolishness posted here stays here for a long time, and can reflect badly on a team. It's up to team mentors to monitor their students' usage of the Forum. For some that means not giving out the team password, only allowing access while at team meetings. Others instruct their team in proper usage of the Forum, and will allow off-site access. It's always the age-old problem, how much access are we comfortable in allowing to children, and how much will they abuse it? Or worse, how much danger can they put themselves in?

    - Gary



Folder: Kicking Things Off... 11/30/2006 18:16:10 GMT


Discussion: HI! By: The Next Generation 11/30/2006 18:16:10 GMT
Hello Everyone!

I think we should all make the most of the forums! So come on and start posting...Hows everyone doing so far?

  1. Message by: Randazzo1589 09/30/2006 15:45:55 GMT
    As a rookie team we were wanting to get in touch with local teams in our area to practice with before tournament time. Is there a way to get a list of the local teams in Southeast Florida?


    1. Message by: BEEPS05 09/30/2006 16:49:07 GMT
      yes there is you go to teams and tournaments and select florida under united states of america


    2. Message by: SHeeN 10/02/2006 01:32:47 GMT
      We've had some good discussions and done some preliminary work but we haven't got our Challenge Kit yet, so we're champing at the bit to get going on this year's missions.

      We're going to continue to use RCX for this year. Is anyone using NXT yet?


    3. Message by: The Next Generation 10/02/2006 12:15:05 GMT
      We have only just received our challenge kit, and started building the models. We have an NXT set, but although it has better capabilities, we've only had it for a week, and I'm not sure if we will have enough time to get used to it, but our team has been changed a little, last year and the year before we were Hexbotics, but new members, so it depends how quickly we all learn!


      1. Message by: BerkshirePark624 10/02/2006 19:02:39 GMT
        Does your team relate to Star Trek TNG?


    4. Message by: PHS220 10/03/2006 16:18:27 GMT
      hey hows you all getting on with your robots hope you all do well


    5. Message by: PHS220 10/03/2006 16:20:24 GMT
      if any groups sign up from england how you gettin on with your robots?


    6. Message by: PHS220 10/03/2006 21:15:20 GMT
      no


    7. Message by: The Next Generation 10/04/2006 11:02:17 GMT
      Well, the robot isnt the best but just remember that robot performance is only worth 25% =) So there are planty of other areas to suceed in like TEAMWORK (very mportant!!), but then I guess you do have robot technical, but so long as youve built it not the coach, and you understand it all and can explain, why and how you got to the robot your using that should be fine! We made the mistake on our first year that we spent loads of time on our robot and not on research, so we lost valuable points for that, but ended up with a teamwork trophy.


    8. Message by: TaborToothTigers199 10/19/2006 12:00:02 GMT
      hello we are the tabor tooth tigers and we were hoping to get some advice on how to build a pincer.


    9. Message by: babycybe006 11/17/2006 00:53:10 GMT
      Hi

      I'm just wondering (because this is our first competition) does the robot have to follow the balck lines on the mat when it does the missions?

      Thank You please reply if you know the answer!


      1. Message by: ants525 11/28/2006 00:32:57 GMT
        Hi, we are the Ants from United States. To answer your question, you do not have to follow the black lines, but it might be helpful. We would love to hear from you. ants


    10. Message by: Mindstorm Masters 11/17/2006 01:54:48 GMT
      Only if you think it will help you acheive the goal. There aren't too many rules about "how" to do things. There are strict rules about "what" needs to be accomplished.


    11. Message by: babycybe006 11/27/2006 22:37:11 GMT
      Hi again

      On the Fabric Tester mission do we have to take the pit to the mission and bring it back to the base again after the stains are in it?


      1. Message by: SMART 11/27/2006 22:54:14 GMT
        Your question is a bit unclear. By "the pit" do you mean the dirt trap? If so, it starts in base and needs to be placed at it's mark on the board for points. If you bring it back to base you won't get points for having it at the mark.

        Remember the table is scored at the end of the match.

        - Peter


    12. Message by: babycybe006 11/28/2006 16:04:07 GMT
      Hi
      On the fabric test mission do we have to program the robot to take the pit there, empty the stains into the pit, and take the pit back or do we just have to take the pit there and push the stains into the pit.

      Please reply if you know the answer as the mission instructions are not very clear


      1. Message by: babycybe006 11/28/2006 16:06:36 GMT
        thanks you very much for that peter we can now comense our programming.


    13. Message by: babycybe006 11/30/2006 15:48:54 GMT
      do we get bonus points for having extra objects on the mat


      1. Message by: SMART 11/30/2006 16:05:41 GMT
        You wouldn't, no.

        What sort of "extra objects" do you mean? Are you referring to one of the missions?

        - Peter


        1. Message by: babycybe006 11/30/2006 18:16:10 GMT
          THANKS
          PHILIP


Discussion: nanocable By: Programmables337 10/06/2006 18:32:57 GMT
Do you push the truck fron base or at the base of the nanocable?

  1. Message by: fll-freak 10/06/2006 18:32:57 GMT
    Try reading this document carefully. You will find out where the truck starts!

    http://www.firstlegoleague.org/default.aspx?pid=23680

    -Skye



Folder: NXT help 11/21/2006 21:19:59 GMT
add discussions to this folder about anything NXT!


Folder: wot nxt 11/21/2006 21:19:59 GMT
wot is nxt

Discussion: NXT By: lego125 10/22/2006 16:54:17 GMT
As you all know, the NXT is new and not too much is known about it. The old robot was around for years and you could find research about it anywhere. Does anyone know some resources we could use to help us come up with a design or at least to get a better understanding of the new Robot?

Sincerely,
The Scott Lego team

  1. Message by: The Next Generation 10/03/2006 09:18:01 GMT
    I dont, sadly, although I have been looking hard because I would quite like to use it this year! I'll ask some of the other team members later when they are round.


    1. Message by: PHS220 10/03/2006 16:22:47 GMT
      i dont have a clue this year but when i do i will get on an tell you ok


    2. Message by: Nanorovers81 10/04/2006 16:53:48 GMT
      All I know at the moment are the inbuilt tutorials in the softare, but there might be some designs people have put on the internet.

      I'll just look, but the limitatations on the school intranet here are large, they block many pages for no reason :(


      1. Message by: NanoKnights5692 10/22/2006 16:51:49 GMT
        Not sure if you guys have seen this yet, but check out the following site (Catkin Gable School) for some nice tutorials from Oregon Tournament and Outreach Program (OR TOP).

        http://cgsweb.catlin.edu/msrobotics/html/downloads.html

        Regards,

        Mike


      2. Message by: NanoKnights5692 10/22/2006 16:54:17 GMT
        (Sorry for the repost, but I reposted this message because the spell checker changed some of the words!)

        Not sure if you guys have seen this yet, but check out the following site (Catlin Gabel School) for some nice tutorials from Oregon Tournament and Outreach Program (ORTOP).

        http://cgsweb.catlin.edu/msrobotics/html/downloads.html

        Regards,

        Mike


Discussion: How many UK teams are using NXT? By: The Next Generation 10/29/2006 22:53:31 GMT
Hi,

Just wondering how many UK teams are using NXT, we are even though it was a bit awkward with it not being shipped until september.


Folder: Research 11/21/2006 18:09:40 GMT


Discussion: Difficulty Of Nanotechnology By: The Next Generation 11/21/2006 18:09:40 GMT
Hi,

We were just wondering about how other teams are coping with the research project, personally we are doing fine but we are wondering if younger team members find it more difficult, or even easier because they think outside the box? Nanotechnology seems quite a hard thing to grasp because it is obviously very small! We had enough trouble explaining to one of our older member just how small it was! SO as we say just wondering if anyone is having difficulties with the research, or if we are just making things more complicated then they really are, as we often do!

Anna -(team member)

  1. Message by: team1365 10/10/2006 21:15:01 GMT
    Hi Anna,

    I am the team coach of a primary school team in the Netherlands and we have a hard time explaining nano technology to children from 9 to 12 years of age. I asked the oldest members of the team to look a bit on the internet and hopefully they will come up with something. For the yongest members of our team I persoinally think it is to far fetched.

    Roel - (team coach, Waalre the Netherlands)


    1. Message by: fll-freak 10/10/2006 21:40:19 GMT
      As an adult I have a difficult time thinking this small. But I can still think of problems that a tiny-weenie-itsy-bitsy item could solve. The fast that they do not fully comprehend the true size, is somewhat irrelevant.

      Count the number of molecules of water in a tea spoon. Go to the store and buy that many LEGO bricks. Snap them all together. How far would they stretch? Would they make it across the street, the town, the country, the world, to the moon, to the sun, or 3/4 across the galaxy? (last is the right answer!)

      So what could you do as a tiny person? Watch movies like the Incredible Voyage where people shrink down to save a human life or Honey I Shank the Kids. Could you find and destroy a tumor? Could you have a helicopter the size of a dust mite to fly into a hostage situation and see what's happening? How about tiny scrubbers to clean your teeth so you do not have to floss?

      -Skye


      1. Message by: Masters of the Mesoscale 10/11/2006 01:25:22 GMT
        That was a great idea Skye!
        Susan


        1. Message by: fll-freak 10/11/2006 01:29:00 GMT
          By the way, send me half the LEGO bricks when you are done for giving you such a great idea!

          -Skye


    2. Message by: Ruskobots 11/21/2006 18:09:40 GMT
      Has any one got any ideas for the presentasion ???????!!!!



Folder: The Open European Championship of FIRST LEGO League Bodo Norway 04/24/2007 11:29:44 GMT


Discussion: Participating Teams By: Risbotics11 02/02/2007 22:54:13 GMT
RISBOTICS team wins the BeNeLux Finals in Delft (Netherlands), january 27th. 2007 (BeNeLux=3 countries Belgium/Netherlands/Luxemburg)

The Risbotics team is very proud to be the team that received the Champions Award.

Of course they worked for it, but it is also a reward for other very important issues. The team has enjoyed working with technique over the years and sharing that with others. The researching and making and preparing the presentations, truly have fun and be respectful within the team and to others. This is surely noticed and recognised by the jury.

We want to thank EVERYBODY for all they have done. Starting with the organization and all volunteers, you have done a great job!

But also our school, teachers, parents, families of the team and our sponsors. The Risbotics have enjoyed the finals and the big crowd that cheered all teams.

The nerve breaking waiting took a long while, but the reward was worth it all! The TU Delft Champion*s Award!!

see also our website: www.risbotics.nl

  1. Message by: BEEPS05 01/31/2007 17:53:09 GMT
    As Champions of the BeNeLux, why are you not going to the World Final in Atlanta ?


    1. Message by: Risbotics11 02/02/2007 22:54:13 GMT
      Actually we could choose between Atlanta and Bodo, the team decided for Bodo because it is a FLL-only championship, whereas Atlanta has also other robots competing.
      Further we find the program and side activities in Bodo really attractive, lots of fun!


Discussion: Lottery Places By: The Next Generation 04/24/2007 11:29:44 GMT
Hi,

Did anyone apply for the lottery places for the OEC?

The Next Generation

  1. Message by: SHeeN 03/30/2007 19:28:00 GMT
    Yes! And we have just been told we've got a place.

    Who else is going from the UK?


    1. Message by: SHeeN 04/20/2007 17:21:21 GMT
      We've just pulled out because it is too expensive. I hope the rest of you get on OK - we'll be watching on the web.


    2. Message by: Risbotics11 04/24/2007 11:29:44 GMT
      I'm very sorry to hear that financing is the reason that your team is not coming.

      In fact We've had considerable trouble to get that aspect covered as well.

      Is it a good idea to raise the entrance fee and use the surplus to help the best teams competing in Worlds/European finals? (sorry not for lottery tickets!)


Discussion: HELLO By: PHS220 12/07/2006 11:06:02 GMT
how are people in england getting on with their robots if yous got it were getting ours next week

  1. Message by: The Next Generation 10/04/2006 10:56:42 GMT
    Hi,

    Are you talking about the mission mat and stuff? We got ours last week and spent ages franticly putting it together! Im surprised you haven't received yours yet, oh well I guess you have some time to make a start on your Project. Is this your first year, if not what were you called last year. and what regionals are you going to? Sorry bombarding you with question =). Our robot isn't going so well we have almost all the attachments we need, but the driving base is proving a bit tricky because we are using NXT and haven't really had that much time to get used to it, at the minute it drives basically in a straight line, but it wobbles alot, making it harder to navigate, and control, but one of the things we've learnt is that your first atmmept never really works, but you learn from it and eventually you will have a good robot! Last year we made 47 lol.

    Have fun!


    1. Message by: Nanorovers81 10/04/2006 17:01:15 GMT
      We Got ours last week, too. I wonder why you haven't got yours. Hmmmmmmmm, maybe it fell out the back of the truck. :D


    2. Message by: PHS220 10/11/2006 21:48:18 GMT
      weve gt ares now its easyer this year coz we no what were doin and yes we did do it last year we came 3RD


    3. Message by: PHS220 10/11/2006 21:49:17 GMT
      yer we got or now it was coz the adresses got mixed up


    4. Message by: TaborToothTigers199 11/01/2006 15:23:22 GMT
      hi guys we haven't finished the assault course or the robot yet and we have less tan a month


      1. Message by: Ruskobots 11/21/2006 18:11:26 GMT
        we have nearly got it but the robot is a bit of a problem do you know where we can get extra bits of lego


    5. Message by: Ruskobots 11/21/2006 17:59:52 GMT
      Has any one got any good ideas for arms on the robots?
      thank you!!!!!


    6. Message by: Ruskobots 11/21/2006 18:05:47 GMT
      why dont you use some long ones and try and make a forklift


    7. Message by: thelukenators275 12/07/2006 11:06:02 GMT
      hi we've programed 9 of our missions yipeee!!!!


Discussion: HELLO By: PHS220 11/21/2006 21:18:21 GMT
how are people in england getting on with their robots if yous got it were getting ours next week

  1. Message by: nanomania2020 10/09/2006 17:36:32 GMT
    We have got our robots now...after a short delay...and we're not getting on to badly..but it is a little bit of a struggle to get to know the NXT really well...In someways I don't think it is as much as a challenge to program as RIS or Robolab was...which is kind of good


    1. Message by: thelukenators275 11/10/2006 10:51:16 GMT
      hello out there


    2. Message by: thelukenators275 11/20/2006 11:05:28 GMT
      we I the Luknators how I I din with Jr models?????
      we ave finished ours??????
      (nearly!!!)


    3. Message by: Ruskobots 11/21/2006 17:58:25 GMT
      were fine we just need to program can u help us


    4. Message by: Ruskobots 11/21/2006 17:59:21 GMT
      Could you please tell us where we can get some lego pieces from?We are short on the last couple of pieces. thank-you


    5. Message by: Ruskobots 11/21/2006 21:18:21 GMT
      lego from ebay


Discussion: A Small Dilema By: The Next Generation 11/01/2006 15:26:20 GMT
Hi,

I've been busy reading the rubrics that we have been given to see what we need to have/be. I noticed that it says for excellent in the "teamwork and FLL values, Roles & Responsibilities" that you should have clearly defined team roles, but then everyone is expected to answer questions in every interview. This shouldn't be too bad for teamwork, but how can someone who has done the research be expected to know everything for the technical interview. I presume they want us to answer the questions so they know its our work, but if they asked one of us about the robot, but they had done the research, and they said they didn't know, would we score less??

Also it seems for the robot design rubric, that the more sensors you use in all sorts of complicated ways, and the more attachments you have the more points you score for technical, but this goes against the whole KISS saying! We are honestly confused on what to do!! Do we keep it simple or try and get more points by adding all sorts of sensors?

What does everyone else think on this, because it seems to me on the rubric that some things contradict each other, and there is no "more important" part because each section is worth 25%.

  1. Message by: fll-freak 10/06/2006 18:15:29 GMT
    Yes the rubrics are confusing. They are samples and may in fact not be the ones your tournament director uses. They are also just a starting point or guide for the judges.

    On the issue of "defined roles" vs "jack of all trades": If your team has selected the JOAT approach, then they do have a clearly defined role! If that was how the team decided to run and they all knew it and supported it, then great. If they took the specialization route, then they too had clearly defined roles. Make sure they explain this clearly during the interview. ie. "We did not specialize but rather did a bit of everything so that we could all learn something new and interesting".


    I for one think the specialization method is for the birds. The kids get much more out of the program and each other if they are involved in all aspects. I hate to see a team with the girls doing the research and the boys making the robot. This does not mean that you have kids that are better in some areas than others. If thats the case celebrate the master programmer but make sure they also do their share of the research.


    On the order of KISS versus Complexity:
    Most tech judges can spot the difference between a team that only has one attachement because that was all they could get to work, versus the team that used one attachement designed to accomplish all the missions. A few years ago, a team at World Festival accomplished perfect scores with a robot that had no attachements. You can bet that that was as impressive as a team with 9. Again, during the interview, the kids can say something like "We are not using the light sensor because we found no practical use for it. Our nagivation does not rely on any mat markings but rather contact with mission models."

    Personaly I never have shown the rubrics to my team. I rather concentrate on making sure they all understand what they are doing and why. As we go along during meetings, I will ask "judge type" questions and listen to their answer. I may then follow up if I do not think it was clear. This all happens without them realizing they are getting drilled.

    -Skye


    1. Message by: The Next Generation 10/06/2006 23:09:50 GMT
      It's quite funny what you say about the girls doing reserach and boys doing robot, in our case its the total opposite! Thanks for helping! A perfect score with no attatchments, wow!


    2. Message by: IAFLLModerator 10/11/2006 17:30:49 GMT
      As head judge advisor for world competition, Skye is right on the mark -- judges can spot differences and they want to see that teams aren't so specialized that if a kid got the flu the night before the tournament that the team would have trouble running the robot or giving the presentation. You can have "experts" in certain areas, but make sure your team is on the same page and can multi-task.


    3. Message by: TaborToothTigers199 11/01/2006 15:26:20 GMT
      i've an idea connect them get them working and make it look they work, but use human programing


Discussion: Cable Tester By: nanomania2020 11/21/2006 18:07:25 GMT
Hi,

Has anyone found the nanotester cable doesn't actually fit on its markings on the mat?? We were told that we had to look at the US Q&A becuase that is the only one that is updated and had a relevant answer. Is anyone else doing this??

Thanks

  1. Message by: fll-freak 10/06/2006 20:20:21 GMT
    Read the Q&A page for the answer!

    -Skye


    1. Message by: nanomania2020 10/09/2006 17:33:04 GMT
      Thanks for that

      I was just wondering if people were doing this because in previous years we have done what the US Q&A has said but others haven't and we have been overuled..We're trying to not make the mistake again!!

      Thanks again


      1. Message by: fll-freak 10/09/2006 17:55:40 GMT
        I did not realize you where in the UK. I still think my answer is correct. FIRST tries to have the same rules around the world but has trouble at times with the language barrier. Luckly the UK speaks a close dialect to "American"!

        -Skye


        1. Message by: SHeeN 10/15/2006 11:04:15 GMT
          I'm updating the UK FLL website and I see that (like last year!) the Q&A is not updated. I have changed the Q&A link from the UK FLL website to link to the US one - it doesn't make sense for the answers to be different and I suspect that it is the standard problem of trying to update the same info in more than one place. The Content Management System being used atm has some pretty crummy features that encourage people to duplicate info :(


    2. Message by: The Next Generation 10/09/2006 18:07:40 GMT
      Nanomania, what was your team name name last year? You sound as if youve done it before! (sorry a bit irrelevant)


    3. Message by: nanomania2020 10/09/2006 20:13:38 GMT
      Thanks for that Skye...

      Hi Next Generation

      We are an out of school team, we are manialy made up of the team one year ago, 'Aqua Ambers' and others from the 'fhs Floaters.' But also some of went to Atlana two years ago after winning the UK Final...we were called the 'Eye Robots.' We have also competed in Robocup Junior Dance, that is really good, and we would recomend to anyone, amazingly we became the Junior Dance world champions!!!... you can see our website for that at : http://www.ictamber.org.uk/phantom
      But we are mainly interested in having a good time this year and learning about the NXT. But its hard work getting to gether ...because we are an out of school team, so we just meet at weekends

      We have done a website if anyone is interested at all..its not compleated though, its at http://www.nanomania.org our

      Someone our team has got an illness so we are researching into curing that illness....so its kind of personal...is this at all similar to what others are doing??

      What about you? How are you doing?

      Can't wait for the competition...but got lots of work to do...you forget how much work is involved don't you!!

      Thanks

      Nanomania


    4. Message by: nanomania2020 10/09/2006 20:14:08 GMT
      Thanks for that Skye...

      Hi Next Generation

      We are an out of school team, we are manialy made up of the team one year ago, 'Aqua Ambers' and others from the 'fhs Floaters.' But also some of went to Atlana two years ago after winning the UK Final...we were called the 'Eye Robots.' We have also competed in Robocup Junior Dance, that is really good, and we would recomend to anyone, amazingly we became the Junior Dance world champions!!!... you can see our website for that at : http://www.ictamber.org.uk/phoenix
      But we are mainly interested in having a good time this year and learning about the NXT. But its hard work getting to gether ...because we are an out of school team, so we just meet at weekends

      We have done a website if anyone is interested at all..its not compleated though, its at http://www.nanomania.org our

      Someone our team has got an illness so we are researching into curing that illness....so its kind of personal...is this at all similar to what others are doing??

      What about you? How are you doing?

      Can't wait for the competition...but got lots of work to do...you forget how much work is involved don't you!!

      Thanks

      Nanomania


    5. Message by: nanomania2020 10/09/2006 20:17:34 GMT
      Sorry got one of our URL's wrong!! it was:

      www.ictamber.org.uk/phoenix

      Also..sorry I'm going on a bit..

      Is anyone going to the Duxford tournament on December the 2nd, it doesn't seem to be on the team list but Chris Proctor said is is happenning....

      Thnks again

      Nanomania


    6. Message by: The Next Generation 10/09/2006 23:08:23 GMT
      Yes, I remember you!! We were Hexbotics but we totaly bombed out in the no limits challenge because of fatal brick errors, we ended up winning the teamwork trophy!! We got through to Atlanta last year, I think you will agree it is amazing! Sounds like your going to score quite well this year because your solving a personal problem, you were called eye robot, because didn't five of your members have poor eyesight, or something along those lines, my memory is failing me!

      I have checked out your web sites, nice work, I dont think we stand a chance against a team like yours, you seem so accomplished, but im sure we will come out learning something new as always... Your right about forgetting how much work is involved its almost doubled for us now because some of members felt lego was to "uncool" for them and left, its such a shame.


    7. Message by: nanomania2020 10/10/2006 08:54:26 GMT
      we have ended up with a large age range in our team which is really nice...from about 12- 16(junior mentor)

      It feels a bit like it's new becuase your using an NXT which is good - and the presentation..is kind of challenging!!

      Hope you get on...currently sorting out a minor problem with our robots....bezel...or castor..??

      Nanomania


    8. Message by: nanomania2020 10/10/2006 08:55:35 GMT
      How was Atlanta last year - we found it a bit daunting..and very expensive..but a very good experience


    9. Message by: The Next Generation 10/10/2006 18:08:31 GMT
      Atlanta was great, we managed to raise all the money we needed and extra, so after that we just chilled out, and didnt mind where we came in the competition because at the endof the day we hade made it!


    10. Message by: nanomania2020 10/10/2006 20:05:16 GMT
      Glad you enjoyed it....the american teams are pretty amazing arn't they.

      Only three team members who went to Altlana are still doing it now, manily for the reason, as you said, that its considered 'un cool.'


    11. Message by: The Next Generation 10/10/2006 20:34:42 GMT
      We couldnt believe some of the funding American teams get!! They have amazing pit areas. I was dont up with some bunting and balloons...

      Here we are still smiling...in our nice cheap Tesco swimming shorts...


    12. Message by: The Next Generation 10/10/2006 20:35:49 GMT
      Sorry didnt seem to attatch


    13. Message by: nanomania2020 10/10/2006 20:52:40 GMT
      Very good!!

      You did beter than us...we ended up with bright green printed t-shirts..

      ...but when we went to Germany we used Tesco's...we had to have 5 differnt t-shirts each...it saved us so much..and they looked much better!!


    14. Message by: nanomania2020 10/10/2006 20:53:17 GMT
      Very good!!

      You did beter than us...we ended up with bright green printed t-shirts..

      ...but when we went to Germany we used Tesco's...we had to have 5 differnt t-shirts each...it saved us so much..and they looked much better!!


    15. Message by: nanomania2020 10/10/2006 20:54:53 GMT
      Sorry managed to post it twice by accident


    16. Message by: nanocats4394 11/16/2006 22:48:36 GMT
      I personally, have seen that it does fit. Maybe you had a miss print or you put it on the wrongside of the board. I have also found that ours don't work. Any way, you have to remember that this is only to practice on andthe ones at the compition will be perfect (or close to).

      --Nano Cats Rep.


    17. Message by: Ruskobots 11/21/2006 18:07:25 GMT
      i dont understand


Discussion: Help!! - with space elevator By: nanomania2020 11/17/2006 04:03:59 GMT
Hi,

Just wondering what other people thought about the space elevator becuase in one place, the field set up it says:

"ACTIVATION: When both rolling trigger arms are pushed toward the elevator, the cars should slowly trade places."

This sounds like both robots have to activiate it for it to work

But on in the mission specification it says:
"Operate the space elevator. At least one robot must cause the car with the yellow cargo to come down. If this mission is completed, no matter which robot or robots worked on it, both teams get 40 points."

This sounds like only one robot has to operate it for it work?


Thanks

Nanomania

  1. Message by: The Next Generation 10/09/2006 22:53:48 GMT
    If both teams are just going to hit the bar then yes you would need two robots, however because it just says "operate" who says you need to bump the bar, all you need to do is get the platform with a man and barrel down. I think it also designed to make you co-operate with other teams, and ask your oppnents if they are going to do it, and if they arent then you dont have to try , unless you have come up with another solution ;) Happy Problem Solving =D


    1. Message by: nanomania2020 10/10/2006 20:05:40 GMT
      Thanks for that


      1. Message by: botzealots1105 10/15/2006 01:34:48 GMT
        You can do it yourself, or with the other team.


    2. Message by: nanocats4394 11/17/2006 04:03:59 GMT
      You can do it or the other team can do it but when set, bith teams get points.

      --Nano Cats Rep. :^)


Discussion: Does anyone has tips for us By: AC Nano Madness 1133 11/16/2006 22:54:48 GMT
Hello everyone!

Are there any teams have good tips by program the robot and building the robot. If you have a answer or something to say, let a messege behind on the forum.

AC Nano Madness team

  1. Message by: The Next Generation 10/12/2006 20:19:37 GMT
    Our little tip is not spend all of your effort on the robot, remember the research presentation!


    1. Message by: nanomania2020 10/12/2006 20:45:32 GMT
      And enjoy it


    2. Message by: thelukenators275 11/10/2006 22:06:44 GMT
      jyjhhhjgfgfj


    3. Message by: nanocats4394 11/16/2006 22:54:48 GMT
      Here,
      TO have acurrate wheeling, one method is to put a piece of tape onto a part of the wheel and count the revolutions that it takes to get to certain places on the board. Then, enter thae amount of revolutions when programing and then you are acurrate. Also, You can use so directions on the web and add on and off pieces to make it better. Lastly, make wheels lose so that they can turn easily.


Discussion: Does anyone has tips for us By: AC Nano Madness 1133 11/28/2006 22:46:33 GMT
Hello everyone!

Are there any teams have good tips by program the robot and building the robot. If you have a answer or something to say, let a messege behind on the forum.

AC Nano Madness team

  1. Message by: TechnoBotts188 10/14/2006 12:47:31 GMT
    If you are a new team look in the First Lego League coaches handbook about KIS (keep it simple). The handbook is to be found in the FLL website.
    It helps if your robot goes in a straight line.
    Good luck !


    1. Message by: SHeeN 10/15/2006 11:10:06 GMT
      Do you have a link for the Coaches' Handbook? I've been hunting for it but can't find it.


      1. Message by: SHeeN 10/15/2006 12:02:06 GMT
        I found it! In case anyone else also hasn't found it, it's at the top level of the Forum:
        FLL International Forum
        and is about third item from the bottom.

        I do wonder about putting something as important as this in the forum, and not on the main site. It would be easy to overlook (especially without a search facility).


        1. Message by: SMART 10/16/2006 15:38:32 GMT
          True, but the coaches handbook is part of what you purchased with your registration. So if the put it on the main site those who didn't register would also have access.

          Not necessarily a bad thing, but it is their copyright.

          - Peter


    2. Message by: TaborToothTigers199 11/01/2006 15:14:43 GMT
      it's easy all we have to do as a programer is a few button clicks. you should have a disc called "using robolab" it's all on there. by the way could somebody help us with a pincer that picks up an object.


    3. Message by: Ruskobots 11/21/2006 18:02:59 GMT
      build a strong robot


    4. Message by: nanocats4394 11/28/2006 22:46:33 GMT
      some good tips are to get the nanotube strenght, back up to home turn to the direction of the atomic force microscopy mission. Upgrade it by the speed of your robot.


Discussion: Does anyone has tips for us By: AC Nano Madness 1133 11/21/2006 21:13:29 GMT
Hello everyone!

Are there any teams have good tips by program the robot and building the robot. If you have a answer or something to say, let a messege behind on the forum.

AC Nano Madness team

  1. Message by: TaborToothTigers199 11/01/2006 15:20:44 GMT
    you've got a hell of a lot of messages guys but what you need is for your wheels to use a small amount gears or better none at all however you can use as many peices as need as long as you have three motors and don't mix sets so have more than one team for yourself.


    1. Message by: Ruskobots 11/21/2006 21:13:29 GMT
      when building the robot try to make it strong and ad arms for activities


Discussion: how do you build a pincer ? By: TaborToothTigers199 11/22/2006 11:03:37 GMT
does anyone know how to build a pincer we've tried building ones sugested in booklet but they don't seem to work very does any one have any tips?

  1. Message by: 11/21/2006 18:00:58 GMT
    Deleted


    1. Message by: 11/21/2006 18:07:21 GMT
      Deleted


    2. Message by: 11/21/2006 18:09:28 GMT
      Deleted


    3. Message by: 11/21/2006 18:16:29 GMT
      Deleted


    4. Message by: 11/22/2006 11:03:37 GMT
      Deleted


Discussion: Promotional DVD By: The Next Generation 11/02/2006 01:32:47 GMT
Hello,

We have found out that many other teams in the USA, are given a research DVD, and a promotional DVD. Apparently we should all be getting the research DVD, but we were wondering if anyone knew about the promotional DVD. We have contacted Chirs Procter about it and he says he doesn't know anything about it, only the research DVD. So any teams out there know if we can get hold of it, or download it of any site?

Thanks
The Next Generation

  1. Message by: Dinnodownquarks 11/01/2006 15:41:06 GMT
    We've not heard anything about this and I would be greatful if you would let us know anything you find out- sounds like it would be really useful!

    thanks


    1. Message by: SHeeN 11/02/2006 01:11:05 GMT
      What is the research DVD and where did you hear about these DVDs?


      1. Message by: fll-freak 11/02/2006 01:32:47 GMT
        The research DVD was produced by FIRST (with my help) and distributed to teams in North America. Not sure why it did not go to other countries. It features an interview with two coaches. One veteran and one rookie. It also features 5 research presentations from the New Hampshire State tournament.

        -Skye


Discussion: Truck for Nanotube Strenth By: bawdseybeavers5 11/09/2006 13:55:00 GMT
Where in the mission or the rules does it specify where the initial position of truck for the Nanotube Strength mission is placed? Is it in the base?

  1. Message by: fll-freak 11/09/2006 13:55:00 GMT
    Neither. Its in the field setup instuctions.
    -Skye


Discussion: elastic bands By: Ruskobots 11/22/2006 11:13:12 GMT
just check that we can have elastic band on our robots

  1. Message by: fll-freak 11/15/2006 15:27:33 GMT
    Is this a question or a statement?
    -Skye


    1. Message by: The Next Generation 11/15/2006 16:40:40 GMT
      You can so long as they are from a lego set, and they are in original factory condition!


    2. Message by: nanocats4394 11/17/2006 04:00:00 GMT
      You can. Thats all there is to it.

      --Nano Cats Rep.


    3. Message by: 11/21/2006 18:14:13 GMT
      Deleted


    4. Message by: 11/21/2006 21:21:55 GMT
      Deleted


    5. Message by: Ruskobots 11/22/2006 11:13:12 GMT
      this is a question!!!


Discussion: help!!!!!!! By: Ruskobots 11/21/2006 17:56:04 GMT
how do you program your robot????

Discussion: how doyou program your robots????/ By: Ruskobots 11/29/2006 18:54:41 GMT


  1. Message by: 11/21/2006 17:59:47 GMT
    Deleted


    1. Message by: 11/21/2006 18:01:14 GMT
      Deleted


    2. Message by: 11/21/2006 18:09:26 GMT
      Deleted


    3. Message by: 11/21/2006 18:11:48 GMT
      Deleted


    4. Message by: 11/21/2006 18:19:22 GMT
      Deleted


    5. Message by: 11/21/2006 21:10:03 GMT
      Deleted


      1. Message by: fll-freak 11/21/2006 21:21:49 GMT
        Ruskobots,

        Are you aware that the Forum is not a chat system? That each and every of your messages have now become a permanent record for future generations to read? That what you post will be a reflection on your team for years to come?

        -Skye


    6. Message by: 11/22/2006 11:01:20 GMT
      Deleted


      1. Message by: fll-freak 11/22/2006 14:43:28 GMT
        Then I suggest you change your login name to prevent its unauthorized use again.

        -Skye


    7. Message by: nanocats4394 11/28/2006 22:52:50 GMT
      you open up robolab, press programer, double click inventer4, make a program, then press the arrow in the top left hand corner after connecting the lego tower then do it again for other programs.


    8. Message by: nanocats4394 11/28/2006 22:52:54 GMT
      you open up robolab, press programer, double click inventer4, make a program, then press the arrow in the top left hand corner after connecting the lego tower then do it again for other programs.


    9. Message by: nanocats4394 11/28/2006 22:52:56 GMT
      you open up robolab, press programer, double click inventer4, make a program, then press the arrow in the top left hand corner after connecting the lego tower then do it again for other programs.


    10. Message by: nanocats4394 11/28/2006 22:53:23 GMT
      you open up robolab, press programer, double click inventer4, make a program, then press the arrow in the top left hand corner after connecting the lego tower then do it again for other programs.


    11. Message by: nanocats4394 11/28/2006 22:53:29 GMT
      you open up robolab, press programer, double click inventer4, make a program, then press the arrow in the top left hand corner after connecting the lego tower then do it again for other programs.


    12. Message by: nanocats4394 11/28/2006 22:53:49 GMT
      you open up robolab, press programer, double click inventer4, make a program, then press the arrow in the top left hand corner after connecting the lego tower then do it again for other programs.


      1. Message by: MI FLL Volunteer Moderator 11/29/2006 18:54:41 GMT
        > then do it again

        Ah ha! I see the problem. You've programmed an infinite loop.
        - Gary


Discussion: Good Luck! By: The Next Generation 11/27/2006 23:57:32 GMT
Hi,

Just wanted to say good luck to all the teams who are going to be competing soon, and congratuations to all those who have already taken part, hope the experience was enjoyable!

Discussion: we've got problems By: TaborToothTigers199 12/01/2006 18:34:59 GMT
please help us we can't programe our robot for some reason and we've tried everything it says please help us it is the last week before the competion

  1. Message by: SHeeN 12/01/2006 18:34:59 GMT
    It's really difficult to answer this question. What have you done? In what way can you not program it? Which kit are you using. If you tell us more, we can help you.


Discussion: we've got problems By: TaborToothTigers199 11/28/2006 22:56:00 GMT
please help us we can't programe our robot for some reason and we've tried everything it says please help us it is the last week before the competion

  1. Message by: Ruskobots 11/28/2006 18:52:55 GMT
    sorry but we are finding it very difficult aswell. If you find out any more information could you please let us know too. If we work it out we will pass on the information to you.


    1. Message by: nanomania2020 11/28/2006 19:19:04 GMT
      What robot are you using an NXT or an RCX??

      If you are using the NXT there is a very detailed powerpoint on programming an NXT etc. on the website below:
      http://www.hightechkids.org/?2-1-1054#NXT_Training_Material


    2. Message by: Mindstorm Masters 11/28/2006 19:23:58 GMT
      Try the tutorials that came with the NXT Education Release. (A different set of tutorials are on the retail release, they are also excellent.) They give exact step by step instructions for a lot of basic tasks.

      There is a video demo of how to use the Robot Educator here:

      http://www.lego.com/eng/education/mindstorms/home.asp?pagename=redu&l2id=4_3&l3id=4_3_2&l4id=4_3_2_1

      Perhaps that will help?


    3. Message by: nanocats4394 11/28/2006 22:55:45 GMT
      i dont know maybe you need to change the batteries or change the version of your robolab


    4. Message by: nanocats4394 11/28/2006 22:55:48 GMT
      i dont know maybe you need to change the batteries or change the version of your robolab


    5. Message by: nanocats4394 11/28/2006 22:56:00 GMT
      i dont know maybe you need to change the batteries or change the version of your robolab


Discussion: we need some helpful programs please!!!!!!!!!!!!!! By: nanocats4394 11/29/2006 07:17:07 GMT
we need help with programs, the tournament is this saturday please help we're very desperate

  1. Message by: nanocats4394 11/28/2006 23:04:44 GMT
    hello


    1. Message by: nanocats4394 11/28/2006 23:04:58 GMT
      i am stuped


    2. Message by: nanocats4394 11/28/2006 23:05:29 GMT
      a hole


    3. Message by: nanocats4394 11/28/2006 23:06:06 GMT
      like what


    4. Message by: nanocats4394 11/28/2006 23:07:16 GMT
      hello


    5. Message by: nanocats4394 11/28/2006 23:08:38 GMT
      what can i do? i want to help do soething.

      PS i like megan morris


    6. Message by: Mindstorm Masters 11/29/2006 07:17:07 GMT
      Nanocats: Perhaps you don't realize each and every message you post here is emailed directly to your coach?


Discussion: we can help any problem, just respond By: nanocats4394 11/28/2006 23:07:02 GMT


Discussion: we can help any problem, just respond By: nanocats4394 11/28/2006 23:08:02 GMT
we can help almost any problem, just respond to this message.

Discussion: time limit By: dragoons 12/03/2006 15:41:01 GMT
What happens if you are over the time limit?How many points will be deducted?

  1. Message by: The Next Generation 12/02/2006 22:28:32 GMT
    Which time limit? The matches with the robots, or the technical/research presentation?


    1. Message by: dragoons 12/03/2006 07:40:57 GMT
      missons


      1. Message by: MI FLL Volunteer Moderator 12/03/2006 15:41:01 GMT
        No points will be deducted. The match simply ends, and whatever you have accomplished in that timeframe will be counted. If you complete a mission clearly after the buzzer (bell, whistle, gong) sounds, the ref will tell you it doesn't count.

        - Gary


Discussion: UK Final By: BEEPS05 01/31/2007 17:54:24 GMT
Please can we ask which teams are at the UK FInals - we know NanoMania qualified from Cambridge and TechnoBotts from Essex ... but who are all the others, and how many will there be ?

  1. Message by: nanomania2020 12/07/2006 20:02:24 GMT
    Hi,

    So presumably you are through too??

    Can't wait until the finals!

    Nanomania


    1. Message by: SHeeN 12/09/2006 16:46:59 GMT
      The SHeeN team is through from Swindon. I'd like to put up some results on the UK website. If anyone has any (not just robot performance), it'd be great to receive them (any format acceptable and as raw as you like - I'll standardise them). I'll also take photos or URLs if you have uploaded to websites.


    2. Message by: 12/13/2006 15:44:25 GMT
      Deleted


    3. Message by: The Next Generation 12/16/2006 18:48:36 GMT
      We have qualified!


      1. Message by: SHeeN 12/16/2006 19:37:37 GMT
        Congratulations! Where are you?


    4. Message by: The Next Generation 12/18/2006 01:19:36 GMT
      We are from the North-East of England we competed at the Teeside event. What was everyones topscore on the table? Ours was 326...


      1. Message by: SHeeN 12/18/2006 09:53:14 GMT
        326! Well done!

        We had been getting up to 360 points in practice (including the space elevator) but it was difficult in 2.5 mins - our 'bot is accurate but slow moving around the table. In the competition our highest was about 160. Before 27 January we are going to speed it up and try to program the other 40 points.


    5. Message by: The Next Generation 12/18/2006 18:43:22 GMT
      We arent as good as Nanomania, I think they got 370/380 our robot can score 390 and has done once in practice at home but we were pleased with the score we did achieve at the competition. We need to make everything slightly more reliable...

      What is everyone using? NXT or RIS?

      160 isn't a bad score you would of come 2nd in our Regionals for robot performance, but as we all know its not just about our robot!


    6. Message by: SHeeN 01/29/2007 20:53:57 GMT
      Well done to everyone who took an award on Saturday. It was a good day and we enjoyed seeing all your robots - time to start using NXT, I think.

      I just found this NanoQuest certificate which we can give to our team members and I thought the link might be useful for other people:
      http://www.usfirst.org/community/resourcecenter.aspx?id=816


      1. Message by: BEEPS05 01/31/2007 17:54:24 GMT
        SHeeN,

        well done your selves - 10th place

        Best wishes

        The TechnoBotts Team


Discussion: Is this in the rules ?? By: BEEPS05 12/08/2006 15:17:23 GMT
Skye,

Is it within the rules to run an RCX robot at the Challenge table in run 1, but an NXT in the second attempt to score points ?

We think it is - there is only one robot at the table at a time.
We see it as no different to have a 'spare' of anything in the pit area.

Your advice would be appreciated

  1. Message by: fll-freak 12/07/2006 15:57:41 GMT
    This has been discussed in the Forum already. The rules do not say that for one match you can run RCX and for your second and third an NXT. You should be able to do so. I have had a positive indication from FIRST on this. What the rules do not mention is that some tournaments seem to have made their own house rules against this. You need to call ahead to your tournament direcotr to find out.

    -skye


    1. Message by: MI FLL Volunteer Moderator 12/08/2006 15:17:23 GMT
      It may have something to do with the scoring system the tournament uses.

      In the games I've reffed, we had a check-off box to indicate whether it was NXT or RCX. I presume when the corresponding radio button was clicked in the scoring software, the 20-point bonus was correctly awarded based on 3 missions for RCX or 6 for NXT.

      If a tournament uses scoring software that requires each team's platform to be input only once, they will have to require each team to choose what they will be using.

      - Gary


Discussion: Well Done! By: The Next Generation 02/01/2007 01:40:33 GMT
Just want to say congratulations to The CRACK Team for winning the UK finals, and of course to everyone else for getting there. Hope you all had a good day whether you won anything or not...

The Next Generation

  1. Message by: 02/01/2007 01:40:33 GMT
    Deleted


Discussion: 25% for each category? By: The Next Generation 01/31/2007 19:28:27 GMT
We are a bit confused we had been told that you awarded the following marks in the following sections:
25% Robot Performance
25% Robot Technical
25% Research
25% Teamwork/Spirit

However we were reading through the leaflet distributed at the FLL UK national and under the heading: Directors Award it said this:
"Teams considered for the Director's Awards are those that perform well in technical and team performance categories, which are equally weighted. Once teams are selected, judges review the results of the teams' FLL teamwork interviews. Using this final parameter for determination, judges will decide which team will receive this most coveted award"

Does this mean that we could of won the Director's Award even if we hadn't done a research project?! Please can someone shed some light on this....

Many Thanks
The Next Generation

  1. Message by: fll-freak 01/30/2007 00:43:16 GMT
    Your best bet is to ask this question of your tournament director. FLL is a volunteer organization and all competitions are run differently.

    I would guess that the wording choice was poor. That "technical" includes robot, tech interview, and the research project and "team performance" is the teamwork interview (and possibly the research).

    -Skye


    1. Message by: The Next Generation 01/30/2007 10:36:54 GMT
      Thank you!


    2. Message by: BEEPS05 01/31/2007 18:08:24 GMT
      Having been there on Saturday, I think the judging for the Director's Awards (Winner and Runner-Up) was done in the standard way. If you noticed, Next Generation finished 6th overall, which says you did pretty well in most things.

      There were 2 prizes for each of the 4 categories, of which you won Best Project, something you omitted to mention above, being an humble team, plus finished 3 or 4th in robot performance having got thru' to the SemiFinal !

      Also, if you noticed 10 different teams got awards, of which there were 11 in total, which is 100% in line with the spirit of the FLL.


      1. Message by: nanomania2020 01/31/2007 18:50:24 GMT
        Sorry to bother you...but was there a list of positions posted somewhere...we seemed to of missed if there was one!

        Thanks for you help

        Nanomania


    3. Message by: The Next Generation 01/31/2007 19:20:55 GMT
      We would also like to know where you acquired this information.

      Many Thanks
      The Next Generation


    4. Message by: The Next Generation 01/31/2007 19:24:19 GMT
      http://www.firstlegoleague.org/default.aspx?pid=29070
      Sorry we just found the link!

      So does this mean that:
      The C.R.A.C.K. Team
      Technobotts
      UP 'n' ATOM
      Widcombe Wrobotiers
      Nano Doctors

      Are being invited to the next stage of the competition?


Discussion: UK Winners By: The Next Generation 03/06/2007 00:22:59 GMT
Well done to:
The C.R.A.C.K. Team
Technobotts
UP 'n' ATOM
Widcombe Wrobotiers
Nano Doctors

What locations are you going to? Are you all able to attend? We hope you are and that it doesnt conincide with any GCSE/SAT tests!
(we were close, but not quite good enough!)

  1. Message by: TechnoBotts188 03/04/2007 13:22:53 GMT
    The TechnoBotts are going to Atlanta in April - fortunately it doesn't coincide with any tests as it's in the Easter holidays and the team members are in Y5, Y7 and Y8.


    1. Message by: The Next Generation 03/06/2007 00:22:59 GMT
      Wow! That is going to be an amazing experience, last year we qualified so if you need any help/advice on anything don't hesitate to contact us! We applied for a place in Norway and were successful...we couldn't think of a better way to end our FLL experience.



Folder: UNITED STATES 02/05/2007 21:48:26 GMT



Folder: Equipment Questions 09/13/2006 02:30:07 GMT



Folder: Battery Questions 12/07/2006 14:51:33 GMT


Discussion: rechargable Batteries By: ShadowBots90 12/06/2006 23:10:05 GMT
Is anyone using the rechargable battery pack for the NXT? If so, does it top out at 8.2 or 8.3 in the NXT software? I keep mine on charge, but it never seems to be full. Are others seeing the same thing or should I be sending my batteries back?

thanks,
Linda

  1. Message by: The Pleiades-4405 09/19/2006 04:01:35 GMT
    Hi Linda,
    The rechargable battery pack from Lego is a 7.4 volt battery. I was hoping that it was going to supply the full 9 volts that you get with a set of double A's, but alas, life is a compromise.
    We've decided to be enviromentally conscious, & take the hit on voltage.
    Cheers,
    Michael Hearn - The Pleiades
    Dover, NH


    1. Message by: GeniusInDisguise1559 09/27/2006 04:18:11 GMT
      We attended a Girls Connect event last weekend. We used the rechargable battery that came with our NXT kit. One team at the event used standard AA batteries. Our robot looked anemic by comparison, even on a fully charged battery.

      We have some 2500 mAh nimh batteries that I will probably use for early practices before switching to alkaline.

      Bob
      Genius in Disguise 1559


    2. Message by: RadioactiveSpam1500 10/29/2006 01:10:23 GMT
      Yes, I was also wondering why our rechargeable battery topped out at 8.2. Furthermore, today after a two hour session in which our robot was turned on the whole time and running much of the time, we noticed the robot "acting up" - it wouldn't finish one of the programs that had been working before. The battery was at 7.8. After charging the battery back up to 8.2, the program worked fine. Is that the entire range 7.8-8.2? Seems awfully tight, although I guess two good hours is not bad.


      1. Message by: fll-freak 10/29/2006 03:03:32 GMT
        Can you describe in more detail how it was acting up? What was not finishing?

        I have been too busy at work and at home to get much chance to play with the NXT. But I have been noticing some common threads with the NXT and NXT-G. Once issue is that program seem to get stuck before going on to the next icon. This has been described in several threads and in differenct ways. I am currently going to GUESS that the motor synchonization code may not terminate properly. That the final rotation counts are not the same and hence it can't continue. But for some reason the NXT is not able to get them to the same count. Perhaps due to low battery voltage.

        It would be interesting to make a copy of the program that failed and simply turn off the motor sync and see if it "acts up" as well.

        7.8 to 8.2 does seem like a very narrow range.

        -Skye


    3. Message by: RadioactiveSpam1500 10/29/2006 03:38:16 GMT
      Our program has the robot going forward (motors B&C, then backing up(B&C), then the attachment motor moves (motor A), then it is supposed to move forward again (B&C). It did not move forward. Since the last thing to happen was just one motor, do you think it could it be the synchronization (I have no idea how that works)?

      How do I turn off the motor sync to try your suggestion?

      Thanks,
      Lori


      1. Message by: fll-freak 10/29/2006 14:21:19 GMT
        How about I modify my GUESS a bit! Perhaps the singple motor move you called for fails to complete. This would prevent the following locomotion move from happening. So can I guess that the single motor move was for a set number of rotations or degrees and not for time? If this is the case, perhaps the motor control logic that tries to get the motor to the exact position is failing to complete at lower voltages. For giggles, try to replace the single motor move from rotations/degrees to time and see if the program continues.

        -Skye


    4. Message by: RadioactiveSpam1500 10/29/2006 20:01:20 GMT
      Good guess, but unfortunately wrong. We are already using time for that very reason.

      Lori


      1. Message by: fll-freak 10/29/2006 22:03:22 GMT
        Did the problem go away after you recharged the battery pack?
        Does it come back when the pack gets weak?
        Can you post the offending program?

        -Skye "batting 0.0" Sweeney


    5. Message by: RadioactiveSpam1500 10/30/2006 05:55:14 GMT
      Yes, the problem went away after I recharged the battery pack. I haven't run the battery down again, but I will do so as soon as I get a chance (it may be a few days). Also when I get a chance, I'll transfer the program from the team laptop to my PC so I can send it as an attachment.

      Thanks for staying with this,
      Lori


    6. Message by: RadioactiveSpam1500 10/31/2006 03:57:41 GMT
      I have attached two files (I hope):
      1) Failing.rbt: the original program that was giving us trouble
      2) BatteryKiller.rbt: the program we used to wear down the battery to try to recreate the problem.

      Results: Could not recreate the original problem. Started with battery charged all the way up to 8.2. Ran BatteryKiller almost constantly for over an hour, stopping only to check the battery level. When it got down to 7.8, the Failing program did not fail. However, after continuing to run BatteryKiller (with its infinite loop) for a while, it just stopped running (they don't make infinite the way they used to). The battery at that time was still at 7.8. Continued to start BatteryKiller up again and again, and it kept stopping every 5 minutes or so. Battery stayed at 7.8, Failing still worked fine. That's when we gave up.


      1. Message by: fll-freak 10/31/2006 04:14:56 GMT
        Interesting results. Unfortunately no files attached! For your reference you can't attach more than one file per message.

        -Skye


        1. Message by: nanomaterz2366 11/05/2006 21:22:38 GMT
          Loaded battery voltage may be significantly lower that static battery voltage. Might that be the issues ? You could try to datalog the battery voltage while the robot moves. I suspect the voltage drops during large current draws i.e. when you accelerate or brake hard.

          Imaging away / flick


    7. Message by: RadioactiveSpam1500 10/31/2006 04:27:22 GMT
      Here is the original failing program.


    8. Message by: RadioactiveSpam1500 10/31/2006 04:28:02 GMT
      Here is BatteryKiller


    9. Message by: RadioactiveSpam1500 11/07/2006 05:19:24 GMT
      Our problem happened again at our scrimmage match this weekend. 8-( After reading some of the other problems people are having with strange behavior on the NXT, I'm starting to think this is not a battery problem after all. I just downloaded the latest firmware. I'll let you know if that seems to fix it. We'll be working with the robot pretty extensively tomorrow and Wednesday.

      Is there a way I can see the list of bug fixes (release notes) between firmware version 1.01 and 1.03?


    10. Message by: NanoKatz4061 12/06/2006 22:32:30 GMT
      sup dudez


    11. Message by: RadioactiveSpam1500 12/06/2006 23:10:05 GMT
      Mine also tops out at 8.3. I think that is normal.

      Lori


Discussion: Unofficial FLL Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ) available By: fll-freak 09/18/2006 21:17:11 GMT
Fellow FLLer,

Please consider reading the Unofficial FLL FAQ (UFAQ) before posting your questions. The UFAQ is the result of condensing the posting from the previous four seasons. All the non-challenge specific questions have likely already been answered. The UFAQ has been updated for this year's rule changes.

The UFAQ was not authored by FIRST, but rather by coaches like you.

You can find the UFAQ at:

http://www.fll-freak.com/faq

Skye Sweeney
skye@fll-freak.com

Discussion: Rechargeable Battery Memory Effect? By: SMART 10/20/2006 05:28:00 GMT
Hi All,

Regarding the new batteries. Anyone have any technical information on these? Specifically, are these batteries going to perform poorly if you keep them fully charged? Do they need to be drained before recharge?

We think it will make life easier to keep them fully charged for consistency, but want to make sure that we don't shoot ourselves in the foot with a bad battery come competition time.

Regards,

Peter

  1. Message by: botzealots1105 09/27/2006 15:41:04 GMT
    Drain them once when you first get them, after that you can recharge when you wish. Or keep them on the charger. They are the same type of batteries used in new laptops, so the same methods apply.
    Mike


    1. Message by: Cyborgs1200 10/20/2006 05:28:00 GMT
      These batteries are Lithium polymer batteries. This battery chemistry has no "memory" effect. There is no problem keeping them fully charged.


Discussion: Battery-pack for the RCX By: telgenborch 11/05/2006 21:47:32 GMT
Because the performance of the RCX depends very much on the battery-voltage we consider designing an internal power-supply on the basis of rechargeable Lithium-Ion batteries. With these batteries we can generate over 10V, and regulate it down to 9V in such a way that the available power is stable until end-of-life. Has anyone built such a power-supply before? And, even more important, is such a battery-pack allowed during the contest?

  1. Message by: fll-freak 10/04/2006 12:48:08 GMT
    Try reading rule 8!

    b must be made entirely of LEGO elements in original factory condition.

    Does LEGO make a custom made battery with a voltage regulator? This type of question is also answered in the UFAQ.

    -Skye


    1. Message by: SMART 10/04/2006 16:12:25 GMT
      Skye,

      Apologies, but that doesn't really make sense. Lego doesn't make Alkaline batteries either, but they are legal.

      Teams can use alkalines, rechargeables (Nimh), or the Lithium battery that comes with the FLL kit. I've never heard of anyone making their own custom battery (seems like a rather risky proposition to me), but I don't believe I've ever seen a rule against it.

      Now, that said, all work is supposed to be the kids work. If you are creating a battery to solve a problem is it the kids that will be creating this battery. Was it the kids idea to create a new battery? Judges will probably not be very impressed that the adult coach came up with a custom battery.

      - Peter


      1. Message by: fll-freak 10/04/2006 17:44:45 GMT
        In years past, the Allowable Materials rule has included a 'waver' for 6 AA batteries. This allowed teams to power their RCX bots! This year tha clause was removed. My guess is because of the LEGO battery pack.

        I think if you were to use rule 36, you will find that FIRST would disallow a custom battery. But there is only one way to find out.

        -Skye


        1. Message by: SMART 10/04/2006 18:02:48 GMT
          By that logic RCX based robots are no longer allowed to have batteries at all! Hopefully a team using RCX will ask for a Q&A on this rule ;-)

          - Peter


          1. Message by: fll-freak 10/04/2006 18:07:44 GMT
            You are right. In the distant past, the AA batteries were not in the rules. That caused a Q&A ruling. The following years the rule was changed.

            -Skye


    2. Message by: MA_Head_Ref 10/04/2006 21:05:13 GMT
      This is so blatantly illegal and unfair, I am surprised it is being asked. If your 9-14 year olds are building a custom power supply, great. But even THEN it is illegal.

      Jack Gregory


    3. Message by: telgenborch 10/10/2006 11:54:38 GMT
      A reaction from the initiator of this question:
      Our intention is to play fair and completely legal and transparent! Just because the lack of rules regarding the battery-issue I posted our idea so anyone can benefit from the discussion. We are spending a huge part of our budget on (alkaline) batteries. So it was worth starting some research on it. It is a known fact that the voltage of 'normal' rechargeables is 1.2V and that's just very low. Any kid can explain this. To gain speed and power we can change to standard-available Lithium-cells but these are quite pricey. We are looking for a good & affordable alternative without the risk of being disqualified during the race.

      Sander Smits - Almelo NL


    4. Message by: Florida_Moderator 10/10/2006 18:47:41 GMT
      Sander,

      The rechargeable idea is cool, but it would not be best for FLL competition. Your team could come up with a cool rechargeable battery for use during practice, I know of a few good LiPoly packs that would fit in the area and produce a good output. For the competition, it would be best if you ran with the Lithium in the form of AA size batteries.

      As a side note, it would also be a great learning exercise for the kids to understand the difference between the batteries. Making a pack that would fit the area and create a better working environment is a great thing. Have them document it on a science fair board and bring it to the judging. The kids understand rules and such, if the rules say the robot can have 6 AA batteries at the competition table, I*m sure they will not have a problem with that. They also are old enough to help develop and understand the practice solution.

      Have fun and don't let the posts get you to bent, people sometimes get a bit possessive of their beliefs.

      -Laura


    5. Message by: YottaToYocto 10/17/2006 07:47:36 GMT
      Sander, heed Laura's advice and don't let the tone of certain replies get to you. I won't put words in other people's mouths but I suspect some of that originates from witnessing teams in the past that were rather obviously driven less by the kids than the coaches. It doesn't sound like this applies in your case.

      To get this back on topic :-)... have you seen Philo's design of an external power supply for the NXT? I realize this is different from what you are trying to do (a rechargeable battery pack) but you - er, I mean the kids on your team ;-) - might be able to glean some useful information from it. As others have noted, though, your custom battery pack wouldn't be legal in the competition but it might save you some money during the season.

      Good luck, have fun, and may the kids on your team learn a lot from your efforts!


    6. Message by: nanomaterz2366 11/05/2006 21:47:32 GMT
      Interesting discussion. One could ask if any AA cell is legal. For example if voltage is the goal there is the 3.6v AA cell - http://cgi.ebay.com/ws/eBayISAPI.dll?ViewItem&item=5835687617&category=45096. However, putting 6 of these in series will probably fry the RCX.

      Imaging away / flick


Discussion: NxT Rechargable pack vs Alkalines By: NanoNavigators_2114 10/19/2006 16:49:01 GMT
Has anyone done any performance testing comparing the NxT using the supplied rechargeable battery pack versus fresh alkaline batteries? Does it make a big difference? we only have one robot and it is always at the other coaches house so I do not have much of a chance to to these types of tests...........

Thanks,

Jeff

Discussion: NXT Lego battery pack vs. Eveready E2 batteries By: LA Wildcats 11/07/2006 21:35:18 GMT
Has anyone benchmarked the provided NXT lithium battery pack against a set of E2 batteries? I'm no electrical engineer and I'm not sure I'm talking apples and apples here. The NXT Lithium pack is rated at 1400 mAh, and 1 E2 AA battery is rated at 3000 mAh. If mAh are cumulative for a set of batteries the way voltage is, this means that a load of 6 E2's accumulates to 18000 mAh, or over 12 times as much power as one charge cycle on the provided Lithium pack. If so it seems that a team could do an entire day of competition heats on 1 set of E2's and basically forget about battery issues. Or a team could use every spare minute of non-table time charging their Lego battery pack and maybe get through the day. Is that the right way to look at the alternatives?
Brooks
LA Wildcats

  1. Message by: Mindstorm Masters 11/07/2006 02:06:47 GMT
    I haven't done the benchmark you suggest, but one day we came to practice with a dead NXT lithium pack. We plugged it for what seemed like a very short time, maybe 15-20 minutes, and the bot was used (lightly) for the rest of the practice. Surprised me!

    Be interested to hear other experiences.


    1. Message by: redrobots2924 11/07/2006 03:04:48 GMT
      I don't know if this would matter but when we check the battery level in our NXT with fresh Duracell Power or Panosonic Oxyride batteries it is at (probably above) 9V. Does a fully charged NXT rechargeable battery pack have the same 9V reading? We don't have a NXT rechargeable battery pack yet so I don't have the answer. I'm thinking of getting one and then I could do a study I guess. I could have the kids run a program that uses the most juice and run it over and over and take measurements at certain time intervals and do this for both the NXT rechargeable and Duracell Power, Eveready E2, Panosonic Oxyride, etc.

      If somebody has already performed this or a similar test please chime in. Thanks!

      Phil
      Coach - Red Robots, MI


      1. Message by: bluecheesyflamingos 11/07/2006 16:39:06 GMT
        There was actually another post asking for these same kind of tests. My team are die hard E2 users but there is a lot of debate about which battery is the best.

        We have a battery pack I would happily lend you to work with. Carla :)

        Coach
        Blue Cheesy Flamingos
        MI Team


    2. Message by: CGMSC2605 11/07/2006 17:42:18 GMT
      The battery mAH rating is not cumulative for a set of batteries in series. Six 1400mAH batteries in series has a 1400mAH rating, six 3000mAH batteries in series has a 3000mAH rating. So the 3000mAH has approximately twice the total power as the 1400mAH regardless of how man are connected in series.

      For batteries in series the voltage adds but the mAH rating does not.

      Conversely, for batteries in parallel the mAH rating adds but the voltage does not.


    3. Message by: LA Wildcats 11/07/2006 18:11:39 GMT
      Thank you for the information folks. So, to flesh it out a bit further, E2's would give you a little over twice the run time at a full 9 volts over the Lego rechargeable pack at 8.2 volts. In each battery platform, would you say that one or the other has a flatter rate-of-drain curve over the course of the available mAH?

      In a competition day, we could probably alternate between 2 Lego packs and keep a relatively fresh one on the table through 6 heats. Certainly 8.2 volts is sufficient to get through the missions. Or we could invest in some E2's, recalibrate everything for 9 volts, still change battery sets probably 2 or 3 times through a competition, and not worry about recharging.

      If neither power source is materially better in terms of the stability of power supply before rate of drain on the battery accelerates to the point it needs changing, maybe there's no compelling reason to get into E2's? We have two NXT's so I'm glad we have 2 Lego packs to use to support 1 competition robot. I'm not sure 1 pack would be enough for a full day of 50 or 60 missions through 6 heats all running at optimal battery charge. There doesn't seem to be enough recharge time in that scenario to keep 1 optimally charged pack on the table.


    4. Message by: botsquad2672 11/07/2006 20:04:44 GMT
      When we charge our NXT lithium batteries we usually get 8.3 as a full charge rating. Once we got 8.6, but only once. I have 3 batteries that we use between two robots. I'm curious if this seems to be the norm with everyone.

      GC
      Botsquad Coach


      1. Message by: SMART 11/07/2006 21:35:18 GMT
        I'll double check later, but that sounds about right.

        - Peter


Discussion: New batteries supercharged the robot By: 5296calabots 11/29/2006 00:26:52 GMT
Help! We changed the batteries on our NXT and the robot became supercharged, knocking over the missions, going way farther and faster than before. Has anyone else experienced this?

Do we run some of the power down? Should we re-program to match the new power?

Any help or suggestions would be much appreciated.

  1. Message by: fll-freak 11/28/2006 20:07:14 GMT
    You are now an official member of the "Batteries Zapped Us" club. We will be sending out your membership certificate, club song, secret handshake, and club dues in the mail.

    This is a very common problem. One that FLLers have been up againsts from day one. Lots of ways to solve the problem. One is to drain the battery the other is to keep the battery ful and reprogram the bot. Your choice and welcome to the club.

    -Skye


    1. Message by: 5296calabots 11/28/2006 23:45:10 GMT
      We feel so privileged...not.

      Man, we never had this problem with our little RCX unit.

      Thanks for the shoulder and the membership. We'll uphold all the club requirements with pride (and frustration).


      1. Message by: fll-freak 11/28/2006 23:54:31 GMT
        I am very surprised you did not have this problem with an RCX. But I will make the guess that your RCX robot was a small light weight bot with wheels and your NXT is on the heavy side.

        -Skye


    2. Message by: 5296calabots 11/29/2006 00:26:52 GMT
      That's it exactly. This NXT creation is very heavy on gadgets. Oh well, we'll make it work.

      Thanks again.


Discussion: 1.5 volt Lenmar Rechargeable By: Purple Kiwis 11/28/2006 22:42:04 GMT
HI,
Has anyone tried the Lenmar 1.5 volt Alkaline rechargeable batteries in RCX/NXT or other devices? The 4 pack is selling from $7.50 to $9 and the very few reviews about these batteries has been positive. You can find them mostly online including Amazon. They only have 1500mAh but the manufacturer claims that they charge fast, no memory, and we get 1.5 instead of 1.2 volt.

Anatole

  1. Message by: Purple Kiwis 11/28/2006 22:42:04 GMT
    It appears that they can be recharged for about 50 times instead if 500 or higher for NiMh or other rechargeables. Even with avg of 30 to 40 reuse at 1.5 volt, it might still be a better deal since the price is very reasonable.

    Anyone having any experience with them?

    Thanks
    Anatole


Discussion: NXT Rechargeable Battery Does Not Work By: NanoKatz4061 12/06/2006 00:28:19 GMT
We have 2 new NXT kits. On one, the rechargeable battery works fine, as do batteries, but on the other NXT brick, neither rechargeable battery will work, though batteries do. There is clearly something wrong with the NXT brick. How can I get this replaced?

Trudy Nye

  1. Message by: fll-freak 12/05/2006 22:50:59 GMT
    Trudy,
    When the battery is installed in the 'bad' NXT, does it make a very slight clicking sound? Need to get close to it to hear.

    -Skye


    1. Message by: Mindstorm Masters 12/06/2006 00:28:19 GMT
      I found that one of our NXT bricks requires a slip of cardboard inserted with the rechargable battery pack, to "use up" a little bit of extra space. Without the cardboard, the battery terminals don't connect properly. The other brick is fine without the cardboard.


Discussion: Battery Question Please reply fast By: quantumbots3207 12/07/2006 14:51:33 GMT
Our robot works the best at 8.2. Is it okay to keep rechargeing the battery every hour?

The Quantum Bots

  1. Message by: Mindstorms Mayhem #5 12/07/2006 14:51:33 GMT
    Quantum Bots,

    Recharging the NXT's Lithium-Ion battery pack every hour or so for a short while during a tournament should be fine for the battery. Lithium-Ion batteries do not suffer from significant memory effect and shouldn't have any problems with the strategy you describe. For normal usage however, I'd suggest a longer cycle time.

    --ken
    MAYHEM FLL Co-Coach
    http://www.mindstormsmayhem.org
    http://www.moremayhem.org



Folder: Equipment Marketplace 01/20/2007 06:55:45 GMT


Discussion: RCX/Sensors/Motors for sale By: LaSalle4533 01/20/2007 06:55:45 GMT
Because the title of this forum includes "marketplace" I'm going to assume that it's ok to offer things for sale.

I have two RCX's, about 11 motors, 3 rotation sensors and a host of light and touch sensors and wires for sale. The RCX's are revision 2.0 with serial numbers in the 73xxxx and higher range. If anyone is interested in purchasing them, I will compile a complete inventory and post pictures somewhere.

You may contact me direct at robots@f3p.com.

Thank you,
Jon Gilchrist

  1. Message by: Limit Busters 198 10/13/2006 03:01:09 GMT
    How much are you looking for them? I may be interested.

    Limit Busters


    1. Message by: TechnoBots 11/25/2006 04:49:46 GMT
      RCX's and motors show up on eBay daily. RCX's get $45 to $60. Motors go for about $20 on average. Sensors of all types show up frequently. Try also Bricklink (www.bricklink.com), an on-line market place of literally thousands of Lego product user-vendors. I sell on Bay myself, and buy regularly on Brick link. Both get my very favorable recommendation.
      Rus
      TechnoBots coach


      1. Message by: Limit Busters 198 11/28/2006 03:19:53 GMT
        But it's risky to buy from eBay and Bricklink. At the very least here, its from someone from FLL and probably trustworthy.

        Limit Busters 585


    2. Message by: nanoknights216 12/04/2006 19:36:02 GMT
      Risky how? Bricklink and eBay both have feedback systems so you can see how previous transactions went. How does a forum without that improve the situation? I would rather read the feedback of the last 100 people who actually did business with a seller than trust someone just because they are in FLL. Not that FLL people aren't terrific, mind you, but that doesn't mean that they will be terrific as sellers.
      Tammy


    3. Message by: Mini-Monsters 12/16/2006 19:51:32 GMT
      An instructor at NC A&T State University is looking to buy 40 RCX kits. If you are interested in selling your kit to him, please contact:
      Edmundson Effort
      edeffort@ncat.edu

      Thanks!

      Marie


    4. Message by: GeeWhiz1421 01/20/2007 06:55:45 GMT
      Since the forums will close up soon, I suppose this (slowish) exchange won't get updated to find the answers to the questions already here.


Discussion: Any Field Kits For Sale?? By: redrobots2924 01/20/2007 06:49:16 GMT


  1. Message by: redrobots2924 12/31/2006 04:53:41 GMT
    I'm wondering if anyone has any Field Kits that they would like to sell. I'm interested in purchasing No Limits, Ocean Odyssey and/or Nano Quest. Please post here or send me an e-mail. Thanks!

    Phil


    1. Message by: GeeWhiz1421 01/20/2007 06:49:16 GMT
      I brought this topic up with my club members as a possible way to move into the 2007 season with some extra cash. The club has the ocean and nano fields currently. The basic problem is what price is fair for them? The team was able to get through the 2006 season without needing the elements from the 2005 field pieces. The nano set is using more modern elements, so maybe they will be useful for the 2007 campaign for which we have decided to go to the NXT-based machine.
      If you let me know what you're offering, I'll relay that infomation to the rest of our club for consideration. Post here and I guess I'll get notified, or send directly to wgbourn@cox.net. I'm also presuming you'd like to get the mats too, right?



Folder: LEGO Building Questions 01/09/2007 13:48:08 GMT


Discussion: Field Items - Directions By: TitusTigers2334 11/19/2006 03:26:32 GMT
Is there any way to PRINT the directions for constructing the field pieces off the CD?

  1. Message by: MarkhamWeebots2839 09/19/2006 16:07:52 GMT
    I printed them by locating the actual PDF files on the CD, then opening each seperately and printing them. I'm sorry, I don't have the CD here with me to tell you exactly what directory they're in. It should be fairly easy to navigate to though.


    1. Message by: TitusTigers2334 09/19/2006 17:08:00 GMT
      Thanks, I was able to locate the files.

      Additionally, I was able to use "Microsoft Office Document Image Writer" to create pages with 4 of the page directions on it and then print out the pages. This was helpful to reduce the number of pages needed to be printed.

      If some needs the 4 per page files, I did save them on my computer, so I could send them to anybody.


      1. Message by: GeniusInDisguise1559 09/27/2006 04:50:17 GMT
        I was able to print 2 pages, front and back (4 pages / sheet), using options under Acrobat Reader print. I didn't have to cut and paste to Word.


      2. Message by: Jestforfun3968 10/27/2006 22:31:48 GMT
        please send me the four per page plans. thanks ann


    2. Message by: TERMIGATORS 10/11/2006 22:01:09 GMT
      do u get the screening peice with the set?


    3. Message by: killer2847 11/18/2006 21:10:20 GMT
      i assume we can use ANY Lego product such as Bionicle and technic items. Those items are far more reliable and strong than lego bricks....
      Am I correct?


      1. Message by: fll-freak 11/19/2006 03:26:32 GMT
        You are correct that you can use Bionicle or Technic. Not sure your right about reliability or strength.

        -Skye


Discussion: Bucky Ball By: nanobyte1202 11/01/2006 18:40:07 GMT
Can the buck Ball for the cancer cell be placed on your robot while it is in the base?

  1. Message by: bluecheesyflamingos 09/26/2006 16:52:10 GMT
    Yes the ball starts in base. Anything in base can be touched by the team. Carla :)

    Coach
    Blue Cheesy Flamingos
    MI Team


    1. Message by: 10/19/2006 21:59:50 GMT
      Deleted


      1. Message by: SMART 10/19/2006 22:02:59 GMT
        A trophy for the team and a great deal of satisfaction!

        But even if you don't win I suspect you'll still have the satisfaction if you feel like you achieved your goals and are proud of your work.

        - Peter


    2. Message by: RTH437 11/01/2006 18:40:07 GMT
      yes the bucky ball can start out on your robots tool in base-RTH437


Discussion: Packing for tournament By: nano2569 11/10/2006 17:28:08 GMT
Here's another question from a rookie coach.

How do you pack your robot? What kind of materials do you use?

  1. Message by: tanrobotics 11/05/2006 18:30:52 GMT
    Lots of bubble wrap and a box that just fits the robot. Jigs and claws go into an empty Lego box (the green ones).

    Paul Tan.
    Co-Coach of St. Clement's Lego Robotics
    Nano Penguins 1
    Nano Penguins 2


    1. Message by: Gear Geeks 1 11/05/2006 21:13:33 GMT
      We have used gun cases for the last 3 years to pack our robot and all of the attachements. We cut the foam insulation material to fit the robot and attachments. We can drop our robot case from 5 feet off the floor and open it and no damage is done to any of our pieces. Another advantage is that they are light weight and have a carrying handle.

      You can buy these cases at Wal-Mart. They are not expenseive, and save really protect our robot.

      Mary
      co-coach Gear Geeks
      past coach Argonauts in Georgia


    2. Message by: MI FLL Volunteer Moderator 11/06/2006 02:58:54 GMT
      My daughter's coach used a metal camera case, about 8"x8"x12" with foam interior dividers. Not sure where he got it or if it was expensive or not.

      - Gary


    3. Message by: bluecheesyflamingos 11/06/2006 16:35:41 GMT
      Make sure you do have padding. Last year we didn't know that it was so important. Between me dropping the robot out of the case and the robot hitting against the side of the case while we traveled to state, the poor little thing could barely make a curved lined. We spent most of state last year trying to figure out what was wrong with it. Carla :)

      Coach
      Blue Cheesy Flamingos
      MI Team


    4. Message by: Mindstorm Masters 11/07/2006 00:32:12 GMT
      I have a feeling that with everyone going to small digital cameras now, there are probably a lot of those big old padded camera bags around, from the big old SLR cameras we all used to have. Maybe we can find some of those in the back of a closet.


    5. Message by: nano2569 11/07/2006 01:47:57 GMT
      Thanks for the ideas.

      I think I'm going to go looking for large, padded case.


    6. Message by: botsquad2672 11/07/2006 19:38:43 GMT
      Just a thought for all you teams not basking in the 80 degree temps of South Florida :-). I remember last year that many teams in the not-so-sunny regions had problems with their batteries if they were kept in a cold, non-heated area such as a garage or car (packed and ready to go to the tourny). You will find that the cold batteries do not work the same way as when they are room temp and it will affect your robot's performance. So, you northern teams keep those robots tucked warm & snuggly in your homes on that night before tourny. And as a footnote, I would but be careful with tucking them into bed and under the covers of your little programmers. You will find that the robots are rather cold-hearted and not used to being snuggled. They are not very fond of it and the "snuggling" can be detrimental to their physical well-being.

      GC
      Botsquad Coach


      1. Message by: SMART 11/07/2006 21:36:32 GMT
        I would go so far as to say don't even put it in the trunk if it is really cold.

        - Peter


        1. Message by: botzealots1105 11/10/2006 17:28:08 GMT
          The same holds true for the computer you are going to use. When warming up they can get condensation inside and cause problems. Keep it all warm. We bought an old suitcase at a thrift shop and lined it with foam. We went to the World Festival and had to take it on the plane. Traveled just fine.


Discussion: Jig examples By: GeniusInDisguise1559 11/29/2006 19:08:37 GMT
I understand the concept of a jig used to help align/aim the robot while in base, but I've never seen any examples. I've tried building a couple to aim the robot at a strange angle, but haven't been very successful at building one that has the correct angle and is robust.

Can anyone point me to pictures and/or instructions that show how to build a strong jig with non-right angles?

Thanks,

Bob
Team 1559

  1. Message by: MA_Head_Ref 11/29/2006 15:29:14 GMT
    There are two ways we use to build angled jigs. Sorry, no pictures, but I hope the descriptions help. One is to lay technic beams on their side (holes vertical). Then find the angle you want by making a right triangle (which nestles in the corner of base) and selecting one hole on each side such that the angle is the one you need. There are various adjustments you can make, such as using some other parts to get half-hole resolution.

    The second and more precise method is a worm gear drive. You set it up on its side, attach the active part of the jig to the output axle, and then crank until you get the angle you want. Then lock it down by fixing the crank. You can get any angle with this method by gearing down the input. Since you cannot back-drive a worm gear, it stays as long as you don't turn the input side.

    The hardest part of using jigs is to get the kids to use them consistently and precisely, doing the same thing every time.

    Jack Gregory


    1. Message by: MI FLL Volunteer Moderator 11/29/2006 19:07:40 GMT
      The other thing you can try is to start the robot out at a standard angle, and program it to then turn ever so slightly to get the alignment you need. You may be able to use the same jig for more than one outing. For example, it turns slightly to the left to get to the bone, slightly to the right to get to the magnets.

      - Gary


Discussion: Magnet on Nanotip By: bluecheesyflamingos 12/05/2006 17:59:55 GMT
What is the official name for the magnet peices on the nanotip? I need to order one. Thanks, Carla :)

Coach
Blue Cheesy Flamingos
MI Team

  1. Message by: redrobots2924 12/05/2006 17:39:43 GMT
    I've seen them in the Lego christmas catalog for the train but I don't have the catalog here. Did you look on bricklink.com?

    Phil
    Coach - Red Robots, MI


    1. Message by: bluecheesyflamingos 12/05/2006 17:41:07 GMT
      Yes but so many pages popped up I didn't know which ones they were :( Carla

      Coach
      Blue Cheesy Flamingos
      MI Team


    2. Message by: redrobots2924 12/05/2006 17:45:10 GMT
      What about pn 73092 on bricklink.com which is a "magnet cylindrical"? Do you just need the magnet or the base it fits in as well?

      Phil


      1. Message by: bluecheesyflamingos 12/05/2006 17:59:55 GMT
        Need both pieces :)


Discussion: building Instructions for cable tester By: 4-Hers06 01/09/2007 13:48:08 GMT
Where can our team get a copy of the build instructions? Our team has mislocated the CD that contains the assembly instructions. We have had a few mishaps and we can not remember how to properly assemble the cable tester that lifts the dump truck. Are the assembly instructions on-line?

  1. Message by: fll-freak 01/09/2007 13:48:08 GMT
    theguysinside644 "We need help FAST!!!!!!" 12/11/06 6:36am

    -Skye



Folder: Motor Questions 01/04/2007 01:51:59 GMT


Discussion: 4 Motors? By: nanobyte1202 09/26/2006 18:32:43 GMT
Can you have 4 motors on your robot at a time but only use 3 at a time?

  1. Message by: fll-freak 09/22/2006 17:51:47 GMT
    No. Please read the UFAQ on this matter. You can find it here:

    http://www.fll-freak.com/faq

    -Skye


    1. Message by: nanobyte1202 09/26/2006 16:47:41 GMT
      Thank you.


    2. Message by: IAFLLModerator 09/26/2006 18:32:43 GMT
      For our Championship, we made a robot check-in form to use as a 'visual' guide to the allowable parts on robots. You (and other teams) may find it useful when designing your robot. To use it, just go down the RCX or NXT side, circling the number of each part your robot uses. If you have more of a certain part than the form shows, then you aren't allowed to use that many.

      Feel free to check it out:
      http://www.isek.iastate.edu/fll/iowa-championship/nano-quest-rules/


Discussion: 4 Motors? By: nanobyte1202 09/28/2006 16:58:43 GMT
Can you have 4 motors on your robot at a time but only use 3 at a time?

  1. Message by: botzealots1105 09/27/2006 15:42:01 GMT
    No


    1. Message by: IAFLLModerator 09/28/2006 16:58:43 GMT
      Here is a link to an allowable parts list checkoff sheet -- http://www.isek.iastate.edu/files/2006_RobotCheckIn.pdf

      good luck -

      IA FLL Moderator


Discussion: 4 Motors? By: nanobyte1202 09/22/2006 19:11:13 GMT
Can you have 4 motors on your robot at a time but only use 3 at a time?

  1. Message by: fll-freak 09/22/2006 19:11:13 GMT
    Posting the same question over and over even after it has been answered is not considered "good form".

    Now I have done it myself it times when I use the 'back' button in my browser and back into the message I posted. When that happens you have 1/2 hour to delete the duplicate post before it becomes a permanent record.

    -Skye


Discussion: Best place to purchase motors and rotation sensors? By: Westfield Bots 3102 11/26/2006 21:11:46 GMT
This is my first year coaching. Sorry if this question is covered elsewhere.

Where is the best place to purchase additional motors and rotation sensors? I could definitely use them sooner than later!

Thanks for sharing your knowledge!

  1. Message by: fll-freak 09/25/2006 16:32:30 GMT
    You have a few choices.

    LEGO Shop At Home sells spare motors and sensors for NXT and some RCX.

    LEGO Educational sells lots of goodies.

    Contact info for these is in the back of your Coaches' Handbook.

    Bricklink.com is the 3rd party LEGO brick marketplace. Hundred of vendors sell every part imaginable and some that are not.

    -Skye


    1. Message by: MI FLL Volunteer Moderator 09/27/2006 20:48:24 GMT
      Don't forget ebay - with all the cautions that you would normally take when buying anything online.

      - Gary V


    2. Message by: TechnoBots 11/26/2006 21:11:46 GMT
      I have had great success in acquiring RCX's , wheels, sensors, cables, etc on Ebay. RCX's go for something in the $60 range, often less. Ebay is not so great for small parts (axels, pins, beams, bricks, lift-arms). For miscellaneous parts, try www.Bricklink.com, a network of literally thousands of Lego user-vendors with millions (yes, Millions!)of used and new parts to sell. It takes some time to learn your way around the site, but it's worth the investment of your time.

      Rus Stolling
      Coach, TechnoBots


Discussion: Slow motor By: Robo Reapers 2529 09/27/2006 15:47:58 GMT
Our motor goes very slowly. Any suggestions to speed it up?

  1. Message by: fll-freak 09/27/2006 00:08:37 GMT
    Gears. Find and read a copy of Building LEGO Robots for FLL. Their is a link in the UFAQ.

    -Skye


    1. Message by: botzealots1105 09/27/2006 15:46:01 GMT
      It could be a bad motor. Compare it to your other motors. If they are all about the same then gear it up.They have built in gear trains to slow them down.They should run at 170 rpm with no load(NXT), about 350 rpm for RCX.


Discussion: Hand Turning NXT motors By: BionicBulldogs536 10/14/2006 02:07:21 GMT
Our kids love to trial the motors by hand turning them. I keep telling them that I don't think it is a very good idea. Am I wrong? Are they doing damage to them by doing this?
Kim

  1. Message by: fll-freak 10/13/2006 14:50:32 GMT
    Normaly gear trains do not like to be driven in reverse. Reverse drive normaly puts much larger strain of a system that can be damaging. With that said, in suspect LEGO is aware that kids will be driving them in reverse. In fact they have to know it about the NXT motors since they have the record feature on the NXT.

    But all in all I would have the kids only hand turn them only when nessesary as it will keep wear and tear down.

    -Skye


    1. Message by: BionicBulldogs536 10/14/2006 02:07:21 GMT
      Thanks for your quick response. I will show your answer to our team and hope they heade your advice.
      Kim


Discussion: Wobble in NXT when going in straight line? By: Eagles4680 01/04/2007 01:51:59 GMT
Our NXT slightly wobbles when it is suppose to go in a straight line. I thought that the software would synchronize the motors automatically but it seems like it doesn't. It is hard to explain but it is almost like a right foot, left foot, right foot etc. type of wobble. It doesn't seem to result in a huge deviation but seems like it should be correctable. Any help is greatly appreciated.

  1. Message by: fll-freak 10/23/2006 22:30:56 GMT
    I think people are expecting more from the NXT sync function than is possible in this price bracket. One of the first experiments I ran was to see how straight the NXT would go. This was the subject of a video tutorial at http://www.fll-freak.com. If you run my experiment you will see a sin wave in the tracing. This is the right/left foot 'wobble' that you see. In the case of MY NXT, with MY motors, MY tribot, and MY table, that wave was on the order of about 1/4 to 1/2 inch. If you are using a different robot that sin wave could be more or less.

    The reason for this deviation is that the NXT only realizes it has to correct for an error once it has gotten an error. It can't see into the future. Once it has an error, its behind the 8 ball and must correct it. Now it could be lazy about the correction and not have the oscillation, but it is not and hence it overcorrects just a bit and gets into the 'wave'.

    Now before people get upset at LEGO, the current behaviour is very good. I must have taken a considerable amount of time to get it to work as well as it does. Just be glad you are not trying to get an RCX to drive straight!

    -Skye


    1. Message by: botsquad2672 10/25/2006 04:06:45 GMT
      Here I thought our robot was the only weirdly wobbly one?! We are having the same problem. I saw another discussion on this elsewhere, but I can't seem to locate it. We have checked our structure, there is nothing binding, nothing rubbing, and we have checked it out with 3 seperate types of wheels. My kids have affectionaltely named our robot the "Funky Chicken" (due to design looks), but I'm starting to think that "Funky Duck" would be better. If you figure out something, let us know.

      GC
      Botsquad Coach


    2. Message by: Mindstorm Masters 11/03/2006 17:00:51 GMT
      Interesting news, so we are not alone.

      Botsquad, I was looking for the same thing! I bookmarked this wobble discussion yesterday, may it is the one you were thinking of:

      Bluelightning1381 "Wobbly robot" 10/23/06 6:20pm

      -- Nora


    3. Message by: NanoCrushers3822 12/08/2006 18:36:03 GMT
      We figured this one out the week between the qualifying tournament and the state tournament. We swapped motors tried different wheels, braced and rebraced the motors, but the problem is the wheels. Specifically balloon tires. We switched to solid tires and our accuracy is so much better that when the robot returns to base on the smart medicine mission, it can back into the aiming jig 1 out of 3 times. I wrote an article explaining the physics of the tires. You can see it at http://summerhours.com/Wheels.html I think these wheels will force the tournament to change the missions. Next year nobody is going to run anything else.

      The funny thing is that I was buying 43.2 mm x 22 balloon slicks on bricklink.com and there was a $10 minimum at the brinklink.com store I was ordering from, so I ordered 6 sets of balloon tires and one set of these others just to make it over $10 and they make 100 points difference in our average run.

      Search bricklink.com for these descriptions
      Black Tire 41 mm Directional Tread ..... $0.399 each
      Lime Wheel 41mm Znap Thin Tread ..... $0.3975 each

      Bill Herman
      NanoCrushers
      International School
      Bellevue, WA


      1. Message by: bluecheesyflamingos 12/08/2006 18:41:50 GMT
        The images on the site show up as broken links ;) Carla

        Coach
        Blue Cheesy Flamingos
        MI Team


      2. Message by: bluecheesyflamingos 12/08/2006 19:04:06 GMT
        Also thanks for posting this. I forgot to tell you in the last post.

        Our team is using the balloon tires and for the first time in 3 years we got a 'flat tire'. After many runs one of the balloon tires didn't hold it shape anymore and cause the NXT, even with the move blocks, to slightly veer left. I am showing your article to my kids this weekend. Its too late for us to change this years robot for state but this gives them thoughts for next year. Thanks again, Carla :)

        Coach
        Blue Cheesy Flamingos
        MI Team


      3. Message by: dhystad 01/03/2007 08:51:27 GMT
        In response to NanoCrusherd3822's interesting wheels analysis:

        There is a flaw in your baloon tire analysis. The effective radius of a tire does not change if the tire deflects (is flat on the bottom). A flat tire and a fully inflated tire on an automobile will complete the exact same number of revolutions when travelling a given distance. This is because even though the flat tire may appear to have a smaller radius than the inflated tire, the tire treads are the same length. And since the the entire tread must pass beneath the wheel exactly once during a revolution of the wheel (unless the tire slips on the wheel) two tires of similar manufacture will travel exactly the same distance per revolution reguardless of the tire's deformation.

        Possibly because this seems a little counter intuitive they give this effective radius for tires a name; the rolling radius. And for most tires the rolling radius cannot be changed by any means short of adding or removing rubber. Old bias ply tires could be over-inflated, thinning and streaching the tire walls like a balloon.

        So though it is true that uneven weight distribution can cause your robot to veer, the problem is not because the tires are flatter on one side. Uneven camber or poor wheel alighnment are likely candidates.

        And though I really enjoyed reading your tire analysis, you would have gotten a better return for your time by using other navigation techniques to make your robot less dependant on odometry.


    4. Message by: 4-Hers06 01/04/2007 01:29:54 GMT
      I'm using a 56X26 and we have an engineer on our team and he checked the tires but the tire sizes 56X26 arn't the same!! . Check back later for a video of what our tirs doing!!
      -David
      Lego Invaders


    5. Message by: 4-Hers06 01/04/2007 01:50:33 GMT
      Here is the wheel movie like i told you!!


    6. Message by: 4-Hers06 01/04/2007 01:51:59 GMT
      Here is the wheel movie like i told you!!


Discussion: Mixing motors By: brickmasters491 11/22/2006 20:44:25 GMT
I thought I read somewhere a team can use any three motors. For example 2 NXT motors and one RCX motor. I can't find that reference. Is this legal and acceptable?

  1. Message by: botzealots1105 11/22/2006 20:42:16 GMT
    Though I can't point you to a reference the rules say 3 motors. The motors would have to be made by Lego. The rest is up to you. At a regional tournament last week my son saw several teams doing just that.I believe you need to be cognisant of the fact the NXT motors also include rotation sensors and you wouldn't want to unknowingly break the 3 rotation sensors rule.
    Mike


Discussion: Power - NXT motor vs RCX Motor By: bluecheesyflamingos 12/20/2006 00:45:52 GMT
Here is another of those random questions I come up with. I know that internally the NXT motor is geared down but what it the comparison between a RCX motor and a NXT motor power-wise? Thanks, Carla :)

Coach
Blue Cheesy Flamingos
MI Team

  1. Message by: CGMSC2605 12/12/2006 16:48:08 GMT
    Carla

    Philo has an excellent page comparing the NXT and RCX motors here


    1. Message by: bluecheesyflamingos 12/12/2006 17:45:54 GMT
      Thanks! That had a ton us useful info! Carla :)

      Coach
      Blue Cheesy Flamingos
      MI Team


    2. Message by: bluecheesyflamingos 12/19/2006 17:22:00 GMT
      I have had a little time to really look over the page. I think I have my answer but could someone help my totally understand. I found the section where torque was listed. The rcx motors gave 2.25 and the nxt gave 16.7.

      So what I think this means it the NXT has 7.4 times more power than the standard rcx motors we use. Is that right? Sorry for the dumb questions, Carla :)


      1. Message by: fll-freak 12/20/2006 00:45:52 GMT
        Carla,

        Its not quite that simple. The values you quote are torque. Comparing torques is only usefull for a motors going at the same speed. Since the RCX motor is not geared down, you would expect it to have less torque. Think about how much extra 'power' or 'twist' an RCX bot gets when you gear it down. The philo data shows the NXT at 170 RPM and the RCX at 340. For two equaly efficient motors you would expect the RCX's torque to be 170/340 (0.5) one half of NXT. But in fact it is 2.25/16.7 or 0.135. This means that the NXT motor is a 'stronger' motor.

        But where does this extra 'Omph' come from? One place is a better efficiency in larger motors. The other is a greater thrist for batteries!

        -Skye



Folder: NXT Specific Questions 05/04/2007 16:02:33 GMT


Discussion: NXT taking time to think??? By: ShadowBots90 11/27/2006 21:12:59 GMT
Is anyone having this problem....
One of my NXT's seems to "think" between blocks...It slows up, it goes slow, and sometimes it even stops and takes a break before it continues it's program....
Very strange behavior. I've updated the firmware to 1.0.3, I've switched out the motors - and now I think I'll have the kids switch out the NXT itself -- it's either that or the program...

Any ideas?
Thanks,
Linda

  1. Message by: fll-freak 09/18/2006 20:29:57 GMT
    Are you able to distill the problem down to a test program you could post? Does the problem happen on different NXTs?

    When you say 'slow down' are you refering to the the ramp up/down motor speed feature in the motor move block?

    -Skye


    1. Message by: ShadowBots90 09/18/2006 21:53:45 GMT
      Thanks Skye - I am distilling:) - and I will keep you informed of my progress. No, it's not the ramp up or down. The 'bot will actually stop and think for a second or two, sometimes three before it moves on to the next block. It's very strange. It looks like it is either the program or the NXT itself.

      In other words, it doesn't just go about it's business and run through the program. It pauses, moves painfully slow (with the motors set to 75% on turns). I've had the kids rebuild the chassis and I've checked it myself for anything rubbing or being too tight...it's a mystery. if I find it's the program, I will post it.
      Linda:)


    2. Message by: KaoticMentor 09/18/2006 22:52:54 GMT
      From the way you were talking, it looks as though you are using the NXT-G programming language. I'm not sure if this would have anything to do with it, but it's another possible avenue of exploration.

      Also, I guess I'm still not exactly sure what you mean by pauses... So after the robot finishes ANY instruction (not just motor control instructions) the robot simply sits there doing nothing for a few seconds, before progressing to the next command as normal?

      The other thing to note is that the NXT motors run at less than half the speed as the RCX motors. This may be why it appears to be running "painfully slow". I found that I didn't have to gear down the motors at all for a decent speed robot.

      Are they just running painfully slowly, or does it seem like the motors are running "weakly" (can you stop it easily with your hand?) as well?

      Just some points I thought I'd bring up.

      Glenn


    3. Message by: ShadowBots90 09/19/2006 14:16:27 GMT
      Thanks Skye - I am distilling:) - and I will keep you informed of my progress. No, it's not the ramp up or down. The 'bot will actually stop and think for a second or two, sometimes three before it moves on to the next block. It's very strange. It looks like it is either the program or the NXT itself.

      In other words, it doesn't just go about it's business and run through the program. It pauses, moves painfully slow (with the motors set to 75% on turns). I've had the kids rebuild the chassis and I've checked it myself for anything rubbing or being too tight...it's a mystery. if I find it's the program, I will post it.
      Linda:)


    4. Message by: nanoknights216 09/21/2006 05:10:12 GMT
      I did read a note somewhere that updating the firmware was causing some problems and was not recommended. "Somewhere" was probably a blog on the net.
      Tammy W.


    5. Message by: fll-freak 09/21/2006 12:51:36 GMT
      The issue you are thinking about has now been resolved. The dreaded "clicking brick syndrome" has been fixed with a patch to NXT-G. All teams should use the "check for update" feature in NXT-G to visit the LEGO website to download and install the proper patch.

      I do not think that this patch will correct the 'thinking' issue. One the surface this sounds very weird. Perhaps a bad program, a bad install, or a bad NXT.

      -Skye


    6. Message by: botzealots1105 09/27/2006 15:57:23 GMT
      If you are using the "move" blocks and you set the "next action" to "brake" at the end of the block there will be a slight pause while the robot aligns the motors to the exact rotation you entered. The robot is putting on its brakes, if you set it to coast you may loose some accuracy but it shouldn't stop.


      1. Message by: khakiGoo36 11/27/2006 21:12:59 GMT
        I am experiencing this problem as well, and it does seem to be (have not completely confirmed it yet) related to "brake" versus "coast" at the end of a move block. The "thinking" behavior seems even more pronounced when a move block is doing a hard turn. It is definitely not battery related as I have seen it happen when on full charge.

        Dave


    7. Message by: fll-freak 10/09/2006 04:01:12 GMT
      ShadowBots, Have you figured out the root problem yet?

      -Skye


    8. Message by: littlegreensquirts1592 10/21/2006 19:08:46 GMT
      We recently started having the same problem on one program. After a turn in reverse the robot should continue straight in reverse, and sometimes it will just stop. If we leave it alone, a minute later, it will take off again. But it doesn't happen everytime. Happens maybe 25%.

      Little Green Squirts.


      1. Message by: fll-freak 10/21/2006 19:30:05 GMT
        Any chance you could post the RBT file for us to look at?

        -Skye


    9. Message by: High Speed Robotics713 11/06/2006 00:52:07 GMT
      Help!

      Our team's NXT is now experiencing this same "robot thinking" problem. We have tried all sorts of alternatives - i.e. faster speeds/power, slower speeds/power additional maneuvers to avoid this problem and resorting to pushing by hand to get the NXT to move beyond this "stuck" position.

      This problem happens at any time, there is no real pattern nor sequence of events that lead up to this problem.

      This problem is causing major problems at this late date.

      Any ideas/solutions will be appreciated.


      1. Message by: bluecheesyflamingos 11/06/2006 16:26:38 GMT
        Batteries getting weak?? Just a guess, Carla :)

        Coach
        Blue Cheesy Flamingos
        MI Team


        1. Message by: fll-freak 11/06/2006 16:40:57 GMT
          Somehow I do not think its battery level.

          There have been several people reporting similar issues with the NXT. Icons that get skipped or programs that get hung. I can't imagine that they all are battery related. Of all the bad programs posted, I have not been able to reproduce the problem at home. This weekend I went to the LEGO store in Burlington MA, and purchased a paterry pack (I only have the retail kit) to try to prove this one way or the other.

          -Skye


    10. Message by: Brian001 11/06/2006 04:44:35 GMT
      If you have to "push it", it sounds suspiciously like a Move or Motor block is stalling out just before it reaches its target angle. Does that make sense? Could it be that the robot has suffered some "friction forming event", and the increased friction is part of the issue?

      --
      Brian Davis


Discussion: Unofficial FLL Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ) available By: fll-freak 11/27/2006 20:56:34 GMT
Fellow FLLer,

Please consider reading the Unofficial FLL FAQ (UFAQ) before posting your questions. The UFAQ is the result of condensing the posting from the previous four seasons. All the non-challenge specific questions have likely already been answered. The UFAQ has been updated for this year's rule changes.

The UFAQ was not authored by FIRST, but rather by coaches like you.

You can find the UFAQ at:

http://www.fll-freak.com/faq

Skye Sweeney
skye@fll-freak.com

  1. Message by: NanoEagles6106 11/27/2006 20:54:40 GMT
    Why is the Self-Assembly table piece so wide?


    1. Message by: SMART 11/27/2006 20:56:34 GMT
      Probably to make it difficult to navigate around.

      - Peter


Discussion: Problems with NXT Mac SW By: Osage1845 10/10/2006 18:59:46 GMT
I have loaded the NXT sw on a number of eMACs at our schools computer lab. I know the system sw meets the minimum reqmts, however, the NXT sw acts inconsistently. Some of the challenge, build and programming windows in Robot Builder (left side of screen) come up blank. I also get error box soemtimes. It is not useable.

I know.....highly techincal description.....I'm at work and the MACs at the school where I volunteer.

Driver (sw not operator)issues? Memory Issues? Just plain too high of expectations for a MAC?? Any help or ideas would be appreciated.

Larry P.

  1. Message by: brickmasters491 10/10/2006 18:59:46 GMT
    You can expect a lot more from your Mac. I am using several different eMac's without any problems. They range from 800 MHz to 1.25 GHz with 512 MB SDRAM. I have 10.3.9. If you are running something older like 10.1 or 10.2 that may be your problem. You might have to reinstall the software with anti-virus software turned off. Or just reinstall the software.

    Coach B


Discussion: Do the NXT motors really synchronize? By: StMichaels827 11/24/2006 15:18:05 GMT
Our team is very new (as is everybody) to the NXT way of doing things. One of the things we were excited about was the thought that the NXT motors actually synchronize themselves thus meaning there would be no drift. Based on some very preliminary testing, it would appear that the two motors, one on each wheel, do play better with each other than in the past but there still seems to be some drift. We are just trying to move straight for x number of degrees with a power level on each motor of 75. Are we missing something?

Thanks,
Lloyd O'Hara
StMichaels827

  1. Message by: KaoticMentor 09/19/2006 02:03:55 GMT
    Lloyd,

    There is a great tutorial found here (www.fll-freak.com) that is a test of the robot's ability to drive straight. If you have the ability to look at a Quicktime movie, it's an excellent resource on the NXT. Just look for the "Drive Straight?" tutorial on the page.

    This shows what was found after some testing!

    Hope this helps,
    -Glenn


    1. Message by: fll-freak 09/19/2006 02:12:29 GMT
      No, You are not missing anything significant.

      The devil is in the details. In the RCX days, the motors were rotating at different speeds. This was due to countless factors. With NXT, the rotation speed error is greatly reduced. But... there are still other issues.

      1) As good as the sync software is, it is not perfect. A small error early in a long travel will get magnified.

      2) If one wheel is a bit bigger or even just slightly less round than the other you will get an error.

      3) The sync software can't respond to sudden changes like pushing on a heavy object on one side of the bot.

      4) Supply your own factors

      -Skye


    2. Message by: StMichaels827 09/19/2006 02:17:06 GMT
      Thanks Skye


    3. Message by: StMichaels827 09/19/2006 02:18:56 GMT
      And Thanks Glenn. We'll get this stuff straight at some point.

      Lloyd O'Hara


    4. Message by: nanoknights216 09/21/2006 05:07:35 GMT
      Is the motor sync active when using Robolab or only the nxt-g? Do we have to use a certain robolab command to start the motors to get it to sync?


    5. Message by: nanoknights216 09/21/2006 05:07:56 GMT
      Is the motor sync active when using Robolab or only the nxt-g? Do we have to use a certain robolab command to start the motors to get it to sync?
      Tammy W., coach
      nanoknights216


    6. Message by: KaoticMentor 09/21/2006 12:15:29 GMT
      In NXT-G, the motor sync algorithms are almost always turned on. I believe the exception to this is when you use the "motor" advanced command (found in the second pane of instructions on the left).

      As of right now, Robolab does not support these 'drive straight' functions. However, because of the blinding speed of Robolab's computing, it is actually possible for a reasonably advanced programmer on your team to write a fair approximation of these algorithms themselves!

      Hope this helps,
      -Glenn


      1. Message by: YottaToYocto 09/23/2006 02:23:04 GMT
        Robolab programs are indeed fast and they are very compact as well. You can see an example 'go straight' program for the NXT here. But only use this as a comparison with the work of the "reasonably advanced programmer on your team". :-)


    7. Message by: nanoknights216 09/25/2006 23:51:20 GMT
      Lloyd--
      I got an email from Scott Evans at FLL saying that it is fine to use the "go straight" program referenced above at competition, so long as your team acknowledges they didn't create it. He compared it to making use of a cool LEGO piece.

      Even making use of it will require some technical expertise, though. :-)
      Tammy


      1. Message by: SMART 09/26/2006 21:55:45 GMT
        That is interesting. But any reason not to challenge your team to write something themselves? They may come up with a similar, but not identical solution that they could fairly say was theirs.

        I haven't tried it yet, but with rotation sensors built into the motors one would think it would be straightforward for a Robolab programmer with 2+ years of experience who understands sensors and containers to do this.

        The reason this was always so difficult for teams with RCX was that they only had one rotation sensor to work with and even if they had two (which they can this year) they are severely limited by the input ports (only 3 and rotation sensor can't be combined with anything else) and also by the fact that rotation sensors are trick to mount well on the robot.

        We don't have Robolab 2.9 yet, and the kids are really turned on by NXT-G (at least for the moment) so not sure if they'll want to use it or not.

        - Peter


    8. Message by: nanoknights216 09/27/2006 00:58:52 GMT
      I don't know what if anything our team will do with the go straight code. Our team doesn't have anyone on it with more than about two weeks Robolab experience, and is being coached by an English major. Whether they could create a program to compensate for motor power on their own--or even if they'd want to--remains to be seen. If they did opt to take the "go straight" program instead of creating their own, I have no doubt that they will still have many challenges ahead to creatively solve. In any case, just looking at the code has helped me understand programming better--and hopefully I can help the kids understand better also.


    9. Message by: Luther'sSeals1785 10/08/2006 02:08:17 GMT
      Isn't there a mechinical solution to this?
      Has anyone used a Dual Differenteral Drive? It uses two differenterals to go (almost) perfectley straight. It is a little complex to build, and takes up more space, but it's better then having a robot that curves unpredictably. It uses one motor to go straight, while the other motor makes it spin in place. You can find out how to make one in the book,
      "Building Robots with Lego Mindstorms." Since the wheels are geared together, only one rotation sensor is neccesary.
      Our team made a much more compact one then shown in the book, but we aren't using it, because It's a little hard on the motors, and NXT works almost as well. If we didn't have the NXT, we would be using it now.


      1. Message by: Mindstorms Mayhem #5 11/10/2006 20:20:08 GMT
        The Mindstorms Mayhem team experimented with a dual differential drive a couple years ago. They came up with a very compact dual-differential system as well. It drove very straight with one motor. It also turned nicely with the other motor. The problem, however, was that there was a lot of "backlash" (slop) in the gear train due to the pair of differentials. Switching from forward to turning was not very consistent (comparing run A to run B) making it very difficult to get reliable missions. If the lego gears were fashioned to tighter tolerances, some of this could be reduced, but the team eventually decided that they couldn't build a sufficiently accurate dual-differential system.

        It is possible that the solution your team came up with may have had less issues with backlash.

        --ken
        http://www.mayheminc.org


    10. Message by: nanoknights216 10/17/2006 20:33:28 GMT
      Can you explain what you mean by it being hard on the motors? I am wondering what we might be doing that is hard on motors without realizing it...
      Tammy


      1. Message by: fll-freak 10/17/2006 22:52:14 GMT
        I do not follow you. There is nothing in this thread about being hard on motors! What were you refering to?

        -Skye


        1. Message by: quantumbots3207 10/21/2006 02:37:41 GMT
          They were refering to what the Luther Seals said in the second to last sentence


    11. Message by: Luther'sSeals1785 11/07/2006 20:56:48 GMT
      Since only one motor is running at a time, the robot's motion is from only one motor, not the usual two, so you'll need a slower robot then planned.

      It's somewhat like a two person bycicle with only one person pedaling.


    12. Message by: pigmice2192 11/23/2006 20:11:12 GMT
      When programming in robolab do the wheels still synchronize?
      Greg


      1. Message by: fll-freak 11/23/2006 22:10:35 GMT
        Version 2.9.2 with the beta patch does offer some sync capability.
        -Skye


    13. Message by: botzealots1105 11/24/2006 15:18:05 GMT
      The 2.9.2 beta wheel synch is a slave/master set up so it can only turn one way.It is not much use.
      Mike


Discussion: What is this weird part? By: nanoknights216 12/03/2006 01:53:29 GMT
There is a part in the NXT kit that I can't figure out. It is labeled 4499435 and looks like a little steam locomotive. Does anyone know what it is used for? It doesn't google...
Tammy W.

  1. Message by: Whizards 09/21/2006 18:36:41 GMT
    That's the missile launcher! :) Well, I don't know the official name, but it goes with part 4225060.

    My boss has a model with about 6 of them arranged like a machine gun, where it spins and shoots all 6 of them out. He likes to aim it at us. *laugh*

    Errol
    - Workshop Whizards
    My FLL Rookie Coach Blog: http://www.ctworkshop.net/fll


    1. Message by: nanoknights216 09/22/2006 07:39:16 GMT
      AH. I imagine the kids probably would have figure that out on their own, huh! They had fun harpooning each other with it today! Thank you for solving my mystery--
      tw
      nanoknights


    2. Message by: CCACrusaders3351 09/28/2006 20:19:56 GMT
      I didn't know what it was my self until my 6 year old was looking at all the parts. He picked the 2 up and just put them together without giving it any thought! I guess I need to look at many of these parts thou his eyes.


    3. Message by: pigmice2192 11/20/2006 19:58:03 GMT
      Try knocking off the white atoms on the atom table with it, it might not be that practical but it shure is fun!!!!!!!!!!


    4. Message by: nanoknights216 12/03/2006 01:53:29 GMT
      Hello, Pigmice! Glad to see you are around again this year! (We saw your team at the Oregon State FLL last year.) The kids spent half a meeting shooting atoms off! Now, I think they are trying to find a way to shoot the refs...
      Tammy
      coach, nanoknights (last year: Homeschool Hound Dogs)


Discussion: Multiple Ultrasonic Senors - Interference? By: JARR174 11/27/2006 19:24:58 GMT
In the help section of the NXT-G software, under the Ultrasonic sensor (USS), there is a warning about "possible" interference with other USS's operating in the room. Has anyone had a chance to validate this. Obvious ramifications with two bots on a competition table at once. And I'm not fortunate enough to have more than one NXT bot at the time to test. Thanks for your responses.

  1. Message by: zap85 09/24/2006 18:07:22 GMT
    Our team tried out two robots and decided not to use the ultrasonic sensor. I don't think their testing was really conclusive, but they decided not to take the chance.

    Doreen


    1. Message by: LegoAces44 11/27/2006 19:24:58 GMT
      Our team has done some testing with two Ultrasonic sensors and not seen significant interference problems. We noticed the warnings on the FL I&A and wonder if others have experienced specific problems. Have there been issues at competitions? We'll be conservative with our use of the sensor, but would like to employ this cool tool for several missions. Any best practice suggestions other than to keep it low on the robot? We'll post more quantified results of our evaluations as we generate them.

      - Nano-Thomas


Discussion: How many NXT Program Slots are there? By: team_pluto 11/30/2006 16:37:08 GMT
We were wondering. If the RCX have 5 program slots. How many program slots does the NXT have?

  1. Message by: fll-freak 09/24/2006 14:58:44 GMT
    The NXT does not have slots. You get to name your program as you download it. The NXT then provides a way of selecting the program you want to run by name. Therefore you can have as many programs as memory will allow.

    -Skye


    1. Message by: zap85 09/24/2006 18:10:02 GMT
      Is there a quick way of accessing different programs, though? I haven't used the NXT much yet, and my kids are quite concerned that it will take a long time to punch through the on-brick menus to access various programs. They are thinking of using the other buttons on the NXT to trigger different portions of a single program. Are there other possibilities?

      Doreen


      1. Message by: fll-freak 09/24/2006 19:03:59 GMT
        It is not too difficult to pick the right program, but it does take more time than on the RCX. Using the front panel buttons to select sections of one program is a great idea. Not only is it faster, but it will take MUCH less memory than the same programs saved individualy. My experiement in this area showed 3 individual programs talink 76K and combined it took just 20K.

        -Skye


    2. Message by: R2-D2 Firedroids 402 09/30/2006 20:05:08 GMT
      Can you point me in the right direction to learn how to go about using the NXT front panel buttons to select sections of a program? Other than the Help function in the program itself and the excellent video tutorials on basic and advanced beginner programming at ORTOP and in your site, I can not find any references on some of those fancier functions. I'm anxiously awaiting for some NXT books to be published but they are not due until January.

      Paul Bresnan
      R2-D2 Firedroids
      Team 402


      1. Message by: fll-freak 09/30/2006 20:11:48 GMT
        b using the NXT front panel buttons to select sections of a program

        I am not sure that you can using the front panel. You can from inside NXT-G.

        -Skye


    3. Message by: R2-D2 Firedroids 402 10/01/2006 03:07:33 GMT
      I was not clear. I meant how to program the front panel buttons from inside NXT-G.

      Paul


    4. Message by: fll-freak 10/01/2006 04:09:16 GMT
      Here is a sample.

      -Skye


    5. Message by: scientific wierdoes 11/27/2006 01:10:44 GMT
      We can not access all the memory indicated. Why?


      1. Message by: fll-freak 11/27/2006 01:45:18 GMT
        What is indicated? Add how do you know that you can't access all of it?

        -Skye


      2. Message by: Whizards 11/29/2006 22:38:21 GMT
        I made this page to show how to track memory. Does it help?

        http://www.ctworkshop.net/fll/?page_id=20

        - Errol


        1. Message by: Brian001 11/29/2006 23:59:41 GMT
          Nice, although you *can* delete those things ending in ".sys". The first is a configuration file that gets recreated upon power-on if it's missing (holds, if memory serves, the time until power-off, etc.). RGPReader is the program that allows the "on brick programming" option - delete the file, and you can't use the on-brick programming from the front panel buttons, but that's it. All these can be restored by reloading the firmware if you want them back.

          --
          Brian Davis


          1. Message by: Whizards 11/30/2006 16:37:08 GMT
            Oh Cool, thanks. I had no idea what some of those files did. :)


Discussion: NXT Oddity: Motor Positioning By: MindStormTroopers4 12/06/2006 20:02:58 GMT
With the RCX you were always able to switch the wires around to change the direction in which the motor actually spins when the program thinks its going forward. This helped because it didn*t matter which way you installed the motors in the drive train; if forward ended up being backwards, you switched the cables.

With NXT, the cables only go into the motor one way. As far as I see, unless you want to be telling the robot in the program to go backward when you mean forwards, you have to orient the motors a specific way in the robot (which is a pain). Is there any other way to switch the motor direction that I am missing (such as in the firmware), because this seems like a huge flaw.

-Michael (student team member of the MindStormTroopers)

  1. Message by: fll-freak 09/25/2006 18:49:15 GMT
    There does not appear to be a way in NXT-G to logicaly reverse a motor. If you have a design that requires one motor to turn one way and the second motor to turn the other way to go straight you are stuck. Not only that, but you then lose the ability to motor sync.

    The only workaround is to create a few properly names MyBlocks that have the robot go foward, backward, and turn using the simpler single motor icon.

    -Skye


    1. Message by: CGMSC2605 09/25/2006 21:20:13 GMT
      In the RIS software there was a "global set motor direction" command. This command let you design the robot with the motors facing any direction, and then place the wires any way you wanted. You then used the "global set direction" block to tell the software which direction each motor should rotate when you used the up and down arrows on the motor control block.

      Is there an equivalent global block in the NXT software?


      1. Message by: fll-freak 09/25/2006 21:24:50 GMT
        Not that I have found.
        -Skye


    2. Message by: nanoknights216 09/25/2006 23:46:44 GMT
      Is it possible to edit the blocks in robolab? Maybe using Front Panel? What is the Front Panel for, anyway? I pulled up a block on it, but couldn't make heads or tails of what it said...

      Tammy


    3. Message by: MindStormTroopers4 09/26/2006 01:55:54 GMT
      Thanks for the confirmation. At least I know I*m not missing anything.

      I don*t have the motors oriented opposite from each other though. The problem is that I have both the motors 'upside-down' (for structural reasons). This makes it so that you have to tell both of them to go backwards in the program to make the robot drive forward.

      Is there something I*m missing conceptually? Or do we all just have to build our robots so that the motors are 'right side up'?

      -Michael (MindStormTroopers team member)


      1. Message by: zap85 09/26/2006 03:08:05 GMT
        I just read an interesting idea for this dilemma in the blogs on www.hightechkids.org. Check out the Mindstorms NXT blog, and find the entry called Parameterized NXT-G Code.

        Doreen


      2. Message by: dhystad 12/06/2006 19:59:18 GMT
        You just have to stop thinking of the arrows as meaning forwards or backwards. I force my team to use the words "Up" and "Down" for describing rotation direction for the motors. These words at least relate to the direction the arrow is pointing where as forward and backward are totally meaningless. There is a picture in the Motor help that shows how the arrows relate to rotation direction. Try to have your team think in those terms.

        Another possibility is to put a MyBlocks wrapper around your move and motor commands. It could invert the motor direction for you. Or you could write separate MyBlocks for forwards, backwards, left and right.

        My team use variables for motor polarity, wheel diameter and wheelbase. They have Drive and Turn Myblocks that use this information to convert travel distances and heading changes into duration and direction for Move blocks. The result is that their mission programs work for almost any differential steer robot. All you have to change is the values of three variables.


    4. Message by: quantumbots3207 09/26/2006 23:29:46 GMT
      The front panal in robolab is for data-logging and stuff like that.


    5. Message by: Luther'sSeals1785 10/10/2006 19:32:20 GMT
      If you have the motors turn different directions to go foward, couldn't you use the steering control at the bottom left hand corner by making the little arrow go all the way left, or all the way right? It might be a little confusing, but wouldn't that work?


      1. Message by: dhystad 12/06/2006 06:35:18 GMT
        I built a robot where the motors had to spin in opposite directions to go straight. Using the steering control I could make the robot travel forwards and backwards, but I couldn't make it turn very well. I strongly recommend against building such a robot if you are using NXT-G.


        1. Message by: Brian001 12/06/2006 17:22:06 GMT
          What exactly was the problem? I would think a spin turn would be rather easy with the motors spinning in opposite directions: just set the Move block to straight and the robot would spin. Are the turns irregular?

          --
          Brian Davis


          1. Message by: dhystad 12/06/2006 19:37:10 GMT
            Spin turns worked fine. But it was difficult to do anything other than a spin turn or go straight. This was on a skid steer robot and I wanted a more gradual turn for use in line following. I ended up using the motor commands.

            Actually I started out using the motor commands and was just trying out the move command to see if I could get it to work. Most of my NXT work is directed towards updating "Building LEGO Robots for FLL" (BLRFLL). I'm afraid my team has suffered somewhat because of this. But hey, if I'm willing to share my NXT's they should be willing to share their coach.

            The updated BLRFLL is going to include a lengthy discussion of the steering parameter. A discussion of Brake vs Coast and its effect on multiple move or motor commands is probably also needed. Would you like to consult Brian?


    6. Message by: botzealots1105 10/12/2006 03:37:34 GMT
      Just change your mind as to what the "front" of the robot is.


    7. Message by: tatorbots1936 10/14/2006 03:18:18 GMT
      Wouldn't you experience the same problem when using a gear train with an odd number of gears?

      Shouldn't 'direction' be thought of in terms of the motor and not of the vehicle?

      Maybe the real flaw is in the names "forward" and "backward".

      DL


      1. Message by: dhystad 12/06/2006 20:02:58 GMT
        We had a big debate during the MDP about a more useful terminology for describing the motor rotation direction. I use the convention of describing motor direction as "Up" or "Down". At least that can be tied to the controls used to adjust the parameter. Forward and Backward are completely meaningless and very confusing.


Discussion: Ultrasonic sensor. By: quantumbots3207 09/25/2006 21:17:19 GMT
Our team read in the coach's handbook that you are not allowed to use a ultrasonic sensor for the NXT. Online in the rules section it says you can use the ultrasonic sensor. If anybody knows if you can or can not use the ultrasonic sensor feel free to respond.

  1. Message by: bluecheesyflamingos 09/25/2006 21:17:19 GMT
    Yes you can use one ultrasonic sensor. Carla :)

    Coach
    Blue Cheesy Flamingos
    MI Team


Discussion: Bluetooth Problems By: northandover486 11/16/2006 17:08:31 GMT
We are having a lot of trouble with the bluetooth connection to the NXT. Basically, it occassionaly connects but after using it (maybe once) it disconnects and will not communicate anymore. We are using a Belkin USB Bluetooth adapter and windows XP.

Any ideas?

Peter

  1. Message by: quantumbots3207 09/26/2006 00:36:17 GMT
    We are having the same troubles. We are also using a Belkin adapter and are having troubles with it. I got it connected through the Bluetooth menu on the NXT. Hope this helps.


    1. Message by: RoboCoho2246 10/01/2006 20:03:49 GMT
      We are having the same problems. On one laptop with built-in Bluetooth, everything works fine. The other laptop, using a Targus bluetooth USB adapter that came with a bluetooth mouse, does not want to connect. It sees the NXT, but will not connect to it. I have been through "My Bluetooth Places" setup a dozen times. Arrgh. Any ideas?


    2. Message by: ROBOMONKEYS1286 10/02/2006 14:31:35 GMT
      IT SEEMS WE ALL SHARE THIS ISSUE. WE GOT OURS TO WORK MOST OF THE TIME WITH OUR DESKTOP BUT THE LAPTOP JUST DOES NOTSTAY CONNECTED. MY GUESS IS TO TRY A ANOTHER ADAPTER


    3. Message by: CGMSC2605 10/03/2006 00:05:38 GMT
      Is it possible that the difference is in the USB ports being used to run the bluetooth? I believe there are two kinds of USB ports, low power that can supply ~50mA of current and high power that can provide 100mA or more of current. Since the bluetooth is a transmitter perhaps it is too weak, or marginal, when plugged into a low power USB port.

      I think it is interesting that the desktop computer works but the laptop does not.

      Another possibility is that the computer's "power saving" settings are turning off power to the USB port when you don't want it to.


    4. Message by: piecemakers281 10/12/2006 03:19:19 GMT
      I had a similar problem using D-link bluetooth adapter. I solved it by uninstalling the D-link driver software so that Windows XP drivers load automatically. It seems that NXT-G likes the Windows drivers better than D-link's.


      1. Message by: redrobots2924 10/13/2006 01:26:40 GMT
        I just received a D-Link adapter in the mail today and I can't get it to recognize the NXT at all. I loaded the D-Link driver but I don't understand how uninstalling the D-Link driver will fix it. Where are the Windows XP drivers located? Thanks for any help.

        Phil
        Coach - Red Robots


      2. Message by: redrobots2924 10/13/2006 02:59:55 GMT
        Sorry for lack of patience before posting. I figured it out. I uninstalled the driver, restarted NXT-G and it picked it up. Thanks for the recommendation to fix the issue.

        Phil


    5. Message by: ItsyBitsyRobot3153 10/13/2006 18:37:34 GMT
      My bluetooth was working fine on my laptop until today. Now it won't connect. I've tried a dozen different things. No response. Anyone else have this problem?


    6. Message by: LaSalle118 10/13/2006 20:38:45 GMT
      It seems that periodically you have to uninstall the driver and reinstall it so the NXT-G can set up the connection from start. I have not tracked down the problem but it has been working for me. Anytime the NXT-G does not connect, I uninstall the driver, let windows refind the driver and then NXT-G communicates with the NXT again.

      Dave


    7. Message by: RoboVikings 10/21/2006 05:44:40 GMT
      This is aggravating.

      I've found that you have turn everything off.
      Restart computer with bt dongle connected
      Start NXT-G
      Start NXT brick
      Be sure BT is on on brick
      Scan, then connect

      Then sometime later you may lose connectivity. Pretty ridiculous.


    8. Message by: Legooners2511 11/16/2006 05:54:38 GMT
      We've just recently tried Bluetooth again using a Targus ACB10US. While it's been frustrating, I came across a post somewhere else that has made it much more reliable and useful.
      1) It suggested removing all the communication interfaces listed by an NXT Scan. Apparently the problem with the software is when more than one interface listed.
      2) Then re-scan so that only the Bluetooth interface is listed.
      3) Highlight the Bluetooth interface and press Connect
      4) Then when you press OK to send the Passkey to the NXT, be prepared to acknowledge the Passkey response on the NXT immediately.

      We've found that until either the NXT or the computer are powered off that Bluetooth works consistently, making testing and experimenting much more effective. Powering either device back on requires going through these steps to Pair the devices together again.

      BTW, we're back to using the Targus drivers again too.


      1. Message by: Brian001 11/16/2006 16:47:58 GMT
        This just still seems... wrong to me. I'm running off a OSX Powerbook with built-in BT, and have 19 different connections list, for about a dozen different NXT bricks... and I've yet to have any such problem. So clearly, there are at least some platform/driver combinations that work extremely well. I'm glad it's now partially useful for you, but I really hope to find a better solution.

        In order to find a better solution... has anyone else here had my experience? Easy to use flawless BT connections? If so, please let us know exactly what HW and SW you are using.

        --
        Brian Davis


        1. Message by: bluecheesyflamingos 11/16/2006 17:08:31 GMT
          I don't think you are going to find anyone with a flawless connection. It seems everyone is having problems, Carla :)

          Coach
          Blue Cheesy Flamingos
          MI Team


Discussion: NXT not behaving By: TeamNemo 11/06/2006 05:12:34 GMT
Today, when we tried to program our NXT brick, the "Move Block" set to "indefinitely" no longer works. The motors run for one rotation and then shut off instead of running indefinitely. I have tried a test program with one indefinite move block, using two different computers and even reloaded the NXT firmware and I get the same results.

We've had the NXT for 6 weeks now and this is the first time this problem has occured. Any ideas?

  1. Message by: fll-freak 09/27/2006 14:04:32 GMT
    Did you try to reset the NXT using the tiny hidden button?

    -Skye


    1. Message by: Veribots113 09/28/2006 03:53:16 GMT
      This can happen if you do not have "wait for completion" or some other form of wait. The NXT program ends and the robots stops.


      1. Message by: TeamNemo 09/28/2006 05:09:05 GMT
        Thanks Guys,
        I used both your suggestions, and it seem to be working correctly now. I know I should have done the reset and the wait for block one at a time, but at least we're back up and running.


    2. Message by: tatorbots1936 10/06/2006 21:26:33 GMT
      Doesn't the RCX do the reverse? That is the motor would go on forever unless you explicitly stopped it.


    3. Message by: octobots566 10/10/2006 03:51:42 GMT
      After some strange operations at practice today, I've spent some time tonight with our team's NXT. I did a simple program with a move block going straight for several rotations. Then a wait for 5 seconds. Then a move block set to turn for 180 degrees followed by another wait for 5 seconds and then another straight for several rotations.

      When I test this program the turn step seems to get skipped. It runs for the first rotations then pauses for about 10 seconds and goes straight again.

      I've done a firm reset and reinstalled the firmware. Any other ideas?

      Thanks,

      Ken P.


      1. Message by: fll-freak 10/10/2006 03:57:16 GMT
        Post your program for us to look at.

        -Skye


        1. Message by: octobots566 10/10/2006 04:10:21 GMT
          Here's the test program.


          1. Message by: fll-freak 10/10/2006 12:46:49 GMT
            Sorry, but the file you uploaded will not display. It is simply an html wrapper around a png graphic file that you did not upload. It would be much better to find the "rbt" file for the program and upload that.

            -Skye


    4. Message by: tatorbots1936 10/10/2006 14:02:01 GMT
      Unable to read your program. If I were to guess, I'd say that you may not have enough power to perform the turn. Check the power setting and also the battery level.


      1. Message by: octobots566 10/10/2006 21:39:04 GMT
        Here's the rbt file. Even with the robot in my hand and the wheels turning in air, it doesn't execute the turn step???


        1. Message by: tatorbots1936 10/10/2006 23:47:43 GMT
          most likely culprit:
          Duration = 129,600 degrees.


          1. Message by: octobots566 10/11/2006 00:34:38 GMT
            Ah, posted the wrong edition. Tried 120, 180, 360 degrees with no success. Reset it and downloaded the firmware yet again. Then reloaded the program...success?! Hope this was a fluke!

            Thanks to all for suggestions. Anyone have a reply to my question about rotation sensing during turns (topic: NXT turns)

            kp


    5. Message by: usa2226 11/03/2006 04:53:21 GMT
      I am having the same problem with the NXT skipping a turn command. We've run it several times. It always does the first turn going forward, but does not always do the turn coming back to base.


      1. Message by: tatorbots1936 11/03/2006 05:44:41 GMT
        Is the battery low enough not to work at 62% power ( the 2nd turn)?


        1. Message by: usa2226 11/04/2006 03:22:41 GMT
          The indicator on the screen shows that it's fully charged. The program has a turn early in the program that it doesn't ever skip so I don't think it's a battery problem.


          1. Message by: tatorbots1936 11/04/2006 03:44:26 GMT
            Yes but that first turn is set at 75% power where the second turn is at 62% - hence - the reason why I asked if it was a battery problem. Still 62% is quite high so I doubt that its related.


    6. Message by: usa2226 11/06/2006 05:12:34 GMT
      I could see your point if it was struggling to do the command, but it skips it without a beat.

      Coach of 'United Scientists in Action"


Discussion: Inconsistent Ultrasonic Sensor Performance By: Lakota Ridge Micromonsters3781 12/06/2006 21:24:03 GMT
We are seeing inconsistent behavior with the Ultrasonic Sensor on our NXT. Our team is using the ultrasonic sensor in a program where they start with a "Move block" (set for B,C straight forward for unlimited rotations), and then use a "Wait for Ultrasonic Sensor block" (set to <10") to start a turn.

Sometimes when the program is started, it works great, with the robot moving straight foward until it approaches the field border, and going into the turn. Many other times, however, as soon as the program is started, it turns immediately.

We thought that maybe it was picking up the side border, so we tested it on the floor but got the same results. One child thought that it was angled down enough to sometimes see the ground in front of the robot, so they angled it to make sure it was level, but had the same result. I had the children switch the connecting cables, but this did not help. We only have one ultrasonic sensor, so we can't swap it out.

If the robot is powered off for several minutes and then turned back on, it seems to work correctly the first time, but this may be a coincidence.

I have searched the Net for info on this and come up empty. Does anyone have any suggestions as to what could cause this behavior? The program seems simple enough, but as we are new with the NXT, I wondered: Is there a trick to using the "Wait for Ultrasonic" blocks? Has anyone else seen this?

  1. Message by: fll-freak 09/27/2006 23:06:34 GMT
    I have not played with the US sensor much.

    You have already done the two things that came to my mind: angle up the sensor, and make sure its not seing something else.

    Perhaps others will have more experience to help you on your way, but in the mean time, perhaps another experiment might shed some light (sound?).

    Perhaps you could read the US distance and place it into a variable. Use the variable to do your WaitFor action. If your team has the ability to write this program, then you would be able to look at the variable that caused the trip (last one saved to the variable). Display this to the screen. This might tell you something about the problem.

    If it is zero, then I would guess that perhaps the US did not get a return echo or it did not get initialized properly.

    I would be very interested in hearing your results.

    -Skye


    1. Message by: Bluelightning1381 09/28/2006 00:03:35 GMT
      I thought we were not allowed to use the ultra-sonic sensor in the challenge.


      1. Message by: fll-freak 09/28/2006 00:46:10 GMT
        There has been conflicting information from FIRST. The last update was that the US was allowed. That is also the way it is stated in the official rules.

        -Skye


    2. Message by: northandover486 09/28/2006 16:48:51 GMT
      Two things come to mind.

      1) You should wirte the value to the NXT display and see what is happening (zero value etc...)

      2) If the signal is noisy - you could take several readings and use the median value.

      We are also interested in using the US sensor - let us know what happens

      Thanks,
      Peter


    3. Message by: Lakota Ridge Micromonsters3781 09/28/2006 17:46:16 GMT
      Thanks for all of the suggestions. We meet tomorrow night, and I will have them try writing the value and see if we can capture what is happening. I will let you know.

      On the subject of use, FLL Rule 8 does allow NXT teams the use of one Ultrasonic sensor. I was worried by the warning in the NXT manual that 2 or more US's in a room would interfere with one another, so I sent a question to the Q&A @ FLL. The reply I got said that they had played with two of them and could not get them to interfere with one another, but if teams were concerned they should use other methods.

      Thanks again for the advice! Chris


    4. Message by: CCACrusaders3351 09/28/2006 20:52:12 GMT
      This brings up a question I was wondering... I thought we might have issues using US looking for the 8' wall because our 4x8' sheet is about 3/8 too long. I have been placing the mat in the base corner. Then there is 3/8 extra at the far end. Should I cut the extra 3/8 off the 4x8 sheet?


      1. Message by: fll-freak 09/28/2006 21:41:18 GMT
        There is not such thing as an official table. Every table is different. Everyone should be aware that competition tables are not highly machined precision devices. They are made by volunteers sometimes the night before. My first competition we had to be careful with the borders as the paint was still tacky!

        What would be an ideal to shoot for is to be able to run on a wide variety of tables of random poor construction!

        Now your 3/8 is perhaps outside the normal range. You might consider an adjustment.

        -Skye


    5. Message by: LaSalle118 09/29/2006 05:26:26 GMT
      You could try reading the US as the first command to start it before you actually use it. When you say it works the first time and not the second time, it sounds like it keeps the last reading and this is why it does not work after the first time. I have not tried this yet and this may not work, it is just a thought.

      Dave


    6. Message by: Lakota Ridge Micromonsters3781 10/02/2006 01:52:06 GMT
      Thanks again everyone!

      Here is an update on what we found. We set up the program to write the US reading to the NXT display and put a 2 second time delay in it so we could see what it was reading before it actually went into motion. We noticed that sometimes the reading was rock steady, and sometimes it was kind of flashing back and forth between different readings. As you would expect, when the erratic readings were being read, the program did not work right.

      We then took the motors out of the picture and slowly backed the robot away from the far wall by hand, watching the US reading on the display. It read nicely in 1 " increments all the way back to 72-73". Then it would either jump right to 100" (full range of the sensor) or get that erratic reading again. I am not sure if all of the US sensors are like this or if it is just ours, but the reading seemed to lose accuracy past 70".

      As it turns out, the East edge of base is ~77" from the east wall. They solved the problem by leaving base for a certain distance and then using the ultrasonic sensor.

      When we found this problem, they were just testing the new NXT's capabilities, and solving some challenges I gave them. Now that our models are built and on the field, the point is moot. There is no clear shot > 70" from base. ;-)

      Thanks again for the suggestions and help!

      Chris


      1. Message by: Florida_Moderator 10/04/2006 00:26:24 GMT
        One more thing to look at; one of our US was erratic also. Turned out to have gotten to friendly with the cat. One of the eyes had cat fur in it. When the fur was moving around, the sensor acted funny. They are finicky (the sensors, not the cats.)


    7. Message by: pigmice2192 11/23/2006 20:07:44 GMT
      Our team has had many difficulties with the US sensor and eventually decided to navigate using walls and light sensors like an rcx.
      Greg


    8. Message by: dhystad 12/06/2006 21:24:03 GMT
      I would be careful using a wait for block with the ultrasonic sensor. All you need is one bad reading, maybe even an echo off of your hand as you pull it away, and the block is done.

      Engineers work with all kinds of sensors. Some are rock solid always trustworthy, and others need to be used more carefully. In the NXT realm I would place the motor rotation data as being very trustworthy, the light sensor as fairly trustworthy, the standoff sensor as something I wouldn't trust completely, and the sound sensor as almost useless.

      Does that mean you can't use the ultrasonic sensor. No, of course you can. But you may want to filter the data. This could be done by simple averaging. You can get better data by averaging and removing outliers (if a reading is much different than the average you throw it away instead of using it to compute an average.

      Sometimes a more effective filtering is to compare a value against an expected range. When you want to use the distance information you probably expect the value to fall within a certain range. Write a myblock that compares the reading against this range and only returns a distance it thinks is valid.


Discussion: How to rename the NXT By: nanoheels3602 10/02/2006 00:24:09 GMT
I can't seem to rename my NXT. The NXT is connected and otherwise working fine, but when I type a new name into the "Name" field on the NXT window and press enter, or the little elbowed-arrow button beside the field, it always reverts back to "NXT". Any suggestions? We're using the Education NXT on Mac OS, firmare v1.01.

  1. Message by: fll-freak 10/01/2006 23:20:41 GMT
    I have had difficulty changing the name as well. Sometimes it would work, other times it would not. For some reason it always works with my son around and rarely when I am alone. So, ... for the cost of an airline ticket, I'll send you my son!

    -Skye


    1. Message by: nanoheels3602 10/02/2006 00:24:09 GMT
      Ahh.. the old child-out-of-range bug. I'll call my son over and try again.


Discussion: Help with the NXT By: lego125 10/04/2006 03:58:30 GMT
As you all know, the NXT is new and not too much is known about it. The old robot was around for years and you could find research about it anywhere. Does anyone know some resources we could use to help us come up with a design or at least to get a better understanding of the new Robot?

Sincerely,
The Scott Lego team

  1. Message by: zap85 10/03/2006 02:53:20 GMT
    Our team looked at these robots for design ideas. Only Goliath has instructions, the others are just pictures to give you ideas.

    "FLL Rover" http://mindstorms.lego.com/MeetMDP/BBonahoom.aspx

    "JennToo" http://mindstorms.lego.com/MeetMDP/BDavis.aspx

    Goliath II http://mynxt.matthiaspaulscholz.eu/robots/goliathII/index.html

    --Doreen


    1. Message by: YottaToYocto 10/04/2006 01:38:09 GMT
      LEGO Ed West has building instructions for JennToo and others:

      http://www.legoedwest.com/page.php?19

      The wealth of NXT information available is nothing short of amazing. An internet search will turn up plenty of others. A couple of blogs you might want to check out are:

      http://thenxtstep.blogspot.com/
      http://nxtasy.org/

      Happy building!


    2. Message by: YottaToYocto 10/04/2006 03:58:30 GMT
      One more link worth mentioning - the LEGO Education site recently posted the building instructions for all of the models that come with the retail version of the NXT:

      http://www.legoeducation.info/nxt/building-guides/

      This is great stuff for those of us who purchased (multiple copies of) the educational version.


Discussion: NXT Turns By: octobots566 11/04/2006 05:57:33 GMT
When using the turn function in a Move block, are the rotation sensors in both motors measuring the turn? I was asked that by a team member and didn't know the answer.

As I understand it, setting the slider fully to one side does a turn in place which I think runs the motors in opposite directions. In this case both should rotate the same amount. But in the other settings which creat more of a curve, the motors won't rotate the same amount. So which motor/sensor is the setting applied to?

Thanks,

Ken P.
Five Oaks Octobots

  1. Message by: octobots566 10/12/2006 03:43:11 GMT
    In observing our robot running with various settings for the rotation sensor, we're finding wide variation in the actual degrees of rotation. When set to 90 degrees, the motor turns well over 360 degrees. Is the accuracy below one revolution suspect? Anyone else having a similar issue?

    Cheers,

    Ken P.
    Five Oaks Octobots


    1. Message by: fll-freak 10/12/2006 04:15:01 GMT
      I am confused by this question and may need have it all wrong.

      The motor move icon takes a distance in either rotations or degrees as an input. This is the amount the wheel will rotate. The distance traveled is 2*pi*r per 360 degrees. Asking for 90 degrees will therefore only allow the robot to travel 1/4 wheel revolution. When asking for a turn, the degrees still refer to the amount the wheel will rotate not the change in heading of the robot. You will have to use trial and error to learn the right number of wheel rotations to get the robot to turn 90 degrees.

      -Skye


      1. Message by: octobots566 10/15/2006 02:54:05 GMT
        Skye,

        Let me try to be a little clearer...

        I understand that the rotation sensor just measures the number or degrees the wheel rotates which cannot be directly related to the turn angle. My original question had to do with the rotation settings in the move block.

        Going straight, with two motors set in the same move block both rotation sensors should measure the same number of rotations, so having a single setting for rotation in the move block makes sense.

        My question is what happens when you adjust the slider in the move block to make a turn? By necessity one motor has to rotate more than the other. But there is only a single setting for the rotation sensor value in a move block which controls both motors/rotation sensors. So what is this value controling: the outer motor/sensor, inner motor/sensor or some sort of relation between the two rotation sensors?

        My second question has to do with rotation sensor accuracy. I did a simple move block to go straight for various degrees of rotation and then stop. I marked each wheel and ran this with a variety of settings from 30 degrees to 900 degrees. The motors always ran for at least 360 degrees, no matter the setting. Is this typical?

        Thanks as always.

        Ken P.
        Five Oaks Team 566


        1. Message by: fll-freak 10/15/2006 03:07:05 GMT
          Ok, Now I got the question!

          My guess is that the reason you ar going at least one full turn is that you do not have "brake" set for the final action. Its a radio button. Coast allows the motors to keep turning with their own momentum. Brake does just what it sounds like.

          As for what encoder or encoders is used when the slider is not centered, I have no idea. As I tell my kids "Sounds like a great research project!".

          I have given up using NXT-G. I have always been a RoboLab fan. What little time I have these days has been spent bonding with the new version. I have a major milestone at work this week. With that done, I should have some more free time to explore stuff like this.

          -Skye


          1. Message by: octobots566 10/15/2006 03:36:32 GMT
            Skye,

            Thanks for the reply. I've tried it both with the next action as coast and brake. It is worse with coast but the results I mentioned are with it set to brake!

            I'm in the same boat, lots of RCX experience and stuff...no NXT and only a tiny bit of time to play with it when the team isn't doing important work!

            Cheers,

            Ken


            1. Message by: fll-freak 10/15/2006 04:12:11 GMT
              Funny, in my video tutorials I used the motor to control the actuator at much less than 360 turns. I will try to go back and revisit this issue.

              -Skye


          2. Message by: tatorbots1936 10/16/2006 21:37:53 GMT
            "As for what encoder or encoders is used when the slider is not centered, "

            Maybe NXT should be enhanced in a future release to show two distance fields ( one for each motor ).


    2. Message by: botzealots1105 10/16/2006 02:17:33 GMT
      When we set the move block for 90 degrees the motor rotates 90 degrees or 1/4 rotation. We are assuming that you have not geared the motors down or up and are working directly from the motor output. Good luck.


    3. Message by: DarkMatter747 10/17/2006 15:12:09 GMT
      Sorry if this is a dumb question, but ....

      Do you have "degrees" selected in the Move Block and not "rotations"? If you select rotations, the motor output shaft would always rotate at least 360 degrees (or one rotation).


      1. Message by: octobots566 10/21/2006 02:39:41 GMT
        No question is dumb around here! Degrees was selected and I tried both coast and brake settings. The operation seems rather inconcsistent???


    4. Message by: Brian001 10/22/2006 00:18:28 GMT
      Can you post a short rbt file that shows this behavior?

      --
      Brian Davis


    5. Message by: robotechies4005 10/30/2006 01:29:40 GMT
      Hi

      We are a rookie team. We are having unpredictability issues with turning as well. I would appreciate if you could summarize your experience with turning here.

      We have tried to program turning with one block where the B and C motors both turn and we use the steering mechanism in the block to make it turn.

      We also tried having two parallel blocks where we turn two motors in reverse directions.

      What we find is our programs work very unpredictably, mostly when we are turning. Either we turn too much or too little (and some times just right!).

      What are we doing wrong?

      Manish


      1. Message by: fll-freak 10/30/2006 02:20:36 GMT
        Its impossible to tell from your short description. I would offer this as a possibility.

        If you are doing a turn where one motor goes forward and the other in reverse you will half your accuracy. This is because you are turning twice as fast. Try stopping one motor and turning the other on at a reduced speed. Make sure you terminate the turn by using the rotation sensor and not time.

        -Skye


      2. Message by: zap85 10/30/2006 14:34:39 GMT
        Hi Manish, what the kids on our team have discovered is that navigation issues (going straight and making reliable turns) are often related to the design of the robot. For example, you'll have a lot of trouble making reliable turns if your robot has a caster wheel (a third wheel that is not fixed in place but which can spin around). So your team might want to think about mechanical design issues, or post again with a description of your bot. It might not be a programming problem at all.

        Doreen


    6. Message by: usa2226 11/03/2006 03:59:00 GMT
      We have a problem with the nxt sometimes skipping out turn command. We run the same program several times and sometimes it does the turns and other times it skips it.

      team usa


      1. Message by: fll-freak 11/03/2006 13:47:08 GMT
        I would love it if you could post your program or at least email it to me (skye@fll-freak.com) to look at. You are not the first with this problem, but I have not been able to duplicate it.

        -Skye


        1. Message by: usa2226 11/04/2006 03:26:28 GMT
          The program is attached.


        2. Message by: usa2226 11/04/2006 04:22:59 GMT
          The program is attached.


        3. Message by: usa2226 11/04/2006 05:57:33 GMT
          The program is attached.


    7. Message by: robotechies4005 11/03/2006 20:44:08 GMT
      Folks thanks for the feedback,

      We have a robot design with 4 wheels where 2 front wheels use motors. It is a simple design with no gears or any thing.

      Skye: We tried both the approaches (i.e. turning 1 motor and turning 2 in reverse - we found unpredictability with both approaches. )

      We are asking the motors to turn by a certain degrees (or rotations for that matter. ) and not by time. I believe that is what you mean by saying use "rotation sensor". We expect the motor to turn 100 degrees when we program it for 100 degrees, hwoever , the observation is it turns more or less.

      I do not believe it is an error in programming, I am not sure if we have a feedback mechanism available to us that we are not using. Please comment.

      Thanks

      Manish


      1. Message by: bluecheesyflamingos 11/03/2006 20:51:17 GMT
        This may not be on the right track but do all 4 wheels have the black rubber on them? Carla :)

        Coach
        Blue Cheesy Flamingos
        MI Team


      2. Message by: fll-freak 11/03/2006 21:17:17 GMT
        Carla may have the solution in her post that follows. A "simple design" with four tired wheels will be very stable driving forwards and will NOT want to turn with anykind of reliability. Friction is not a repeatable process. Each turn, the friction gods roll their dice to decide how your robot will act. Not something you want to trust to!

        Peel the tires of the non driving wheels and get them close to the rear axle. Think how stable a drag racer is with its huge wheel base and how manueverable a sports car is with a short base.

        If this does not seem to fix things, try posting a photo of the beast for us to comment on.

        -Skye


Discussion: NXT not shipping until Nov24 By: CAVA6068 10/12/2006 09:04:08 GMT
Does anyone know if the retail NXT is pretty much the same as the FLL NXT ? Ours will not ship until Nov24 so I thought I'd go buy one now & try to return the FLL once we get it.

  1. Message by: Randazzo1589 10/12/2006 00:56:05 GMT
    Yes, basically identical.
    Jennifer
    Randazzo


    1. Message by: fll-freak 10/12/2006 02:47:43 GMT
      Retail kit does not have the recharable battery, has a very slightly different version of NXT-G, RCX/NXT adapter cables, and a slightly different assortment of parts.

      -Skye


    2. Message by: bluecheesyflamingos 10/12/2006 02:55:29 GMT
      My team has one of each and you want the FLL one. It has more pieces with it. Carla :)

      Coach
      Blue Cheesy Flamingos
      MI Team


      1. Message by: YottaToYocto 10/12/2006 09:04:08 GMT
        Not to get too technical but the retail version contains 577 pieces (according to the LEGO Shop at Home site) and the education version contains 431 pieces (according the LEGO Education site). The best deal is clearly the robot set through FLL, since you get the NXT-G software, rechargeable battery, resource set (an additional 671 pieces!) and an extra touch sensor for not that much more money. The most important pieces - that is the NXT brick, motors and sensors - are the same between the retail and education versions. I received an email message from FIRST today about shipping times for back-ordered NXT sets. You should call FIRST at 1-800-871-8326 to confirm when yours is scheduled to ship. You may get it earlier and the extra parts will come in handy.


Discussion: NXT Shipping late - Software question By: ElectricSquad5320 10/12/2006 13:32:38 GMT
Good Evening,

Our NXT system isn't arriving until next week. We've got the Missions, just nothing to test or train with.

Is there a resource or download available to get the NXT Programming software prior to delivery of the unit?

Alternatively, is there a team that would, on a gentlemen's agreement of licensing, loan us the software for installation until our unit comes in and we become street legal?

We're in Nashua, NH.

Thank you for your time

  1. Message by: fll-freak 10/12/2006 13:32:38 GMT
    Check your email.

    -Skye


Discussion: More than one RXT? By: 2107 10/12/2006 14:24:19 GMT
Is it possible to use one NXT robot to perform say 5 missions during the competition and then bring in a different NXT robot to complete the rest of the missions? Only one NXT would be at the table at any one time. We saw this done with RCXs in the past.

  1. Message by: fll-freak 10/12/2006 14:24:19 GMT
    This is addressed in the UFAQ. The short answer is no because you are bringing more than the legal number of parts to the competition table.

    -Skye


Discussion: Can RCX Motor interface with NXT? By: activators321 11/28/2006 22:31:00 GMT
Hi;

This is third year that our team participates in FLL. This year the team is going to use NXT set to build its FLL robot. Over last few weeks the builders realize RCX motor has size advantage for building manipulator but they are not sure if RCX motor is compatible with NXT though the cables in NXT can connect them together. So here are two questions from the team *

1. Can RCX motor work with NXT technically?

2. If 1 is yes, do FLL rules allow the combination (still 3 motors only)?

Team #321 "Robot Activators"

  1. Message by: bluecheesyflamingos 10/13/2006 20:09:59 GMT
    Yes the RCX motors can hook up with the NXT if you got the FLL kit. There was special wiring included. As for allowable. Might want to shoot an email to first for an offical ruling. I am sure this would be a good addition to Q&A, Carla :)

    Coach
    Blue Cheesy Flamingos
    MI Team


    1. Message by: activators321 10/13/2006 20:14:07 GMT
      Thanks, Carla. I'll send a inquiry to FLL.

      Jin Ye
      Coach
      Team #321
      Robot Activators
      Virginia


    2. Message by: activators321 10/13/2006 22:47:02 GMT
      Here is the response from Scott Evans -

      Hi 321,

      There are converter cables that allow RCX motors to be run by an NXT brick. Contact LEGO Education at 800 362 4308

      When you take another peek at Rule 8

      http://www.firstlegoleague.org/default.aspx?pid=23710

      you can see that combining is legal within bounds.

      Have an excellent weekend,

      Scott


      1. Message by: Luther'sSeals1785 11/28/2006 19:33:26 GMT
        Does anyone know if it is safe to run the NXT motors off of a RCX port or battery box? (Not that we would be using the battery box in the competition)A battery box would be helpful though in that you can simulate the third motor's motion without having to program it.


        1. Message by: Brian001 11/28/2006 22:31:00 GMT
          Hmm, I can't think of a good reason why it would *not* be safe, but I'm certainly not an expert. The NXT motors have internal thermal protection, so if for some reason they are drawing too much current, they *should* overheat and shut down (temporarily), but I can't say I'd be happy to try it. That's a consideration for a battery box - the RCX output ports simply don't have the current draw to run the NXT motors effectively, so that solution should't hurt the motors... but they won't work well either.

          If you have access to a 2nd NXT kit, you could program the "spare" NXT to function as a battery box (hit the orange button to start/stop, for instance). This was actually one of the early programs I wrote, for just this reason.

          --
          Brian Davis


Discussion: NXT Motors hard to move when NXT off By: robox 12/06/2006 06:22:54 GMT
Seems like the NXT motors are very hard to move by hand (compared to RCX motors). Is there a mechanism to set them in certain way at the end of programs, or otherwise, so that they are in better 'float' state?

  1. Message by: activators321 10/13/2006 21:08:30 GMT
    Try "Coast" instead of "Brake" in "Next Action".


    1. Message by: NanoEagles6106 11/27/2006 21:07:41 GMT
      how does nxt motor work


      1. Message by: Brian001 11/27/2006 21:27:30 GMT
        What exactly do you mean? How an electric motor works, or what makes the NXT motor different than the old-style gear motors, or something else?

        --
        Brian Davis


    2. Message by: dhystad 12/06/2006 06:22:54 GMT
      The NXT motors are just hard to turn. Most likely this is due to lots of gear reduction and a little bit of friction. Coasting or braking has no effect on the motors when the NXT is turned off.


Discussion: Building Instruction for Models in NXT retail kit By: activators321 12/10/2006 22:34:52 GMT
FLL NXT Kit does not have the building instruction for the robot models that illustrated in NXT retail kit.

Are those building instruction ("constructopedia" or some sorts) available other than buying a retail kit?

  1. Message by: zap85 10/13/2006 22:48:00 GMT
    The building instructions are posted here:
    http://www.legoedwest.com/download.php?list.10

    Apparently the basic Ed. kit does not have all the necessary pieces, but I think the FLL kit (which came with an extra box of parts) probably does.

    Doreen


    1. Message by: activators321 10/16/2006 08:16:41 GMT
      Thanks very much.


      1. Message by: quantumbots3207 11/03/2006 00:53:22 GMT
        There is one problem with the Alpha Rex instructions. Alpha Rex is designed to be built without a rechargeable battery. We tried to modify the robot to work with a rechargeable battery but it didn't work. Luckily we had some AA batteries lying around from last year.


    2. Message by: Luther'sSeals1785 12/10/2006 22:34:52 GMT
      I think everyone should be aware of a possible problem with Alpha-Rex. Make sure none of your wires are close to moving parts. One of our wires kept getting brushed by the motor, and now I have black dust and a wire with lots of rubber missing. Make sure you pin the wires away from the motors so you don't destroy your wires.


Discussion: Light Sensor Trouble - NXT By: Bluelightning1381 11/03/2006 23:39:34 GMT
Hi,

Our team has tried to program the NXT to follow the black line around the table, and it is as if our light sensor does not work. We calibrated it first. The NXT runs right over black and light spaces. It is very frustrating. Can anyone give us any tips on how to get it to folllow a black line, and is this possible? I am thinking we don't know what to tell the program to do, but it seemed so easy in the tutorial. any help is appreciated. maybe our sensor doesn't work?

  1. Message by: theguysinside644 10/14/2006 16:30:48 GMT
    Check this link for information on a line following program http://home.earthlink.net/~xaos69/NXT/Line_Follower/Line_Follower.html

    Fred


    1. Message by: Bluelightning1381 10/16/2006 03:33:25 GMT
      Thank you for this help. I am thinking the line follow program makes the robot go to slow for a timed mission because so far it wastes time looking for the light/dark edges. Anyone's feedback on that?


      1. Message by: fll-freak 10/16/2006 04:05:00 GMT
        Line following algorithms (LFA) come in many flavors. Some follow a line aggresively, some are lazy. The lazy ones tend to be faster, but allow for more deviation.

        My experimentation with LFAs using NXT-G was frustrating. Our old LFAs would not run properly because NXT-G was slower than an RCX. Our old LFAs will not work with Robolab on the NXT because they run at least 10 times faster. So it all boils down to finding the right algorithm with the right tuning parameters!

        -Skye


      2. Message by: SMART 10/16/2006 19:07:13 GMT
        The linked alogorithm does appear to be a very slow one as it appears to stop and find over and over again rather than really follow. I found a link to a video that I "think" is this algorithm in action although not 100% sure as haven't be able to test it on an actual NXT bot yet. It does appear to be quite slow.

        Will be interesting to see if NXT-G really is "too slow" to have the kind of proper line followers that we are used to see with RCX bricks for example in City Sights which was all lines.

        - Peter


    2. Message by: Bluelightning1381 10/16/2006 20:08:52 GMT
      Peter - I checked out your link to the line follow video. That is exactly how our robot is functioning. I guess I just don't like it wasting so much time on the line. It's painful to watch it searching for that line when it could be utilizing it's time delivering molecules & buckyballs etc. This is frustrating! Thanks for all of the support!


    3. Message by: zap85 10/16/2006 21:06:46 GMT
      I'm no expert here, but I think there can also be mechanical issues, such as the placement of the light sensor, the height from the mat, the distance between the light sensor and the driving wheels, etc. My team had no success with a line-follower last year, using a long rear-drive RCX bot, but this year they've succeeded using a differently-shaped NXT bot and the basic tutorials that came with the software. They are not planning to use line-following in the missions yet, but they were excited that they could even get it to follow at line at all!

      Doreen


    4. Message by: DarkMatter747 10/17/2006 15:04:13 GMT
      My team tried and discarded the program shown in the example and went back to the programs they were using on the RCX, which seem to work well. -- So our feedback is that it is possible to line follow with the NXT and NXT-G quickly enough to stay under 2:30. It might be easier for others to help if you were to post the program you're having trouble with, or a link to the tutorial you read.

      But first, I would try more basic experiments: You say it is as if your sensor doesn't work - I suggest having your team create very simple light sensor programs - such as drive forward to dark - to test if and how well the sensor detects the lines you're trying to follow. They may want to experiment with light sensor distance from the mat and with how well the sensor detects the different-colored atoms and other makings on the mat - red, blue, yellow, black.

      -Dave


    5. Message by: Bluelightning1381 10/17/2006 15:58:21 GMT
      My son was able to get the light sensor working in other ways than as a line follower. The team has decided they don't like the way the NXT follows the lines, so are exploring other strategies. Thanks for all of the helpful feedback!


      1. Message by: Gear Geeks 1 10/24/2006 04:30:20 GMT
        Our team found out today that they had good success following a line if they were lined up as close to parallel as possible when they started following the line. The more they deviate from being parallel to the line at the start, the more unpredictable the line following became. It is definitely different from following a line with the RCX. We are still experimenting and learning.

        Mary
        co-coach Gear Geeks 83


    6. Message by: Mindstorm Masters 11/03/2006 23:39:19 GMT
      I had this problem too. It seems that if you write "go forward forever" then "wait until dark" then "stop" -- a straight line program with 3 blocks -- this does not work.

      If you create a control loop instead, you will get closer to what you expect. Use the "switch" block, and put the "go forward" or "stop" inside the switch block. In that scenario, the light/dark is tested constantly.

      That isn't the best description, but maybe you can figure out what I meant.

      In the end, I think we ended up with two nested control blocks, one testing for light, the other for dark. What you really want to see is "grey", halfway between light and dark, that's the edge of the line. Then on grey you can go forward.

      -- Nora


Discussion: Using Break in Move Block By: StMichaels827 12/06/2006 06:10:22 GMT
Our team has noticed what we considered an odd occurance when using the move block with sync'd motors. When we set the motor to break at the end of our travel, the motors slow to a crawl. I'm assuming this is a way to get the distance correct by slowing the motor near the end. Normally, I would say great but sometimes, specifically when we go backwards and want to turn at the end of our travel, the motors slow and the rotation never makes it to the intended degrees, thus the robot stops and never makes our next turn. The working assumption is that the bot is too heavy and the slowed motor can not generate enough power to make that las few degrees. Has anybody else noticed this? We are thinking that we may have to just loop until we reach the distance and then brake. Any thoughts appreciated.

Lloyd O'Hara
St Michael's #827

  1. Message by: 11/20/2006 19:53:10 GMT
    Deleted


    1. Message by: pigmice2192 11/20/2006 19:55:11 GMT
      This can happen. To combat this you can go for unlimited and then wait until rotation then stop your motors.


    2. Message by: dhystad 12/06/2006 06:10:22 GMT
      Pick 10 NXT robots and the move block will behave in 10 different ways. My team's robot almost always overshoots and has to back up. I built a robot that's not much different, but it has a behavior similar to yours (though it never stalls).


Discussion: NXT cables By: theguysinside644 10/31/2006 16:33:37 GMT
Is it legal to use cables with home made connectors a la http://philohome.com/nxtplug/nxtplug.htm ? Since these would not be lego parts it seems that it would be illegal, however if someone breaks a connector what would they do since cables are on backorder?

Fred

  1. Message by: fll-freak 10/21/2006 19:56:47 GMT
    I would guess that it does not matter if the cables are on backorder or not. The homemade cables would not be LEGO parts in factory original condition. But you never know. You could ask FIRST via rule 36.

    -Skye


    1. Message by: nanoknights216 10/24/2006 23:34:16 GMT
      Perhaps a friendly team in your area would loan you a cable. Also, did you try bricklink.com?
      Tammy


    2. Message by: theguysinside644 10/25/2006 01:52:17 GMT
      Thanks for the suggestion, Tammy. We don't need any right now. I was wondering what would happen if someone broke one. We have two kids on the team who have nxt robots and could borrow their cables.

      Fred


      1. Message by: quantumbots3207 10/31/2006 16:33:37 GMT
        We have four NXT sets so breaking a wire wouldn't be an issue with us.


Discussion: NXT cables By: theguysinside644 10/22/2006 06:17:06 GMT
Is it legal to use cables with home made connectors a la http://philohome.com/nxtplug/nxtplug.htm ? Since these would not be lego parts it seems that it would be illegal, however if someone breaks a connector what would they do since cables are on backorder?

Fred

  1. Message by: fll-freak 10/22/2006 04:01:54 GMT
    Already answered your question.
    -Skye


    1. Message by: theguysinside644 10/22/2006 06:17:06 GMT
      Sorry. It got posted twice.

      Fred


Discussion: Bluetooth Application for Mobile Phone By: sanantoniorobotics2850 10/30/2006 20:48:42 GMT
Hey everyone. I was wondering if anybody's using their mobile phone to work with the NXT via bluetooth. I understand (correct me if I'm wrong) that you have to have a special application on your mobile phone to be able to control the NXT. I found that out here: http://mindstorms.lego.com/Overview/Bluetooth.aspx.
However, that site has said "Coming Soon!" for a LONG time. I was wondering if they might have released the application somewhere else and have not updated this site. Has anyone used the mobile phone application? If so, where did you get it from?

Thanks! MK

Discussion: Counting Motor Revolutions? By: ECA Hawks 01/03/2007 08:20:08 GMT
This might be a dumb question but how do you count the motor revolutions on the NXT?

Thanks.

  1. Message by: bluecheesyflamingos 11/08/2006 23:22:26 GMT
    Depends on the software you are using. With NXT-G a revolution is each time a wheel turns completely around. Or its 360 degrees. Is that what you mean? Carla :)

    Coach
    Blue Cheesy Flamingos
    MI Team


    1. Message by: ECA Hawks 11/08/2006 23:55:18 GMT
      Our kids are moving from the RCX to the NXT and last year they said they could use the RCX to count the revolutions as the robot crossed a table etc. Then they would write their program accordingly. So I guess I'm asking if there is a way to run or move the robot from point A to point B and count the revolutions of the motor so they know where to start their programming.

      Thanks.


      1. Message by: bluecheesyflamingos 11/08/2006 23:59:45 GMT
        Are you using the NXT-G software or robolab?

        In NXT-G if you have it plugged in using a USB cable it will read the count of the rotation sensor right on the screen of the computer. Or you can read it right on the robots screen with the try me options. The NXT-G software help explains it all in really good detail.

        For robolab I am not sure, you may have to post this to the robolab programming section. I hope that helps, Carla :)

        Coach
        Blue Cheesy Flamingos
        MI Team


        1. Message by: Brian001 11/09/2006 05:27:25 GMT
          > In NXT-G if you have it plugged in using a USB cable...

          Additionally, this can be done via Bluetooth. A team member at the table can physically push the robot across the board, while a team member at the computer watches the feedback section (the far left-hand section of the configuration pane of a selected Move block) update in real-time.

          --
          Brian Davis


          1. Message by: ECA Hawks 11/09/2006 15:47:49 GMT
            Sorry, I didn't tell you which program they are using. It's the NXT-G software. I will show them your responses this morning.

            Thanks for the help!


      2. Message by: dhystad 12/06/2006 05:45:30 GMT
        There is a viewing feature with the NXT-G firmware. Of course you could always show them that rotations = distance / circumference. They might even want to do the conversion in their program. Then they could tell the robot to move a distance measured in inches or centimeters.

        A big advantage to this method is that if you change the wheels on your robot you only need to change the circumference value (possibly stored in a variable) and all your programs will work.


    2. Message by: 11/09/2006 14:57:06 GMT
      Deleted


    3. Message by: botsquad2672 11/09/2006 16:37:06 GMT
      Just a thought, because it seems different coaches and teams have their preferencem, but I would recommend that you have your kids use the "degrees" option instead of the "rotations". After experimenting with both, we have switched to the degrees because you can make very minor adjustments. As posted elsewhere, you can see this at this web site: http://www.ortop.org/NXT_Tutorial/index.html
      This was very helpful for my team, and I had each of them watch it. My kids now think about adjustments in increments of 10's, 50's, and 100's (remember, one roatation=360 deegrees). It has helped them fine tune the robot. Hope this helps. The best of programming to you.

      GC
      Botsquad Coach


      1. Message by: dhystad 12/06/2006 05:54:29 GMT
        Coaches that promote rotations are doing their team a big disservice. The move and motor blocks allow using decimals in the duration, but this isn't supported elsewhere.

        Plus rotations can lead you to a false belief in the resolution of the sensor. I was helping a team that were making 0.001 magnitude changes to the rotation duration. The resolution of the sensor is 0.0028 rotations.


    4. Message by: Limit Busters 198 12/29/2006 01:35:26 GMT
      Unfortunately, it seems that NXT-G does not allow decimal calculations, thus you couldn't just input your needed variables, and it calculates the distance. We have attempted using the method of 1000x normal value, but it seems that after the division block of 1000 to reduce it to normal values, it rounds it. But if someone has found this wrong, please let us know!

      Thanks,
      Limit Busters


      1. Message by: dhystad 01/03/2007 08:20:08 GMT
        You are correct. But since the resolution of a move is 1 degree I don't see this as a problem. The important thing is to do your division at the end of the calculation.

        My team wrote a Fraction MyBlock that multiplies an input by a numerator and then divides by a denominator. They use this thing all over the place.


Discussion: Light Sensor Calibration By: RadioactiveSpam1500 11/11/2006 18:44:11 GMT
I was wondering if it is a good idea to use the light sensor calibration program that comes with the NXT software. I had heard somewhere that it causes trouble, but I don't know if that was a very reliable source. Are you all having good results with the calibration program?

Thanks,
Lori

Discussion: Bluetooth interference at tournaments By: CV CA Volunteer Moderator 11/13/2006 21:14:33 GMT
Has anyone experienced any problems with bluetooth interference at tournaments? Rule # 8 states that "objects functioning as remote controls are not allowed anywhere," but not everyone in the audience reads the rules. If you had problems, how did you address them?

Yolande

  1. Message by: fll-freak 11/13/2006 00:31:49 GMT
    The rules also states that Bluetooth on the NXT must be disabled at all times at a tournament!

    -Skye


    1. Message by: Brian001 11/13/2006 01:39:46 GMT
      I'm not sure what type of problems you're worried about - a team cheating by trying to remote control their robot, or random (or even malicious) BT messaging messing up a robots behavior? The first case can be solved by making sure that BT is turned off on the robot when it comes to the table (easily identified by a small icon on the top-left of the LCD), and the second can be... solved by making sure BT is turned off on the NXT.

      --
      Brian Davis


      1. Message by: CV CA Volunteer Moderator 11/13/2006 21:07:56 GMT
        I was thinking more of random interference from teams testing in the pit, similar to stray IR tower signals downloading to multiple robots. Our pit and competition area are almost adjacent, separated only by a 2-foot walkway, so it could affect robots performing at the table.

        I don't have NXT (or a bluetooth device), so I don't know exactly how they work. However, I know that in the past it was a rare team that even owned a LEGO remote, let alone brought it to a tournament (you seldom see posts on LEGO remotes on the forum), but it seems that bluetooth usage is far more common. I missed the explicit rule about disabling BT, but now that I know, I will call attention to it at the tournament.

        Yolande


        1. Message by: Brian001 11/13/2006 21:14:33 GMT
          From the standpoint of such cross-talk, no, don't worry. BT is *targetted* - there's no way for a BT message ment for one NXT causing problems with a second NXT*. Think of it as an invisible hard-wired connection, not a "broadcast a message" sort of thing.

          *in a really really busy BT environment, you get something called "message collision" where one NXT BT message can "drowned out" somebody elses message... but even in that case, wrong messages don't get sent to the wrong NXT. The messed up message just gets resent later. BT has some real advantages.

          In fact, I really hope they start allowing... no, *encouraging*... BT messaging in FLL. The possibilities for team cooperation are much greater, without potential interferance from other simultaneous events.

          --
          Brian Davis


Discussion: How does the battery affect the rotation sensor? By: GeniusInDisguise1559 12/09/2006 10:16:32 GMT
We have a young rookie team, and we're sticking to dead reckoning for navigation. We've found that with a fully charged battery the move blocks go longer and turns go farther. If we are using the rotation sensor, how does this happen? Aren't 5 rotations 5 rotations regardless of battery strength?

Bob
Team 1559

  1. Message by: fll-freak 11/13/2006 05:13:51 GMT
    You would think, but battery voltage can still be a factor. With strong batteries, the robot is more "active" and can overshoot its 5 rotations. The motor sync algorithm will put the motors in reverse to compensate. But that algorithm must have a "deadband" or a range of rotation sensor counts that it can be off by before moving on to the next band. If not, it might never see the right values and the program would stall. That deadband is likely the source of the variations you see.

    -Skye


    1. Message by: Brian001 11/13/2006 17:18:00 GMT
      > that algorithm must have a "deadband"

      True, although if you inspect the encoder counts you find this is (at least to my thinking) remarkably small. But there's a mechanical "deadband" issue as well, that of play in the geartrain (within the motor housing itself). As an example, see this video on YouTube of "clock-like" motion on the NXT:

      http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=_LNf8ygtAT8

      --
      Brian Davis


    2. Message by: forestbot2687 11/17/2006 06:06:50 GMT
      This is our first year too. We've noticed that problem just recently. Our tournament is on this Saturday. I started to follow the advice on a mailing list and charge the battery every night. Every time when we start practice, almost all programs are off. It is very frustrating to the kids.

      I am recharging right now and I will retest tomorrow morning. If the same thing happens, I will stop charging to full. I don't think we will use up the battery at the tournament. I found the robot start to respond well when battery level drops to 7.8


      1. Message by: tanrobotics 11/18/2006 07:32:25 GMT
        You can use our technique:

        1. Never replace all the batteries all at once
        2. Replace 3 out of 6 batteries every time.

        Read your voltage level after every match.

        We found that we would change 3 out of 6 every 2 matches in a tournament. (hey, this worked well for us last year on RCX's... it took us all the way to Atlanta!)

        This year we are going with the rechargable battery for the NXT. The reason: the middle section this year is not a race as it was in the past few years. As it is co-operative, our teams designed the NXT for accuracy this year instead of speed.

        Paul Tan.



        1. Message by: dhystad 12/06/2006 06:00:08 GMT
          Replacing only half of the batteries is a bad practice. I have seen many battery and serveral toy manufacturers recommend against the practice. I have seen a fairly high coincidence of battery failure when this technique is used. Some of the failures even resulting in the batter venting (not just gasses) into the battery chamber.


          1. Message by: tanrobotics 12/06/2006 19:29:04 GMT
            The real danger in mixing batteries is only if the voltages drop down low enough in the old batteries to cause the batteries to be reverse biased. I.e. the batteries are no longer putting out a charge, but are in fact attempting to take a charge from the new batteries. In this condition, a reverse bias battery can vent the electrolyte and leak (you see this in batteries left for a long time in toys, that's why the toy manufacturers do not recommend mixing batteries). However, for FLL purposes, you would end up taking the batteries out anyways when the voltage drops, so you are NOWHERE near the danger point for a reverse bias.

            Paul Tan.
            (heh... I guess my Electricial Engineering training does come in to use sometimes ;).


            1. Message by: dhystad 12/06/2006 21:08:34 GMT
              Thanks for the info. Thats good to know.


    3. Message by: CGMSC2605 11/17/2006 18:46:34 GMT
      Many types of batteries will give a brief period of very high power after being charged (or manufactured). Usually, the high powered intial period is pretty short, as in "run up and down the table a couple times". After the high power period you get a much longer period of fairly constant power output.

      I would suggest not using the batteries in the initial high power part of their discharge cycle. You won't even be able to get through the first round at the table before the power drops significantly.

      Instead, after recharging the batteries run the 'bot for a while, completely ignoring how it behaves. For the 2500mAH LiMH batteries we use we find that running a complete "competition run" on the batteries will lower the power into the more stable range. So, like forestbot2687 posted, for recahrgeable batteries run the 'bot till the voltage drops into the ~7.8V range. You should then be able to do a complete tournament (three visits to the table) without doing anything to the batteries.


    4. Message by: dhystad 12/06/2006 06:04:40 GMT
      I find the robot travelling farther with fresh batteries quite suprising, unless the next action is coast.

      Turning is not too shocking. These motors have so much torque that the wheels are slipping all over the place. My team does all their turns at lower power settings. Odometry is accurate only if the wheels don't slip.


    5. Message by: CGMSC2605 12/08/2006 19:53:50 GMT
      Dhystad: Even if the next action is stop/break the distance traveled during the stopping period will depend on the speed of the robot prior to the stop. The speed prior to the stop will be dependent on the battery power level.

      So, even using a rotation sensor your distances will still be somewhat dependent on the battery power level. Though the rotation sensor helps a lot.

      One way to reduce the affect of battery level on distances traveled is to slow down before the actual stop. The slower the robot is traveling the quicker it will stop. If the robot is traveling at a speed well below the power level that even weak batteries can provide, then the stopping distance will be consistent.

      (Edit to fix the run-on underline)


      1. Message by: SMART 12/08/2006 20:21:58 GMT
        It may depend on programming environment. When you use NXT-G and the Brake action built into the move command you robot automatically slows down as it nears the target and will even back up if it overshoots. Battery shouldn't have a major effect.

        However, I don't think life is so rosy for turns (at least not for us).

        - Peter


      2. Message by: dhystad 12/09/2006 10:16:32 GMT
        My experience with brake is that given time the robot will move to the positio commanded. Some of my robots overshoot and return to this point. Others stop short and then creep up to it. But if I give the robot enough time to complete the move and do the correction then the biggest error I have ever seen is 2 degrees.


Discussion: Ultrasonic Sensor Usage By: Honeywell4011 12/06/2006 05:40:34 GMT
Is anyone brave enough to use the ultrasonic sensor. My kids have a perfect application for it, but I'm nervous of the sensor side effects. I'm worried about our sensor picking up another robot's ping instead of our echo.

  1. Message by: GearGeeks2128 11/17/2006 16:02:40 GMT
    Our kids are trying it in one program. They are triangulating from the mat and have the sensor pointing down with only a slight angle so that it can sense when something else besides the mat comes into view. We'll see how it does in competition but it's doing pretty well at practice.

    They did discover that when they want to measure a distance of say 10cm that they have to input 20cm because the sensor measures out and back in so it doubles the number. I am not quite quick enough to understand why that is but they have found that it is pretty reliable.

    Let us know how it goes if your team decides to try it.
    ~Mischa in Georgia
    Co-coach
    Gear Geeks I & II
    (team #'s 83 & 2128)


    1. Message by: Brian001 11/17/2006 17:30:13 GMT
      > because the sensor measures out and back

      This is not my experience; the sensor measures the distance to the nearest sound-reflecting object, period. I'm curious what's going on in your set-up. For instance, hold the US sensor a known distance from a flat wall, and use the on-screen View options to read the distance. What does it show?

      --
      Brian Davis


    2. Message by: GearGeeks2128 11/17/2006 17:35:05 GMT
      I'll have the kids test again today during their meeting. I'll let you know what they come up with.


      1. Message by: tanrobotics 11/18/2006 07:35:31 GMT
        I think you guys ran into the problem we found with the ultrasonic sensor (we gave up using it because of this).

        What we found was that when the NXT was near the corners, it would read the reflection from the corners (i.e. bounce off the north wall, then bounce off the east wall then back to the ultrasonic sensor). Since the place where we would use the ultrasonic sensor the most would be the corners, we gave it up for an extra touch sensor instead.

        Paul Tan.


    3. Message by: dhystad 12/06/2006 05:40:34 GMT
      This doubling is not the expected behavior. You are not slow and they are creating a myth to support their observations. I would verify that the sensor reading is off.

      Many teams used the ultrasonic sensor at the tournament I judged at last weekend. I don't know if they ever went head to head though.


Discussion: Compass Sensor? By: ECA Hawks 11/21/2006 15:09:27 GMT
I was at the Lego site last night and noticed a compass sensor. Has anyone bought one and tried it out yet? It seems pretty cool and I can think of a few things we could use it for (not nano related).

Here's the link to the sensor.

http://shop.lego.com/ByTheme/Product.aspx?p=MS1034&cn=17

  1. Message by: Brian001 11/21/2006 02:18:39 GMT
    I have one, and can confirm it is very nice, and works really well within the NXT-G environment. Accurate to 1 degree is really impressive. Here's a YouTube video of JennToo on a turntable, equiped with the compass sensor:

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ztkSdgVen-Q

    --
    Brian Davis


    1. Message by: MA_Head_Ref 11/21/2006 15:09:09 GMT
      Cool. Very cool. That video alone might make me get an NXT.

      Jack Gregory


Discussion: Compass Sensor? By: ECA Hawks 12/09/2006 04:07:02 GMT
I was at the Lego site last night and noticed a compass sensor. Has anyone bought one and tried it out yet? It seems pretty cool and I can think of a few things we could use it for (not nano related).

Here's the link to the sensor.

http://shop.lego.com/ByTheme/Product.aspx?p=MS1034&cn=17

  1. Message by: perpetualmoetion849 12/09/2006 02:34:57 GMT
    Can the compass sensor be used during competitions? It is an official EGO piece, but it is new and no new rules have been made. Can anyone clear this up for me?


    1. Message by: Brian001 12/09/2006 03:36:57 GMT
      It's a very nice little sensor; very easy to use, and really accurate (although you do need to keep it mounted slightly away from things like the batteries or motors - pinned right to the NXT case, even after calibration, it doesn't function well). The NXT-G block from HiTechnic (the folks that actually make the sensor) to run the sensor is also easy to use. Note that it is *not* actually a LEGO product, but "certified (& sold) through LEGO", so it's a gray area - it's certainly NOT allowed this year, but it's an open question as to how FIRST wants to handle this sort of thing in the future. Here's a short demo of a compass-equiped NXT:

      http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ztkSdgVen-Q

      --
      Brian Davis


    2. Message by: zap85 12/09/2006 04:07:02 GMT
      QA24 addresses this and the answer is no. It sounds like they've left it open to change their minds for the future.


Discussion: can I use Linux? By: The NanoBricks 11/21/2006 18:58:21 GMT
Dear forum,

At the moment, my son's team competes at the jr level, but this year most of them are 9, so we are starting to plan our robotic next year.

I have been given a used laptop that I would like to use in competition for programming the RCX (that I haven't bought yet)
I'd like to let my husband switch the laptop over to Linux for relighabilty. Does anyone know if Mindstorms RIS software, NXT software, or Robolab will run on a windows emulater? will it run on any flavor of Linux? Do any tournament rules mind which platform the software runs on?

Thanks,
Christine

  1. Message by: bluecheesyflamingos 11/21/2006 18:58:21 GMT
    What distribution are you running? Plus remember the Wine emulator is not full proof, it has some problems. Plus it might be a little bit to much on the kids who would be using it to learn a new OS.

    I would love to know is someone got this working. I had to delete one of the linux partition on my laptop to install XP. Carla :)

    Coach
    Blue Cheesy Flamingos
    MI Team


Discussion: NXT not working...6 days til tournament...ARRGGG! By: nanoknights216 05/04/2007 16:02:33 GMT
Our nxt started acting up the last couple meetings. Saying the battery was dead when it was fresh charged and refused to download programs. Charged it back up, and it was fine for a bit. Then after running a program a few times, it stopped responding to any button on it (like, you can't turn it off!) I found the reset button and pushed it and held for 5 seconds. Now it won't turn on at all. Anyone know how to fix this? How frustrating.
tw

  1. Message by: KinardRobots 12/03/2006 00:53:04 GMT
    Sounds like you are using rechargeable batteries. Maybe they are failing. I would replace with another set of batteries.


    1. Message by: nanoknights216 12/03/2006 06:19:02 GMT
      I just tried replacing with both another nxt rechargable that I know works, and with regular batteries. No dice. :-(
      tw


      1. Message by: fll-freak 12/03/2006 16:17:01 GMT
        Since you have pressed the reset button (hidden inside a hole on the back of the NXT) for a few seconds, you then need to reload the firmware. I also suggest you take this moment to apply the patch to NXT-G to correct the 'clicking brick' problem.

        -Skye


    2. Message by: nanoknights216 12/04/2006 08:10:38 GMT
      Skye--
      The brick is doing its best impression of not being turned on (nothing on screen), yet it does do the clicking brick thing. I haven't ever loaded nxt-g onto this brick, only robolab 2.9.1. (I know, I know...I hope that isn't what killed it.) When I plug it into the computer with robolab on administrator and push the reset button, the computer chimes like new hardware has been plugged in, which would say *something* is happening in there.

      Would a lack of firmware cause it to pretend not to turn on?

      To complicate matters, I've installed 2.9.2 on another computer, and plugged the brick into it and tried downloading firmware, and it gives some crazy error message about previous firmware version not found or the like, then pops up some incomprehensible program into robolab behind it. I messed up when I installed 2.9.2 in that I left 2.9.1 open (running) while I uninstalled it. Which then made it impossible to close properly. I guess I was rattled? (Because I couldn't tell my 2.9.1 disc from the 2.9.2 without installing them...oy.)

      Deep breath. My questions:
      Will it appear to not turn on just because it needs firmware?
      Why did this happen in the first place? (staying on, not responding to the buttons, etc.) Is 2.9.1 the problem?
      Have I cripled my 2.9.2 installation by what I did in uninstalling 2.9.1?
      And the big question: if I can't resurrect this thing, what will my team do for a brain in 5 days at their tournament?????
      Tammy
      "A little bit of knowledge is a dangerous thing..."


      1. Message by: fll-freak 12/04/2006 14:20:00 GMT
        Yikes!

        If I understand your scenerio correctly, you purchased your NXT and started using it with Robolab 2.9.1. Then at some point things went south and the robot stoped responding. You tried the reset and that left you with a 'clicking brick'.

        Here is what I would do. First I would install NXT-G and then upgrade it with the patch to fix the "clicking brick" bug. Then I would reset the brick and use NXT-G to download the NXT-G firmware. At this point the brick should comeback to life. But it will not be useable for Robolab as Robolab uses a different firmware.

        If at this point the brick still does not come back to life, I am afraid that you may have a bad brick. Call LEGO Education and cry over the phone. They may be able to FedEx you a brick.

        If you get a functional brick, then write a simple program in Robolab 2.9.x (think about asking LEGO for the upgrade to 2.9.2 that solves some issues). Once written, try to download the program and select the NXT brick on the selector when it pops up. You should now get that crazy message about the wrong firmware. This is because Robolab has detected that the firmware on the brick and what I wants on the brick are different. Tell it to download the firmware and hold your breath. You should now be back at square one.

        If you are using 2.9.x, make an attempt to nuke your installations of older versions. They are not useful for the NXT, but 2.9.x will program the RCX.

        Please let us know how this works out.

        -Skye


        1. Message by: Brian001 12/04/2006 16:08:02 GMT
          To expand slightly on Skye's post, Tammy wrote:

          > Will it appear to not turn on just because it needs firmware?

          Exactly. If it sits there softly clicking, the firmware on the NXT brick Is Not Running, which means effectively you can't "turn it on"; instead, there's a tiny little bit of code runing in place of the firmware that will try to communicate via the USB port and help load up any firmware you choose to try. Before trying to reload the firmware (which will get it out of clicking brick mode), I agree you should install the patch from LEGO (although I *think* this only effects the NXT-G environment, it can't hurt). Then, push the reset pin (deep at the bottom of the pinhole under the USB port) for a full 5 seconds. Then, plug it in via the USB port and try to replace the firmware.

          --
          Brian Davis


      2. Message by: Mindstorms Mayhem #5 12/04/2006 19:03:24 GMT
        > Would a lack of firmware cause it to pretend not to turn on?

        Yes, that is *exactly* what will happen when the firmware is not present or not correctly loaded.

        We were using Robolab 2.9.2 with the beta 8 patch to Robolab 2.9.3. We found that the Robolab 2.9.3 beta 8 software cured some firmware loading problems (like those that you describe) present in the 2.9.1 and 2.9.2 versions.

        I suggest you do the following:
        A - Uninstall your Robolab software and do a clean installation of Robolab 2.9.2. Your installation of 2.9.2 is suspect due to the prior partial uninstall.

        B - After doing a clean install of 2.9.2, try to put firmware on the NXT brick with Robolab via the admin screen. I seem to recall that Robolab 2.9.2 had trouble with this, but it may have been only 2.9.1 which had the problem.

        C - If the above doesn't work, you have two options:
        1 - Upgrade your Robolab 2.9.2 installation to Robolab 2.9.3 beta 8 via the download from the CEEO Robolab site. I believe you will then be able to install the firmware to cure your problem from Robolab.

        2 - Install the NXT-G software, and the NXT-G patch. Use NXT-G to install the NXT-G firmware. At that point, Robolab 2.9.2 will be able to install its firmware in place of the NXT-G firmware.

        The issue is that the earlier versions of Robolab 2.9 couldn't put firmware into an NXT with "no firmware" but only one that already had properly functioning firmware (either NXT-G or Robolab). The two approaches to fixing this if you are using an earlier Robolab 2.9 with NXT are to either install NXT-G firmware before installing Robolab firmware, or to upgrade to Robolab 2.9.3 beta 8.

        --ken
        Co-Coach of Mayhem FLL Teams
        http://www.mindstormsmayhem.org
        http://www.moremayhem.org


    3. Message by: nanoknights216 12/04/2006 19:26:07 GMT
      You guys are the best. Want the next chapter?

      Okay, I went back to the machine that we've been using, the one that has 2.9.1, and got it to load up firmware and resurrect the brick. Hurray! Then I loaded up some programs and the kids tried a mission...the go straight program appeared to be totally non-functional. With a little looking, we find that whatever else went wrong appears to have toasted a motor: it now offers extreme resistence, while its mate spins normally. Hard to navigate like that.

      So we have our attachment motor reassigned to locomotion, a new one coming from Denmark (because America is just too darn small to store the pesky things Here?!?), and I'm kissing my husband who ordered extra motors for HIS team from the git-go. He'll bring me one on loan tonight.

      I have one more question: is it safe to migrate existing 2.9.1 programs to 2.9.2 or beyond? I don't want motor yoking, but I would *love* to have a stop block that works...but lacking a coast could be a problem.

      I never knew what a beautiful sound that little start up chime is...
      Here's is what I've learned: if your brick starts acting up, reload the firmware, and don't use software that they told you they didn't mean to release in the first place!
      Tammy


      1. Message by: Brian001 12/04/2006 19:54:27 GMT
        > appears to have toasted a motor...

        Wow. OK, first, I'm very sorry, but second, Wow, that's the first time I've actually heard of a NXT motor dying (not that I didn't expect it to happen, I've just not seen it happen until now). Is the motor stiff to move when *disconnected* from the NXT? I just want to make sure you tested the same motor in different ports, or all the ports with a known good motor, etc. And does Denmark want the motor back? I suspect they might be grateful for a failed motor at this point... I'm still trying to figure out how it failed.

        > I never knew what a beautiful sound that little start up chime is...

        Yeah, but it lasts too long - I replaced it :-).


      2. Message by: fll-freak 12/04/2006 20:16:46 GMT
        Yippe!

        i and I'm kissing my husband ...

        Do you have a permit for that?

        2.9.1 programs work fine moving up to 2.9.2+. In fact I have been able to open old 2.5.x programs.

        -Skye


    4. Message by: nanoknights216 12/05/2006 00:37:09 GMT
      Metaphorical kiss, of course. Cell phones not being that technologically advanced yet and all.

      So, the motor: When the robot lost its brain, it was in the middle of running a program and just kept spinning its wheels. I didn't see it happen, and I didn't do it, but it *is* possible some desperate child tried to stop it by grabbing a motor under power. The motor is hard to turn by hand even totally disconnected, and the port works fine with a good motor. My hubby's theory is that it is probably bound up with powered plastic from its little trauma. When I'm sure I have a substitute coming and that I don't have to send this carcus in, I will probably dissect it to see what's going on in there.

      Here's another possibility: for a while the kids were running a program that shredded tires as it backed into a wall to square itself. Maybe some of the tire shreds worked themselves into the motor and jammed something. Maybe that interfered with an encoder and jammed a wait for command. But that doesn't explain why it didn't respond to the power off button or the other firmware seeming problems. I don't know.

      I'm glad to hear that 2.9.2 should work. Does the coast command work on that, or do I need a patch?
      Tammy


      1. Message by: Mindstorms Mayhem #5 12/05/2006 00:56:12 GMT
        > I'm glad to hear that 2.9.2 should work. Does the coast
        > command work on that, or do I need a patch?
        > Tammy

        In version 2.9.2, to the best of my recollection, all of the "stop sign" icons instead result in a "coast" / "float" behavior. In order to get "stop" functionality, use the motor control icon that allows power to be set from -100 to +100 with a setting of 0.

        In version 2.9.3 beta8, the stop signs work, but I am not aware of any way to get "coast" functionality.

        --ken
        Co-Coach of Mayhem FLL Teams
        http://www.mindstormsmayhem.org
        http://www.moremayhem.org


      2. Message by: Brian001 12/05/2006 02:08:24 GMT
        > I will probably dissect it to see what's going on in there.

        Well, if you get to that stage, here's a little primer:

        http://philohome.com/nxtmotor/nxtmotor.htm

        --
        Brian Davis


        1. Message by: nanoknights216 12/06/2006 20:39:20 GMT
          Brian, that is a really helpful page, thank you. I wonder if the motor is somehow bound up or if there is something stuck in the gear train?
          tw


    5. Message by: nanoknights216 12/11/2006 04:42:29 GMT
      I think this problem may have been created by a faulty usb cord. (Dollar store retractable model that got played with too much, perhaps!) The NXT started acting up after we used that cord and it told us the battery was low when it wasn't. I tried using the cord again the other day and again got the low battery error message when I shouldn't have.


      1. Message by: dhystad 12/11/2006 04:56:27 GMT
        Throw that thing away immediately! I had a problem with a USB port on my laptop. Whenever I plugged a USB device into that port my laptop shut down and wouldn't restart for 15 minutes. The faulty port was shorting and my laptops power protection was cutting in. That isn't something you want to have happen too often. Who knows what my be happening to your NXT.


        1. Message by: nanoknights216 12/11/2006 08:41:12 GMT
          It's already out of here. I kept it around initially, but when the problem popped again, it got violently tossed! Fortunately, we made it through our tournament without any further (nxt caused!) problems. Host of other random foibles, but that's what we get for relying on odometry, right? ;-)
          Tammy


    6. Message by: RoboDogs1842 12/27/2006 04:23:33 GMT
      We're using 2.9.3 on two team robots. One robot running okay (some wierd behaviour and battery mssgs). The other started clicking and running thru all the stations on the brick. It doesn't respond to anything even after reloading the firmware.

      I don't see a reset button....and, which is the "back" vs the "front".

      Tournament in 4 days.....ack!

      K


      1. Message by: Brian001 12/27/2006 22:15:28 GMT
        The reset button is in a peg hole "underneath" the USB port. Turn the NXT LCD away from you so you are looking at the battery cover, and the reset button (just a hole with a metal contact beneath it) is located in the deep pinhole at the same corner as the USB port. You can poke it with a LEGO antenna (or the good old unfolded paperclip).

        Push it once briefly for a "soft" reset... or push it in and hold it for 5 seconds, and then reload the FW.

        --
        Brian Davis


    7. Message by: RoboDogs1842 12/28/2006 15:40:56 GMT
      I found the reset hole yesterday and reset it. It kept clicking...loudly. In the view screen, it was running thru different NXT stations. It looked like it was trying to do a diagnostic of some sort. I could shut the brick off or turn it back on...once it chimed "on" the clicking starts. The first reset didn't work so I took out the battery pack and reset the button under the battery pack. After that reset, the NXT would no longer boot. We sucessfully reloaded the firmware with RoboLab 2.9.3beta and still get clicking.

      Lego.technical said this was the first time they heard of this type of problem. Most of the clicking problems they have seen were soft clicks, with no ability to turn off or reboot and that resetting and redownloading the firmware fixed the problem.

      What a relief that one of our teammembers received an NXT for Christmas. We switched out the brick and batterypack and will deal with the old malfunctioning NXT next week (after tournament)...sigh...

      -thanks...we're not limping along anymore....

      K


      1. Message by: Brian001 12/28/2006 16:28:41 GMT
        It's the first time I've heard of this problem either (running through various things on the LCD is certainly odd). Do you by any chance know what you might have done before this to get it in that state? Did tech support request the NXT back for analysis? I'm wondering about the rechargable battery pack in this case... did you try "normal" AA batteries?

        --
        Brian Davis


        1. Message by: robodogs2506 05/04/2007 16:02:33 GMT
          Tech support replaced it. They said something got stuck inside.

          K


    8. Message by: RoboDogs1842 12/28/2006 15:42:08 GMT
      I found the reset hole yesterday and reset it. It kept clicking...loudly. In the view screen, it was running thru different NXT stations. It looked like it was trying to do a diagnostic of some sort. I could shut the brick off or turn it back on...once it chimed "on" the clicking starts. The first reset didn't work so I took out the battery pack and reset the button under the battery pack. After that reset, the NXT would no longer boot. We sucessfully reloaded the firmware with RoboLab 2.9.3beta and still get clicking.

      Lego.technical said this was the first time they heard of this type of problem. Most of the clicking problems they have seen were soft clicks, with no ability to turn off or reboot and that resetting and redownloading the firmware fixed the problem.

      What a relief that one of our teammembers received an NXT for Christmas. We switched out the brick and batterypack and will deal with the old malfunctioning NXT next week (after tournament)...sigh...

      -thanks...we're not limping along anymore (for now, anyway)....

      K


Discussion: Battery Help!!!Fast By: quantumbots3207 12/07/2006 01:17:46 GMT
Our robot works great at a power leval of 8.2 Is it okey to keep charging it every hour.

The Quantum Bots

  1. Message by: tanrobotics 12/06/2006 19:51:16 GMT
    Should be no problem. We have been doing that for the past couple of months. The battery cells are Lithium Ion, so they should not have a problem with it.

    Rechargable batteries in general do have a limited cycle life (i.e. number of charges), so, in theory, by recharging it more often, you *MIGHT* shorten the life. However, the life cycles of the Lithium ION batteries are in the 1000's of charges, so you probably won't notice anything.

    Paul Tan.


    1. Message by: quantumbots3207 12/07/2006 01:17:46 GMT
      Thanks a lot


Discussion: bluetooth By: dragons3477 12/20/2006 14:59:46 GMT
i dont get how to get the nxt to accept bluetooth

  1. Message by: Brian001 12/20/2006 14:59:46 GMT
    I think you need to be more specific. How to turn BT on on the NXT? How to make connect one NXT to another via BT? How to send information under the control of NXT-G between NXTs? Or how to connect the NXT to the computer via BT? Or to a PDA or BT-equiped cellphone?

    --
    Brian Davis


Discussion: TIRES By: 4-Hers06 01/05/2007 01:13:04 GMT
I am using a NXT with the bot that came with the kit. But the tires are all wobbly and every thing. Thanks - David (Programer for the lego invaders) help only 2 weeks till compition!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

  1. Message by: botsquad2672 01/02/2007 14:56:44 GMT
    There is a discussion about tires causing the robot to wobble here http://www.firstlegoleague.org/scripts/webx.dll?128@@.ee9a6eb

    We had problems with the balloon tires as discussed on this thread. You will see in the discussion that we tried three different types of tires, but they were all different sizes of balloon style tires and resulted in the same effect. When the kids switched to the street tires, the wobble problem was eliminated. This may be what you are seeing. This discussion thread is under *Equipment Questions, *Motor Questions, *Wobble in NXT when going in straight line. Just in case the link doesn't work. Hope that helps.

    GC
    Botsquad Coach


    1. Message by: 4-Hers06 01/04/2007 01:25:04 GMT
      Thanks botsquad for that help!!


    2. Message by: Randazzo1589 01/04/2007 01:25:25 GMT
      We eliminated the wobble problems with wheels by making sure there was a grey little axle holder, not sure of the parts name. It is little grey round thing we put on the black rods to hold the wheel in place. Hope this helps.

      Jen
      Randazzo1589


    3. Message by: 4-Hers06 01/05/2007 01:13:04 GMT
      Thanks jen for that but our team engineer came last night and he told me that the attach ment was to hevy so i got this problum fixed!!!


Discussion: ARM By: Rockets 01/04/2007 22:08:27 GMT
Does anyone know how to program the arm to move? We realized that it is connected and has the capability to be programmed but we are not sure how to program it.

Thanks!

  1. Message by: Randazzo1589 01/04/2007 01:07:47 GMT
    We used an additional motor to move our arm up and down by programming it with on motor I with for example a 90 degree turn. You adjust it to how much you want it to move. We also found it worked better when we slowed the speed some.


    1. Message by: Randazzo1589 01/04/2007 01:08:21 GMT
      That should have said Motor C not I.


    2. Message by: Rockets 01/04/2007 22:04:26 GMT
      So...you cannot do it with just one motor? and where would I get this other motor for future reference?


    3. Message by: Randazzo1589 01/04/2007 22:08:27 GMT
      I'm not sure since I bought multiple sets, but I believe the NXT comes with 3 motors. Two for the wheel movement and the 3rd for other movement.

      Randazzo1589



Folder: RCX Specific Questions 12/05/2006 22:46:46 GMT



Folder: Rotation-Angle Sensor Problem 10/18/2006 15:20:43 GMT
I am having trouble with my RCX rotation sensor. The last time we ran the program using it the rotation sensor counted up (positive numbers). Today we ran the same program (with no hardware change) and the sensor counted backwards. Has anyone else had this problem or know what might be going on? Thanks.

Discussion: Counting with Rotation scnsor By: Florida_Moderator 10/18/2006 15:20:43 GMT
The only time this happens that I'm aware of is if the rotation sensor was turned over. Rotation sensors are directional. If thw wire is towards and you rotate the axel clockwise the counts go up. If you put the rotation sensor with the wire away from you, it goes down.

Maybe one of the kids was trying to optimize the design and put the rotation sensor in a different place?

-Laura

  1. Message by: Efexeye5822 10/14/2006 01:10:17 GMT
    That's my suggestion too, that the wire attaching the sensor to the RCX was probably turned 180 degrees between tests. Just like a motor runs the other direction when you turn the wire, so does the axle rotation counter.


    1. Message by: DeMOElishers 10/18/2006 15:20:43 GMT
      I agree with the others. The same occurs with motors. Some kid that you do not know about coming in the room may have touched it.


Discussion: Unofficial FLL Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ) available By: fll-freak 10/01/2006 14:43:27 GMT
Fellow FLLer,

Please consider reading the Unofficial FLL FAQ (UFAQ) before posting your questions. The UFAQ is the result of condensing the posting from the previous four seasons. All the non-challenge specific questions have likely already been answered. The UFAQ has been updated for this year's rule changes.

The UFAQ was not authored by FIRST, but rather by coaches like you.

You can find the UFAQ at:

http://www.fll-freak.com/faq

Skye Sweeney
skye@fll-freak.com

  1. Message by: tigers2398 10/01/2006 05:36:34 GMT
    I am having trouble with my RCX 2.0. My "View" button no longer operates. This unit is a year old. How reliable are these units? Any suggestions to fix this one or is it a lost cause?

    I really do not want to get a NXT since it means changing operating systems on my ancient laptop. I also have another unit that the team uses (RCX) and don't want to mix them up.


    1. Message by: MA_Head_Ref 10/01/2006 14:43:27 GMT
      Contact LEGO. Their customer service is justifiably legendary.

      Jack Gregory


Discussion: USB RCX Tower options By: MA_Head_Ref 10/01/2006 01:59:21 GMT
I have a team with old RCX's and a new laptop. The laptop only has USB, they only have 9-pin serial towers. Getting a new USB tower is a little harder or more expensive than anticipated, but it is an option. The other option seems to be a USB-Serial adapter, which is clearly more than just a cable, since it needs to translate the signals. My question is, has anyone tried one of these to drive an old style IR tower from a USB port using Windows XP?

Jack Gregory

  1. Message by: fll-freak 09/30/2006 02:16:41 GMT
    I have one. I will give it a try for you.
    -Skye


    1. Message by: Mini-Monsters 09/30/2006 17:25:58 GMT
      We have used one in the past. The only problem was remembering to change the battery!

      Marie
      Mini-Monsters, Molecular Mechanics, Tetramatics, 10 to the negative 9


    2. Message by: MA_Head_Ref 10/01/2006 01:05:12 GMT
      Good news. I obtained one of these today, and it works like a charm. Cost was pretty high at $40, but I didn't have the luxury of waiting. No batteries, runs off the USB power. It is a Keyspan USA-19HS. If anyone is having this issue, this is a solution, thankfully.

      And the program, written by 5th graders last Sunday worked first time!

      Jack Gregory


      1. Message by: fll-freak 10/01/2006 01:59:21 GMT
        This will go into the UFAQ!
        -Skye


Discussion: Tower Problem, cannot communicate with RCX By: legomynano2764 11/13/2006 18:30:35 GMT
We have purchased new Dell laptops this year and have the RCX Kits with the Mindstorms Programming 2.0. We have installed the software, but we cannot get the towers to work. Windows recognizes the tower and we go thru a wizard where it looks like we load the correct driver. When we return to the hardware setup under the settings section, we still have no communication with the RCX. Please help. This might be as simple as we think it is.

Thanks, Trent
Legomynano Team Advisor

  1. Message by: Whizards 10/11/2006 20:04:57 GMT
    The USB IR Towers can be the most annoying things on the planet, if you ask me. I was in a computer lab, running a demo using the RCX, and I think the IR Tower worked on all of the machines except for two. *SIGH* Silly me for only testing on a couple machines as opposed to every single machine.

    Having said that, when you try to connect, does the green light on the IR tower come on?

    Is the RCX currently on? When you try to connect, do you see a down arrow appear on the LED of the RCX?

    Have you tried going into the Control Panel and look at the IR USB Tower and see if it's installed properly? If you have more than one computer, you could try and reduce the range of the IR Tower, they may be all interfering with each other.

    Have you tried seeing if any other program (like Brix Command Center or Robolab) will work with it?


    1. Message by: DeMOElishers 10/18/2006 15:25:09 GMT
      Try uninstalling and then reinstalling the software. If this does not work try calling or (E-)Mailing the customer support. I have prieviously had this problem also.


    2. Message by: fll-freak 10/28/2006 20:32:16 GMT
      Legomynano,
      Did you ever resolve your problem?
      -Skye


    3. Message by: CV CA Volunteer Moderator 11/12/2006 08:42:25 GMT
      We had this problem a while back. RIS software was designed optimally for Windows 98 and isn't very compatible with newer operating systems. I spent over an hour on the phone with LEGO technical assistance; after many trials and errors, the final result was that they sent me a software patch with a folder called LEGOTower. I would be glad to e-mail you a copy of the files, but you might be better off calling LEGO technical assistance in case the configuration on your computer is different than ours. They still support RIS.

      Yolande


    4. Message by: CGMSC2605 11/13/2006 18:30:35 GMT
      Another thing to try is to cover the RCX and IR tower with a box or other opaque covering to ensure some IR source in the room isn't interfering with the communication.

      We were having trouble reloading the firmware one day and couldn't get it to work until we covered things up with a trash can.


Discussion: rotation sensors not reading at all By: jrdevildawgs535 10/28/2006 21:24:31 GMT
We just took two brand new rotation sensors out of the package and installed one on the front axle of our robot. We cleared the robot and then hit view until the arrow was on the port we were using. We then rolled the bot by hand to get a reading but the number never changed it just sat at 1 We tried the other new sensor and got the same results???

  1. Message by: fll-freak 10/28/2006 20:34:41 GMT
    This is exactly as I would expect!

    Try reading Q9.3 in the UFAQ available here:

    http://www.fll-freak.com/faq

    -Skye


    1. Message by: jrdevildawgs535 10/28/2006 20:58:08 GMT
      Thank you very much. Sorry for the obviously simple question, I have four rookie teams comprised mostly of 5th and 6th graders and I haven't yet figured all this out yet.


      1. Message by: fll-freak 10/28/2006 21:24:31 GMT
        Not a problem. I would suggest that you skim over the UFAQ as there is a wealth of information in it.

        -Skye


Discussion: Stacking sensors By: Huskies1043 12/05/2006 22:46:46 GMT
I have a question from one of our kids. We know that you can stack two (or more) touch sensors on a single sensor input, but is there a way to stack a rotation sensor and a touch sensor together onto a single sensor input. We tried it and the software doesn't seem to allow it, but maybe we're missing something. Any ideas out there?

  1. Message by: fll-freak 11/01/2006 14:18:05 GMT
    It is not possible to stack a rotation sensor with any other type of sensor. This issue is addressed in the UFAQ.

    -Skye


    1. Message by: dhystad 12/05/2006 22:46:46 GMT
      Rotation sensors can be stacked with a touch sensor, but you have to do A LOT of software to make this work. Very seldom is it worth the effort.

      Feedback from the rotation sensor is 4 different voltage levels. Each time the voltage level changes, the rotation sensor software in the RCX increments or decrements the rotation sensor count. The decision to increment or decrement is based on the previous and current voltage feedback from the sensor. The voltage changes follow different patterns based on the direction the sensor hub is turning.

      If you want to stack a touch and a rotation sensor then you have to do all the counting stuff in your program. You set the sensor type to raw and read the voltage values. When the voltage changes you change the count. You determine direction by looking at the pattern of the changes.

      Next you need to look at the 4 voltage levels returned from the rotation sensor and compare them to the voltage value returned when the touch sensor is pressed. Hopefully there will be a noticable difference and you can check for the feedback exceeding a certain value.

      As I said at the start, it is possible to stack a touch and rotation sensor, but hardly worth the effort.



Folder: Table Construction 05/03/2007 21:28:56 GMT


Discussion: Unofficial FLL Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ) available By: fll-freak 10/05/2006 18:00:04 GMT
Fellow FLLer,

Please consider reading the Unofficial FLL FAQ (UFAQ) before posting your questions. The UFAQ is the result of condensing the posting from the previous four seasons. All the non-challenge specific questions have likely already been answered. The UFAQ has been updated for this year's rule changes.

The UFAQ was not authored by FIRST, but rather by coaches like you.

You can find the UFAQ at:

http://www.fll-freak.com/faq

Skye Sweeney
skye@fll-freak.com

  1. Message by: TechnoGeeks3974 10/04/2006 16:04:44 GMT
    Sky,

    After building the basic table framework including the dummy border, we find the space elevator is not a tight fit and there is no support for the trip mechanism outrigger. This won't be a problem at competition as there will be the other table. However, we don't have room for two tables in our practice room. I'm planning to attach a shelf to the bottom of the dummy border to extend out far enough to support the legs and outrigger. Is this the best solution? Or did someone come up with something better?

    Thanks,
    Melody Dig
    Head Coach
    Techno-Geeks, Micro Maniacs & Pint-Sized Pundits


    1. Message by: TechnoGeeks3974 10/04/2006 16:11:49 GMT
      Skye,

      I apologize, the spell checker changed your first name and my last name by mistake.

      Melody Doig


      1. Message by: fll-freak 10/04/2006 17:47:36 GMT
        I stopped using the spell checker years ago. Even though I embarass myself with my poor spelling, its better than the butcher job the spell check routine does!

        For your original question, a short piece of 2*4 and a small shelf of plywood is the ticket.

        -Skye


    2. Message by: MI FLL Volunteer Moderator 10/04/2006 17:35:00 GMT
      Yup. Some years you only have to screw an extra piece of 2x4 outside your north wall. This year because of the trigger rolling mechanism, you have to support it with an extra piece of horizontal wood. I'd screw a small piece of plywood to the bottom of the extra 2x4, and then screw the combined assembly to the back side of your north wall.

      - Gary


    3. Message by: TechnoGeeks3974 10/04/2006 20:51:52 GMT
      Gary,

      Thanks for confirming my solution.

      MI FLL moderator? Where in MI? We're in Houghton, in the U.P.

      Thanks again,
      Melody Doig


      1. Message by: MI FLL Volunteer Moderator 10/05/2006 18:00:04 GMT
        I'm in SE Michigan - but my son is at MTU and we have been up there often. We get a new experience in a couple months when we come up in winter for his graduation.

        I got this "job" by asking Dan M if he needed help watching things on the forum, since I read it quite often.

        - Gary V


Discussion: where to put the ball??? By: lego125 10/05/2006 18:01:35 GMT
on the smart medicine table challenge, where does the buckyball 1st get placed at? Thank you for your help.

  1. Message by: fll-freak 10/04/2006 23:28:47 GMT
    In the base.
    -Skye


    1. Message by: NanoAtomicPenguins3037 10/04/2006 23:29:20 GMT
      The ball starts in the base in the south-west corner of the mat. You can place it on/in your robot by hand before the start of any mission.

      Pete


    2. Message by: MI FLL Volunteer Moderator 10/05/2006 18:01:35 GMT
      And of course "in the base" means the team can move it out of their way (off the table with their unused attachments) until they need it.

      - Gary V


Discussion: Table on the Floor By: spitfire4551 10/12/2006 12:47:44 GMT
We bought 8x4 plywood and lay it on the tile floor and roll the mat on top of it. Is this sufficient or need we need to make the stiffeners and have it raised up? Will it affect performance of the robot?

  1. Message by: fll-freak 10/12/2006 03:39:45 GMT
    Having the bumpers is fairly important. The stiffners under the table are not as important unless you are using thin plywood.

    -Skye


    1. Message by: spitfire4551 10/12/2006 07:13:12 GMT
      If I use the Luan 1/4", is that thick enough?

      Thank you.


      1. Message by: fll-freak 10/12/2006 12:47:44 GMT
        If its on a flat floor that would be ok. But if you raise it up on saw horses like it would be at a competition, then 1/4 inch is probably too thin. It might sag and not be as flat especialy without the 2*3 stiffners on the bottom.

        -Skye


Discussion: 2 part table? By: legolemurs428 05/03/2007 21:28:56 GMT
I was at a local FLL competition this March (Rochester Rumble) and saw one team that had their table in 2 pieces. It looked like it would be much easier to transport! I'm trying to come up with ideas for holding the two halves together that would ensure exact alignment and minimal disruption of the play surface and borders. I really like the idea of doing a 2 part table and would love to hear from people with experience doing this.

David

  1. Message by: Westford81 05/03/2007 20:43:59 GMT
    I don't have any specific experience, but you could go to a woodworking store, Woodcraft or Rockler, and they would probably have the hardware used to align tabletop leaf's. That would probably work perfectly.

    Also available mailorder from the same companies.

    Chris


    1. Message by: GranbyRedBlox1945 05/03/2007 21:28:56 GMT
      I made mine in four segments. I bought 2x4' Luan pieces at Home Depot, then glued and screwed a frame of 1"x2" pine around each. Then I drilled and bolted the segments together... the pine was a little warped - oak 1x2s may have given a straighter frame for mating one to the next. Overall it came out decent, with a slight jump on my center two segments (maybe a 1/16th" or so - a little sanding of the luan helped). With the mat on it is barely notable. The segments are not too sturdy until you screw the 2x4s around the top perimeter.

      It was nice to be able to transport it in a car to the library for our demo. I still need to create a 2x4 rail that is hinged to that it folds into 4 foot sections. For the demo I put it on some milk crates so that it was low and the kids could see it better.

      Merle Yoder
      Granby Red Blox



Folder: Table Setup 12/11/2006 18:00:52 GMT



Folder: Mat Placement 09/18/2006 21:22:48 GMT
Please help our team with Mat Placement. Our field mat this year is significantly smaller than previous years. Should we allign the space elevator in the center of the field and close to the edge of the mat. This would make everyone's joint endeavors more predictable.

Thanks for all of your help.

Diane

Discussion: Mat placement By: fll-freak 09/18/2006 21:22:48 GMT
The instructions for proper mat placement are provided in the field setup page found here:

http://www.firstlegoleague.org/default.aspx?pid=23680

-Skye

Discussion: Mat to small for table By: Cyberwolves 12/11/2006 18:00:52 GMT
The mat is almost a half inch too short in both directions this year. Should the mat be centered on the table or should we align it with the table in one corner (ie. the base corner)?

  1. Message by: BrightLights2006 09/21/2006 03:49:58 GMT
    It should be aligned at the base corner:

    "Step 3: Slide and align the mat so that there is no gap between the "Base" corner***s edges of the mat and the corresponding borders. Gaps are acceptable at the other 2 edges unless they approach 3/8 inch (10mm), in which case you should move the borders."

    (from http://www.firstlegoleague.org/default.aspx?pid=14160 )
    -Rob A>
    Team Bright Lights
    St. Catharines, Ontario, Canada.


    1. Message by: MoleculeMunchers502 10/01/2006 21:29:28 GMT
      Even with aligning this base corner, there is a significant gap along the north and east wall. Should we change the dimensions of the border walls down from the required 45" x 93"? If not, will this gap be the same at competition? I am worried that it will effect our programming.

      Thank you,
      Tia Vanderwoude


      1. Message by: fll-freak 10/01/2006 22:12:12 GMT
        This is a tough question with no good answer. The mats tend to have some variation from lot to lot. In some years it has been significant. This year I understand the variation is resonable. The other factor is the table itself. Not all plywood is exactly 48*96 inches and not all 2*4s are 1.5 inches thick. Add up all these variations and you can get a significant accumulated error.

        Now the first step is to make sure that you line up the mat as per the field setup instructions. Now your error only exists against the north and east walls. If you use these walls as part of your programming, you will have to account for it.

        The nasty part is that your pratice table will be different than the competition table. And even at one tournament all the competition tables are likely to be different against each other.

        So armed with this knowledge your team may be able to figure out a way to compensate.

        -Skye


      2. Message by: MA_Head_Ref 10/02/2006 18:53:08 GMT
        The table should be built to the instructions. No more, no less. Anything else is a mistake.

        The field should be set up per instructions. To the best of your ability. This is all that is going to happen at a tournament.

        So, armed with that, and with knowing that the mats are deliberately undersize, what do you do? You understand that there will be a gap at the North and East sides. Expect it. Don't change anything to meet your expectation of what it should be.

        Jack Gregory


    2. Message by: botzealots1105 10/06/2006 15:02:50 GMT
      In privious years the mats have been slightly oversize. This is a greater problem than being undersize. Follow the instructions. I believe the table building instructions say + or - 1/8" that is a 1/4" variation. I try to keep the field (inside) dimensions as close to 93 x 45 as possible.


    3. Message by: SHeeN 12/09/2006 17:09:06 GMT
      At our regional competition, I did not have a copy of this thread or the Q&A (chalk one up to experience). *None* of the mats were aligned in the SW corner - all varied by different amounts and the space elevator was on its printed marks. I queried the refs and was told that we'd have to live with it which meant that we knocked together a spacer very quickly to make our jigs work.

      We can't complain because our robot won on the table but we had a worrying few minutes.


    4. Message by: CGMSC2605 12/11/2006 18:00:52 GMT
      SHeeN: Was this the first time you regional competition was run by this particular group of people? I would definitely send a follow-up email describing the incorrect table setup to the organizers and point out that they have a responsibility to keep up with at least the official Q&A.

      I really hate to give the volunteers who put in all the work to run a tournament a hard time but they really should not be making gross errors like this.


Discussion: Pieces Missing from Field Kit By: Tigers13684 10/24/2006 21:01:53 GMT
I was disappointed this year when, after constructing the items from the field kit, I found that three pieces were missing. Two were either unimportant or I was able to replace with extra pieces I had. However, one of the missing pieces was the long axle for the nanoprobe that connects to the magnet. This seems to be a fairly critical piece for that challenge. I was wondering if anyone else had this issue or knew where to acquire another of these pieces? The other thought I had was to connect several smaller axles, but I would think this would throw in different variables that my students won't encounter at the tournament.

  1. Message by: fll-freak 09/22/2006 19:53:45 GMT
    Call LEGO Educational using the contact information in the back of the Coaches' Handbook. They will get you the spares you need.

    -Skye


    1. Message by: FellowshipOfTheBricks 09/26/2006 05:13:54 GMT
      We were also missing the long axle that holds the magnet. This is not one any of the kids had in their thousands of legos. We temporarily linked a few axles together, just so we could complete the model. We then requested the piece and it arrived a few days later.

      Steve
      Fellowship of the Bricks
      Team 8


    2. Message by: Warriors905 10/24/2006 21:01:53 GMT
      We are assembling the self assembly nanotube and 2 pieces are to short and the finished item does not lie flat on the table. Is it suppose to be like and at angle?


Discussion: Velcro placement for competition By: AndtheCat2435 11/07/2006 19:05:34 GMT
When our robot un-sticks the nanotip, the magnet end of the field set-up lifts off the table (mat included). Sometimes, this causes the nanotip to remain stuck. At the competitions, will velcro be placed beneath the magnet end of the nanotip set-up? This would ensure the mat sticks to the table, and the field set-up would not lift off the table. If we get to our competition and there is no velcro placed beneath the magnet are, can i request that some be placed there, and expect the judges will do that?

  1. Message by: fll-freak 11/06/2006 22:38:52 GMT
    The field setup does NOT say to place any Dual Lock under the nanotip and hence none will be added. Doing so, would place a bump under the mat that might foil other teams chances. This year the extra challenge of the nanotip mission is to figure out how to open it without lifting the whole mission model.

    Your chance of getting the Dual_Lock added is very very low.

    Now with that said, I always come to a competition with a few rolls of double sided cloth carpet tape. It is almost always the case that the tournament partner is using their mats for the first time that day. Remember how it took your mat a few days to get the curl out? Well I give them the tape and suggest they use four foot lenghts under the short ends to flatten the mat.

    But I would never expect that the mat would be held down over the whole surface or next to a paticular model.

    -Skye


    1. Message by: MA_Head_Ref 11/06/2006 23:25:31 GMT
      Just to clarify for others: I read the above and thought Skye was saying that there was no Dual-Lock on the magnet end of the assembly. This is NOT what is being discussed. Instead, what is being discussed is adding dual-lock between the table and the mat.

      And, I can assure you, it will never happen because of the Q&A on this topic.

      Jack Gregory


    2. Message by: AndtheCat2435 11/07/2006 14:55:50 GMT
      Thank you for clarifying this for us. Jack, you mentioned the I & A on this topic. I had looked through different discussions, but didn't see one about dual lock placement. Which discussion are you referring to? It's probably right out in plain sight no doubt. Thanks--


      1. Message by: fll-freak 11/07/2006 15:07:58 GMT
        Q&A page. It is the official page with rulings direct from FIRST. Find it here:
        http://www.firstlegoleague.org/default.aspx?pid=23730

        Look for QA12

        -Skye


    3. Message by: GeniusInDisguise1559 11/07/2006 19:05:34 GMT
      Our mat has been down since September and it still has a curl at the east end.

      I don't have our mat taped down. I notice that is migrates northeast over time and I have to keep pulling back to the southwest corner. If the competition mats are anything like mine, some carpet tapes sounds like a good idea. Otherwise using the wall for consistency won't work so good.

      Bob
      Team 1559


Discussion: Mat ripples By: Luther'sSeals1785 11/13/2006 18:37:56 GMT
Our mat has lots of ripples from when it was rolled. The instructions say this should relax over time, but It hasn't. Does anyone have any suggestions for making our mat flatten out?
If the ripples are bigger than normal(due to pushing or pulling), our robot moves differently. Will the mats be completely flat at the tournaments?

  1. Message by: fll-freak 11/08/2006 13:50:28 GMT
    A warm (NOT HOT) hair dryer. My trick (too late now for Northern folks) is to put the mat outside in the sun for 1/2 hour when I first get in. This does a great job of flatterning.

    Will the mats be flat at your tournament? Who knows. Probably not. Many state tournaments purchase kits and only unroll the mats the night before.

    -Skye


    1. Message by: CGMSC2605 11/13/2006 18:37:56 GMT
      At the qualifying tournament we attended this past Saturday many of the mats had ripples (especially on the practice tables). Over the course of the day they seemed to get better, what with time and all the robots running back and forth across them.

      I was very concerned about the ripples affect on our robot before the tournament started but really didn't notice much of an affect during our runs.


Discussion: Bucky Ball Placement By: FunkyBots 4850 11/10/2006 20:02:10 GMT
The rules say the Bucky Ball can be placed "loosely anywhere in base." Does that mean the ball can be placed on the robot while it is still in base?

  1. Message by: fll-freak 11/10/2006 20:02:10 GMT
    Yes.
    -Skye


Discussion: Truck Placement By: FunkyBots 4850 11/10/2006 20:01:49 GMT
Where does the truck start at the beginning of the round?

  1. Message by: fll-freak 11/10/2006 20:01:49 GMT
    http://www.firstlegoleague.org/scripts/webx.dll?230@@.ee99afd

    -Skye


Discussion: Space Elevator By: NanoControl4059 11/24/2006 03:42:17 GMT
We are having trouble placing the space elevator on our practice table. Since it is meant to span both tables in the tournament, it hangs over the edge. Should we try to built up a platform for the other side to sit on? Otherwise, the weight of the unsupported side throws the structure out of alignment.

Table set-up has been so frustrating. We have been missing pieces, and luckily had a few spare parts lying around from an old kit that we could borrow from...but it's been so frustrating! We had some pieces left over, too, and that has us worried.

When the field set-up kit arrived in multiple bags, I assumed that each of the nine mission models were contained in a bag...not so, of course, but wouldn't that make much more sense??? This just seems harder than it ought to be, but maybe that's because I am a rookie coach.

Thank goodness our state tournament is at the end of January! We are just opening our NXT kit today. Do we have a chance to get it all done?

Trudy Nye
Coach of NanoControl (4059) and NanoKatz (4061)

  1. Message by: 11/21/2006 23:09:58 GMT
    Deleted


    1. Message by: Whizards 11/22/2006 23:21:02 GMT
      Use exra LEGO, Trudy. :)

      When I had a practice tournament, I only could use one table, and so Paul Tan, coach of the Nanopenguins, built a small little 'block' to place on the table edge, and directly under the center of the elevator. It used 16 stud technic beams, and was stacked 2 high and about 6 beams deep. He added a few more pieces to make sure it didn't fall over, but it works well.

      Oh, you're right, it is hard and overwhelming. :) As a rookie coach, I can say that with confidence, the only confidence I've had. *laugh*

      - Errol


    2. Message by: botsquad2672 11/23/2006 01:51:17 GMT
      There was a discussion on this in the Forum under Rules and missions questions-Space Elevator-Space Elevator Set-up for practice. There is a picture you can see of a set up that is like we used (be sure and look at the second attachment, not the first one-it doesn't work) It makes the practice realistic because the elevator does not actually rest on the side beams of the the table. If you can make something like this, I'd recommend it. At the beginning and end of our meetings I have one of the kids use my power screwdriver to set two screws into previously drilled holes. It's funny, but all the boys eagerly want to do the job (imagine that). ;-)

      GC
      Botsquad Coach


    3. Message by: 11/24/2006 03:03:34 GMT
      Deleted


    4. Message by: Mindstorm Masters 11/24/2006 03:42:17 GMT
      When we recieved our kit (before we knew better) we opened all the little bags and sorted them into our sorting trays. It all looked so neat and tidy and inviting. Then we realized we were supposed to build ALL the missions models -- they weren't just exercises for the reader, imagine! It was hard to find the pieces we needed, and it took For Ever! We cursed our carefree bag-ripping frenzy and vowed never again.

      So I'm disappointed now, that you tell us the bags have no special meaning ...

      -- Nora



Folder: FLL Coaches Handboook - pdf available for downloading 10/11/2006 19:53:44 GMT



Folder: Gracious Professionalism 12/22/2006 17:25:50 GMT


Discussion: FLL Creed - discovery By: StEugene2201 10/19/2006 16:19:24 GMT
Interesting that FIRST stresses "gracious professionalism". Seems most of the inquiries and comments still relate to strategy.

As coaches and mentors remind yourself of the line in the FLL creed:

* What we discover is more important than what we win.

Enjoy the season!

  1. Message by: 487 09/22/2006 03:45:01 GMT
    Just out of curiosity, how are strategy questions somehow an afront to "gracious professionalism?"


    1. Message by: StEugene2201 09/22/2006 14:12:28 GMT
      An observation as to the number of discussion on strategy vs GP. Did I imply afront?


    2. Message by: fll-freak 09/22/2006 14:46:16 GMT
      I took no offence.

      Strategy and GC are not contradictory. A team can be very very conpetitive and develop a very sophisticated strategy, and yet will go out of their way to help another team even though it would be to their advantage not to.


      What I do not like is the discussion that will bound to happen within a few weeks about strategy using sabotage. Kids will always come up with this strategy and the coaches should use that chance to talk about GP. What I find distasteful is when coaches start persuing this avenue on the forum. Even if it was legal, it is still wrong.

      FLL would not be as succesful a program if it did not involve a competition. As much as we dislke it, we are still geneticaly programmed to win. But luckly we have evolved enough to accept GP as a moral way to win. FIRST pushes GP to teach kids early that the 'hocky dad' mentality is self defeating. Winning at all costs is not fun in the long run.


      -Skye


      1. Message by: YottaToYocto 09/23/2006 09:59:03 GMT
        I'd also like to add that is it usually fairly obvious which teams are "kid driven" and which ones are ... well ... not. The teams whose coaches have upheld the
        FLL Core Values and FLL Coaches' Promise have more fun and, quite frankly, are a lot more fun to watch at the tournaments. Some coaches and teams get this right away while others take a few years to get it. May yours be one of the teams that gets it this year.


        1. Message by: bluecheesyflamingos 09/23/2006 17:03:06 GMT
          That is so true, you can tell just by watching. I remember watching one team last year win a award at the state tournemnt. They marched like soldiers up to get the award and back, never once smiling or cheering. Then you see the teams who are out for the fun. Like my kids who were seen doing the limbo with other teams with our team banner during lunch last year. LOL ;) We may not have won an award at state by my kids were ready to start the next season the day after state was over. Im not sure the team that won would have been. Carla :)

          Coach
          Blue Cheesy Flamingos
          MI Team


    3. Message by: DementedBuckyballs114 10/19/2006 16:19:24 GMT
      Yes, some of the judges commented on how relaxed our team was, and that they seemed to have fun with each other. This was apparently part of their impression re: teamwork..."the walls have ears and eyes" they do wander around and watch teams on the floor and in the pit.

      Another comment about Gracious Professionalism...It goes deeper than handing out candy with good luck tags at the competition. I don't want to be negative, but a lot of the stuff at competitions seems like some kind of "theatre" to look good. I want my kids to learn a deeper meaning of gracious professionalism....For example, if a kid regularly puts down other kids ideas, it's time for a private talk about how this affects the team. I often remind the kids that the other teams are not their enemies. They can share ideas with each other and everyone is better off.


Discussion: Tournament Season By: Chatham RT-1 (5068) 09/27/2006 22:05:37 GMT
I'm curious as to why the Tournament Season is from Nov-Jan, instead of being from Jan-Mar.

This would give teams more time to organize, learn, and prepare in Nov, and early Dec, instead of having to cram everything between mid Sep to mid Nov, in order to do both a Regional and a State tournament by Jan?

I'm going to guess someone will answer in order to give FIRST enough time to prepare for the World Tournament in April. So why not move it back to May?

Just wondering.
Thanks.

  1. Message by: fll-freak 09/23/2006 16:39:44 GMT
    The principal reason is that FIRST has FRC in Jan to March. Although they do have small teams devoted to each program, the bulk of the labor is shared by common staff. Having FLL and FRC (and VEX) running all at the same time would be overwhelming.

    -Skye


    1. Message by: Chatham RT-1 (5068) 09/24/2006 03:23:49 GMT
      Thanks for the answer.
      I learned that and another tonight in Coaches Training.
      The other being SNOW.


      1. Message by: fll-freak 09/24/2006 04:04:20 GMT
        SNOW?

        -Skye


    2. Message by: Chatham RT-1 (5068) 09/27/2006 22:05:37 GMT
      Yeah, down in Virginia we get most of our snow storms between January and March. And when we get them, even if its just an inch, school usually stops. Mainly in the mountains where a bus sliding off a road is not an option since the only thing off the side of the road is air and branches. Plays havoc with schedules.


Discussion: team name agreement By: nanoknights216 11/28/2006 16:30:45 GMT
Our team chose a name by everyone offering ideas and then narrowing the field of favorites and voting. The winning name--Nano Knights--was won by a 6-4 vote. Two of the dissenting votes are girls who feel like Knights is too male for them (three other girls don't mind.) Another dissenter is an older kid who feels foolish about the younger kids' enthusiasm for dressing up and embracing the "Knight" mentality.

I really want everyone to be able to embrace their team identity with enthusiasm. But now I have a mob of kids THRILLED that they get to dress up in plastic armour, that I don't want to squash...and several others squirming. And I don't want to jerk them around changing what was decided before. (I didn't immediately key into who/why the dissenters voted the way they did.)

Any advice on how to handle this situation with gracious professionalism?
Tammy W.
nanoknights217

  1. Message by: zap85 09/24/2006 02:34:44 GMT
    Last year (our rookie year) our team spent so much time choosing a name that I thought we'd never get around to looking at the missions! And I think it's particularly tough for kids to reach agreement at the beginning of the season when they don't necessarily feel like a team yet.

    One thought is, not necessarily to open up the name discussion again, but to have a discussion about whether the team as a whole feels that voting is a good way of making team decisions, and talk about how voting results in quick choices but often divisive ones, and consider some alternatives.

    You could also talk about whether the team feels it's more important to spend additional time on choosing a name they can all support, or whether they would rather just move forward and use their time on the challenges.The kids who don't like the name might reveal that they'd rather get on with the challenges, or the kids who do like the name might decide it's more important to reconsider the name and get the team working together.

    Good luck! For next year, check out the suggestions in the UFAQ.

    Doreen


    1. Message by: R2-D2 Firedroids 402 09/24/2006 18:48:49 GMT
      Dear Nanoknights,
      Our team had a similar gender mix and similar controversies over name selections. (We have been named the Roboknights in the past.) A lesson for the dissenting kids in the group is discussing how compromise and flexibility in one area of the season may lead to better facilitation and implementation of their ideas in the future.
      Secondly, on a totally different tack regarding your name is an education point about the fact that many woman knights and warriors have not gotten the top billing through history like their male counterparts:
      Joan of Arc
      Boudicca http://www.bbc.co.uk/history/historic_figures/boudicca.shtml
      Queen Hatsheput http://www.bediz.com/hatshep/story.html
      Women Knight http://www.heraldica.org/topics/orders/wom-kn.htm
      In addition, you might point out being a knight is not just about jousting and killing dragons. All can aspire to model and display the code of chivalry and the knightly virtues at practices and tournaments.
      http://www.chivalrytoday.com/Farrell/Knightly-Virtues.html
      The last paragraph in the above citation to my reading is an excellent description of gracious professionalism.

      Paul Bresnan
      Coach
      R2-D2 Firedroids
      Team 402


    2. Message by: nanoknights216 09/24/2006 19:11:06 GMT
      Paul--
      Thank you SO much for those links! I haven't read the first three yet, but that last one will be featured at our next meeting. It was this sense of chivalry and virtue that caused me to feel good about the kids choosing "Knights" as a part of the team name. Great stuff!
      Oh, and on the list of women knights, don't forget LotR's Eowyn! Does that count???
      Tammy


    3. Message by: DarkMatter747 09/25/2006 03:32:59 GMT
      A few years ago at the beginning of the Mission Mars season, our team decided on "Little Green Men" after our usual lengthy name-choosing ordeal. One of the girls (we had 3 girls and 7 boys) suggested we use "Little Green Men and Women" - and we did!

      -Dave


    4. Message by: botzealots1105 09/26/2006 14:27:49 GMT
      Don't forget that knighthoods are still bestowed upon people. Sir Elton John comes to mind, as does Dame Edith Dench.


    5. Message by: theguysinside644 10/06/2006 03:18:57 GMT
      Our team, "The Guys Inside", has one girl on it. When we decided on the name she had no problem with it. Later on, a parent who does not have a member on our team suggested that we call them The Guys Inside and one girl, but our female member vetoed it! She loves the name we picked and has no trouble holding her own with the other "guys". When it came to picking a shirt color everyone but one boy wanted hot pink. It was suggested that we vote on it and I mentioned that, while hot pink probably would win, we might have a disgruntled team member and this is a team effort. We have decided to discuss other colors at the next meeting.

      -Fred


    6. Message by: Thedarknachosofcheesyproportions1088 10/17/2006 01:45:09 GMT
      How much time is too much time to wpend on these things? just wondering,we only meet once a week,and the kids need to work their missions too.....


    7. Message by: CV CA Volunteer Moderator 10/19/2006 07:16:22 GMT
      We tried to get the team name settled by the first meeting, but ultimately, you want everyone to feel content, if not excited, with the name. If it seems to be taking too much time to arrive at that place, you might try trade-offs of another kind. We had a 3-2 split with some grumbling from one afterward, but we promised the minority that they would get first dibs on choosing t-shirt color. Another bargaining chip was choosing which mission models each would get to build.

      Yolande, of the former Manic Mechanic Mindstormers

      P.S. I (and others, I noticed) think your team name is great -- be sure to tell the kids.


    8. Message by: GeniusInDisguise1559 10/20/2006 01:23:47 GMT
      Here is a technique I use to help my teams narrow down choices, like names, t-shirt designs, etc. Have them write the different options on 3x5 cards. Go over the 3x5 cards with the group. Lay them down on a table. Each member is given 5 dried kidney beans to vote. They can put all 5 beans on one card if they feel strongly about one option; put 1 bean on 5 different choices; or anything inbetween. After everyone has voted eliminate all but the top 3 - 5 choices. Repeat the process until a winner emerges. Tailor it to meet your needs.

      Bob
      Team 1559


      1. Message by: fll-freak 10/20/2006 02:07:42 GMT
        I will add one more point. I have the kids yell out the team name like they might at a competition. I also have them introduce themselves by yelling: "And now appearing at center stage, all the way from Katmandu Nepal, the XYZ team!". Some team name just can't be chanted or introduced!

        -Skye


        1. Message by: bluecheesyflamingos 10/20/2006 16:56:01 GMT
          To get a really off the wall name like ours get a couple sheets of poster board and some colored pencils. Tell the kids to draw one or two things. Make sure they understand it does not have to be something they think about when they think about robotics.

          After everyone has finished drawing let them start putting different things together. Our name, Blue Cheesy Flamingos, came from three drawings; a cheese hat, a blue monkey and a flamingo. All the guys and girls went for it right away. Plus they all get to wear cheese hats, which I guess is cool ;) Carla

          Coach
          Blue Cheesy Flamingos
          MI Tean


    9. Message by: Thedarknachosofcheesyproportions1088 11/02/2006 15:29:41 GMT
      Where do we get cheese hats? we were thinking the same thing......


      1. Message by: bluecheesyflamingos 11/02/2006 18:07:44 GMT
        We get them online at foamations Inc. They are $12 a peice (yikes) but the kids love them so much every year I can never say no ;) Carla

        Coach
        Blue Cheesy Flamingos
        MI Team


        1. Message by: DarkMatter747 11/28/2006 15:36:32 GMT
          Does foamations have "dark matter" hats?

          :)


          1. Message by: bluecheesyflamingos 11/28/2006 16:30:45 GMT
            Why yes I think they do....."dark matter" hats look like a wedge of cheese right ;) Carla

            Coach
            Blue Cheesy Flamingos
            MI Team


    10. Message by: Scorpacudas550 11/06/2006 05:58:48 GMT
      I agree with Paul, however I'd like to point out the opportunity you have to discuss the US Constitution and minority rights amendment - the way it is sometimes described in schools is that all the brown and blond haired people can't vote all the red heads off the planet. There are ethics considerations when certain terminology make people feel uncomfortable. While I agree with the sentiments that people are responsible for how they feel and react to others, there are times when consideration for a minority group means that the majority should compromise. Ethics training in future work is somewhat akin to gracious professionalism, and embraces values that individual sensitivities be recognized and the dignity of each individual be preserved. What a great discussion your group has taken on - very profound and thought-provoking. When is being politically correct choking communications or inhibiting creativity vs. when does terminology oppress a minority? That's a huge challenge these days.


Discussion: The Spectrum of GP - A TLDR Essay By: CV CA Volunteer Moderator 11/28/2006 08:11:30 GMT
In a not-so-recent post in the research folder, I suggested that a team which planned to post its project on a website consider holding back a portion of the project. Based on the responses, I was concerned that I was the lone "Scrooge" in the FLL community. Thankfully, another poster described a range of sharing, from all, to teasers, to none, as falling within the range of GP behavior.

Carla, I applaud you for your generous spirited attitude about having your team's ideas copied, and when I asked myself if I could feel the same, the answer came back, "Under the right circumstances." I would have been fine with having some ideas copied by random teams, but I have to admit that being followed by a video camera at regionals and finding a virtual replica of our original robot at State made me uneasy. If we had to do it all again, we would have done anything differently * the replication was a small blip on what was a wonderful overall experience. However, if we were a really stellar team (which we weren't), I could see us possibly being one of the teams that saved one of our best strategies for State.

"Gracious" seems to imply giving freely without condition or expectation, and "Under the right circumstances" seems to fall short of this standard. Feeling somewhat guilty, I have ruminated over how setting limits and conditions can be consistent with being gracious, and the answer finally came to me in a request made of my son (now aged-out of FLL). A coach/friend asked to borrow his RIS kit for a team member, because all the team members but one had acquired used RIS kits over the summer, and she wanted to give each member the chance to build at home. He pondered a moment, then responded, "I'm fine with lending it to A. (the coach's daughter), because I know she can be trusted, but not to a stranger." A. in turn lent her kit to the kit-less member, and everyone was happy. I was pleased at his decision, because it was clear that he had thought it through, considered what the kit meant to him, and decided what risk he could live with, and what he couldn't. He understood his limitations and found a way to work around them. Had he lent his kit a stranger under duress, he might have worried, nagged, or been resentful. As it was, he was able let go with the free and easy attitude that characterizes graciousness.

While our kids should be challenged and stretched to deal with some of the harsh realities of life, we don't want them to break if they're not ready, and I think it's important to be sensitive to that breaking point. A few years ago, our team attended a tournament where the tournament director coached or mentored 6 local teams, and there were 3 out-of-town teams (including us). All 3 qualifying spots for State were claimed by the visitors. The kids who had worked so hard to host the tournament were so disappointed that the following year, the coach bought a kit and registration, but not a single kid signed up, and FLL disappeared from that region.

The potential for a similar situation presented itself in our region this year. We have 8 local teams (including 5 rookies), but 14 teams can squeeze into our tournament venue. Past non-local applicants to our humble local tournament have included 3 teams coached by State Director's Award winners, 2 State Design winners, and 2 State Teamwork winners, most of which reapplied this year. If we invited 6 outside teams, a complete sweep of the major awards by non-locals was a real possibility, something that was unpalatable to me, but asking the judges to "balance" the awards by region, rather than merit was equally unpalatable. We could limit our tournament to our 8 local teams, but it would deny the kids the opportunity to be gracious hosts and see some excellent quality work. After tossing around various scenarios, the best solution seemed to be open the doors to everyone, giving the 5 major awards by merit, but creating 2 parallel awards (a regional

  1. Message by: CV CA Volunteer Moderator 10/28/2006 07:20:47 GMT
    (continued)
    After tossing around various scenarios, the best solution seemed to be open the doors to everyone, giving the 5 major awards by merit, but creating 2 parallel awards (a regional Champion's Award and Robot Design Award) to acknowledge the best among our local teams. It could be that the locals will surprise me, but whatever the outcome, I can genuinely welcome the visitors, knowing that the teams who are shouldering the work of the tournament won't completely get shut out of the major awards. If we were a qualifier, I would appeal to the State Partner for a possible "wildcard" slot for the most committed volunteers.

    Based on differences of personality, maturity, resources, and past experience, we will have different comfort levels in sharing. I think that one important aspect of gracious professionalism includes understanding the limitations of our kids (and ourselves ;-)), and finding the best solution. Since we can't control the actions of others, I think we need to be realistic about what consequences we can live with and act as graciously as possible within that context. In a perfect world, awards, ranking, and recognition (including bragging rights) wouldn't matter, and the only things that would count would be learning, excellence, encouragement, and relationships. I look forward to that day!

    Yolande


    1. Message by: RoboVipers735 10/29/2006 01:54:02 GMT
      Gracious Professionalism at its finest, Cudos to you.


      1. Message by: botzealots1105 11/05/2006 00:04:59 GMT
        We too have had our robot photgraphed and videod during competition. It bothered the kids but I reminded them that a copy is never as good as the original. At state the judges wrote on their sheet "originators of many ideas we saw here today". You don't do well in technical with someone else's ideas. The real question about gracious professionalism lies with the teams that are doing the videoing.


    2. Message by: bluecheesyflamingos 10/30/2006 19:33:13 GMT
      hug You have said it all Yolande! As you told about different experiences (the video camera team for instance) I can see how different teams can shape their opinion. For top teams I can understand how it would be hard to share. My team is mediocre at best but we ALWAYS have fun. So to share our great and usually not so great ideas doesn't seem like that much of a cost to me. So my team may not be the model by which you want to set GP standards ;)

      I am only returning the GP that other teams showed me when we started. Without teams like Dark Matter I am not sure where my team would be right now because at the end of the first season I thought I was a lost cause as a coach.

      After different teams shared with us their help (robots, research, etc) I got the point that it was not about how many awards you win but how much fun it was getting there. Came back last year for the second season with that in mind and had the best time of my life! My team was the one you could see at regionals at lunch starting the limbo with our banner and inviting other teams to join in. We have the picture hanging in our home. *grinning ear to ear*

      In the end they won 2 regional awards and a top 5 for teamwork at state. When our name was announced for winning one of the regional awards my co-coach and I both looked at each other and screamed "what?".

      So I guess what I am trying to say is just have fun, help those you can and all the rest will come in time. Thats really what this is all about. Well that and chocolate always makes things better *wink* Carla :)

      Coach
      Blue Cheesy Flamingos
      MI Team


    3. Message by: nanoknights216 11/15/2006 08:54:12 GMT
      I noticed in the regional folder that Florida (I think?) has a policy that a team hosting a qualifier gets a free ticket to state, but they don't get to compete in the event they host--and the kids have to work it. I guess the situation you describe is probably what brought such a policy about!
      Tammy
      nanoknights216


    4. Message by: TechnoBots 11/26/2006 20:52:38 GMT
      The TechnoBots of Clovis, CA, had the honor and pleasure of participating in the Modesto (CA) Local Tournament, of which Yolande - author of the essay at the top - was coordinator and host.

      Aware of the possibility of the awards being captured by teams from outside her own immediate area, yet continuing to allow teams from outside to enter the local tournament, is courageous, gracious, and wise. Courageous because of the risk of being bested by outside teams. Wise because, although potentially painful, the experience allows the local teams to meet and interact with other teams, observe them in action, and learn from them. The graciousness of the Modesto folks needs no explanation, just praise and applause.

      Thank you, Yolande, and all of those involved in staging your local tournament. You set an example and a standard that I hope others will be inspired to follow and meet.

      Rus Stolling
      TechnoBots coach


      1. Message by: CV CA Volunteer Moderator 11/28/2006 08:11:30 GMT
        High praise -- hard to live up to, but much appreciated! And we appreciate the GP of you and your team at and after the tournament.

        Yolande


Discussion: A few observations By: theguysinside644 11/14/2006 15:46:51 GMT
I'm a bit confused about the Gracious Professionalism award. In order to receive it you must have received votes from other teams. How would other teams really know what the other teams are doing unless it was something unusual, like helping a team that had severe problems, sharing parts that broke, helping out other teams at the practice tables, or perhaps letting other teams use the mat or table that you brought along to the tournament. Even then, the only team that would know about it would be the team which you helped as all the other teams were busy working on their own robots.

It seems to me that rather than always awarding this award, it whould only be given in very special circumstances, and then at the discretion of the judges, not by a vote of your friends. At the tournament in Madison, WI on November 11th, an award was given. No explanation for the circumstance of the GP was announced and I heard nothing about any team standing out in this regard.

I would rather that every team recognize for themselves something another team did that was nice or helpful and thank them for showing GP.

  1. Message by: fll-freak 11/14/2006 15:46:51 GMT
    The GP trophy is awarded differently at tournaments. In the local I ran, I took nominations from teams and had the judges award the trophy. GP is too big a theme in FIRST to not award it at most tournaments. It is what keeps FLL clean and unlike many overly competitive sports. When was the last time an FLL parent KILLED another over a bad call?

    My pet peeve is the lack of explanation for the discretionary Judge's Awards, the circumstances for the Against All Odds, and the events that lead up to the GP award. This should be celebrated at the closing ceremonies. Often, its just "Here is your trophy and please clear the stage quickly".

    New Hampshire state does this fairly well. The head judge for each category stands up and explains the award, then details the winning approach, before announcing the team name. "And First place goes to a team that used a touch sensor to create a time-space anomaly that allowed them to have more than 2+1/2 minutes. Please congratulate Team 123 the 'Time travelers'".

    -Skye


Discussion: GP By: DarkMatter747 12/08/2006 17:13:13 GMT
Our team has a 10-grade mentor from the local FIRST Robotics team. She tells us that "GP" really stands for "Girl Power".

:)

  1. Message by: bluecheesyflamingos 12/07/2006 17:29:41 GMT
    .....I think we should adopt this officially! I like it ;) Carla

    Coach
    Blue Cheesy Flamingos
    MI Team


    1. Message by: tanrobotics 12/07/2006 17:55:25 GMT
      Lol!

      I think my team would adopt that as well (I have all girls teams!)

      Paul Tan.


    2. Message by: MI FLL Volunteer Moderator 12/08/2006 15:22:43 GMT
      My daughter would agree.

      Dave, have your mentor introduce herself to my daughter tomorrow - the only ref with long blonde hair. They probably already recognize each other from FIRST and/or OCCRA.

      - Gary


    3. Message by: RoboVipers735 12/08/2006 17:13:13 GMT
      Yep...Girls Rule...We were at a tournament this past weekend and a Two Girl..team was amazing they recvd. a Robot award and a state certificate....You Go Girls


Discussion: Sharing GP ideas with the team By: Mini-Monsters 12/11/2006 03:07:53 GMT


  1. Message by: Mini-Monsters 12/10/2006 23:33:00 GMT
    Hi All,

    Thought some of you might be interested in how I approached sharing the concept of gracious professionalism with my teams this year.

    I cleared off one wall in the room where we hold our meetings. In the center I put up a big "GRACIOUS PROFESSIONALISM" sign. Each week, the meetings began with a new GP Word of the Week. I would ask "what does.....mean to you?" "What do you think the dictionary definition is?" "Give me an example from home or school or anywhere of this word in action." Then they would have 'homework' - to look for and find a chance to practice that word in action.

    Our words were:
    kindness
    patience
    integrity
    polite
    respect
    trust
    win-win
    thoughtfulness
    fair
    honesty

    By the end of the season, most of my kids were able to solve interpersonal issues by referring to the wall and the word they needed. It was pretty awesome to watch!

    Marie


    1. Message by: CV CA Volunteer Moderator 12/11/2006 03:07:53 GMT
      Great idea! Sounds like a practical way to have the kids (rather than adults) be the initiators of GP.

      Yolande


Discussion: Huge Example Of Gracious Professionalism By: Honeywell4011 12/22/2006 17:25:50 GMT
I*ve got an awesome Gracious Professionalism example. Our team (Legos In Black) have been on very friendly terms with another local team (NRG * Nano Robotics Group). Both the kids and the coaches have been swapping ideas throughout the season, and come tournament time we cheer for each other. It was getting crunch time and our team captain was talking with their team captain about their difficulty with a couple of missions. He gave their team captain a couple of ideas that we had, and that helped them over the hump. They ended up winning the local tournament. We came in third because the robot could not make consistent turns. We both made it to the state tournament. Giving ideas to another team is bad idea for most other competition activities, but it is right along with FLL values. Their team captain in turn gave our team captain pointers in making good turns. Our guys implemented them in our last practice, and boy did he hit the nail on the head! What a difference that made! Kudos to NRG! Thanks a bunch!!!!

Rick * Coach of Legos In Black

  1. Message by: bluecheesyflamingos 12/22/2006 17:25:50 GMT
    Thats wonderful!! This is on of the stories that should go into the coaches handbook so new teams understand the true spirit of FLL. Most come in thinking of it as very competitive. Carla :)

    Coach
    Blue Cheesy Flamingos
    MI Team


Discussion: Huge Example Of Gracious Professionalism By: Honeywell4011 12/22/2006 04:55:08 GMT
I*ve got an awesome Gracious Professionalism example. Our team (Legos In Black) have been on very friendly terms with another local team (NRG * Nano Robotics Group). Both the kids and the coaches have been swapping ideas throughout the season, and come tournament time we cheer for each other. It was getting crunch time and our team captain was talking with their team captain about their difficulty with a couple of missions. He gave their team captain a couple of ideas that we had, and that helped them over the hump. They ended up winning the local tournament. We came in third because the robot could not make consistent turns. We both made it to the state tournament. Giving ideas to another team is bad idea for most other competition activities, but it is right along with FLL values. Their team captain in turn gave our team captain pointers in making good turns. Our guys implemented them in our last practice, and boy did he hit the nail on the head! What a difference that made! Kudos to NRG! Thanks a bunch!!!!

Rick * Coach of Legos In Black


Folder: JFLL 09/14/2006 21:04:04 GMT



Folder: Building and Technical Discussions 12/17/2006 18:49:32 GMT


Discussion: JFLL ideas By: nanoexplorers 12/17/2006 18:49:32 GMT
On the first day I got my team to build cars and race them down a slope. I am not sure how to incorporate the Nanotechnology concept in their Lego building ideas.

Anym inputs?

Thanks

  1. Message by: RLB31416 09/20/2006 04:01:58 GMT
    Since the topic to explore is the concept of scale, (same object at different scales), I was thinking along the lines of for example, the earth from space as a flat ball, then standing on it, anything but flat, and down to the atom with no shape. Another example: a forest, from a far may seem as impenetrable, standing in it there is room between trees, and at a micro-level, a bunch of cells. What do yo think, am I on the right track?


    1. Message by: nanoexplorers 09/20/2006 04:09:41 GMT
      These ideas seem nice. However, can they be converted into LEGO bricks? There need to be ideas involving lego bricks.


      1. Message by: EulerClub2570 09/21/2006 05:12:09 GMT
        One possibility working from the car theme would be to have them build something that is a part of the car that is about 1000 times smaller. SO if a car averages about 4 meters long, then they can zoom down into something that is only 4 millimeters in size, about the size of a small washer or a width of a pencil. Maybe a part of the engine or a single number on the speedometer, or possibly a small section of the seat or floor. Then they could dive down another 1000 to get to the micrometer scale of the component they did. Say it was the seat, they could find a picture of what the seat material would look like at the micrometer scale~1000nanometers, or imagine how rough it would be if a mite had to walk over it. For example here is what a vinal record looks like as you zoom in, http://www.mosthigh.de/xtra/pix/2006/Vinyl/index.html, and the nanozone has some shots of electron microscope pictures of many materials they could use. http://www.nanozone.org/SEM/SEM.htm


      2. Message by: LegoEaters 10/08/2006 23:06:32 GMT
        I can't see why not. My kids just made a model of their dog. I started out trying to make hand ball with the legos (kind of like a pyramid on top and bottom). When I was done, I explain to my girls that no it wasn't a ball but doesn't it give the idea of a ball. With that they made a dog from legos. Not perfect but it has four legs, tail, nose and floppy ears.

        I've also seen some amazing lego projects at Downtown Disney in Orlando. From dragons out of the water, aliens, people taking pictures of the aliens, an alien ship and a tourist sleeping on a bench :0).

        Use your imagination, better yet have your kids use their imagination.


    2. Message by: EulerClub2570 09/21/2006 02:30:02 GMT
      I think those ideas are on the right track. One additional thing that they will need to consider is how to incorporate movement into one or more of the models.

      I think in terms of scale you can design each of the three levels using lego bricks as if you were vieing them through different eyes, say like human eys, a telescope or electron microscopes. That way they do not neccessarily need to have three different size models as in Normal size, medium size and extra small size, but instead to show how the surfaces change as you zoom into each object or environments differ at each level.

      For example, they may do a model of a plastic cup. If they zoom in 1000 times, then the surface would look very bumby and foriegn, so that lego model would be very rough ,but it can be built at the same size as the cup model viewed 1000 times bigger. Then if you go 1000 smaller to the atomic level, they may design a plastic molecule or an indiviual atom.


    3. Message by: RLB31416 09/21/2006 03:55:55 GMT
      I had my first session today. I was a little dissapointed that two of the team members cancelled because they enrolled in sports, so I have only three boys (1 6-year old and 2 8-year old). I broke the session as follows: 30 minutes of talking about nano, 40 minutes of building and 20 minutes of browsing the links on the computer. For the building part, I just had them build individually for 7 minutes, then pass their model to the next person and build on what the previous person built. The idea being to make them become familiar with the technic type of pieces. Next week I plan to try to center them around ideas to build the actual model. I'm curious as to what other people are doing. Thanks.


    4. Message by: Microbots 09/22/2006 23:21:36 GMT
      We had our first Meeting yesterday, we have 10 high energy boys aged 6-9 and I think many thought they were just going to be playing with legos the entire time. We explained the concept of JFLL then followed with many books with images of plants, bugs, germs, cells, computer parts, etc that have been photographed with an electron microscope....wow, what a difference that made, suddenly they were all engaged with the team and very excited about the challenge. They then proceeded to build models based on the images they had seen and were very excited about sharing their creations! We gave them websites and book titles to research more on Nanotechnolgy before their next meeting as well as a nanometer ruler to measure things at home so they can get the concept of how small things really are. Good luck to all!


    5. Message by: BRICKschoolers897 09/27/2006 14:00:48 GMT
      Of course they can, just ask the kids how they are going to do it! Hardest thing about being a JFLL coach is ignoring your adult biases and letting the kids take over.

      To help dispel the adult biases of what LEGO can and can not be used to demonstrate take a peek at the PITSCO site -specifically 991104 (dna) or 991065 (photosynthesis) all done with legos.


    6. Message by: Block-Robotics 09/30/2006 13:12:47 GMT
      I bought white butcher paper to trace an outline of one of the kids and had them incorporate the mission model ideas of medicine, pizza (smell) etc to get them going.


    7. Message by: Blazers2006 10/02/2006 16:32:18 GMT
      Scale: we have been doing allot of talking about size versus scale, the concepts seem to be difficult. Everyone gets that Star Wars figures are a different scale than GI'Joe/Barbee but then one of them said no they aren't GI Joe is just a giant. The mind of a child, what a great thing.

      We are focoused on the working together aspect with rotating team leaders and the mechanics of how to build to last/work. For example we built a wall (red-white-blue one), then I blew it over! Then they tore it apart and built it again with some "wings" on it so that it "wouldn't blow down like the big bad wolf"; these types of things are preparing them for thinking about design and causing them to be okay with something not working but having the expectation to get back in there and build again until it works.

      We will continue to work on general mechanics and "what's engineering" as well as a focus in the area of micro versus macro to try to grasp the concept of nano. The word "billionth" is a stretch for a 5/6 year old, let alone some parents. :) Our teams are futunate in that one of our coaches did his graduate thesis on Nano-tehcnology. I look forward to learning from you all and will share what we are doing as well.

      thanks
      Quinten


    8. Message by: pvnanos 10/07/2006 00:38:35 GMT
      More Scale Ideas:

      Google Earth: Macro - Earth, Micro - Town/City, Nano - Each Child's house http://earth.google.com/

      A billion N's(Nano Meters), See the attached.

      Power of 10 video: http://video.google.com/videoplay?docid=6945724039283018435&q=powers+of+ten&hl=en


    9. Message by: The NanoBricks 10/09/2006 21:31:02 GMT
      Our First Meeting
      I opened the box of new legos and let them play a little as the latesters arrived, then I read alloud "Is a Blue Whale the Biggest Thing There is?" by Robert E Wells, and "What's Smaller than a Pygmy Shrew?" same author, both picture books about comparative size.

      I passed out the recent national geographic article on nano tech to the other moms as a take home read a loud, and we went outside to the mostly empty parking lot to trace ourselves in chalk. Then we "2x-ed" our drawings by drawing them twice as big as they'd been. We had time to "5x" one drawing before it was time to go. The kids were impressed by how much more area the larger drawings needed. We talked about magnification and how when you dial in 2x or 5x, you are looking at something as if it were that size.

      We had a great start, but i feel kind of blank about what to do next.

      -Christine


    10. Message by: 10/18/2006 21:53:44 GMT
      Deleted


      1. Message by: NanoMachines 10/25/2006 03:42:45 GMT
        We have older boys in our team and we started on the same track

        - Watched Honey I shrunk the kids
        - saw several samples using a microscope (10x, 100x, 400x)
        - i have left it to the imagination of the group to come up with 3 models
        - the team is doing good so far.
        - I am amazed at the imagination part - gotta learn from the kids.


    11. Message by: Chiron1076 10/19/2006 14:16:20 GMT
      My group chose the Komodo dragon. Is it enough to zoom from the whole body to the head to the eye? They aren't making the leap to the microscopic or nano level.
      Also, can they use other legos, not in the kit? They don't seem to have enough legos.


    12. Message by: NanoDragons1489 10/20/2006 23:26:24 GMT
      As I understand it -- they just need to utilize 3 different models of scale... and they have not said it needs to be any particular size scale... just that the 3 models fit on the 16x16" field.

      My kiddos are using a spider -- and we are trying to go from 10x magnification - without magnification - and a microscopic section (still unclear on this - the kids are working on it).

      As for using other EGOS - we were told at our Rookie Challenge that ANY EGOS can be utilized -- as long as they are genuine' EGO parts -- including Bionicles (spelling).

      So we are using other EGO parts... in both our JELL and FLL teams.


    13. Message by: NanoDragons1489 10/20/2006 23:27:32 GMT
      Gotta love spell check -- that is LEGO not EGO...


    14. Message by: NanoDragons1489 10/20/2006 23:29:08 GMT
      As I understand it -- they just need to utilize 3 different models of scale... and they have not said it needs to be any particular size scale... just that the 3 models fit on the 16x16" field.

      My kiddos are using a spider -- and we are trying to go from 10x magnification - without magnification - and a microscopic section (still unclear on this - the kids are working on it).

      As for using other LEGOS - we were told at our Rookie Challenge that ANY LEGOS can be utilized -- as long as they are genuine' LEGO parts -- including Bionicles (spelling).

      So we are using other LEGO parts... in both our JFLL and FLL teams.


    15. Message by: Nano-Torpedoes1003 10/23/2006 23:59:29 GMT
      I am asking children to create one model representing details at nano scale. This way they can try visualizing at that scale, and also build a moving part as, according to the challenge instructions, "Things are always moving at nano scale." The team still has not decided what they want to explore though.


    16. Message by: 10/25/2006 18:38:38 GMT
      Deleted


    17. Message by: 10/26/2006 05:37:32 GMT
      Deleted


    18. Message by: nanosquad107 11/03/2006 23:44:01 GMT
      Several in my group are experiencing frustration over the guided activity. They picked a squid--yes, a squid~ They actually have done a great job on the three scales: a squid in its envrionment, the squid itself closer, then a closeup of a tentacle. They had those done within the first four meetings. The rest of the time has been trying to figure out a way to slow down the motor rotation using gears. We've looked at tons of websites and haven't found a suitable example of using gears to slow down the rotation and then produce a horizontal back & forth motion. So, two of my team came in the last meeting and sat down for 5 minutes, then walked out saying they didn't feel like doing it today. They have had tons of fun playing with the motor, but everytime I try to guide them to creating the motion they wanted for the squid, they get frustrated and bored. The two older boys stick with it okay, but the younger ones just want to play around. I've not been very happy with the whole deal so far. And I know it's not just me because I teach most of these boys other times and have great interest from them. I echo your sentiment--go figure!


      1. Message by: The Lego Invaders 11/04/2006 03:22:45 GMT
        This is my first experience I/the First ego League, and I have to say, it is extremely helpful having these discussions. Because the expectations are so broad, it is difficult to to know what to do with these 6 to 9 year old. I am impressed by the fact your team has chosen your "subject" and have already built the object in 3 scales. We are moving at a snail's pace, but the kids are really enjoying themselves, so far. We have no "subject" yet, as we have just been playing around with microscopes, discussing scale, reading the Pygmy Shrew book, and doing some fun activities with static electricity (to try to introduce the idea of electrons). I used to teach 5th grade, and part of the ski curric. dealt I/ matter, molecules and atoms... a concept my 5th graders barely comprehended. We are going to be miracle workers if the 6 to 9 I/oms get it! But it is fun trying to get there... at least, so far it is fun (could be the honeymoon phase, too).


        1. Message by: The Lego Invaders 11/04/2006 03:28:08 GMT
          that would be "sci" in place of "ski" and "w/" in place of "I/" AND "y/olds" in place of "I/oms." Maybe the next "Lego League Challenge" should be to have the kids figure out and improve the spell check!


    19. Message by: TCHEbuilders000 11/05/2006 03:57:41 GMT
      Hey everyone!

      Just wanted to share what's been happening at our meetings. We've met five times now and most of our team members are 6 or 7 yrs.old. We actually have a couple of 8 yr.old girls who have joined as well,which has been difficult for some of the boys to take because they think this is a boys only club!

      We have looked at a variety of things under the microscope/magnifying lens,checked out books from the library of magnified items,such as "Micro Aliens","What's smaller than a pygmy shrew?" and for contrast, "What's larger than a blue whale?", both by Robert Wells. We have hadlots of discussion and have also defined some science words that were not previously part of their vocabularies. The concept of "Nanotechnology" boggles my mind and frankly it has not been easy for the children,either.

      I don't know 'bout y'all and your group of kids,but mercy!!! We have had to spend time at every meeting,reminding them about not talking when another team member is speaking, about listening and following directions,to share Legos,to keep their hands to themselves,etc... Just basic stuff really,and of course they are fairly young children.

      We have tried a few games to encourage team spirit.(I think the coaches handbook said team members need to cooperate not compete with eeach other!) We have hadthem count off to ten and then go back to one,after ten is reached. You would think this would be easy! But they need to learn to listen to each other,to concentrate or pay attention,and to follow directions. If a team member makes a mistake,we start over. We have also played a game called Zip or Zap,where you line the kids up and start at one end,have the first child say zip,and the kids pass zip down the line. They must also listen for the coach call out reverse! When reverse is called,the message is changed to zap,and the direction is changed to the opposite way they were going,prior to the command given to reverse.

      The kids really seem to just want to have free time to build and create and share with one another. I do not object at all to this,but do have a challenge ready for them at each meeting. The concept of teamwork or working together as a team appeals to them,but they have little experience with it,and rather prefer competition. Some exercises we have done are team members begin building with Legos and after five minutes,or so,they pass their project on to the child next to them. That child is to build on what was begun,although the kids were not to share what they had intended to build. After another 5-7 minute period,they moved them on to the person next to them. At the end,it was interesting to hear what the completed project turned out to be,as well as hearing what the first child had planned for it to be. Of course we had some children upset because some wanted to tear it apart and start over fresh,which was against the rule for this excercise.

      We have also partnered the kids together to build vehicles and tops. A couple of times they were free to build what they wanted, as long as they agreed on their idea and they both were involved in the work to promote teamwork.

      At our last meeting,each child was asked to create an animal,with just some regular Lego blocks. After 10 minutes or so,we then asked them to make some part of their animal move. At that time,we allowed them to use this year's JFLL kit. Some kids decided to re-do their animal to accomodate this change. Our team made their animals heads turn,tails wag,tongues stick out,mouths open and ears wiggle! It really is a challenge this first year with such energetic youngsters,but my life has been richly blessed in spending time with my team! I'll continue to work on this year's JFLL challenge,but honestly I am relieved I don't have the stress of competition at Expo our first year!

      I love reading and sharing about what other coaches are doing with their teams.
      Blessings,
      Kimberly


    20. Message by: Edventure2006 11/17/2006 05:38:32 GMT
      I just got this email from a parent of one of the kids on the team I coach and I'm ready to give up!

      "I was wondering when the kids will be working on the *team* project for presentation 9 Dec. There are only four Fridays left between now and 9 Dec (if you include the day after Thanksgiving and the day before the presentation). I haven*t been involved with FLL or JFLL before; is time really not an issue for a JFLL project? Is the project something they put together in a matter of one afternoon session? I have observed a lot of individuality among the kids working on projects, but haven*t seen them work as a *team* yet. Based on your observation, do you see them working well as a team?
      Also, you mentioned the requirement for posters to be made, but I haven*t heard that discussed; are the kids supposed to be working on something along that line now, or are they going to do something as a team on a specific day?
      Not trying to step in your lane; just wondering what the plan is to get to a completed project* "

      I'm really struggling with how to get them to agree on what to build. The 9 years olds are getting frustrated with the 6 year olds and I'm wishing I had never volunteered to do this!

      Help!


      1. Message by: Homeschoolers607 11/18/2006 05:33:01 GMT
        The hardest and most valuable thing that a coach or teacher or facilitator can do is step far enough back to let kids take charge of their own learning and create their own paths to the completion of a project. Your doing great! If or when the kids feel the pressure to "produce" they will. Adults need timelines - kids process as they go.
        Enjoy the process with them and don't let an outside grown up's perspective get you down.


      2. Message by: LEt's GO play 12/01/2006 05:25:44 GMT
        My group is all 5/6 year olds so its just total pandemonium from start to finish. No matter what I plan they seem to just end up building cars and rockets (I have to actually hide the wheels). That being said they are certain dynamics to a team based on my experiences in Mechanical engineering competitions from college. Teams need leaders to facilitate decisions - those leader can be your older or more experienced builders and the younger or less experienced children should really be able to appreciate that. Its a good lesson to learn and part of what this whole idea is about, right? Leaders are certainly not there to dictate all the choices but without leadership nothing is going to get accomplished.


    21. Message by: Homeschoolers607 11/18/2006 05:26:16 GMT
      Has anyone found any images on a nanoscopic level that shows movement? There is a great website that shows images of "created" nanoscopic mechanisms -http://www.nanoengineer-1.com/mambo/index.php?option=com_content&task=view&id=116&Itemid=71 - but I haven't found anything that shows naturally occuring motion at the nanoscopic level. We have our first meeting tommorow and I am pretty fired up!


    22. Message by: Northeast lego1 12/02/2006 22:43:46 GMT
      From a Lego novice....we opened our lego kit today and found 2 black 2x6 pieces that are heavy and when shaken it sounds like something is inside....none of the kids knew what they were or did, I don't think they are magnetic...can anyone clue me in? Thanks!


    23. Message by: CGMSC2605 12/03/2006 01:27:01 GMT
      The pieces are a couple of "blocks" tall right? If so, those are Lego weights. Useful for counter balancing and adding mass to things.


    24. Message by: jfll 12/10/2006 05:45:51 GMT
      I am glad to see that I am not the only one having difficulty corralling 6 and 7 year olds. So far, they have decided to model an apple, apple core and seed. They don't want to throw out the apple core and go with the tree, but hey, so far they only have the apple modelled.

      I have had two meetings and we visited a FLL tournament. I can't say that the scale idea is getting through, but next we will see the powers of ten video and maybe some web images. I am doing an hour and a half on Sundays and it is all I can stand, but doesn't seem to get them far enough into the lego's. I am having this in my basement, and all they want to do is to go play with all of the toys. I am constantly removing someone from a toy and putting them back at the table. Why do they shout so much?

      OK - but it is fun.


      1. Message by: LEt's GO play 12/10/2006 06:12:32 GMT
        I had to put a lock on the playroom door and we now work in one of the guest bedrooms - even the bed in there (jumping of course)is a distraction. I guess when I signed up for this I thought of all the fun building I had\ve with my very controlled, mature son during our quiet time when his sister napped. I was NOT prepared for the onslaught of energy when they all get together!! My little one is like a fireball of energy and oh, the testosterone of "how many weapons can I add" just multipies exponentially for each added boy! I am sure if we modelled an apple it would have at least 3 guns and a missle launcher. At the end of the session he ends up wrestling with one of his buddies for 20 minutes or so....its a hoot. Good luck!


    25. Message by: LegoKnights25 12/13/2006 23:13:00 GMT
      We have a nice team size of three boys - 8, 8, and 10. This is our first year, so I thought we would keep it simple for the sake of the coach. :-)

      We have done many different exercises with the blocks, several of which I borrowed from these great posting. Now we have decided on roles (jobs) for these guys. Basically, we discussed what needed to be done for the challenge, and they decided which one they wanted to do. They choose their model and have just started building.

      When it came to leadership and decision making issues, I figured that the boys are learning and I need to give them some structure and guidelines. So in picking a team name, I had them each brainstorm on a piece of paper for 3 minutes. Then they each shared their ideas, narrowed it down to the top two names they each liked. That gave them 6 names to then vote on.

      I used this same basic approach for other choices that had to be made. I figure they are learning to brainstorm, listen to other people, discuss pros and cons and ask questions, and then to make a decision (usually by voting). Nothing I have read has been explicit about how to make decisions or work out solutions, so my approach is to try to teach the boys about tools they can use in the process of JFLL.

      The fact the these three boys are good friends and have worked together on other projects as helped them to be a team here as well.

      What has anyone else done? Something like our team, or totally different?

      Is anyone going to the IS Expo??


    26. Message by: Mr.Roboto1 12/17/2006 18:49:32 GMT
      Equipment Question: how do you install the 9v batteries for the Motor Add-On for Simple Mechanisms (9615)?

      Thanks


    27. Message by: GMT



Folder: JFLL Coaches' Guide (Read Only) 09/15/2006 17:09:04 GMT



Folder: Miscellaneous 02/02/2007 17:37:34 GMT



Folder: Any JFLL in Ky 10/04/2006 17:48:42 GMT
Are ther any teams from ky.
We have 3 From the Lexington area.


Folder: JFLL - Idaho 11/04/2006 01:53:19 GMT
Hello. This is our first year in JFLL. We expect to have 10 teams including 3 from Coeur d'Alene, 3 from Moscow, 1 from Cascade, 1 from Lewiston, 1 from Julietta, and 1 from Mountain Home. We are all pretty excited about this project.


Folder: JFLL GA 02/03/2007 14:57:03 GMT


Discussion: Play at home event By: GECJedi 02/03/2007 14:57:03 GMT
Our homeschool teams missed out on the big event, so we're doing a group Play at Home event Saturday, Feb 3 at the Georgia Enrichment Center. Please contact me at xt @ undefined . com (minus the spaces) if you want information about joining us. :-)

  1. Message by: Blue Knights 1178 02/03/2007 14:57:03 GMT
    Can't be there but have a GREAT time.



Folder: JFLL-Washington state 11/05/2006 04:01:27 GMT


Discussion: New team in Washington By: Edventure2006 11/05/2006 04:01:27 GMT
I have coached FLL teams for 4 years, but this is my first JFLL team. How long does it take to get the kit once you order it?

  1. Message by: legomonsters2006 10/09/2006 19:22:25 GMT
    I ordered mid September and had it within two weeks.


    1. Message by: Haven822774 10/24/2006 08:59:21 GMT
      Recieved mine in a week here in Renton.


    2. Message by: darkhorse678 11/01/2006 02:05:21 GMT
      Have any of you signed up for the Expo? Can you tell me where to sign up? I went to tournaments but only saw the dates, not a place to register. Thanks!


    3. Message by: Haven822774 11/05/2006 04:01:27 GMT
      If you send post your email address Ill send your info to the fellow running things. I just signed up, I found the email address on the web site I believe.

      Good luck, Ill check tomorrow .

      Art



Folder: Texas JFLL Teams 11/29/2006 22:55:58 GMT
Any Texas JFLL teams out there?

Discussion: yes...central Texas By: X-Bots2520 11/29/2006 22:55:58 GMT
The "Droids" are in the Temple/Belton area and registered for the Austin expo

  1. Message by: dolphins5765 11/29/2006 22:55:58 GMT
    We have 8 teams here in Austin and all are registered for the Austin Expo


Discussion: JFLL -- MA By: nanoexplorers 10/18/2006 13:16:07 GMT
Any MA based teams in the JFLL section?

  1. Message by: Lightning Bolts 000 09/20/2006 15:08:04 GMT
    Hello

    We are the Lightning Bolts based in Monson, MA. We have a 4 person team - 2 first graders and 2 second graders.

    Where are you located?


    1. Message by: nanoexplorers 09/20/2006 17:49:09 GMT
      Hi

      Chestnut Hill, MA

      How is your team doing?

      Nanoexplorers


    2. Message by: EulerClub2570 09/21/2006 02:36:14 GMT
      We have a couple teams in Easton, MA


    3. Message by: SCREMER 09/28/2006 18:29:29 GMT
      Hi,

      My name is Steve Cremer, I am the FIRST Senior Mentor for Southern New England. My job is to serve any FIRST team mentors and coaches within this region. If there is any thing that I might help you with please contact me at scremer@usfirst.org.

      Thanks


    4. Message by: McCarthyBlockbusters1 10/03/2006 06:38:59 GMT
      Hi,

      We will have six teams in Framingham, MA at the McCarthy Elementary School. This year we've launched an after school JFLL program that will start in two weeks. Last year my son and his friends participated separate from any official program.

      I'm curious, which Expo will MA teams plan to participate in? Last year my son's team went to Providence, RI (and had a great time!), but we've been trying hard to host a Framingham tournament at our school. The principal is very supportive, but I'm having a hard time getting any kind of official approval from the Lego/FIRST contacts in Massachusetts.

      Thanks


    5. Message by: lightningbolts 10/18/2006 13:16:07 GMT
      Hello,

      It's great to see so many teams in MA. I checked the Expo sites, spoke to our parents, and decided to hold an "Open House" at my home at the completion of the challenge so the team could present their project to their families and friends. I was hoping for an Expo closer to home, but as there isn't one, this was the next best thing. If something comes about in Framingham, please let me know. I'd love to bring the idea to my team parents.

      Lightning Bolts


Discussion: JFLL- MN By: RLB31416 09/21/2006 03:58:46 GMT
Any JFLL teams in Minnesota?

Discussion: Any Michigan JFLL's By: Microbots 10/02/2006 20:06:02 GMT
Just want to find out if there are any JELL groups in Michigan.
We have our first meeting today at Chary Stock well Academy in Howell..I would love to hear how your first meeting went.

Thanks

  1. Message by: Block-Robotics 09/30/2006 13:07:03 GMT
    We have a JFLL (our second year) in Windsor, Ontario Canada. The Challenge page and JR links are VERY helpful for us this year.


    1. Message by: Apollo Explorers 10/02/2006 20:06:02 GMT
      We are a first year team from Apollo Elementary School in Highland.After watching video from last year's Fll challenge I was hooked and now have many kids interested in both Lego and First.


Discussion: JFLL in NH By: Thesciencemonsters902 11/01/2006 19:17:32 GMT
Hi, are there any JELL teams in New Hampshire?
The science Monsters

  1. Message by: supersonic squids 5735 10/04/2006 14:05:07 GMT
    Francestown Elementary has eight kids at the JFLl level, so we will field two teams this year.


    1. Message by: MicroMonkies13 10/10/2006 20:24:11 GMT
      We have a team, the MicroMonkies13 in Hollis, NH. Apparently, I am told by the PTA coordinator that there will be 7 teams from our town doing JFLL this year.


    2. Message by: NanoMachines 10/25/2006 03:25:59 GMT
      we have a team in Nashua - i am sure there are many others from the city


    3. Message by: The Us Lego Builders 11/01/2006 19:17:32 GMT
      Hi we have one team of 5 kids from East Derry Elementary School in Derry NH


Discussion: New Team in Central Florida By: bjc1306 10/27/2006 17:26:03 GMT
Hello all,

We are in the process of starting a new team (mostly of pre-k and kindergarden students) at a small school in melbourne Florida.

Just wanted to introduce ourselves,

Alan

  1. Message by: RoboVipers735 10/07/2006 03:54:42 GMT
    Hi, I am with a second year team in West Melbourne, you may want to check out the info on JFLL which is for the younger groups. Welcome aboard and good luck, you will have great fun..Really

    Holly P
    RoboVipers


    1. Message by: LegoEaters 10/08/2006 22:58:41 GMT
      Hi, I started a new team with just my daughters in Melbourne. It's been interesting, so far. They're having fun. We thought we'd try it out and then maybe start up a team with their school.

      Joanne


    2. Message by: Masters of the Mesoscale 10/08/2006 23:08:35 GMT
      Welcome to the wonderful world of FLL! From the Blendon Middle School teams in Westerville, Ohio!

      Masters of the Mesoscale
      Quarky Dawgs
      Electromagnetic Disturbance

      Coach: Dr. Susan Holland, 6th year veteran coach but feel like I'm starting over now with the new NXT! Good luck!


    3. Message by: Tropical Storms #1425 10/17/2006 04:16:19 GMT
      Welcome to JFLL from the Tropical Storms, Merritt Island! This is our second year and we had loads of fun last year!

      Kara


    4. Message by: nanofreaks6031 10/27/2006 17:26:03 GMT
      Hello from the Lil' Robos - a 2nd year team in West Palm Beach. Your kids will have a blast! Looking forward to seeing everybody at State in January!


Discussion: JFLL in NE or IA By: LegoKnights25 11/01/2006 15:07:35 GMT
Is there another JFLL group in Nebraska or Iowa?


Folder: Research Questions & Tips 11/11/2006 23:02:09 GMT



Folder: tshirts 11/11/2006 23:02:09 GMT
We are just know getting organized for our JFLL and I was told we could get tshirts - does anyone have info on this?

Thanks!
Noelle

Discussion: Does anyone has got tips for us By: AC Nano Madness 1133 11/05/2006 04:03:18 GMT
Hello everyone!

Are there any teams have good tips by program the robot and building the robot. If you have a answer or something to say, let a messege behind on the forum.

AC Nano Madness team

  1. Message by: Haven822774 11/05/2006 04:03:18 GMT
    Hmm I think you might be asking in the wrong place. The JR FLL does not use robots I was told the only parts we cannot use were mindstorms.

    Good luck.



Folder: Team-related Questions & Tips 11/12/2006 18:00:15 GMT


Discussion: Registration By: Allstars1 11/12/2006 18:00:15 GMT
I am coaching for the first time and a parent from a prior year has a base kit for JFLL, do I need to register (e.g. purchase the base kit) or can I just register for a regional event?

  1. Message by: 09/19/2006 16:16:39 GMT
    Deleted


    1. Message by: fll-freak 09/19/2006 16:26:27 GMT
      The JFLL kit is different each year. Last year it was the Ocean Odyssey LEGO creator set that allowed the students to build subs, and other underwater creations. This year the base kit is a LEGO educational set with lots of fun parts and a single electric motor and battery box.

      For JFLL you do not need an NXT or an RCX kit, but you will need the current year's base kit unless you happen to have purchased the same educational kit from Pitsco in the past.

      -Skye


    2. Message by: 09/19/2006 16:59:08 GMT
      Deleted


    3. Message by: nanoexplorers 09/19/2006 21:54:15 GMT
      Hi Skye

      Can you suggests and design plans for the Kit that came with JFLL registration?

      Thanks

      "nanoexplorers"
      Chestnut Hill , MA


      1. Message by: fll-freak 09/19/2006 22:20:21 GMT
        Sorry, my experience with JFLL was exhausted in my first post! I think I heard that teams are to build the same class of object at the different scales (nano, micro, macro). But even that I am fuzzy on.

        You might benefit from browsing the LEGO books at a good bookstore. I also understand that LEGO Educational (was Pitsco) sells project books geared towards various kits. Other than that I do not know of any other resources.

        -Skye


    4. Message by: nanoexplorers 09/19/2006 22:33:30 GMT
      I agree JFLL has been vague with regards to the expectations from 6 to 9 year olds. It would have been much better to have them make a project similar to JLL.

      Nano explorers


    5. Message by: 09/25/2006 16:31:39 GMT
      Deleted


    6. Message by: Thesciencemonsters902 09/25/2006 16:37:47 GMT
      For all out there:
      I sent an email to JFLL asking for clarification on the vague challenge instructions. I received the following for a response. It really helped us and I hope it helps you.
      The Science Monsters

      Because nanotechnology itself is such a difficult concept for everyone (let alone trying to get 6 year olds to understand), we chose to have the kids begin to understand scale. Understanding scale is a key concept to nanotechnology and we felt this was the best was to tie this difficult topic to the young crowd. So the kids have to pick an item and demonstrate it on 3 different levels of scale. Your example of the orange is correct - we are hoping kids will learn that the same object has different properties on different scales.

      We held a summer camp at FIRST Place (located here at headquarters) this past summer where we tested the JFLL Challenge with kids. The kids dove right in and loved it! Here are a few starting points that they used and some suggested starting points:

      -Look at all sorts of stuff under a microscope or magnifying glass; watch the Powers of 10 video; read "What's Smaller Than a Pygmy Shrew," and spend loads of time observing things large and small and comparing them. The summer camp kids also made tops out of LEGO axles and wheels and then spun their tops on a table to show how atoms crash into each other.

      -A couple of ideas to look at for the project (one item at 3 levels of scale) could be: car-tire-tire tread, house-brick-sand, banana tree-banana w/ peel-slice of banana.

      -The way someone described it and had it stick for me (because I was struggling quite a bit!) was as he learned in a Philosophy class: A professor showed a picture of a banana and asked what it was. The Professor then showed a picture of two lines and asked what it was. It was still the banana, just up close. Same thing, just seen at different levels. That's what we are asking the kids to look. That one object could be so different depending upon how you look at it.

      I hope that this helped. Please be sure to check out the website resources listed on the www.firstlegoleague.org/jfll resource pages as well - they are actually geared for a young audience (I was shocked that there were nanotechnology pages for kids!).


      1. Message by: MicroMonkies13 10/06/2006 01:43:11 GMT
        Thanks for this...it does help. I guess you can make it as simple or complex as the team wants. Just keep stressing the 'scale' concept.


    7. Message by: FIRSTColumbus2006 11/12/2006 18:00:15 GMT
      You can search for inspiration on http://www.brickshelf.com. Happy modelling!


Discussion: JFLL duration By: RLB31416 10/31/2006 03:14:45 GMT
How long the JFLL last?, how often do teams meet?, half of my team quit because of sports, is it a team of two kids ok?

Thanks for your input.

  1. Message by: Mantua822774 09/25/2006 17:05:34 GMT
    My son was on a four person team last year and we met once every two weeks for about 2 or 2 1/2 months. And if not everyone could attend a meeting, that was fine. It was pretty low key and the kids loved it.


    1. Message by: BRICKschoolers897 09/27/2006 13:52:22 GMT
      Our homeschool group had 4 JFLL teams last year; because of locations, meetings, times and folks busy schedules, we had 2 teams that were not full teams of 5 (that changed to 6 for this year). Those were a team of 2 and a team of 3 - kids had no problem with the challenge, but may not have recieved the full teamwork expierence they would have on a larger team. I think ideally, you have a team of at least 3, but 2 is workable.

      This year our JFLL teams are meeting once a week (ish) for at least 2-3 hours at a time.


    2. Message by: Block-Robotics 09/30/2006 13:10:19 GMT
      I know soccer and hockey keep pulling our kids out. We have one FLL team with only 3 boys as they are the founding members many years ago. One girls only team, one brand new team members and one returning members team. It sure is hard to build the skills and talent with a short season and way too much startup materials for coaches to gather.


    3. Message by: Blazers2006 10/02/2006 16:21:03 GMT
      I am a new coach this year and was surprised to find out how many kids are "booked" in different programs. I have talked with each set of my parents and asked them to consider if this year was the right year for them to get involved (or not) due to the overwhelming amount of activties. I made it clear up front that if their child participated they would be expected to participate as well. I went from 4 kids to 9 in the last two weeks. Next year I think we will have a full team as well, we have people wanting to pre-register. The biggest thing I would suggest with a smaller team is the "Teamwork" aspect that was mentioned before. With the little ones the biggest event we had was voting on a name and shirt color; there was a bit of hurt feelings for a couple sessions. Needless to say the concept of team voting took a bit of time to explain as well. We meet once a week due to competing activities and frankly when you're six a couple hours after school seems like eternity. I will keep an eye out here for new ideas, please share this is all new to me.

      Thanks
      Quinten


    4. Message by: Flying Fish 10/06/2006 18:53:43 GMT
      I am a new coach this year. The responses from the parents and kids is overwhelming. I have only one team and there are atleast 10 more kids who were intersted in joining, because it gives a good contrast to all the other sports they play. You shold not have any problem with two kids fro JFLL. Becase every thing is very informal. But for FLL you might want to take that in consideration.


    5. Message by: LegoEaters 10/08/2006 22:54:20 GMT
      I have two girls under 9 years old, this is the first time we are doing FIRST and thought it would be nice if we had just the two of them. Next year we may try putting a team together. I'm looking at it as exposure and trying it out.


      1. Message by: Briqueleurs9999 10/09/2006 12:34:33 GMT
        Take time to have fun.


    6. Message by: MicroMonkies13 10/13/2006 02:35:18 GMT
      I am a new coach this year. I am lucky to have a neighbor with past experience who is helping me out and making suggestions along the way.

      We are meeting everyother week for 2hours at a time. The boys (all are 6 year olds) are having so much fun. I always give them assignments to do at home and they are learning so much.

      I make sure they get to build something everytime we meet...that's the part they really like. But they have really learned so much about atoms, molecules, and teamwork. Just voting on the team name and (today)the topic of our building project for the expo...was a new learning experience for them. I'm surprised at how much of the science they are ready to handle.

      We're trying to fit in a field trip and a day for a couple of the fathers to do some robotics with them...but otherwise we are plugging along at our own low key pace.

      We wont' win a championship or anything...but they are having fun and learning alot.


      1. Message by: fllcooch 10/31/2006 03:14:45 GMT
        I just want to say congratulations, based on your comments you "get" what this is all about. The journey is the experience and the opportunity for these children not be driven to achieve a specific result. Sounds like these kids are fortunate to have a coach like you. Keep feeding them!


    7. Message by: Thesciencemonsters902 10/19/2006 00:01:46 GMT
      I am a new coach this year and I was wondering what JFLL is looking for with regard to the Show Me poster. Is the info. on it suppose to be about nanotechnology, their models, what research they did on their models??? We are not sure and are looking for direction. Thanks. The Science Monsters.


    8. Message by: MicroMonkies13 10/21/2006 01:52:09 GMT
      Our mentor has had one child compete in JELL and an alder child who won nationals twice at the FL level. She has told us that most of the posters include a spot of each child on the poster which would include a photo of them and a picture/drawing and explanation of some part of the process. I'll be assigning the kids which part they will depict on the poster and then they can bring their picture and explanation to add to the board. So one will bring how we picked our topic (volcanoes), another will say how we did the building, one will talk about our team skirt designs, one will talk about our research, one will talk about speaking with a geologist... if we find one willing to talk!? Hope that helps.


    9. Message by: MicroMonkies13 10/21/2006 01:53:45 GMT
      okay...the spell check did some funny things to that last post....we're making team SHIRTS...not SKIRTS!


      1. Message by: fll-freak 10/21/2006 01:56:35 GMT
        You just got to love this ding-bat spell checker!

        -Skye



Folder: Marketing, Fundraising and PR 05/03/2007 19:54:39 GMT


Discussion: T-Shirts By: RoboticsLearning 10/26/2006 00:51:22 GMT
An exclusive T-shirt designed for this year's 2006 Nano Quest FLL Challenge can be ordered from Robotics Learning. The design features both RCX and NXT robot models, complete with motorized LEGO nano-probes. See:

www.roboticslearning.com/FLL/shirt



Shirts ordered by October 6 should be ready to pick up or ship around October 13. Shirts ordered after that date should be ready in late November.

Please contact me by email or phone if you have any questions.

Steve Putz
www.RoboticsLearning.com
shop@RoboticsLearning.com
408-910-1176

  1. Message by: fraserwoodsflyinglegobuilders1242 10/06/2006 18:54:26 GMT
    In creating our own team T-shirts, does anyone know if there are guidleines or limitations in using either the FLL and/or Nano Quest logo/typeface? And the follow on to this is where would I get the supporting art work if I wanted it (or is this just downloading the best GIF I can find)?

    Thank you,
    Peter


    1. Message by: RoboticsLearning 10/06/2006 19:55:02 GMT
      The FLL logo guidelines should be in the FIRST FLL Resource Center, which is at:

      http://www.usfirst.org/4vol/FLLresourcectr/index.html

      But the usfirst.org web site seems to be down right now.


    2. Message by: Under Pressure 3108 10/17/2006 01:34:24 GMT
      I like your shirt Steve!!


    3. Message by: Rockets 10/17/2006 21:05:00 GMT
      Are we allowed to use the Nano Quest Logo? There are no specifications on the website regarding that.


      1. Message by: MI FLL Volunteer Moderator 10/20/2006 17:56:14 GMT
        I think you would be safe in assuming that US FIRST has put the same protections on the NanoQuest logo as they have on the FIRST and FLL logos.


    4. Message by: Mindstorm Masters 10/26/2006 00:03:17 GMT
      I found the supporting artwork. But are we allowed to use it for our own t-shirts?

      http://www.usfirst.org/4vol/FLLresourcectr/graphics/index.html


      1. Message by: fll-freak 10/26/2006 00:51:22 GMT
        I know that I have read someplace in the past the regulations for using the theme logo. (The FIRST logo rules are avaialble as a link from the website listed above). The rules were pretty intuitive. You don't own it, you can't change it, you can't sell it without approval. I can't find the rules right now, so you might want to contact FIRST.

        -Skye


Discussion: Suggestions for sponsors to send checks? By: JANS ZANS 05/03/2007 19:54:39 GMT
When speaking to potential sponsors, any suggestions for whose name the company can send the check? It seems like giving a parent/coach's name might arouse suspicion.
Thanks,
Rookie Coach

  1. Message by: bluecheesyflamingos 09/27/2006 04:28:48 GMT
    You should use the team name or like we did the city you live in plus fll robotics team.

    But remember many companies will not send a check unless you are registered as a non-profit organization. Any money they donate they will not be able to deduct from thier taxes because you are not a non-profit. Hope that helps you, Carla :)

    Coach
    Blue Cheesy Flamingos
    MI Team


    1. Message by: fll-freak 09/27/2006 14:06:49 GMT
      If you are closely affiliated with a school, you might be able to arrange to be under the schools or the school's PTA/PTO NPO umbrella.
      -Skye


    2. Message by: botsquad2672 09/27/2006 14:34:30 GMT
      Every year this comes up when our kids try to get sponsors. There are three teams in our area that are Homeschool Groups and do not have the option of running donations under a school's tax-exempt umbrella. I spoke with our local FIRST high shool leader, and what we have came up with was to let the sponsors know that their name would be put on our T-shirts and banners. This way they can write off the donation as a business advertising expense. This has alleviated the problem.

      One other thing to mention is that my Bank would not cash or even deposit a check that was written to our team name because that name (or organization) was not on my account. I had to go back to the business and ask for a replacement check made out in my name. It is not the way I would like to do it, but some banks are obviously that way unless you set up a specific account for the group. Hope this helps.

      BOTSQUAD Coach
      (4th year)


      1. Message by: bluecheesyflamingos 09/27/2006 15:46:45 GMT
        You can apply for an EIN (employer identification number) and open a small business checking account to keep the robotics teams money in. The processes is all online and you get the number in 5 minutes. Hope that helps, Carla :)

        Coach
        Blue Cheesy Flamingos
        MI Team


      2. Message by: Mindstorms Mayhem #15 09/30/2006 02:20:48 GMT
        I'll second the idea of applying for an EIN from the IRS in order to have an informal organization. One can apply for an EIN with little more than a name for the organization and a contact individual. In order to open a "small business" checking account, the bank will likely want to know who fills a couple roles. (e.g. a president and treasurer) We simply chose to arbitrarily define one coach as the president, and one as the treasurer.

        Having a separate checkout will make it easier to receive funds from companies, as well as provide for a segregation of funds so that there is a clear separation of personal and team monies.

        If your team is really in this for the long haul, it is possible to become an official non-profit 501c3 organization, but that process is involved and expensive.

        --ken

        Mayhem FLL Co-Coach
        http://www.mindstormsmayhem.org
        http://www.moremayhem.org


    3. Message by: IAFLLModerator 09/28/2006 19:41:27 GMT
      I agree with the idea of having the company utilized on the team's promo materials and having the business be able to write it off as advertising as a way to get around the non-profit status. You might also consider setting up a separate bank account for the team so that you have an easy way of handling the problem with the checks. It could also be put in more than your name and provide a good way to report back to your sponors at the end of the season on what their donation actually purchased for the team. Sponsors like this, as well as getting any other type of items that show what they helped pay for, such as programs or media clippings, etc.


    4. Message by: LawnGnomes2312 04/09/2007 03:00:10 GMT
      It is possible to get a "club" account at a bank that is a "separate" account from your name, but under your name/ social security number. We did that this year, but we also worked on getting a 501c3 to help us with the "big" donations. As a homeschool team, we have definitely had more challenges.


    5. Message by: legolemurs428 05/03/2007 19:54:39 GMT
      I opened a new account a my bank, under my name, but separate from my own accounts. I created a spreadsheet that I'm using to track money coming in and going out (and will share with the other parents when changes happen).
      I got my company to sponsor, and they wrote it off as advertising (as mentioned elsewhere).


Discussion: How should kids participate in fundraising? By: Westfield Bots 3102 11/22/2006 21:04:39 GMT
I'm a first time coach. Our team is hosted/sponsored by our local library, but we need to secure some additional funds. The team has brain stormed on possible sponsors. Can I write the letters on the team's behalf or do the kids need to write the letters and ask for the funds? I checked the Coaches' Handbook and it didn't say specifically. Will the judges ask the team about their fundraising?

There is so much to do with our limited team time and I want to make sure I make the most of this time.

Thanks!

  1. Message by: fll-freak 10/19/2006 14:48:09 GMT
    You are certainly within your rights to have the adults do the fundraising. No judge will ask where the kids got the funding. But with that said, asking the kids to write a generic "please give us money" letter that you can include with your plea can go a long way. Also, if the kids are involved in fundraising, this can make them some "brownie points" during the teamwork interview.

    -Skye


    1. Message by: GearsofFear1288 10/23/2006 22:20:56 GMT
      Fundraising Ideas:
      One idea is to ask the kids in your FLL team if they have any family/ friends that work for some big companies like Harly Davidson or something like that and send letters to them. What works even better is if some teammembers go and talk to the possible sponsors.

      - The Gears of Fear -


    2. Message by: Under Pressure 3108 11/06/2006 23:10:38 GMT
      We had our kids write a letter that we included with a coach/parent-written letter that gave backround info on FLL. We had a couple of the kids visit a potential sponsor so that they could answer the questions that the potential sponsor had. This proved very successful for us - the kids made a great impression and we were able to secure an exclusive sponsor for all startup costs for our rookie year.

      -Michelina
      Coach


    3. Message by: botzealots1105 11/22/2006 21:03:19 GMT
      Fundraising can be a hassle. From my experience the donors like to see and meet the kids. Typically they also like to see the robot run and see the presentation. This might be better done after your tournament when you have a little more time, the money can be used to pay off this year or fund next years sign up fees and robot parts. Check with your state Lego organization, ours prefers that we don't double up on sponsors as they ask them for thousands of dollars. We have had great success with a spaghetti dinner but it is a bit of work. Check with local charitable gambling places like VFWs or Legion halls, also Lion's clubs like to help kids. A demo at the Library might get other ids interested and you could pass the hat if they allow it.
      good luck
      Mike


Discussion: Anyone selling old Challenge kits? By: LegoLexi 10/28/2006 20:18:52 GMT
Does anyone have a 2004 No Limits Challenge Kit (mission models, mat, and CD) that they'd like to sell to raise funds? If so, please contact me with your selling price (including shipping and handling).

I'm using the old challenge kits at my college to run after-school technology outreach programs with the RCX robots. So far I have Mission to Mars, Ocean Odyssey, and Nano Quest. If you have any other old challenge kits not listed here I'd be interested in those also.

Thanks,
Larry Langellier
langellier@morainevalley.edu


Folder: Miscellaneous 07/02/2007 17:18:36 GMT



Folder: fll forum 01/03/2007 03:05:34 GMT


Discussion: fl forum, questions By: tatorbots1936 11/03/2006 22:22:10 GMT


  1. Message by: 10/23/2006 19:04:52 GMT
    Deleted


    1. Message by: LegoMyNano3284 11/03/2006 22:13:55 GMT
      Is there a Team Introduction form on-line anywhere for the qualifying tournament. This is referred to in the coaches handbook but have been unable to find it.


      1. Message by: bluecheesyflamingos 11/03/2006 22:22:10 GMT
        Those are usually on your local state tournaments website. They may not be available yet. Carla :)

        Coach
        Blue Cheesy Flamingos
        MI Team


Discussion: Types of Internet Browsers By: redrobots2924 01/03/2007 03:05:34 GMT


  1. Message by: redrobots2924 12/31/2006 05:11:54 GMT
    I just recently started using Mozilla Firefox 2.0 after using Internet Explorer 6.0 and 7.0 all season long and I'm not able to get into the FLL Forum. Is anyone, that is still on the forum, using Firefox with success? Is there a setting that needs to be changed for it to work? I don't understand why this is doing this.

    Phil


    1. Message by: GeniusInDisguise1559 01/03/2007 03:05:34 GMT
      I've used Firefox the entire season. Never had a problem. Not sure I'd be much good helping you configure Firefox since it's always worked. Sorry.

      Bob
      Team 1559



Folder: Have advanced to World Festival - Now what? 04/05/2007 14:00:33 GMT
Our team, If Rotation = 1, team #2129, just won the Champions Award at the Legoland tournament in California. Could not be more stunned! But now that the reality is sinking in, we have some questions. Could someone who has gone through this process before give us some advice? What happens next? When will we hear from whomever to tell us what to do next? If you have gone through this, did you have any luck with fund raisers or with getting corporate and/or local sponsors to differ costs?

Any help would be greatly appreciated!

Scott

Discussion: Going to World Festival By: MI FLL Volunteer Moderator 04/05/2007 14:00:33 GMT
Congratulations! You are to be commended for advancing from your State tournament. Now it's time to Kick It Up a Notch! BAM!

The World Festival is an amazing experience. It can't really be covered in a short post here. I'll probably write some kind of White Paper on the event, hopefully it will be done during the Christmas holidays. I'll circulate it to Peter and Ken and maybe some others who have gone to get their comments.

For now, you need to start thinking about your travel arrangements. Find out precisely who will be going with your team - can all students go? which parents? From CA you'll probably have to fly, so start looking for airfare deals.

Hotel accomodations can be made on your own, or you can wait until FIRST opens their package system. Last year the packages were more economical than booking on your own for the downtown hotels. Remember that traffic in Atlanta is horrendous on weekdays, so either plan on staying downtown or somewhere near the MARTA subway.

Perhaps Peter or Ken could put something in this thread to indicate what kind of contact they had from FIRST. (It's been a few years since my daughter's team attended, so things probably have changed.)

- Gary

  1. Message by: If Rotation = 1 12/04/2006 19:26:17 GMT
    Gary:

    Thank you so much!!! We have started looking into travel issues and will probably have an idea of who all can go within a week or two.

    You mentioned airfare separately from hotel. Does that mean the package deals cover hotel alone? Or does FIRST have some travle deals as well?

    A White Paper on all of this would be very helpful.

    Thanks again!

    Scott


    1. Message by: fll-freak 12/04/2006 21:31:58 GMT
      b A White Paper on all of this would be very helpful.

      I would love it if a few WF teams could write just such a beast as an appendix to the Coaches' Primer. I have tried to lean on teams that have gone, but with little luck. After spending nearly 1/2 a year working to get to the WF they seem to run out of juice to write such a white paper! Slackers!

      -Skye


    2. Message by: If Rotation = 1 12/04/2006 22:12:11 GMT
      The moms on our team are way beyond organized. We will get everything we have to you from our experience when we get through this.

      Scott


    3. Message by: SMART 12/05/2006 04:21:52 GMT
      Hey, good luck at the WF. I'll be happy to post our experiences and advice, but probably not for a couple of weeks. Neck deep getting our kids ready for our state competition at the moment (not till Dec 17).

      I will say if you search the forum for World Festival you'll find many long and useful messages on the forum from prior years.

      Regards,

      Peter


    4. Message by: tanrobotics 12/05/2006 04:54:37 GMT
      We had a great time at the world festival last year. Although this is not a full white paper, here's some of the things we did (as a rookie to the World Festival):

      - Get everyone to commit to going. What we did was get all the parents to come along, that way we did not have to worry about taking responsibility for the kids (as we were coming from Canada, I did not want to have issues crossing the border with other people's kids). The parents made their own flight arrangements for themselves and their kids. Most parents flew down to Atlanta on points.

      - We watched carefully on the FLL hotel booking site for when the rooms would be released (I was checking the site twice a day). The rooms do book up quickly for the good hotels (we stayed at the Omni, which is one of the closest hotels to where the World Festival was held.. and that made a BIG difference). Book two people per room. If you work out the numbers, there are triples and quads, but it actually worked out more expensive per person than for doubles.

      - We arrived 2 days earlier to get everyone settled. We spent the time visiting the Georgia Aquarium -- really GREAT place to take the kids.

      - We really did not need a car as the World Festival and the Georgia aquarium was within walking distance.

      - Breakfast is a PROBLEM. With all the teams there, you either got in line before 6:30, or you end up missing some of the events at the World Festival (the line took almost 45 minutes if you got there at 7am, and this was for all the stalls at the food court).

      - We met the team from Paris, France, and arranged to have dinner with them one night (I tried to force the kids to speak french and sit with the kids from Paris)

      - On the wednesday night there is a coaches meeting that lasts about an hour. Have other people take the kids to eat as the coaches meeting takes place at dinner time.

      - On last year's world festival, they had an alliance mission where you had to combine your missions with 3 other teams' missions. E.g. your team would do the molecular motor, the other team would do the Smart Medicine. This was GREAT FUN! We spent some time working with other teams to get this going (strategy and timing discussions -- This was ESPECIALLY FUN when one of the Teams we had to work with was from Japan!! AND NONE OF THE KIDS SPOKE ENGLISH!)

      - Practice tables have sign up sheets. Book them in advance. Please note: We had a run in with one of the teams as they had crossed our name out because we had booked 4 consecutive sessions -- HOWEVER, this was for the alliance mission, and there were 4 teams that were going to practice, and they just asked us to book the board for all of us. I thought this was a REALLY BAD example of HOW NOT TO DO GP. I know who the team was, but I will not publicly mention names. It did irk me quite a bit because not only did they cross out our names, the complained to the FLL staff about it and was adamant that they were in the right. I mean really, this was supposed to be a way of showing their how to help other teams, not showing them how to be selfish about it (while being completely wrong about their assumptions -- they had thought we had booked it for ourselves only. Even after we pointed out that there were 4 teams right here, they refused to concede the issue -- we Graciously let them have the board).

      - There is a talent show that they ran last year. Come think of something that the kids can do for a few minutes on stage. It was fun.

      - Find some way of getting the kids to meet kids from other countries. If anything, that was probably the most educational aspect (at least I felt it was) in the whole World Festival.

      - Bring nice giveaways to break the ice. Norway came around dressed as vikings and gave out Cheese from Norway!

      - Take a look as some of the videos -- I tried to capture some of the moments on our atlanta video:
      http://www.scsrobotics.org/video

      Paul Tan.


    5. Message by: If Rotation = 1 12/05/2006 05:06:56 GMT
      I am absolutely floored by what I saw on your video! I will be sharing your site with all of the parents so they can see what to expect.

      Scott


    6. Message by: botzealots1105 12/11/2006 09:39:26 GMT
      Start raising money now! It helps to have the kids do the talking and run their robot. I have learned to call it Lego Robotics or people think you are building buildings and such.
      Trading lapel pins is very popular and a good way to meet other teams. Eat in local cafes or the CNN building. Ride the MARTA in from the airport and walk everywhere else. When FLL opens the package system up book your rooms ASAP. The price of the room includes your pass to the big party in Centennial Park. Food, fireworks and fun- don't miss it! Plan on volunteering if you can(good food). It is fun and you won't miss seeing your team compete. Allow plenty of time to get to judging and competition areas. Have fun!!
      Mike


    7. Message by: If Rotation = 1 12/11/2006 17:24:07 GMT
      Thank you, Mike!

      Scott


    8. Message by: Mini-Monsters 12/14/2006 17:47:29 GMT
      Our team traveled on the cheap for the WF re:food. We had cereal and milk for breakfast in my room each morning. (My husband just loved sharing his room with 10 adolescent boys each am!) We prepared lunch at the same time and simply brown-bagged pb&j sandwiches, a bag of chips, an apple and a sweet of some sort - usually cookies or granola bars. Be aware that buying lunch on-site is really pricey. For dinner, we did pizza one night, VEX had a really good deal for dinner a second night and then the celebration dinner the last night (sponsored by FIRST and part of your hotel package if you reserve through FIRST).

      Marie


    9. Message by: 12/17/2006 22:12:15 GMT
      Deleted


    10. Message by: 2746 12/17/2006 22:15:44 GMT
      Summary of Atlanta Part 1

      Last Years Experience

      LOCATION
      The event is in the World Congress and the Georgia Dome. The Olympic Park and the Georgia Dome will be good landmarks for you. Each is large and for the most part can be seen from each other and from most of the hotels in the downtown area.

      HOTELS
      Booking through the travel service we found last year was cheaper than direct if you can get the hotel you want. Also booking with the service includes the party tickets. Most hotels will show full due to the large block of rooms FIRST books up. Remember there are well over 10,000 people in Atlanta for this event as it is FRC, FRV and FLL. This is big.

      LAST NIGHT PARTY
      Party Tickets - I recall these were handed out at the convention center in the lobby. You could buy them at the last minute if they have any leftovers. You could also pre-order them if you did not book your room through the service. The party last year was in a fenced off the Olympic Park with lots of rides, dinner, a stage, etc. Security looked good and the fireworks display lasted at least 20 min.

      FOOD
      Only a few places in the dome last year accepted the pre-paid lunch ticket. So I think they are of very limited use, assuming you can trust the kids to hold their own cash for food and not spend it on other things. There are a lot of choices in the convention center lobby, the open-air area between the dome and the convention center and in the dome for stadium food (pizza, burgers, hot dogs ice cream etc).

      If your team is middle schoolers paying for their own meals, watch the cash flow. I have chaperoned a trip where the kids used their food money up halfway through the trip and we ended up doing group PB&J meals for 3 days.

      There are affordable eating places and delis within five blocks of the Olympic Park. The deli behind the Embassy Suites facing the Olympic Park I recommend * warning they close early. We also ate at a 50*s type diner about five blocks away from the park. I am sure the hotels can get you there. Food court in the CNN Center worked out great as well.

      We also ate lunch at the top of the Westin in the Sundial rotating restaurant (call ahead for reservations) * fancy digs and a long glass elevator ride to the top. The staff was nice to the kids and they had a kid menu plus some lunchtime hamburger specials which helped on the cost. Most team members had a parent along, so kid behavior was not an issue. It*s not a place to take a bunch of FLL kids alone with just the coach.

      THINGS IN DOWNTOWN ATLANTA OTHER THAN FLL

      The aquarium controls the number of people per hour, so it*s best to book ahead by at least a day or two depending on when you know your schedule. It*s pricey but well worth it. If you can, plan to spend more than 2 hours with a break for lunch or a snack. There is a food court inside.

      World of Coca-Cola museum * sticky feet * spread over 4 floors - displays that are really not of great interest to the kids * but lots of free coke products to drink with flavors from around the world that were interesting. Gift shop can be accessed from the street. Something to do one time at most and if you are an adult with 10 wandering kids, you will find yourself stressed keeping track of them.

      CNN Tour * interesting tour * guides are really good and if you can get the kids to ask questions they will be really interactive with the kids. Tickets booked about an hour or 2 before the tour started.

      The Underground * shops and food places of interest a fair walk from the Olympic Park.


    11. Message by: 2746 12/17/2006 22:16:53 GMT
      Summary of Atlanta Part II

      TRANSPORTATION
      If you stay downtown everything is within walking distance. Airport transport can be arranged ahead of time * FIRST sent out a service to contact a month or so before the event last year. I recommend using this service if you are with a team and have only a few adults. The service used larger shuttles and you can keep all of the kids together. If the team is traveling as several family groups, there are vans at the taxi stand which hold 5+ people and luggage. We paid $45 including tip for six of us - luggage, robot and all.

      A rental car is an option, but since everything is walking distance downtown and you pay to park at the hotels and convention center, they are more of an encumbrance. When we needed to move our robot and presentation gear from the hotel to the competition, most of the team walked over with some smaller items and one adult used a taxi to transport the larger items.

      PITS AND PRACTICE TABLES
      The pits were grouped by alliance (see below) and that worked out well. We got approximately 8* x 8* of area with a table and some low curtains as a border for the pit. To get time on a practice table, teams signed up for a time slot at a specific table. They get very crowded at first but by the end of each day they were wide open - then full again the next morning. The signup sheet controls the chaos somewhat but it still needs some coach/parent guidance.

      EVENT SCHEDULE
      2006 FLL Schedule as I recall was: Thursday was a very full day - move into the pits, practice rounds, judging, and if you can get to it, an alliance meeting and practice. Friday was the FIRST opening ceremony and FRC robot parade, FLL robot performance rounds and callbacks for judging * callbacks are where all of the judges from one area compare teams each think are worthy of a 2nd look- then the Alliance competition ends the day.

      The alliance - best part of the tournament per my team - ended the day about 4. This is where FLL assigns four or more teams to an alliance. Together, the teams decide which team*s robot has the best solution for a particular mission. Then the alliances compete against one another with each alliance using all four robots on a single table run.

      Saturday 8 am * the FLL awards which lasts about an hour - then it*s all over about 9 am.

      GRACIOUS PROFESSIONALISM
      Go for the Gracious Professionalism (GP) award * It*s one of the few that FIRST will to give to everybody and wants everybody to win. You only compete against yourself. It*s great when the kids find ways to help others and they leave the tournament feeling good about their part in it.



    12. Message by: 2746 12/17/2006 22:24:17 GMT
      Atlanta Part III

      MISCELLANEOUS SUGGESTIONS

      - Find a quiet spot in the convention center lobby for an occasional team meeting and presentation run through * the lobby is large and there are some out-of-the-way spots.

      - Also keep watch on the parents and family members who may be traveling with you * they may act for you or the team without asking the coaches permission. If the parents are wearing your team shirt people may think they represent you as coach of the team when they really do not.

      - Earplugs for kids bothered by noise * the Dome has six FRC, FLL and FVX events going on at one time and the competing sound systems create a background hum that will bother them.

      - Sit and watch the robots run * often I find at the end of the day the kids wished they could have seen all of the robots run, so take the time. Same in the pits and on the practice tables.

      - Tour the FRC (Big Robots) and FRV (Vex Robots) pits with your team as a group. Find the FRC team from your state (and FRV if there is one from your state). FRC teams here are large (15+ kids) and for the most part friendly (remember they are in a competition too, so may be in the middle of a big problem). They might adopt your team for a few minutes. In fact, some FRC kids came to the FLL pit tables and said that FLL is cooler than FRC because it*s all autonomous (best not to tell FIRST).

      - Stay calm * things will not go right * you have travel involved, tough competition, plastic robots, laptops, luggage, and more than 10,000 people * things will go wrong. Hold your breath, count to 10 and teach the kids to deal with it.

      Craig

      Coach Team 2746 * Ferocious Furballs and the Nano Dudes


    13. Message by: If Rotation = 1 01/07/2007 06:09:45 GMT
      I have a question about the neighborhood. The hotel we are looking at is nine blocks from the center. Is this an ok place to walk around? I know that there are nine block stretches on our city that I wouldn't want to walk through, especially at night.

      Any insight would be helpful.

      Scott


      1. Message by: SMART 01/08/2007 17:44:14 GMT
        Depends on which hotel. Overall, it is a very safe neighborhood, but if you are over towards the Atlanta Underground then it gets a little "seedier". If you are near the Hard Rock Cafe or that area it is fine.

        - Peter


        1. Message by: Masterminds 207 01/26/2007 19:23:55 GMT
          Peter, thanks, this is nice to know.

          We were planning to take the Marta from the airport to our hotel just outside the Olympic park. Does anyone have general observations/experience on the relative safety of Marta?


          1. Message by: MI FLL Volunteer Moderator 01/26/2007 20:09:08 GMT
            MARTA is generally safe. You just have to use similar precautions that you would use in any large city. Stay together, avoid late nights, etc.


    14. Message by: If Rotation = 1 01/10/2007 22:56:28 GMT
      A question has com eup on our end. What exactly is the teamwork event? Is it something that is separate from Mindstorms, like make a sun dial out of a doughnut and a pencil (Dilbert joke there) or is it build another robot as a team, what??? we have no idea and would just like to hear from other teams what they went through.

      Thanks!

      Scott


      1. Message by: fll-freak 01/11/2007 13:57:26 GMT
        Teamwork is judged in different ways at different tournaments. Till recently, most tournaments simply had an interview with the team to get an idea how they worked together and if they understood and applied the concepts of Gracious Professionalism. At his point in time, tournaments are begining to turn away from a simple interview and replace it with an activity. Building a sundial from a dount would not be far off. Often the activity is one that looks simple to accomplish but infact is very diffult or impossible. This puts stress on the team that the judges can then see how they handle.

        You should be prepared to see either type of judging.

        -Skye


        1. Message by: MI FLL Volunteer Moderator 01/11/2007 19:03:20 GMT
          Also in the past there has been a just-for-fun activity, where teams are grouped into alliances. It allows teams to meet other kids from around the country and around the world. Interpreters are available if needed.

          FIRST will be telling you what they want you to know about the tournament itself. Some of it will be secret until you get there, so every team will have the same chance.


    15. Message by: The Next Generation 02/05/2007 00:20:05 GMT
      Last year in Atlanta we had to work together to build a bridge...


    16. Message by: MI FLL Volunteer Moderator 02/11/2007 16:15:16 GMT
      It's finally done - the white paper on the FLL World Festival. I've posted it on ChiefDelphi.com http://www.chiefdelphi.com/media/papers/1925?

      I have also sent it to Skye Sweeney to be an addendum to the Unofficial FAQ, and to the First NEMO (Non-Engineering Mentor Organization) at http://www.firstnemo.org/

      - Gary


      1. Message by: DarkMatter747 02/11/2007 19:12:11 GMT
        Thank You! -- Haven't had a chance to look and see yet, our team meeting starts in -4 minutes. But - Thanks!

        -Dave


    17. Message by: If Rotation = 1 02/17/2007 17:40:52 GMT
      I am puzzled by a very little thing.

      I am filling out our registration form. They say they want it submitted online, but they also want me to sign it. Do they mean print it, sign it, scan it, and then email it? Or is signing only required if I am mailing it? I can understand the robot stuff, but this little thing has me stumped.

      Any advice?

      Scott


    18. Message by: Built_on_the_Rock_1221 02/24/2007 23:51:12 GMT
      Hi,

      Does anyone know if it's possible to leave an RV parked at the Georgia Dome parking lot during the World Festival? The hotel where we have reservations will not allow us to park one there.

      Thanks,

      Vickey


      1. Message by: MI FLL Volunteer Moderator 02/26/2007 22:05:54 GMT
        It probably wouldn't fit in the garage east of the Dome. You might be able to use the surface lots to the north of the GWCC. Go here http://www.gwcc.com/ and see if you can find a contact.


    19. Message by: If Rotation = 1 03/24/2007 06:03:18 GMT
      Another question has come up. How are all of the different teams transporting their robots to Atlanta? We are coming from San Diego, so of course we are flying. I am concerned that the robots look odd enough for them not to be allowed in carry-on luggage. Are my fears unfounded? What have other teams done? Checked bags on plane? FedEx? Any ideas would be greatly appreciated.

      Scott


    20. Message by: 2746 03/27/2007 22:26:28 GMT
      Our experience in traveling to Atlanta from Tucson last year * a team member carried the robot on the plane and our spare RCX on a simple chassis went in checked luggage.

      There was no problem with carry on at all.

      The RCX in the luggage was a different story * the luggage received some extra attention from the TSA staff. Our checked luggage RCX had been opened and the cables and batteries had been removed but left in the suite case. I would not put anything with batteries and wires which you want to stay assembled in the checked luggage.

      As to sending it Fed EX * that sounds risky. Many FRC teams ship their robots and pit equipment to a central receiving point which that has someone ready and willing to accept the shipment. I don*t believe there is such an arrangement for the FLL teams.

      Good luck - See you there in 2 weeks *

      Craig Wittman Coach
      Team 2746 Ferocious Furballs and the Nano Dudes * Tucson AZ.


      1. Message by: fll-freak 04/05/2007 14:00:33 GMT
        A friend's experience with a robot checked in luggage was similar. TSA choose to disassemble the robot down to nearly individual parts. The team arrived at the tournament and opened their box. Big surprise. Worst was that they were first to go to tech judging. Luckly the team was able to rebuild their robot during opening ceremonies as they had made assembly instructions. They went on to take the Director's Award.

        -Skye


Discussion: Reservation system now open By: MI FLL Volunteer Moderator 01/23/2007 22:56:36 GMT
See this from the main FIRST site: https://resweb.passkey.com/Resweb.do?mode=welcome_ei_new&eventID=44843

Teams on ChiefDelphi.com have been reporting problems getting the rooms they want/need.

- Gary

  1. Message by: If Rotation = 1 12/08/2006 17:51:08 GMT
    Thank you for letting me know about this. We have received nothing as of yet from FIRST regarding registration information, so we couldn't book our rooms. But now we can start bulding a realistic budget.

    Thanks again for all of your help!

    Scott


    1. Message by: Built_on_the_Rock_1221 12/12/2006 01:16:19 GMT
      I tried to get information from this site, but received the message "access code denied". Could that be because our team number has not yet been added to the list? We won the NJ State tournament this past Saturday. Does anyone know when I should be able to get information about room availability?

      Thanks from another WF newbie,
      Vickey


      1. Message by: If Rotation = 1 12/12/2006 02:34:18 GMT
        Vickey:

        Congratulations!!!!!

        We won our tournamment on Dec. 2nd. We did a follow-up call to our tournament organizers a few days afterward and they had not yet sent our info to FIRST. I have also emailed FIRST and have not heard back yet. I know the hotel info is up, but I don't think you can reserve yet. At least you can look at it for building a budget, though.

        Scott


        1. Message by: Built_on_the_Rock_1221 12/12/2006 04:44:01 GMT
          Thanks very much, Scott. And congratulations to you.

          I started preliminary budget estimating today. I'll be interested to see what kind of discount the FLL package deal gives. We were even thinking about renting a house for a week, but it seems like that would have to be outside of Atlanta, and that doesn't seem like a good idea with the early starting times for scheduled events.

          Anyway, I'll look forward to hearing from veterans about the WF. It is all very exciting.

          BTW, does your team name imply that you use only rotation sensors? That's what my team did.

          Vickey


    2. Message by: If Rotation = 1 12/12/2006 05:18:50 GMT
      No, the kids were programming while thinking of a team name. One of them said out loud, "if rotation = 1." I asked if that was the choice for team name, and the rest is history.

      Scott


      1. Message by: Masterminds 207 12/12/2006 18:39:59 GMT
        Hi,

        It appears we are in the same boat as you folks. We won our tournament on Saturday (and are still in a state of disbelief). I have tried logging in at steelemeetings.com with "FLL xxx" as an access code, and get the same "Your access code is invalid" message. I've also emailed fllwf@usfirst.org, and am waiting for a response. Are we just waiting for FLL and/or Steele Meetings to enter our accounts into their system?

        Thanks for your help,

        John


        1. Message by: Built_on_the_Rock_1221 12/12/2006 20:35:32 GMT
          John,

          I just heard from our state tournament organizer that he forwarded our team information to First and that they would be contacting us soon. He said the reservation sytem would open up sometime in January, because there are still tournaments going on until the middle of January.

          I imagine it's probably the same for you.

          Regards,

          Vickey


    3. Message by: If Rotation = 1 12/12/2006 18:44:14 GMT
      John, your guess is a good as mine. I am just glad to see that all of us are in the same boat. That means that we are all waiting for info, rather than it just being me that has no information.

      Scott


      1. Message by: Masterminds 207 12/13/2006 15:48:38 GMT
        Scott & Vickie,

        I called Steele (866-413-5151) and got the answer: the system is open, and you can make reservations. The trick is: on the Find a Hotel page, do NOT enter an access code. This will then let you through and you can sort through the reservations. Later in the regestration process, it will ask for your team number. There, enter "FLL xxxx", where xxxx is your team number. I compared the deals to what I could get by myself, and they're pretty good (not exactly free, but pretty good ;-).

        Good luck!

        John


        1. Message by: Built_on_the_Rock_1221 12/14/2006 06:37:21 GMT
          John,

          Thank you so much for posting this information. It took a long time to get through it all, but it's great knowing we have a place to stay.

          BTW, congratulations to you and your team. Perhaps we'll run into you in Atlanta.

          Vickey


          1. Message by: Masterminds 207 12/14/2006 21:01:25 GMT
            Glad it helped - I know we were a little anxious. Hope to see you there.

            John


    4. Message by: botzealots1105 12/13/2006 16:24:11 GMT
      If it is the same as prior years the hotel package also includes your entry to the post tournament party. Something you don't want to miss. It is like a carnival with food, rides, prizes and entertainment. If you don,t reserve through the system you will need to purchase these tickets seperately. I do not know how much they are but factor it in(maybe $40 each).
      Mike


    5. Message by: If Rotation = 1 12/13/2006 16:40:51 GMT
      I saw on last years' information that the tickets to teh closing party were $45.00. No word yet on whether or not they are included in the package.

      Scott


      1. Message by: Masterminds 207 12/14/2006 21:21:52 GMT
        I spoke with a rep at Steele Meetings (866-413-5151). Her notes said that tickets to the event were included in the package. She didn't how we actually got them - presumably at the hotel?

        John


        1. Message by: MI FLL Volunteer Moderator 12/18/2006 19:58:31 GMT
          After consulting with Mike from BotZealots, we concur that last year there was a table where the team coach picked up the wristband tickets for the Finale. It was staffed by the housing company. Perhaps Steele hasn't gotten that far in their planning yet.

          - Gary


    6. Message by: 01/23/2007 22:56:36 GMT
      Deleted


Discussion: Scores of World Festival Teams By: pirates2393 03/21/2007 18:29:19 GMT
Hi,

We are wondering what the possible and average scores are of the teams that will be attending the World festival. How many of you can achieve perfect scores? We are capable of a perfect score, but in the tournament we scored an average of about 320.

P.I.R.A.T.E.S. Team#2393

  1. Message by: IAFLLModerator 03/21/2007 18:29:19 GMT
    Hello Team #2393 --

    It will be interesting to see what happens at World Fest this year in terms of scores with the varying robots, but in the past we have had a number of teams who have gotten perfect scores and for more than one round. I recall in the past that we have three or four teams get perfect scores in a round, then a few got perfect scores for another round, so for the overall winner had to look at the third round scores and it was amazing.

    While it is interesting to think about what scores will happen on the competition tables, remember there are A LOT of other awards. I also caution you to think about the experiences that you are going to be having while in Atlanta -- meeting new people from different backgrounds and different countries, seeing Atlanta and Olympic Park, learning about Nanotechnology from other teams and experts, possibly meeting the challenge designer from FIRST, and getting to see all the VEX and FRC stuff while running around the Georgia Dome...FLL is about so much more than robots -- enjoy your time at World Fest!



Folder: The Open European Championship of FIRST LEGO League Bodo Norway 01/30/2007 15:25:07 GMT


Discussion: Participating Teams By: Risbotics11 01/30/2007 15:25:07 GMT
RISBOTICS team wins the BeNeLux Finals in Delft (Netherlands), january 27th. 2007 (BeNeLux=3 countries Belgium/Netherlands/Luxemburg)

The Risbotics team is very proud to be the team that received the Champions Award.

Of course they worked for it, but it is also a reward for other very important issues. The team has enjoyed working with technique over the years and sharing that with others. The researching and making and preparing the presentations, truly have fun and be respectful within the team and to others. This is surely noticed and recognised by the jury.

We want to thank EVERYBODY for all they have done. Starting with the organization and all volunteers, you have done a great job!

But also our school, teachers, parents, families of the team and our sponsors. The Risbotics have enjoyed the finals and the big crowd that cheered all teams.

The nerve breaking waiting took a long while, but the reward was worth it all! The TU Delft Champion*s Award!!

see also our website: www.risbotics.nl

Discussion: NXT technical information challenge By: fll-freak 10/29/2006 16:52:48 GMT
Dear fellow Coaches,

For those of you who do not know me, my name is Skye Sweeney. I am also known as "FLL-Freak". I started my FLL carreer back in 2001 for the Arctic Impact challenge. I received a tremendous amount of help that rookie year and it has been my policy to repay it as often as possible.

With the introduction of NXT, many of us are having a second "rookie" year. We will be back at square one learning the strenghts, weaknesses, and idiosynchocies of a new system. I would therefore like to foster the sharing of technical information to help us all over this hurdle.

As I read the forum this year, I will have my eye out for tidbits of NXT information that are as yet unpublished. As a reward for your Gracecious Professionalism, I will be sending out a brand new NXT light sensor to up to five worthy coaches. These were donated to me to give out as I see fit.

I will award these prizes periodicaly over the season as the mood strikes me. There are no set rules or regulations other than those that I make up as I go. People from all countries are elligable but understand that I only read the North America forums and keep in mind I only read English and minimal French.

Please feel free to use this conversation to post a link to a message that you think is worthy for consideration. It can be your own post or somebody elses. Winners will be announced here as well.

-Skye

  1. Message by: RoboEagles409 09/18/2006 22:41:59 GMT
    Skye: You are definitely one of the good ones in the FIRST movement. Your offer is very kind and I look forward to reading all of the worthy posts that will earn your reward. Thank you for all that you do.

    Mannie Lowe
    Parent/Coach
    RoboEagles #409

    P.S. My team and I are looking forward to the good doctor describing this year's challenge.


    1. Message by: fll-freak 09/18/2006 22:56:55 GMT
      I am also looking forward to this year's animation! I have given over that job to a tallented crew of FIRST FRC students. I am acting as their mentor but have no other involvement. This is giving me a much needed break as I have been working on FLL nearly full time since early 2001.

      Although I did do this year's introduction animation you can see here: http://fll.ee.nd.edu/

      -Skye


    2. Message by: Ice Dragons 348 09/19/2006 22:14:52 GMT
      I'm feeling the same as you Skye. I started with Arctic Impact as well, and when the new NXT kit came, and I saw the new motors, I was like wow, these look super complicated. I'm sure my kids will jump right in and find everything they can do quickly enough, but at this point, I'm feeling like a rookie again too.

      I think the new hardware will be loads of fun though, and I can't wait to see what the NXT can do.


    3. Message by: General Robotics 1261 10/29/2006 16:52:48 GMT
      You are a good person


Discussion: UFAQ Change history By: fll-freak 10/28/2006 21:57:14 GMT
I will be using this conversation to alert users of changes to the UFAQ. The UFAQ is the FLL communities unoffical (as far as FIRST is concerned) FAQ (frequently asked questions).

Please do not post to this conversation. Use the UFAQ Feedback conversation instead found here: http://www.firstlegoleague.org/scripts/webx.dll?230@@.ee99adc

-Skye

  1. Message by: 09/18/2006 23:43:50 GMT
    Deleted


    1. Message by: fll-freak 09/18/2006 23:44:55 GMT
      Version 06-b Date 9/18/06
      Added question on NXT recharable battery voltage.
      NXT "Out of Memory" error.
      Minor tweeks.


    2. Message by: fll-freak 10/28/2006 21:57:14 GMT
      Version 06-b Date 10/28/06
      Added questions 7.36 (List of things to ask a tournament director) and 16.16 (USB-serial converter)

      -Skye


Discussion: UFAQ Feedback By: fll-freak 09/18/2006 23:40:39 GMT
Please use this thread for any feedback on the UFAQ that you might have.

I am always receptive to additions or modifications. You can post them here, or you can send them direct to skye@fll-freak.com

-Skye

Discussion: Diagram of Nano Quest table/missions By: robotik52 10/25/2006 02:54:11 GMT
Is there a diagram of the Nano Quest table that is available online? Our team finds the diagrams very useful in mapping out strategies.

Thanks!

Muriel
Robotik, Team 52

  1. Message by: StEugene2201 09/21/2006 19:28:22 GMT
    See the "Rules & Mission Questions"/"General Questions"/"Challenge Table Map - download"


    1. Message by: RoboticsLearning 10/25/2006 02:54:11 GMT
      I created a Nano Quest Mission Planning map form. See:

      http://www.roboticslearning.com/FLL/2006/

      Steve


Discussion: confused- tournament missions? By: Darknachosofcheesyproportions1088 09/22/2006 17:54:25 GMT
I'm a new coach, and still confused- what missions are the kids supposed to plan for the tournament? Are they upposed to be bringing the missions listed on the 15th to the tournament,or will they receive new ones?

  1. Message by: 487 09/20/2006 15:17:57 GMT
    The table you have to practice on is the same one you will have at the tournaments. The kids should practice completing as many of the 9 missions as possible in a 2 1/2 minute run. At the tournaments, you will have 3 or more opportunities to get the highest score you can on the table.


    1. Message by: fll-freak 09/20/2006 15:21:29 GMT
      I would also suggest that you read the UFAQ and your handbook to get a better idea of what the program is all about. The UFAQ can be found here: http://www.fll-freak.com/faq
      You may also want to read the politicaly incorrect Coache's Primer available at: http://www.fll-freak.com

      -Skye


    2. Message by: bluecheesyflamingos 09/22/2006 17:54:25 GMT
      Also what helps is to go to a warm up match. These are matches that are just for fun to warm up for the big competitions. Even if you don't compete in the warm up match, being able to see how it goes and talk to other coaches is a big help. BTW love the team name, Carla :)

      Coach
      Blue Cheesy Flamingos
      MI Team


Discussion: Advancement to Internationals By: bluecheesyflamingos 09/28/2006 19:43:11 GMT
Hi all,
Our state (MI) just started to have 2 state tournaments this year due to the large number teams. I was wondering how other states that have 2 state tournaments decide who advances to internationals? Our state directors is still waiting on the word from FIRST. Thanks, Carla

Coach
Blue Cheesy Flamingos
MI Team

  1. Message by: IAFLLModerator 09/22/2006 20:54:40 GMT
    Carla,

    FIRST will determine how state partners and champion award winners advance to international/World Fest competition. This is still being determined by the World Fest Planning Team and FIRST staff. Ultimately, though, states with two tournaments will be told how the advancement will work not asked to decide for themselves. It will be a decision made in the next few weeks.

    Good luck with your FLL season,
    IA FLL Moderator


    1. Message by: bluecheesyflamingos 09/23/2006 02:55:39 GMT
      From what I remember last year each state sent thier directors award winner. So I am guessing by your above comment that criteria for world fest is being revamped for everyone? Was there something that prompted this change? Thanks, Carla :)

      Coach
      Blue Cheesy Flamingos
      MI Team


    2. Message by: DarkMatter747 09/25/2006 03:53:07 GMT
      Hi Carla!

      I happened to meet up with one of our Michigan committee members about two weeks ago at a FIRST Robotics mtg. He relayed to me the same info that the moderator provided above - that FIRST will let us know how teams will advance to Internationals. He also said that there isn't enough capacity at Atlanta to allow a team from every championship to advance. In the past, some states, like MA and CA have had more than one championship and have had more than one team go to Internationals - unlike Michigan. Michigan, however has lots of teams - more than MA for example - , so maybe that will be factored into the decision. It sounds like the "something" that prompted the change is lack of capacity.
      Also, I was told that the reason MI went to two championships was to allow more teams the chance to participate in a championship.

      -Dave


      1. Message by: bluecheesyflamingos 09/25/2006 15:47:24 GMT
        Hi Dave!

        So nice to talk to you again ;) I didn't relize that more than one team from some states had advanced. I had assumed only one from each state. That makes a lot more sense now why they are revamping the criteria. This is probably a good changed since it will by more regulated across states this way.

        Drop me an email and let me know how you and team are doing, Carla :)

        Coach
        Blue Cheesy Flamingos
        MI Team


    3. Message by: MI FLL Volunteer Moderator 09/27/2006 21:50:52 GMT
      As I recall, last year Alaska had 3 advance to Atlanta, because they had 3 separate tournaments due to the vast area of the state. Other states had multiples as well - NY, CA, TX. Canada had 4, other countries got 2 each. A total of 84 teams were invited, although 2 had to withdraw - one team from South Africa could not afford the airfare, and mentor(s) from the team from Jordan could not get visas.

      There had been talk of as many as 200 FLL teams at the World Fest at one time, but I'm not sure if that would work. It does seem that some of the states with high numbers of teams should be allowed extra participants, though. Maybe up to 100 teams total. Well, actually it would be more like 96, because that would mean one more set of judges. Each set of judges was scheduled to see 12 different teams at 20 minute intervals. (You do the math - Thursday was a LOOOOOONG day!)

      - Gary V


      1. Message by: MI FLL Volunteer Moderator 09/28/2006 19:35:16 GMT
        Michigan FLL official site (www.michiganfll.org) posted this yesterday:

        "Good news. The Championship (formerly Director's) Award winner from the Flint and Novi Championship Tournaments will both advance to the World Festival in Atlanta on April 10-12, 2007."

        Along with team lists. Team number 345? Whassa matter Carla, didn't you stand by with your finger poised to get one of those low numbers again this year?

        - Gary V


        1. Message by: bluecheesyflamingos 09/28/2006 19:43:11 GMT
          LOL Gary! *looks upward* Im not saying I was but I might have been out of town on that day. ;) Carla

          Coach
          Blue Cheesy Flamingos
          MI Team


    4. Message by: IAFLLModerator 09/28/2006 16:51:11 GMT
      FIRST will be making an official ruling very soon about World Fest -- teams should read their e-mails from FIRST closely in the coming weeks for this info.

      -IA FLL Moderator


Discussion: Resources By: SJMS2462 09/30/2006 05:59:37 GMT
Discovery Kids is broadcasting a show on Nanotechnology on the following dates:
Oct. 1 2:30 PM ST
Oct. 2 3:30 AM ST
Oct. 18 8:30 PM ST
Oct. 19 11:30 PM ST

You might want to double-check the listings. Discovery.com also has text versions of prior broadcasts that talk about nanotechnology. Just go to their web site and type "nanotechnology" into the site's search engine.

windy

  1. Message by: SJMS2462 09/23/2006 17:27:21 GMT
    Sorry! Spell check dropped the C off CST (Central Standard Time). The shows are at:

    Oct. 1 at 3:30 PM Eastern
    Oct. 2 at 4:30 AM Eastern
    Oct. 18 at 9:30 PM Eastern
    Oct. 19 at 12:30 AM Eastern

    Cindy


    1. Message by: MarkhamWeebots2839 09/25/2006 06:38:46 GMT
      Thanks very much for posting this!

      --Mike


    2. Message by: nano2569 09/26/2006 05:40:31 GMT
      Do you know the name of the shows or show? I'm trying to find it in my local listings in Canada, but I'm not having any luck so far.


      1. Message by: bluecheesyflamingos 09/26/2006 15:28:08 GMT
        I looked it up and it is an episode of Strange Days at Blake Holsey High. That was all it said though. Carla :)

        Coach
        Blue Cheesy Flamingos
        MI Team


    3. Message by: MarkhamWeebots2839 09/26/2006 15:03:34 GMT
      I don't know where you are in Canada, but in Markham, Ontario, I have to pay extra to get the Discovery Kids channel (with Rogers). I'm thinking of adding the package just to get this one show. :)


    4. Message by: Whizards 09/26/2006 15:48:28 GMT
      In case you want a direct link, here it is:

      http://kids.discovery.com/tvlistings/episode.jsp?episode=32&cpi=87001&gid=0&channel=KID

      I don't get the channel myself (don't even have cable) but I hope one of the kids does. :)

      - Errol
      Workshop Whizards
      http://www.ctworkshop.net/fll


    5. Message by: NANOBEARS724 09/30/2006 05:59:37 GMT
      I watched that Blakely High episode a few weeks ago. It was worthless. Mostly about personality conflicts among students who were in the science club, and one student who seemed to "disappear" in the woods. The "nano" objects were viewed with a standard light microscope at 400x magnification.

      Linda Zoe
      Nanobears


Discussion: FLL Under FRC? By: bluecheesyflamingos 10/08/2006 03:09:29 GMT
In the spring of the year I was told by a FRC coach that FIRST was going to try and put FLL teams under the guidance of FRC teams. That it would be a new structuring.

I am not sure this is complete accurate so that is why I am posting on here. Anyone know or heard of anything like this? Thanks, Carla :)

Coach
Blue Cheesy Flamingos
MI Team

  1. Message by: fll-freak 09/25/2006 21:23:35 GMT
    Interesting rumor. I have not heard it. In New Hampshire, the FLL tournament partner but the thumb screws to the FRC teams to host the FLL local tournaments. Works great. I wonder if the FRC coach heard something along those lines?

    -Skye


    1. Message by: IAFLLModerator 09/25/2006 23:41:22 GMT
      I have not heard anything like this from FIRST and do not believe they are moving to this model. They do like it when FRC teams will mentor or start FLL teams. This not only benefits young kids because they have older role models, but it also benefits FRC because they have some succession planning. The same is true with FLL teams mentoring JFLL teams.

      -IA FLL Moderator


    2. Message by: cougarbots4326 10/08/2006 03:09:29 GMT
      I haven't heard any rumors either, but I can vouch for the fact that it does work really well, and on so many levels.

      Our school district's FRC team is responsible for starting our Middle School FLL teams six years ago. We always have great high school mentors and the FLL team members look forward to moving on to FRC. We even recognize the FRC team with their logo incorporated in our shirt design. That in itself always starts a few conversations at tournaments because the team is well established and people ask about our connection.

      ~ Jean


Discussion: mat By: FLARE1699 10/06/2006 23:23:58 GMT
what if our mat doesn't fit on the board(to small) what should we do?

  1. Message by: MA_Head_Ref 09/27/2006 22:03:16 GMT
    You should read the setup instructions and Q&A.

    --Jack Gregory


    1. Message by: wlcrobowarriors2181 09/29/2006 18:46:28 GMT
      Where does the robot end? Does it end in base or somewhere else?


      1. Message by: fll-freak 09/29/2006 20:20:02 GMT
        If you mean at the end of the match, then the answer is anywhere you want this year. This is answered in the UFAQ.

        -Skye


    2. Message by: Bobotics4685 10/06/2006 23:23:58 GMT
      You should get a new board, if you ask me...it may cost more, but you can try to get a sponsor.


Discussion: mat By: FLARE1699 09/27/2006 22:17:34 GMT
what if our mat doesn't fit on the board(to small) what should we do?

  1. Message by: Bluelightning1381 09/27/2006 22:17:34 GMT
    There are directions in the field set up to anchor the base corner of the mat tightly in the southwest corner (Field Mat Placement Step 3) with gaps acceptable at the north and east edges.


Discussion: World Festival Film By: The Next Generation 10/06/2006 10:41:29 GMT
Hi,

Last year we came over from the UK to the WF and we had some people come round and ask us questions while we were being filmed. I was wondering if we ever get a copy of whatever video they were making, because before we left for WF we received a disc all about the "No Limits" WF. I would just be interested because we have some new team members and it would be nice for them to see what a tournament is like!

Thanks

  1. Message by: bluecheesyflamingos 10/02/2006 03:13:42 GMT
    I belive that was video Dana did for me. We are making a demo video for teams to recruit with. Unfortunetly my father was diagnosed with lung cancer and is now unable to walk. I have been helping my family so I have not had a chance to work on the video. And now the FLL season has started and I am having a hard time just getting the 2 hours a week free to meet with my team.

    Is there something specific you would like to show. If its small video I can probably edit it really quick next weekend and put it up on our website. I read these forums at work so you can post on here or drop me an email. Carla :)

    Coach
    Blue Cheesy Flamingos
    MI Team


    1. Message by: The Next Generation 10/02/2006 12:19:01 GMT
      It's all right theres no rush, I just wanted to show them what a tournament was like, even though our regional wont be at the same size! Sorry to hear about your father :( I'm struggling to get my team because of nerve damage in my foot which leaves me on crutches for a while... but it gives me the change to quiz the people doing the MRI scan on my foot about nanotechnology and how MRI works!


    2. Message by: The Next Generation 10/02/2006 13:41:45 GMT
      You see the only piece of film we have is this http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Q16Z-Z4ClDU
      and its not really what I want, there is no sound and doesnt show other teams.


      1. Message by: bluecheesyflamingos 10/02/2006 16:42:45 GMT
        Its not a problem to get some film out. While I stay with my father he snoozes on and off from the chemo. I can edit the video then on my laptop. What kinds of things would you like to show? I am sure there are other team, especially 1st year teams, who would love to see this kind of video, Carla :)

        Coach
        Blue Cheesy Flamingos
        MI Team


    3. Message by: The Next Generation 10/02/2006 19:48:12 GMT
      Mainly the team spirit things, and some of the robots because there were some truly amazing ones at the WF, and if you have any footage of teams being asked what they have learnt. Im not really to fussed do whatever is easiest for you, as I say its just to give them an idea. =)


    4. Message by: CV CA Volunteer Moderator 10/05/2006 16:40:02 GMT
      Two sources of my favorite promo videos (previously posted in the archives) are:

      Dave April's: http://www.wildstang.org/fll/video/

      and

      Mindstorms Mayhem (Ken Streeter's): http://www.mindstormsmayhem.org/team-videos.asp

      Even though some of them are a bit dated, they capture the energy and the spirit of the competition. My only caution is to not be intimidated by the Mayhem runs -- many of us will never achieve a perfect run, and falling short of that shouldn't be seen as "failure." Our rookie teams are pleased if they can even get 2 or 3 missions accomplished.

      There are many more video links on the FLL forum from previous years. Try searching the archives for "video" using the search function.

      Yolande


    5. Message by: The Next Generation 10/06/2006 10:41:29 GMT
      Thank You so much! I wish our team was happy just completeing a few missions, but they are a lot more ambitious =)


Discussion: Lost Parts By: Bluelightning1381 11/25/2006 05:02:52 GMT
Yikes! We lost our buckyball. I just tried Lego.com, and couldn't find one. Any idea how we can get another one?
We need replacement magnets too.

  1. Message by: fll-freak 10/01/2006 23:17:35 GMT
    LEGO Educational (phone in Coaches' Handbook)
    www.bricklink.com

    -Skye


    1. Message by: Bluelightning1381 10/02/2006 01:47:17 GMT
      This website, which is very cool - like the E-Bay of the Lego world. Can't find that little round ball, or even know what to call it. I am waiting for a reply from Pitsco. Thanks for your help.


      1. Message by: zap85 10/02/2006 02:18:18 GMT
        Someone told me it is called a Zamor Sphere and is a standard part of one of the new lego series, perhaps a bionicle-type set?

        Doreen


        1. Message by: Randazzo1589 10/02/2006 14:05:40 GMT
          It is a bionicle part. Several of my boys tryed claiming it as theirs from home. It's in one of the new Bionicle series.


          1. Message by: Florida_Moderator 10/04/2006 00:09:28 GMT
            They sell them in packs of 8 at Toys-R-Us and Wallmart. Near the Bionicles. They are part of a shooting Bionicle this year. I think they are $2.

            Laura


    2. Message by: Bluelightning1381 10/04/2006 03:07:11 GMT
      Thank you!


    3. Message by: 10/21/2006 03:57:03 GMT
      Deleted


    4. Message by: 10/21/2006 03:57:20 GMT
      Deleted


    5. Message by: Mindstorm Masters 11/04/2006 07:53:42 GMT
      We still have our buckyball, but we've found that Halloween gumballs are identical in size.


    6. Message by: TechnoManiacs2245 11/21/2006 23:35:43 GMT
      If it's a part you lost syanara sucker that's one team down! But im not a mean ShiningThunder so here's a tip(warning:Kind-o-lame) use bionicle parts! Comin' all shapes and sizes!


    7. Message by: TechnoBots 11/25/2006 05:02:52 GMT
      Final word on Buckyballs: They are Lego part# 8719, Zamor Sphere. They come in packs of 10. I tried Toys-R-Us and Walmart both. Neither store in my little town of 550,000 people, with 2 Toys-R-Us stores and 2 Walmarts, had them in stock. I bought a pack on Ebay for $1.99 plus postage, and another two packs on www.Bricklink.com for about the same. Use the search term 'Zamor Sphere' on either site. Had my Ebay purchase in hand in 5 days. If you are really desperate, e-mail me and I'll send you one. Act now, I have only 30 of 'em left.
      Rus
      Coach, Technobots


Discussion: Chances Of Making the Nationals By: The Next Generation 11/03/2006 00:10:48 GMT
Hi,

For the last two years a team that I was part off, got through to the nationals. The first year we felt a bit cheated because there was only us and one other team at the regional, they didn't have a research presentation, so I think that was mainly the deciding factor. Last year we had more competition and we won, and went through the nationals, and then the WF. This year we have new members, but 2 of the members me and Tom, were part of the original team, do you think they would be less likely to put us through, even if we have a good project, robot, teamwork/spirit? I know its unlikely but we cant help but feel that we may be less likely to win, and it is making me and Tom, feel a bit guilty! We were also wondering if for example... Team A had a really good robot and presentation, and were far better then the other teams, but the judges didn't think it was the childrens work, and Team B didn't have such a good robot, and presentation, but it was definetly there work. The judges would put Team B through, right?

Anna (team member)

  1. Message by: bluecheesyflamingos 10/02/2006 16:38:55 GMT
    I am sure the judges would put through the team that did thier own work. Since in the ruberic there is a point total tied to if the team did thier own work. Also there is a space at the bottom of score sheets for judges to write comments. If there is a comment then the sheet gets passed around for the final decision on who moves on. Does that answer your questions? Carla :)

    Coach
    Blue Cheesy Flamingos
    MI Team


    1. Message by: MI FLL Volunteer Moderator 10/02/2006 17:28:46 GMT
      Teams from Michigan, Illinois, Wisconsin, Pennsylvania and Minnesota have gone to the World Festival multiple times. If you are good, the judges will acknowledge it. Also note that many judges at qualifying tournaments change from year to year, so they won't remember your team.


    2. Message by: IAFLLModerator 10/02/2006 17:51:44 GMT
      There are FLL teams that compete for multiple years with the same people on them and continue to advance. Some of them even advance as far as World Fest each year.

      Judges do change, so I agree that they might not remember you.

      You need to understand that in the other states and areas, there are FLL teams that are together and competing sometimes for five years. They go to the same tournaments to try to advance every year and they are judged on that year's accomplishments, not on their past.

      Your question about coach involvement -- make sure it is the team members doing the work. We judges can tell if it isn't. =)

      Move forward into your season with confidence -- sounds like you have some great experience to bring to your team this year!


    3. Message by: Mindstorms Mayhem #15 10/02/2006 19:44:16 GMT
      "The Next Generation" (Anna) Wrote:
      This year we have new members, but 2 of the members me and Tom, were part of the original team, do you think they would be less likely to put us through, even if we have a good project, robot, teamwork/spirit?

      What I think you are saying is, "If our team ends up actually having the best project, robot, and teamwork/spirit, will the judges at our state tournament give the director's award to a different team so that another team can attend the World Festival instead of us?"

      Well, first of all, with increased competition plus the fact that much of a team's performance at any given tournament depends upon a myriad of factors out of control (e.g. Do some of the students have an off day? Does a judge ask a question that is misunderstood by the team? Does the team's style just not "hit it off" with the judges? etc.) it actually is quite unlikely for any FLL team to be at their best every day! With greatly increasing levels of preparedness and levels of quality of teams across the board, if a team isn't at their personal best on the day of the tournament, they're not likely to receive the director's award!

      That said, if a team does "come out on top" in the view of the judges, I am fully confident that the tournament judges would be likely to give the Director's Award to that team, even if that theam has received it before. Indeed, the kids on that team would have had to work very hard to get to that level -- receiving the privilege of representing one's state at the World Festival doesn't come about without a lot of hard work! For the judges to instead knowingly give the top award to another team would not be right. Such an action would not be in keeping with FIRST values, and I don't think most judges would seriously such an option for very long.

      As mentioned above, the willingness of judges to award "repeat Director's Awards" is demonstrated in that many states have had the same team represent them at the World Festival multiple times. Mindstorms Mayhem had the privilege of representing New Hampshire at the World Festival for Mission Mars and No Limits. For last year's Ocean Odyssey challenge, the team won the NH Director's Award, but since all of our team members had been once before (and many had been twice), the team opted to decline the invitation so that the Director's Award Runner-Up (Mach 6) could represent New Hampshire in our place. Making that decision was a heart-wrenching one for the Mayhemers. However, it was a decision that, looking back at it a few months later, we still feel was the right thing to do -- especially after hearing the stories from the Mach 6 team of the things they learned at World Festival and the experiences they enjoyed. However, for judges to have made that decision for the team would have deprived the Mayhemers the experience of considering that decision! Also, just because the "same team" won the award doesn't mean that all of the students on that team have been to the World Festival before. Indeed, the Mindstorms Mayhem team had quite a few rookie students on it the second year they attended the World Festival! Plus, it really wouldn't have been the judge's decision to make -- the decision to decline an invitation to attend should really be left up to the team who worked hard to earn that invitation!

      In any case, I am confident that the judges will present the Director's Award to the team that best demonstrated itself on the day of the tournament. However, be prepared for the fact that another team is quite likely to earn that award! Please don't be tempted to think that if your team doesn't win that it was because the judges wouldn't give your team the award after having won it previously!

      --ken
      MAYHEM FLL Co-Coach
      http://www.mindstormsmayhem.org
      http://www.moremayhem.org


    4. Message by: The Next Generation 10/02/2006 19:57:03 GMT
      Oh no I would never think that we didn't get through because we had won it before! That would just be making excuses for ourselves, I fully understand that we will be up against stiff competition, and we may be one of the worse teams. I was just wondering because I would hate for the other team members to suffer, although we have something they dont which is experience. We also do all the work ourselves, our coach (my mum) doesn't know what an RCX/NXT is, she is just there encase of emergencies, it also gives us a better feeling of satisfaction when we complete something!! Our regionals are a bit different (I'm in the UK, because we are the only team registered on the forum) and we do tend to have the same people, but I'm sure its not a problem! I was just wondering if judges can actually tell its the childrens work or not.

      Thank You!


    5. Message by: Mindstorm Masters 11/02/2006 00:54:11 GMT
      It sounds like you are worried that your work is so good that the judges might not believe the kids did it themselves. This should become obvious in the technical interview. Make sure during the interview that the kids who did the work are there to show it and answer questions. Give credit loudly to all the kids who helped. If appropriate, tell the judges that your coaches were not much help at all -- "We had to do it all ourselves" (LOL!)

      Anyway, the technical interview is your chance to set the record straight.


    6. Message by: The Next Generation 11/03/2006 00:10:48 GMT
      No we dont think our work is that good!! No way! WE were just wondering about the way everything is judged, because previous teams have told us how the felt that there was predjudice against them because they had won previously.


Discussion: Alignment "jigs" By: nanoeagles528 10/03/2006 17:47:14 GMT
Are alignment "jigs" allowed to position the robot at the start of the missions? I thought I had seen some teams use them last year in competitions. I might be mistaken so I am asking. Thanks

John

Nanoeagles528
Seton Middle School

  1. Message by: fll-freak 10/03/2006 17:47:14 GMT
    There has already been a discussion on this. Please see:

    fll-freak "Alignment Jigs" 10/2/06 12:34am

    -Skye


Discussion: Team Web Pages By: CV CA Volunteer Moderator 04/03/2007 00:14:26 GMT
I haven't found a collection of team web pages for this year yet (am I missing something?), so I thought I'd start one here. Sites welcome in any stage of (de)construction.

Yolande

  1. Message by: Westford81 10/05/2006 22:15:13 GMT
    We are a very new team, and as of yet we don't have a web page. Do you have the kids maintain the content? The parents? What types of information do you provide?

    Thanks!!

    Westford Nano Warriors


    1. Message by: CV CA Volunteer Moderator 10/05/2006 22:28:53 GMT
      Team web pages are just for fun, inspiration, and info exchange with other LEGO nuts. Coaches, kids, whoever maintains them. Typically, they have team pictures, videos, stories from previous years, and links to favorite places. Unfortunately, I don't have one to share, as I don't have a team (I coordinate a tournament).

      Yolande


    2. Message by: bluecheesyflamingos 10/06/2006 03:45:48 GMT
      I will start the list of websites in deconstruction *grin* I mean construction. www.bluecheesyflamingos.org/index.php, Carla :)

      Coach
      Blue Cheesy Flamingos
      MI Team


      1. Message by: ants525 11/28/2006 00:20:54 GMT
        We are the Ants from Iowa. We have started a web page. We are a new team of middle schoolers. Our web page is www.ogdenschools.org. Go under middle school and then under activites. We would love to hear from you and to know more team websites. Ants


    3. Message by: Under Pressure 3108 10/17/2006 00:36:04 GMT
      http://flashagames.ca/fll/index.html

      My friend has a gaming website and added a part about our team!!!!!!!!!

      -Jesse


    4. Message by: Randazzo1589 10/24/2006 03:42:57 GMT
      I have one of our team members moving out of our area and he wanted to try and join another team where he is moving to. He is relocating to Jacksonville, FL and attending Mandarin Middle School. If there are any teams close to this school could you please email ASAP. He moves this weekend and is very upset about not being a part of a team. He really enjoys this, it's his first year and is a 7th grade student, very bright and eager.

      Thanks
      Jennifer Hall
      Randazzo1589
      JHall705@aol.com


    5. Message by: DarkMatter747 10/27/2006 00:57:32 GMT
      Ours hasn't been updated in quite a long time - we've been waiting for our new T-shirts so we can be seen in them. :)

      Here 'tis www.DarkMatterFLL.org


    6. Message by: Built_on_the_Rock_1221 12/21/2006 01:23:04 GMT
      We just got our website up and running: www.teambuiltontherock.org. This is our second year and we won the Champion's award at the State tournament. We mainly set up the website to help with fund raising to get to Atlanta. Please stop by, and if anyone has suggestions for how we should enable sponsors to donate, I'm all ears.

      Thanks,

      Vickey


    7. Message by: TeamNemo 12/27/2006 22:22:12 GMT
      Vickey,

      Last year we had great success conducting an online auction. Many businesses would donate products or services that we could auction off on our website. We even got a San Diego beach front condo for four (off season) days donated.

      Coach Jed
      www.teamnano.net


      1. Message by: Built_on_the_Rock_1221 12/28/2006 09:37:11 GMT
        Thanks for the suggestion, Jed. That sounds very interesting.

        Vickey


    8. Message by: Risbotics11 01/11/2007 13:21:47 GMT
      Hi First Lego League enthusiasts,

      We are the RISbotics from Eindhoven in the Netherlands. We are competing in the FLL for the third year in a row.

      We just have our website on the net and we like to ask you to make a link available on your website. (If you give us your websitedetails we can make a link to yours!)

      Lots of luck to you in the competitions coming, we are competing in the so called BeNeLux finals, January 27th 2007 in Delft, Netherlands. (BeNeLux = Belgium/Netherlands/Luxemburg, so it is a 3 country final). We hope to advance to the Open European in Norway or to the World festival in Atlanta.

      That*s all for now, hope to hear something from you soon!

      www.risbotics.nl


    9. Message by: 4-Hers06 04/03/2007 00:14:26 GMT
      Check out our website at:

      www.freewebs.com/firstlegoleagueteam/


Discussion: RCX or NXT By: NanoAtomicPenguins3037 12/04/2006 02:50:08 GMT
I was wondering if the question has been posed as to which systems everyone is using. Our team has decided to stick with the RCX for a bunch of reasons and I was curious as to where everyone else was.

We chose RCX based on prior experience, ability to finally use multiple rotation sensors, ease of programming, robot size, but mainly worries about the size of the programs and whether or not we could get all mission to fit in the NXT.

Please reply with your choice and reasons (if any).

Peter

  1. Message by: bluecheesyflamingos 10/06/2006 19:40:29 GMT
    Our team is using the NXT. The kids decided to use it based on the motor move icon to sink the motors. When the kids ran tests on reliability the NXT did really well. Not perfect but better than last years performance we had ;)

    Another thing that made them chose NXT was the programming language NXT-G. My programmers never really liked robolab but used it cause it was better than RIS. At the time when making the choice this summer we never knew about the memory problems would be as bad as they are. But they are doing great working around it. Carla :)

    Coach
    Blue Cheesy Flamingos
    MI Team


    1. Message by: zap85 10/06/2006 23:10:29 GMT
      Our team is using the NXT as well. We originally planned to have only one NXT kit for experimenting with this year, but two other families decided they wanted to buy Mindstorms kits so we ended up with enough NXTs for the team. Our team had only competed for one year with the RCX, so they hadn't really learned that much about Robolab yet - they knew they'd have a lot to learn this year in any case. And they had real trouble getting their RCX robot to go straight last year, so that was a big selling point for the NXT, even though one of the kids had figured out the Eagle Drive and knew they could work around it this year.

      Doreen
      Coach, Team ZAP!


    2. Message by: KinardRobots 10/07/2006 05:20:04 GMT
      We are using the NXT.


    3. Message by: Renegade748 10/07/2006 05:59:59 GMT
      We decided to use RCX. This is my second year; last year I was an assistant coach. The team is all new except my son. I chose RCX for my own sanity since I already knew something about it, and because NXT wasn't going to be available till the summer and we wanted to start meeting in the spring. Does anyone know if RCX will be supported in FLL next year or not, or should we start next spring's meetings with NXT for sure? The kids on my team all have Asperger Syndrome - it has been a real challenge to get them to work together and not just outshout each other.

      --Laurie


      1. Message by: bluecheesyflamingos 10/07/2006 15:50:09 GMT
        I belive that FLL said they would be supporting the RCX for years. I can't imagine them not supporting it for at least 2-3 minimum. Carla :)

        Coach
        Blue Cheesy Flamingos
        MI Team


      2. Message by: zap85 10/07/2006 16:05:52 GMT
        Teams in Ontario received a memo that stated "The RCX will be allowed to compete in FLL for 2006, 2007, 2008". I haven't found anything on the official FLL website to confirm that, though.

        You might want to at least consider using the newest Robolab (2.9) that can apparently be used on both RCX and NXT, so that when you switch to the NXT you and the kids don't have to learn a new programming language.

        Doreen,
        Team ZAP!


    4. Message by: BANANOS 10/08/2006 03:08:06 GMT
      We are using the RCX. Our school has 8 sets and it was a lot easier to get the kids to work on the project. We hope to learn more about NXT over the next year and make our change next year.


    5. Message by: Dynonanobots866 10/10/2006 04:40:04 GMT
      Our school is sticking with the RCX systems. Price is part of the problem - the original kits were purchased with grant money. Our bigger problem is that our school network is Windows2000, and the NXT does not work with Win200, only WinXP and up. When we saw the NXT demonstrated at the state kickoff we asked about whether or not the software would be made Win2000 compatible and were told it would not. The school tells me they have no plans to upgrade the network, so I hope that it we will be able to use the RCX for a long while. Outside of FLL, the school uses the kits as part of a robotics workshop the kids take 1 quarter in 5th & 6th grade, so I don't see them being willing to upgrade to the NXT just for competition. Sigh...


    6. Message by: westmiddleschool277 10/11/2006 05:21:01 GMT
      Our middle school teams are sticking with RCX's this year. We have 3 new NXT kits but haven't messed with them yet. I plan to have the kids learn about NXT after the season. Due to our schedule, we have very little time to prepare and learning a whole new system would be too much compared to building upon what the kids already know. I just purchased ROBOLAB 2.9 which will work with the NXT. I am hoping it will combine the best of ROBOLAB with the best of NXT (motors). At least we won't have to learn a new program, since the kids already use ROBOLAB. And, I am hoping ROBOLAB will be able to take advantage of the new NXT motors which go much straighter. But, matching RCX motors is half the fun, yah right! And, the kids really try to solve the challenges without relying on the motors to go straight via "dead reckoning." Good luck to all during this challenging year!


    7. Message by: Mini-Monsters 10/11/2006 18:40:32 GMT
      We are using the RCX. Since our six teams are sponsored by The Natural Science Center of Greensboro, which is undergoing a massive zoo construction project, we just plain didn't have the funds this year to purchase the NXT kits.

      Marie


    8. Message by: nano2569 10/16/2006 08:57:37 GMT
      All members of our team are new to FLL. About half our team members own RCX and have some experience with it. The other half of the team members just had birthdays and we now of 3 NXT kits in the group.

      One of the RCX programmers feels strongly that it is better design. We've challenged him to make a second robot and do the programming for the missions. We'll see how it goes.

      If both robots perform well, we may take the both to the competition and use them in alternate rounds. Or it may be that one robot does better with the missions than the other robot. The kids will make the decision once they see how well they do.


    9. Message by: Florida_Moderator 10/18/2006 14:23:21 GMT
      How to word this...
      The one kid with the RCX challenge is not a team. From what you have said you challenged a single kid to make and program a robot equal to the robot you have. If there is any chance he will do it, you will have a team of nxt builders/programmers and a rcx kid. If you intend to use both robots, I'd suggest involving all the builders/programmers in both efforts.

      Don't get me wrong, its a neat challenge, but its a team sport. A time in the past, some teams did something similar, they brought multiple robots to teh tournament because the teams could not decide on one. The end result was a split team. Some were with design 1 and some were sith design 2. In judging this came out as a rift. Not good for technical or teamwork.

      Look, I'm smiling :-) email is so impersonal, I don't want to sound mad or grumpy. Just help you with what may be a time consuming problem later.

      -Laura


      1. Message by: DarkMatter747 10/18/2006 23:55:06 GMT
        Firstly, I'm smiling too :), not mad or grumpy :).

        I think multiple robots could be a Really Good Thing for the technical interview, because they can be used to show the pros and cons of differing designs. (If the the differing designs are intended to be used in that way, to show design experimentation rather than to show design factions within the team.)

        I don't believe our team has actually taken differing bots to the tech interview, although they have taken bot components to show concepts that were used in developing the final bot.

        However, last year they took two identical bots, one powered with lithium (high voltage) cells, and the other powered with NmHi (low voltage) cells to show that the robot and software were designed to work with a wide range of power supply voltage levels.


    10. Message by: quantumbots3207 11/03/2006 00:56:15 GMT
      We are using the NXT because we got one set free from Lego Education. We bought three more to use also. (Two for the team and two for two of the four families on our team).


    11. Message by: CGMSC2605 11/13/2006 18:58:13 GMT
      For what it is worth...

      We competed in our state qualifying tournament this past Saturday. Now, if I had been paying close attention I would have kept track of what robot base the top scoring teams were using. Unfortunatley, I was busy with other things (like getting a mostly rookie team through their first tournament experience!)

      I did notice that at least two of the top four robots (including ours) were RCX based. I think it is likely that all of the top four robots were RCX's.

      I suspect this has less to do with the relative capabilites of RCX vs. NXT than it does with the level of experience that some teams have with the RCX.

      There is a two-team group in Indiana (I won't name any names) that consistently gets RCX based robots to work so well that they regularly get perfect scores at the state tournaments. They really don't need better hardware. (Two years ago we were leading late in the third round with a score of ~380 and fell to third place when one team scored a perfect 400 and another a 405!)

      It will be interesting to see if, in years to come, FLL has to increase the difficulties of tha challenges to really force teams to move to NXT based robots.


      1. Message by: dhystad 11/21/2006 00:34:28 GMT
        Same thing here in Minnesota. RCX robots did best in the older division, and NXT in the younger division. But all results are based on team experience, not the robot platform.

        I do have one beef with the NXT and programs written in NXT GL. I know that you can complete most missions with a long string of MOVE blocks, but resist that urge. Tell your team that you won't allow them to use the table until they have at least one program that uses sensor feedback. And that will probably force them to use a switch statement or a loop. And since it is hard to put a lot of blocks in a switch statement or a loop they will probably have to create some MyBlocks. And before you know it they are actually having fun and writing interesting programs.


    12. Message by: Huskies3624 12/03/2006 06:14:53 GMT
      Most people are using the NXT, but I recommend the RCX for specific reasons, even though I haven't used the NXT yet...


    13. Message by: redrobots2924 12/03/2006 17:27:57 GMT
      The Qualifying Tournament we competed in yesterday had 26 teams and the field was pretty split between RCX and NXT robots. A NXT robot lead by a team of some smart 4th grade girls took the Top Robot Performance Award with 320.

      We used our NXT in the practice round, RCX in Round 1, NXT in Round 2 and RCX in Round 3. I just wonder if having 2 robots was a good thing or not but it worked real well with 8 kids this year. All of the kids crossed over from one controller to the other and then at the Tournament there were teams of 2 for each of the 4 rounds noted above. The kids seemed to really enjoy it but I wondered if the Tech Judges were a little confused or taken back at all. The kids did well in the Tech Judging but I appreciate any input or words of wisdom for the future.

      Phil
      Coach - Red Robots, MI


    14. Message by: LegoLabRats868 12/03/2006 19:33:36 GMT
      We had our qualifying tournament yesterday. Top performance was an NXT, but second & 3rd places were RCXs. 30 teams total. I did notice that the top technical awards went to RCXs. I spent a lot of time in the pit area talking to the different teams, and this is my opinion. The NXT is definetly easier to use with the way the drive trains go on & not having to worry about matching motors. They can also be more precise on the turns, etc. I won't even go into the programming. However I am ambivalent about which is better. The NXT definetly makes it easier to have a competive robot. But is the purpose of the competition solely to be competitive, or is it to teach the kids engineering prinicples? The NXT seems to "take care" of many basic things. The RCX teams had a much better grasp on how the parts affected the robot ("Well, we were doing great until Wed, & then we put some extra bracing on & had problems w/ the robot going straight & found out we had pulled the bottom frame in too much & were pinching our axels"). They also seemed to be more cognizant of the neccessity of bracing, and the basics of setting up Rotation sensors to prevent drag on the gear train. I am, of course biased in favor of the RCX, because we've been using it for the past 3 years. The kids don't, at this point, want to switch over. They say they aren't impressed. I'm impressed (oh, to have the motors go straight right out of the box!), but don't really feel the whole point is to have the process be easy, but rather to get a good appreciation of what goes into mechanical design. Something we've learned (and all my kids can tell you) is "Any times you make changes to the system there can be unintended consequences". I am not sure how much the NXT teaches that. Perhaps next year, when more teams are familar with the newer robot, there will be more variety and that will be apparent, but for this year it was not.


      1. Message by: SMART 12/04/2006 02:50:08 GMT
        To be honest I disagree with your post. As a coach of a very experienced RCX team that chose to go with NXT this year I can tell you it was no picnic and there were real problems for the kids to solve (and there still are - our state competition is in two weeks). Some things with NXT are easier to be sure, but some things are harder. Also, when your team gets to a point where they are competing for high scores you start to hit the same kinds of limits and problems you would with an RCX. The same old - not enough time, hard to get things 100% consistent, how to use landmarks and solid building techniques, etc. Our brainstorming sessions have been just as challenging this year, and our programmers have worked just as hard.

        My 2 cents.

        - Peter


Discussion: Team Spirit By: Bobotics4685 11/05/2006 08:08:28 GMT
What do you do to raise money for trips to tournaments? My team is trying to get a sponsor, but that may not pay for all of it...

  1. Message by: The Next Generation 10/07/2006 13:09:53 GMT
    Our team asked everyone for any old clothes and books they had, and if they would be willing to donate them to us. Then what we did was hung all our clothes up on rails and sorted them into sizes etc. and asked everyone we knew to come (mainly adults) and charged them *15 (we live in the UK)to come in and take any clothes they wanted with a glass of wine. We also put lots of tins around saying donations welcome. At the end of the night we had made a staggering *1500, which is about $2800, we had a really good time doing it, all of us were there with our robot and presentation so we shared information with them, and it only cost us about *50 in wine and *70 for food which we made back.

    Another thing we did was went around our local town asking for donations of items for a raffle, we ended up with some really good prizes and sold the tickets for a *1 each at our school, the raffle got us *200.

    The last thing we did was to a bag pack at our local shopping market, were we packed peoples bags for them and if they wanted to, they could put a donation in the buckets we had next to us!

    I hope this inspires you, we were raising money to get to Atlanta and we needed to raise *5500 in 8 weeks, and we did it *phew*. So to get to a local tournament you might not need as much money... Good Luck!!


    1. Message by: bluecheesyflamingos 10/07/2006 15:32:37 GMT
      Yes I know how hard it is to raise money that first year. Our first year in FLL we made it to the State Tournament, which I must say I was totally unprepared for! So what we did was split up hotel rooms and it cost each person who went about $20 plus the cost of gas to get there.

      One thing you can do is recycle printer cartidges. empties4cash.com has a great program and they even pay the shipping for you so your team loses none of the profits. Set up some boxes at your local church/school/business. Ask local businesses to save them for you.

      Another thing you can do is find a local resturant who is willing to give you a percentage of the proceded if your team comes and works for 3 hours. We just did ours this week at Coldstone Creamery and my kids has so much fun. There are many resturants who do this.

      You local Community Foundation and Junior League are two non-profits who look at helping other non-profits. They usually have grants to help. Also united way here has a youth program where they give money to youth organizations.

      I hope this helps. Wish I had more leads for you, Carla :)

      Coach
      Blue Cheesy Flamingos
      MI Team


    2. Message by: CV CA Volunteer Moderator 10/07/2006 17:43:14 GMT
      How much are you needing to fundraise (hundreds, thousands)? Are hotel and/or airfare costs involved? Is your team home-based or organization (school, non-profit)-based?

      Home-based fundraising
      For smaller amounts, I recommend getting the parents to contribute. Part of this is a philosophical bias -- I've never liked the idea of my kids selling overpriced merchandise and then buying the same useless stuff from others out of reciprocity. We covered team costs by charging each member $100. Although our kids came from a Title I school and half of the team's families earned <$40 K, our parents valued education and were the type to choose museums over clothes (for one member, the FLL team t-shirt was the only new clothing item purchased that year). If the parents balk, I would stress the educational value of FLL; this is an investment in the kids' future -- isn't it worth a few trips to the movies or Starbucks? Some parents would rather contribute stuff than cash, and you could always beg junk off friends and have a garage sale or sell it on E-bay. E-bay is time-intensive for the seller, but it works in cold weather.

      For large amounts, one year we had the opportunity to go to Atlanta, and came up with less than half the amount from parents. No corporation would even allow us to give a presentation, since we weren't a school or non-profit. However, we did appeal to the educational foundation for the district where our kids attend. We stressed how our trip would benefit the community, not just the few members of our team. We did this by calling attention to investments that we'd made in the community in the past -- FLL promo events we'd held, including a tournament (we were the first FLL team in the area), a math tutoring program we ran at one of the elementary schools. The head of the local disabilities agency also appeared with us and testified to the kids' outreach to the disabilities community. We then shared about how our Atlanta trip would benefit the community in the future * that our experience would enable us to bring a high school robotics program to the area. The foundation decided to fund the expenses we couldn't cover.

      School/Non-profit organization-based teams
      Corporations are generally more willing to donate here, but even this is a tough sell. Emphasizing community service helps. For fundraisers, find services that are genuinely needed and market them.
      Car wash - Send the kids into the neighborhood with pay-in-advance tickets with the time and date of the car wash printed. Look for the dirtiest cars in neighborhood, and areas where older people reside, and knock on those doors.
      Pizza sales - At my son's school, there are still kids in the lunch line 2 minutes before the bell, and some kids skip lunch for lack of time. With permission from the principal, have a parent bring a stack of pizzas 5 minutes before lunch begins and have kids sell it. Little Caesar's $5 large pizzas give a good profit margin.

      Hope this helps.
      Yolande


    3. Message by: cougarbots4326 10/11/2006 20:23:14 GMT
      One fundraiser that we do a couple times during the season is to collect returnable bottles & cans. It's easy & you're not asking anyone to buy anything, plus it's good exercise. We print up flyers for the team members to pass out to the homes in their neighborhoods in the middle of the week, then on Saturday morning they go pick up the returnables. If we hit a good weekend (think football parties), we can make at least a few hundred dollars. I have attached the flyer along with the student instructions we use.

      - Jean


    4. Message by: Nanonerds62 10/19/2006 16:01:21 GMT
      I just want to clear on something.. our teams have come up with logos for their T-shirts and buttons, but can a parent or coach make the shirts and buttons or do the kids need to do this also?
      Thanks for the help..
      Chris


      1. Message by: bluecheesyflamingos 10/19/2006 16:05:18 GMT
        We have a company do our art work and printing. The kids draw something up and then the artist changes it to a clean digital version. Carla :)

        Coach
        Blue Cheesy Flamingos
        MI Team


      2. Message by: fll-freak 10/19/2006 16:12:23 GMT
        Adults can make the shirts. My team has always drawn the artwork with the help from the school art teacher. I then import their work into the computer to provide to the silkscreen company that makes the shirts.

        We have also done buttons in the past. Again the artwork came from the kids and the production was done by an outside company.

        Just to keep things in perspective... Do you think the kids need to sew their own clothes?

        The ethics of FLL is that adults should not be building the robot, programing it, or helping with the research. Driving the kids to meetings, providng food, having shirts made, and other such stuff can be left to the "responsible adults".

        -Skye


        1. Message by: CV CA Volunteer Moderator 10/20/2006 05:24:32 GMT
          On the other hand, if it's something the kids CAN do, that should be encouraged. Last year, I judged team spirit and gave extra points for banners with cartoons and masthead done by the kids over banners beautifully sewn by the parents (I deliberately asked -- if the kids had done the sewing, I would have REALLY been impressed). Same for T-shirts - I asked who designed the shirts, and if it was done by the kids, they came out ahead, even if a commercial printer reproduced them. Of course, neatly drawn, clever shirts were ranked above sloppy ones, even if they were done by the kids.

          Yolande


    5. Message by: Nanobots3756 10/30/2006 18:15:13 GMT
      We are a rookie team and were wondering how elaborately teams decorated their pit areas? We don't want to overdue or underdo.

      Teresa


      1. Message by: fll-freak 10/30/2006 19:09:52 GMT
        I have seen the full range from nothing to a 15 foot helium derigible. Part of this depends on if its a local or a state tournament. Teams tend to "dress up" more for state tournaments!

        -skye


        1. Message by: bluecheesyflamingos 10/30/2006 19:36:39 GMT
          And remember to keep it within what your budget allows. If its a choice between something like uniforms or display, go for the uniforms. Our first year our display consisted of candy and one lone flamingo ;) Carla

          Coach
          Blue Cheesy Flamingos
          MI Team


          1. Message by: Nanobots3756 10/30/2006 20:52:27 GMT
            Is there a place where teams have posted photographs of tournaments where their decorations are visible?
            I just don't want the kids to feel out of place because they did too much or not enough. It sounds like any level of decoration is "ok."
            Teresa


            1. Message by: bluecheesyflamingos 10/30/2006 20:55:40 GMT
              Here is a couple: http://www.tennfll.org/2004photos/45.jpg
              http://www.astroday.net/FLL-RoboTourney.html
              Some people go much more elaborate, some don't.

              Most of the time its usually a tri-fold board with a display of their robot and research. Carla :)

              Coach
              Blue Cheesy Flamingos
              MI Team


          2. Message by: Nanobots3756 10/30/2006 20:55:46 GMT
            Is there a place where teams have posted photographs of tournaments where their decorations are visible?
            I just don't want the kids to feel out of place because they did too much or not enough. It sounds like any level of decoration is "ok."
            Teresa


            1. Message by: tanrobotics 11/05/2006 08:08:28 GMT
              You can check out our pictures and video's from last years tournament at

              http://www.scsrobotics.org

              http://www.scsrobotics.org/video

              I think in the Atlanta videos I included the clips of the Team area. I attempted to "capture" the enourmousness of the whole World Festival Tournament there.

              Our local and state/provincial tournaments were slightly less intensive, but we did bring the Penguin suit to them as well.

              Paul Tan.
              Co-Coach of St. Clement's Lego Robotics
              Nano Penguins 1
              Nano Penguins 2


      2. Message by: CV CA Volunteer Moderator 10/30/2006 22:25:35 GMT
        I don't think you can "overdo" the decorations, unless you exceed the space you're given (typically a 6-ft. table in the pit). If the kids have the creative energy and time, go for it! But if they're feeling put upon because "we HAVE to do these decorations for the pit," it's better to go without -- no one will really notice a lack of display.

        Yolande


Discussion: Team Structure By: bluecheesyflamingos 11/26/2006 20:37:04 GMT
I am curious as to how team structure is viewed during the judging. My kids divided up into 3 groups; programmers, robot/attachment builders and researchers.

All the kids did the research and brainstormed the skit idea together but the research group is in charge of putting the skit together and creating the PR for our research. The other 2 groups I think are self-explanitory.

Will we be scored lower because all 10 kids were not working on everything all the time?? Thanks, Carla :)

Coach
Blue Cheesy Flamingos
MI Team

  1. Message by: fll-freak 10/12/2006 18:32:36 GMT
    You might very well. It will depend on the the judges. Experienced FLL judges understand some specialization, but do like to see all kids involved in all aspects to some degree. One solution is to have the whole team involved in the skit, and to get the research team involved in programing one of the simpler missions.

    -Skye


    1. Message by: bluecheesyflamingos 10/12/2006 18:50:49 GMT
      So do you think it would also be a problem if the programmers didn't build the body but just programmed? And vise-versa with the robot builders? Thanks, Carla :)

      Coach
      Blue Cheesy Flamingos
      MI Team


      1. Message by: fll-freak 10/12/2006 19:02:17 GMT
        Teams vary greatly in the way they run. The rubrics seem to indicate that highly specialized teams score better, but I know from years of experience that generalized teams tend to do better. This is especialy true of the research project where one of the rubrics is "did all the students contribute".

        Some teams will put a builder and programmer together to solve a given mission. Some will assign a mission to each student. It is then up to them to find the resources to solve the mission drawing from the others if needed.

        The fact that you have only one robot makes it very tough for everyone to have build the base bot. Its just as hard for everyone to have contributed to every program. What the judges are looking for is that each member was involved to various degrees in all aspects. Having a policy that programers can't touch LEGO and builders can touch a mouse does not play very well to the judges. The fact that your master builder can write a simple program but can't write a line following algorithm is not an issue.

        The best way to think about this is to forget the judges. Think of the kids. They all should be learning about the whole process. Some of this will be in their 'comfort zone'. Some of it will not. But at the end of the day they should all be able to answer simple questions about your research project, building, and programming. Satisfy this basic humanistic principle and you will satisfy the judges as well.

        -Skye


        1. Message by: bluecheesyflamingos 10/12/2006 19:48:50 GMT
          Thank you for the post. Last year my team came in top 5 for teamwork at state and they were so excited. That is one thing they really do well together. I just don't want them disappointed if they feel they back tracked from last year because of this new structure.

          Thanks for the feedback, Carla :)

          Coach
          Blue Cheesy Flamingos
          MI Team


      2. Message by: MI FLL Volunteer Moderator 10/13/2006 18:03:00 GMT
        The old Dragon Devils sometimes had the opposite problem. A judge would ask, "Who worked on X?". Answer, "We all did." No, who really did most of the work - the answer still was "all".

        The only real specialty was programming - about half the girls did some programming, with two lead programmers. The coach made it a point to see that at least one new person learned programming each year.

        Everyone had participation in some aspect of the research and presentation. The project isn't just what you present, it's being able to answer questions from the judges as well. Everyone did some research, and when good websites or articles were found, everyone was given "homework" to read it and be prepared to "recite". Sure, they all did some different things - writing the script or lyrics to a song, making props, making artistic displays, etc. - but all did something.

        Most if not all of the girls were involved in some aspect of the robot building. If you have a separate robot body to use for testing, you can test lots of attachments using the remote control to drive, without having to program it until you see if it can do what you want.

        - Gary


        1. Message by: bluecheesyflamingos 10/13/2006 18:13:18 GMT
          Thanks Gary ;)

          That is a great sugguestion. I am going to see if I can find a remote. Carla :)

          Coach
          Blue Cheesy Flamingos
          MI Team


    2. Message by: Florida_Moderator 10/12/2006 19:41:10 GMT
      Good call Skye, the FLL program is about teaching kids teamwork and robots and research and gp .....

      The judging is just what happens at the end.

      -Laura


    3. Message by: CV CA Volunteer Moderator 10/14/2006 06:21:53 GMT
      Agreed! And sometimes what benefits the kids the most (and what they end up liking) is what they think they least want to do. Our kids all tried to delegate the research project to each other, but ended up with more or less equal portions of it. After a couple trips to Dairy Queen to interview our experts, their creative juices were flowing and they surprised themselves with how much they enjoyed the project.

      Yolande


    4. Message by: tatorbots1936 10/16/2006 21:28:51 GMT
      I have team of 8. They all contribute to the research , sketch...

      They built the base from the LME tribot instructions.
      There is a mix of Robot attachments built by a few.

      The mission programming:
      The 8 are split into 4 groups of two. Each group was assigned 1 or 2 mission models. Later in the challenge, they will probably have to collaborate on combining missions because it is not likely that they will be able to leave and return to home base for every mission.

      Question?
      Will all 8 kids be allowed to run a mission at the table?
      (e.g. 1st group of two start a mission that returns to home base. The 2nd group of two step in and run their mission... followed by the 3rd an 4th groups.

      -david


      1. Message by: bluecheesyflamingos 10/16/2006 21:31:37 GMT
        Short answer yes you can tag team 2 kids in and out. Long answer depends on if there is enough space at the tournament you attend. If you want to know for sure contact the tournament coordinator, Carla :)

        Coach
        Blue Cheesy Flamingos
        MI Team


        1. Message by: SMART 10/16/2006 23:01:32 GMT
          I echo that. Make sure to get a hard confirmation far enough in advance so your kids don't practice a strategy that won't be allowed. In our state we attended three tournaments last year and we were only allowed to tag team in one.

          - Peter


    5. Message by: nanoknights216 10/19/2006 08:15:06 GMT
      Ditto here! Our team planned on tagging in last year and was initially told it was not allowed. Fortunately, I had a printed copy of the rules that explicitly allowed this and my gentle appeal was successful. We were ready (though ill-prepared!) to roll with it, though. I think it is exciting for those that developed a mission to get to run it.
      Tammy


    6. Message by: TechnoBots 11/26/2006 20:30:45 GMT
      Our team consists of 6 members. Three are returning from last year, plus 3 new recruits. We sub-divided the team in to 3 "squadrons" of 2. Each squadron chose and strategized the missions they wanted to perform. Experienced members took the harder missions. Rookies got the simpler ones. Every team member thus had a chance to construct and program for their respective mission(s) and each squadron gets a turn at the competion table.

      We developed the presentation as a unit and everyone had a scripted speaking or acting role.

      In such a team structure, every member gets a full taste of the entire experience. A similar structure could work for teams of 8 or 10, as there are 9 missions, and 5 program slots on the RCX.

      Rus
      TechnoBots, Clovis, CA


Discussion: Best glue to hold table parts together? By: LegoLabRats868 10/20/2006 19:14:25 GMT
Don't know why, but some of this year's table pieces don't hold together as well when bumped. I know they glue them for the tournaments. What is the best/recommended glue to do that?

  1. Message by: bluecheesyflamingos 10/12/2006 18:48:15 GMT
    Gorilla Glue...it will stick you and the pieces together ;) No really probably a super glue type would work. Carla

    Coach
    Blue Cheesy Flamingos
    MI Team


    1. Message by: fll-freak 10/12/2006 18:48:44 GMT
      "There be dragons here."

      Master builders use PVC glue in small quatities and only after tons of practice. One drop in the wrong place can ruin the workings of a model.

      Glue your mission models together and all that great LEGO goes to waste for future years.

      Not all tournaments glue their models together. And then only those that seem overly frail.

      Hot melt glue may be a good compromise. Used in small sections, it can hold LEGO together but can be removed with effort.

      -Skye


    2. Message by: LegoLabRats868 10/12/2006 18:59:17 GMT
      We aren't looking to glue it all together, but the blue individual atom table, and the gray platform on the stuck nanotip, have been bumped a couple of times (by kids, the robot, me...) in just the right way that they break off & then we have to spend time putting them together. The hot glue sounds like a good comrimise & I wouldn't have to buy it. Thanks.


    3. Message by: Florida_Moderator 10/12/2006 19:46:51 GMT
      Check with your tournament partner first -

      At the Florida State tournament, we are not gluing any parts together. Be very careful before you glue, if it is your robot that is breaking the model and it gets broke at a tournament, you wil probibly not get points for that mission.

      Check out Rule 30. Field Dammage:... Intentional field damage is also reversed, but draws a warning, and could result in denial of points. Field damage too severe to reverse is left as is and could fall under the STRAY OBJECTS rule.

      -Laura


    4. Message by: Automata32 10/20/2006 05:46:42 GMT
      Do you glue? I'll stay out of that debate, but I can offer some advice on creating permanent Lego artifacts of any sort (Lego trophies?).

      Lego bricks are molded from ABS thermoplastic and should be permanently fastened with an adhesive specifically formulated for ABS. PVC solvent adhesive may "work", but it is not the best adhesive solution. A well stocked hardware store should carry solvent adhesives for various types of plumbing materials. Look carefully for ABS solvent adhesive which will actually fuse the bricks together into one monolithic mass.

      If you need advice on gluing techniques, skill and care, refer to a modeling website such as Fine Scale Modeler for advice.

      Let us know how it works. - Mike

      http://www.finescale.com/fsm/


      1. Message by: bluecheesyflamingos 10/20/2006 16:21:09 GMT
        At the end of this season I am going to attempt for the first time to glue a couple lego creation together as trophies for the kids. But thank you for letting us know that these were ABS. I now know what to look for at Home Depot. Carla :)

        Coach
        Blue Cheesy Flamingos
        MI Team


    5. Message by: LegoLabRats868 10/20/2006 13:26:25 GMT
      I went ahead and used the hot glue. We just needed to have the pieces hold together so that accidentally bumping them did not result in a delay of several minutes trying to get the models put back together. I will probably eventually use the ABS glue advice, because I keep the models and then use them again in class. The hot glue worked well though for a start, because we were able to peel it off one incorrectly glued model and it seems to be holding up pretty well. Thanks for all the advice.


    6. Message by: Randazzo1589 10/20/2006 19:14:25 GMT
      I've used in the past with good success a clear PVC plumbers glue that comes in a tube at Home Depot. It just smells strong till it's dry.

      Jennifer Hall
      Randazzo 1589


Discussion: Mat Misprint? By: Limit Busters 198 11/04/2006 23:12:09 GMT
We were wondering what the picture of the the 'blue 1 x 5, bent' is for. It is near the Self-Assembly mission, closer to the wall. It appears to be in to be in 1:1 scale. We noticed that while inspecting the mat, and got real curious.

Thanks for your time,
Limit Busters

  1. Message by: CGMSC2605 10/25/2006 19:32:37 GMT
    I believe the 'blue 1 x 5, bent' is where a flaw in the nanotube structure has been repaired with a nano-scale Lego piece.


    1. Message by: 3484BakerBobcats 11/04/2006 23:12:09 GMT
      I agree with CGMC2605 on what they have shown


Discussion: Mat Misprint? By: Limit Busters 198 10/13/2006 02:12:43 GMT
We were wondering what the picture of the the 'blue 1 x 5, bent' is for. It is near the Self-Assembly mission, closer to the wall. It appears to be in to be in 1:1 scale. We noticed that while inspecting the mat, and got real curious.

Thanks for your time,
Limit Busters

Discussion: NXT - Bluetooth adapter - Lego vs Store Brand By: bluecheesyflamingos 10/14/2006 05:15:19 GMT
I was wondering if anyone know if there is a difference (besides price *wink*) between the lego bluetooth usb adapter and say a D-link one? I saw many post on people having problems with the usb adapters that were not lego. Anyone have any experice with the lego brand one? Thanks, Carla :)

Coach
Blue Cheesy Flamingos
MI Team

  1. Message by: fll-freak 10/13/2006 22:38:30 GMT
    If you go to my website, there is a link on the NXT page to a coach that has started a compatability page.

    www.fll-freak.com

    -Skye


    1. Message by: bluecheesyflamingos 10/13/2006 22:39:37 GMT
      Thanks Skye! As always your my hero *wink* Carla :)

      Coach
      Blue Cheesy Flamingos
      MI Team


    2. Message by: redrobots2924 10/14/2006 01:53:32 GMT
      I just purchased a D-Link DBT-120 at Amazon for $29.26 plus some shipping of course which I picked off of the compatability page Skye mentions. I didn't know what to pick so I picked a name I'm familiar with. I took piecemakers281's suggestion of uninstalling the D-Link driver and for right now (1 day at least) it has worked great. I'll report and issues along the way of course. Isn't this new stuff fun!!!

      Phil
      Coach - Red Robots


    3. Message by: KinardRobots 10/14/2006 05:15:19 GMT
      My experience w/ the DBT-120 is to not use the driver that comes on the CD. Use the default driver that comes w/ Windows-XP. I had to uninstall the DBT-120 driver to get the Bluetooth connection working. In other words, just plug the DBT-120 into the USB port and then startup NXT-G software.

      I have not been able the get Bluetooth working w/ Windows-2000.

      Rich


Discussion: S.E. stands for Southeast? By: Limit Busters 198 12/14/2006 04:04:35 GMT
We noticed that on the eastern side of the self - assembly mission, near where it says 1nm, is printed "S.E.". Our closest guess is that it stands for Southeast, but have no ide why it's there.

Ideas?
Limit Busters 198

  1. Message by: botzealots1105 12/14/2006 00:07:50 GMT
    I would guess that it stands for Scott Evans, designer of the challenge and master of the Q and A.
    Mike


    1. Message by: Limit Busters 198 12/14/2006 04:04:35 GMT
      Hehehe, putting his initials in the corner of a mat, just as an artist would with his painting. Very reasonable. Good call, we would have never thought of that.

      Limit Busters


Discussion: Robot Build From Manual & Technical Score By: bluecheesyflamingos 11/21/2006 03:55:49 GMT
I was talking to another coach and we were wondering if a team would be scored lower during technical presentation for using a robot from the NXT manual that had been modified to add attachments and sensors? Do the judges look for a robot body build completely from scratch? We are curious as to what other teams have experinced during competitions. Thanks, Carla :)

Coach
Blue Cheesy Flamingos
MI Team

  1. Message by: zap85 10/16/2006 21:34:47 GMT
    Hi Carla,

    We got our scoring sheets from our regional tourney last year, and the kids did indeed score well in their tech interview with a robot they designed, so in my limited experience it does matter.

    I know they were able to articulate why they had made all the decisions about their design, and had specifically addressed things that they thought were important for the missions on the field - they had a list of desired robot characteristics that they determined at the beginning of the season and built their robot to meet those needs. They got mostly goods and excellents from all 3 tech judges.

    Keep in mind this was a team that couldn't get their robot to go straight, couldn't complete any missions during their tech interview, and scored a high of only 72 points (or thereabouts) in the robot games at that competition.

    Doreen


    1. Message by: BrightLights2006 10/17/2006 04:13:29 GMT
      I was a etch judge last year. The only time a "book" construction received lower scores was when the team couldn't explain why certain design choices were made. In other words, it is not the design that receives a lower mark, but the team's comprehension of the design that tends to get a lower mark for a chassis out of the manual.

      Some examples: the gear ratio (speed s. torque), ability to climb over objects (tracks s. wheels), balance of the robot (counterbalancing attachments by relocating the RCX) etc.

      If a team used a book model, but could reasonably explain why it was a good choice, then we were OK with it.

      In real life, I'm an engineer, and a big part of engineering is re-using good designs that evolve over time to better designs. The ego designs tend to be good, solid, introductory robots.

      Specifically regarding the NXT... as many kids (and many adults, for that matter) will not pick up stud less design very quickly, the model in the manual is a great start to a chassis. Goodness knows I'd have problems creating one from scratch...

      Just my opinion..

      -Rob A>
      Coach - Team Bright Lights


      1. Message by: zap85 10/19/2006 19:35:23 GMT
        Ah, so the scores my team received for their original design, may have come from their ability to explain their choices and not from the fact they had designed it themselves.

        Thanks for your insights, Rob.


    2. Message by: IAFLLModerator 10/19/2006 19:24:34 GMT
      Rob A is right on the mark -- great post.


    3. Message by: Nano Geckos #623 10/28/2006 06:07:24 GMT
      Yes, I agree. My 1st year team last year did revisions to the 3 in 1 bot and I was worried that they would take a hit for not being original with their design. They knew the components of the robot inside and out, were able to articulate why they chose the design they did,and despite their favorite mission failing twice during the technical interview, they still scored very well. Karen


    4. Message by: dhystad 11/21/2006 00:55:38 GMT
      The beautiful thing about the robots in the Constructopedia (RCX) and the Robot Educator (NXT) is that the designs are not very good. So a lower technical score (and table scores) is a natural consequence of copying these designs.

      That sounds kind of nasty and catty, but it is still true. Constructopedia robots aren't designed to handle the weight of attachments or an extra motor. The wheelbase is almost always too short, and the structure is not very rugged. It is also difficult to add a third motor or a rotation sensor to any of the designs.

      The NXT Educator robot has too short a wheelbase, a sloppy caster wheel, and is too wide when the 3rd motor is attached. You would also be better off using larger wheels. The motors have plenty of torque, and the rotation resolution is high enough that the larger diameter doesn't lead to large odometry errors.


    5. Message by: GeniusInDisguise1559 11/21/2006 03:55:49 GMT
      Having suffered through last season watching a rookie team build up and tear apart design after design until it was a week before our tournament and we didn't have a working robot, I have a different perspective on this. I would rather have them build a simple, albeit poorly designed, robot and move on to solving missions. I saw this work at a Girls Connect training. There is nothing like getting a little success under their belt. They can work on better designs during the off season in preparation for next year.

      Bob
      Team 1559


Discussion: Robot Design NXT By: Programmables337 11/21/2006 01:28:48 GMT
We are struggling with designing a cot. Are there any other designs out there other that what came with set. The RCX had numerous resources for robot design and last year it was a great help.

  1. Message by: zap85 10/16/2006 21:40:16 GMT
    I assigned my kids to look at these bots and try to build them, some are just pictures, not instructions.

    http://mindstorms.lego.com/MeetMDP/BBonahoom.aspx
    http://mindstorms.lego.com/MeetMDP/BDavis.aspx
    http://mynxt.matthiaspaulscholz.eu/robots/goliathII/index.html

    Doreen


    1. Message by: LegoMyNano3284 10/17/2006 01:44:34 GMT
      Is it necessary to use any of the sensors provided?

      Would we be penalized either in the robot portion of the challenge or in the technical interview?


      1. Message by: bluecheesyflamingos 10/17/2006 01:57:37 GMT
        One of many areas of the technical interview looks for sensors. Our first year the team didn't use any sensors. Check the ruberic in your handbook to get a better idea of what the technical judges are looking for, Carla :)

        Coach
        Blue Cheesy Flamingos
        MI Team


      2. Message by: FellowshipOfTheBricks 10/31/2006 20:12:07 GMT
        >>Would we be penalized (for not using sensors) either in the robot portion of the challenge or in the technical interview?

        This is just my opinion...
        I think it is somewhat natural for the technical judges to give extra points for complexity. A team that uses no light or touch sensors will probably have a hard time scoring as high as a team that has well-used light or touch sensors - even if their simpler robot is just as capable.

        I tend to think a simple design is preferable to an equally capable complex design, but when one is judging and looking for what differentiates teams, sensor use can be one difference maker.

        Steve


        1. Message by: dhystad 11/21/2006 01:28:48 GMT
          Judges are no fans of complexity. But here is how we think.

          "A robot that uses sensors correctly should be able to regularly outscore robots that do not. Odometry is a pretty poor way to program autonomous robots due to the inevitable accumulation of error."

          Note the use of the words "correctly" and "should". Correctly is important because a light sensor that can't see anything, or a touch sensor that can't be pressed are not useful. Should is important because a really clever team can come up with ways to limit the impact of odometry errors that don't require sensors. Solutions may be mechanical or procedural (or both). And if correctly implemented will recieve high scores.

          We have similar mantras for teams that like to aim their robot or use timers.

          I like your simpler argument, and I agree with it completely. That's why in the past I always scored robots that used rotation sensors above those that used timers. They were simpler to program and debug. I like using a light sensor or touch sensor to find features on the playing field because it is simpler to navigate when you know exctly where you are, instead of when you have to guess where you are.


    2. Message by: DarkMatter747 10/17/2006 14:25:34 GMT
      No points are awarded or denied for using or not using sensors in the robot portion of the challenge. Your team might be able to earn more challenge points by using sensors to accomplish challenge tasks, however, by using the sensor to create a more capable robot. On the other hand, the team could also lose points by trying to use a sensor in a certain way before having developed the necessary expertise to do so. :)

      Note that, with the NXT, by using the "Move Block" in rotation or degrees mode, your team is already using built-in rotation sensors.

      I feel it is best to teach your young team members to use sensors step-by-step so they can gain an understanding of why and how they can be used. Don't worry about using all of the sensors and don't have your team bite off more than they can chew. Simpler is often better.

      As Carla said, the technical interview will look for sensors - I think it is best that your team use, understand and be able to explain the use of one sensor well, than crash and burn trying to use all of the sensors not very well at all.

      -Dave


    3. Message by: Programmables337 10/25/2006 22:03:34 GMT
      Thank you.


Discussion: Robot Design NXT By: Programmables337 11/27/2006 20:52:41 GMT
We are struggling with designing a robot. Are there any other designs out there other that what came with set. The RCX had numerous resources for robot design and last year it was a great help.

  1. Message by: dhystad 11/21/2006 01:08:34 GMT
    Start with the motors. They are so large that you can't fit them into the structure. Instead they define the structure. My team's first robot only had about 40 parts. And that's including all the pins, wires, tires and hubs. It looks like it is all controller, motors and wheels with only a couple of studless beams holding things together. They built the robot in about an hour, and can rebuild from scratch in about 5 minutes.

    I am struggling with codifying building strategies for NXT. Everything I write sounds like instructions for Zen meditation. "You need to understand the parts. Develop a feel for their interconnection. The design process is organic. If you don't fight the parts shape or connectivity, the robots almost build themselves." That sort of useless junk.

    Remember, you can always build the old way and stick the motors inside your frame. I saw a robot at a regional tournament that was built that way.


    1. Message by: NanoEagles6106 11/27/2006 20:52:41 GMT
      could you program the robot to say ''whatever''


Discussion: Robot accessories By: Girl Scout Troop 276#818 10/24/2006 02:57:35 GMT
My team wants to accessorize their robot.
Can other materials be used for decorative purposes or must all decorative elements be composed of legos?
Thanks
Kari T
Girl Scout Troop 276
FLL Team #818

  1. Message by: fll-freak 10/18/2006 12:47:37 GMT
    Away from the competition table, you can accessorize as much as you want. At the competition table you will need to remove any and all non LEGO parts. But don't forget that you can make some wild decorations with LEGO!

    -Skye


    1. Message by: tatorbots1936 10/18/2006 15:53:34 GMT
      google "Form vs. Function"


      1. Message by: YottaToYocto 10/24/2006 02:07:23 GMT
        Perhaps a better search phrase would be:

        "first lego league" spirit


        1. Message by: tatorbots1936 10/24/2006 02:57:35 GMT
          always


Discussion: NXT Remote Control By: bluecheesyflamingos 10/25/2006 22:15:01 GMT
I found this version of a GUI remote for a NXT using blue tooth. Tried to get it working but had problems. Anyone else try this?

http://mynxt.matthiaspaulscholz.eu/tools/NXTRemoteControl/index.html

Thanks, Carla :)

Coach
Blue Cheesy Flamingos
MI Team

  1. Message by: tatorbots1936 10/18/2006 19:23:33 GMT
    Kind of an odd question for an FLL forum...

    Matthias is a regular contributor to "The NXT Step Blog".
    http://thenxtstep.blogspot.com/

    There is some discussion on this in the July archives.

    -David Levy
    Tatorbots


    1. Message by: bluecheesyflamingos 10/18/2006 20:49:04 GMT
      Yes I read those. Many of the people there were having the same issues my co-coach and I are having. I would like to get it working this weekend so my attachment designers can get a rough idea of thier works relability, since the programmers are behind schedule ;) Carla

      Coach
      Blue Chesey Flamingos
      MI Team


      1. Message by: tatorbots1936 10/19/2006 14:02:57 GMT
        Matthias has posted another comment


    2. Message by: tatorbots1936 10/18/2006 21:24:42 GMT
      Post a comment on the blog and I email Matthias to respond.


    3. Message by: redrobots2924 10/22/2006 06:10:56 GMT
      I'm confused, why is this an odd question for a FLL forum? It seems like a good tool to develop and debug a robot if the program works.

      Phil
      Coach - Red Robots, MI


      1. Message by: tatorbots1936 10/22/2006 16:04:24 GMT
        My response was given from the original question in which I could not deduce that the context was limited to debugging and developing.

        -david


    4. Message by: 10/22/2006 16:03:10 GMT
      Deleted


    5. Message by: RoboticsLearning 10/25/2006 02:51:16 GMT
      The NXT remote program I've tried is called "OnBrick" by Paul Spurgeon.

      Click here for more info


      1. Message by: bluecheesyflamingos 10/25/2006 17:29:32 GMT
        I looks wonderful! Did you run into any problems installing or using it?? Carla :)

        Coach
        Blue Cheesy Flamingos
        MI Team


        1. Message by: RoboticsLearning 10/25/2006 19:51:27 GMT
          I installed the PC version and it worked fine.
          You do need to install .NET first.

          Sometimes you need to fiddle with the bluetooth connection.
          That is described in the README files.


          1. Message by: bluecheesyflamingos 10/25/2006 20:45:17 GMT
            Thanks so much for posting back. I will have my co-coach try it out tonight and see how it works. Hopefully I will have good news to report tomorrow *grin* Carla :)

            Coach
            Blue Cheesy Flamingos
            MI Team


    6. Message by: 10/25/2006 19:49:23 GMT
      Deleted


    7. Message by: tatorbots1936 10/25/2006 20:42:13 GMT
      Here's one for the PalmOS

      http://www.palmgear.com/index.cfm?fuseaction=software.showsoftware&PartnerREF=&siteid=1&prodID=124580


    8. Message by: MarkhamWeebots2839 10/25/2006 22:15:01 GMT
      Well, while we're at it...here's a link to site where he's created a bluetooth control for Linux, Windows and also Symbian-based Java Cell Phones

      http://alumni.ipt.pt/~pmad/nxt.php

      I think the Java code will work on any cellphone, but I'm not sure about that.

      I got it to work on my Nokia 6620, which is a Symbian phone, but after much fiddling.

      --Mike


Discussion: Mission Mars Poster pdf By: westmiddleschool277 01/01/2007 02:00:16 GMT
We are having an open house at our middle school and I was hoping to hang the FLL pdf posters from all the old challenges. If you have access to the Mission Mars Poster, please send it to me via e-mail @ aschwartz@cherrycreekschools.org. Thanks. I have the other posters saved but can't find that one.

  1. Message by: bluecheesyflamingos 10/18/2006 20:50:34 GMT
    Would you mind posting those posters or the link to where you got them? Thanks, Carla :)

    Coach
    Blue Cheesy Flamingos
    MI Team


    1. Message by: westmiddleschool277 10/18/2006 21:44:17 GMT
      I have attached the pdf poster from "No Limits" "Ocean Odyssey" and "NanoQuest" I am still hoping to get a copy of the "Mission Mars" Thanks, Alan


    2. Message by: westmiddleschool277 10/18/2006 21:45:28 GMT
      I can only attach one file per message.


    3. Message by: westmiddleschool277 10/18/2006 21:46:13 GMT
      I can only attach one file per message.


      1. Message by: bluecheesyflamingos 10/18/2006 21:51:25 GMT
        Thank you so much!! We have been in all these competitions but I never bothered to get the posters. Now I can put something together for my kids that are moving on to the high school team. Carla :)

        Coach
        Blue Cheesy Flamingos
        MI Team


    4. Message by: Limit Busters 198 01/01/2007 02:00:16 GMT
      Don't forget years before that (in chonological order from 1999) - First Contact, Volcanic Panic, Arctic Impact, and City Sights.

      Limit Busters


Discussion: Technical Judging - Programming Judges and Technical Judges By: bluecheesyflamingos 10/25/2006 23:01:16 GMT
At our tournaments the the technical presentation splits my kids up, programmers go with a programming judge and builders go with the other technical judges.

Is it appropriate for the kids with the non-programming judges to tell about neat things the programmers did to make the robot work better? Or are those kids only suppose to talk about the mechanical thing on the robot? Thanks, Carla :)

Coach
Blue Cheesy Flamingos
MI Team

  1. Message by: fll-freak 10/24/2006 23:31:00 GMT
    Absolutely. They should not spend lots of time on it but something like: "The programmers fixed our problem by flobernizing the glipersnoop otherwise we would have had to glabernize the zlifnerk in hardware".

    -Skye


    1. Message by: IAFLLModerator 10/25/2006 23:01:16 GMT
      They should definitely chat up each other since all the judges come together at the end of the day for award deliberations.


Discussion: QUALIFING ROUND? By: Redmond-NanoTech 10/28/2006 18:08:15 GMT
Is there a qualifing round for this year's FLL (for Washington).

  1. Message by: CV CA Volunteer Moderator 10/28/2006 18:08:15 GMT
    To find out this info, I would contact the tournament director(s) directly for the tournament(s) you plan to attend. You can find this info at the Teams and Tournaments link (plug in your state) at the FLL website:

    http://www.firstlegoleague.org/calendar.aspx?pid=16630

    Yolande


Discussion: Perfect scores? By: MI FLL Volunteer Moderator 01/21/2007 19:10:24 GMT
It's just about time for tournaments to begin - some areas are earlier, some later.

Any team that can achieve a perfect score of 400 deserves to be recognized. Post the team name, number, and what tournament in this thread.

It just has to be achieved in a tournament setting - not in your classroom, basement or garage. Either an official qualifying tournament, or a practice tournament that is set up in the same format.

Best of luck to all.

- Gary

  1. Message by: MI FLL Volunteer Moderator 11/12/2006 03:54:54 GMT
    A nearly perfect score at the White Lake (MI) regional. Team 2932 the Mini Meez scored 360, missing only the buckyball. Congrats!

    And a big dose of Gracious Professionalism from a team with a similar name and number, 2923 Miniscule Minions, who were first called down from the stands by mistake. They quickly returned the trophy so the correct team could get their well-deserved recognition.

    - Gary


    1. Message by: GearGeeks2128 11/12/2006 04:11:08 GMT
      If they missed the buckeyball they would have only been able to score 350, since the buckeyball is worth 50 points, correct?


      1. Message by: MI FLL Volunteer Moderator 11/12/2006 16:39:01 GMT
        Hmm, you're right. 350 must have been their second highest score, as my daughter was their referee on the round where the buckyball was the only mission missed - and that was because of aim. Perhaps they had another round where they only missed one of the 40-point missions.

        Or perhaps I misheard the PA announcement, and it really was 350. Either way, they got everything except 1 mission.

        As for results being posted, in the past they usually only posted a list of which teams were advancing to State. I don't even recall lists of award winners, let alone individual team results at the table.

        - Gary


        1. Message by: GearGeeks2128 11/12/2006 17:08:00 GMT
          360 or even 350 are definitely to be commended! Awesome job by this team. We look forward to many more celebration announcements here.


    2. Message by: redrobots2924 11/12/2006 07:05:28 GMT
      Will the results of White Lake be posted anywhere like michiganfll.org or here?

      Phil
      Coach - Red Robots, MI


    3. Message by: ECA Hawks 11/13/2006 06:40:14 GMT
      The competition on Saturday was crazy fun. My kids all had a great time. They didn't score that well but next year will be better. We are going to keep our program running throughout the year so they can learn what they missed this season :) I'm still proud of them all considering they only had a total working time of 14 hours for the entire season.

      That 350/360 score was fantastic too!


    4. Message by: FlyingGeeks195 12/04/2006 00:28:58 GMT
      This past weekend in the New Hampshire State Tournament, the Flying Geeks scored a 400 in the final qualification round followed by additional 400 scores in the semi-finals and finals.

      The kids did a great job, they actually had 4 robots that could all run a perfect score running the same program.

      Oh, and the kids only touched the robot to start it. A minute and 39 seconds later, the runs were complete with the perfect scores.

      Randy


      1. Message by: SMART 12/04/2006 02:51:41 GMT
        Wow - perfect score with one mission attempt! I don't think I've ever seen anything even close to that.

        Congratulations.

        - Peter


    5. Message by: brotherskeepers1359 12/04/2006 03:05:50 GMT
      Wow! Congratulations, Flying Geeks! Was this done with the RCX or the NXT?

      Diane


    6. Message by: FlyingGeeks195 12/04/2006 06:13:42 GMT
      RCX. There's more info under the Miscellaneous in the "Perfect Score" folder.

      Randy


    7. Message by: TechnoBots 12/09/2006 08:42:33 GMT
      Don't forget that 50 of those points came from cooperation by the other team -- for the Space Elevator. If they had not done that mission, you'd be 50 points short of perfect. Be sure to thank them for their help!
      Rus / TechnoBots


      1. Message by: MI FLL Volunteer Moderator 12/10/2006 01:58:40 GMT
        Not necessarily. It can be done by one team, just as the Great Wall of Mars mission could be done by one.

        If you want to go back in time, you have to get to City Sights before a center mission truly had to be cooperative. If you put your "fruit loops" in the other team's market, you got more points for yourself than putting them in your own market. But it also gave the other team some points - and that was the only way they could get a perfect score.

        However, if a team does help you achieve the Space Elevator mission, I agree you should give them thanks.

        See "What a Tournament" below for a report of two more teams getting a 400.

        - Gary


    8. Message by: 12/10/2006 02:11:45 GMT
      Deleted


    9. Message by: botzealots1105 12/11/2006 02:48:04 GMT
      Team 327 The BotZealots of Minnesota scored a 400 in their regional tournament on Dec. 9th. They used an NXT programed with Robolab 2.9 beta 8. They did the center mission on their own.
      Mike


      1. Message by: Built_on_the_Rock_1221 12/13/2006 18:43:38 GMT
        Is the BotZealots a homeschool team?

        Vickey


        1. Message by: botzealots1105 12/15/2006 19:50:56 GMT
          Yes we are. There are a fair amount of homeschool teams in FLL.
          Mike


          1. Message by: Built_on_the_Rock_1221 12/18/2006 05:36:41 GMT
            Yes, there are. We are a homeschool team and there are two homeschool Vex teams going to Atlanta from NJ. It would be interesting to know who all the homeschool teams are.

            I wish you and your team well, and perhaps we'll see you in Atlanta.

            Vickey


    10. Message by: Built_on_the_Rock_1221 12/11/2006 15:11:26 GMT
      Our team, Built on the Rock (team 1221), achieved 3 perfect scores out of 4 matches at the NJ State Competition this past Saturday. Two of them were scored in our three official rounds, and the other when we were asked to be a stand-in (since there were an odd-number of teams).


    11. Message by: nanoknights216 01/14/2007 07:19:17 GMT
      There was just one perfect score a the Oregon State tournament today--I believe it was by the Pigmice, but I don't have their team number handy. Wish I could have seen it!


    12. Message by: botzealots1105 01/21/2007 19:10:24 GMT
      Yesterday, Saturday the 20th of Jan. was the Minnesota State Tournament. With 72 teams qualifying in their regional tournaments to attend (top 25%). There were 18 scores over 300 and 8 of those over 350. The Botzealots #327 overcame difficulties in their first 2 runs (scores of 354 and 319) to post a 400 in the robot performance. Minnesota has a head to head competition. The Botzealots ran 5 more 400 point rounds to win the head to head (that is 6 consecutive perfect scores!). The team came in second overall, just 3 points off of first place.
      This is the first time in 4 years that the Siemsen/Richert Homeschool team has not placed first in a Minnesota tournament. With Third Place in the World last year.
      I am very proud to be their coach.
      Mike Siemsen


Discussion: How to teach summer workshops By: bluecheesyflamingos 11/28/2006 16:39:09 GMT
I would like to start this spring/summer with workshops. I have seen other teams mention this and I was wondering if someone could give me a FYI of what teams go over during these workshops? Thanks, Carla :)

Coach
Blue Cheesy Flamingos
MI Team

  1. Message by: fll-freak 11/01/2006 17:36:37 GMT
    You should join the Texas homeschooling mail list at www.jsoft.com. People on that list do lots of off season workshops.

    -Skye


    1. Message by: bluecheesyflamingos 11/01/2006 17:54:48 GMT
      Thanks Skye! I'm all signed up. Carla :)

      Coach
      Blue Cheesy Flamingos
      MI Team


    2. Message by: Mini-Monsters 11/02/2006 17:00:21 GMT
      Hi Carla,

      I teach spring classes that take place once a week for a period of 6 or 8 weeks, 1 1/2 hours per class. In the summer, we do week long camps - five days in a row, three hours per day. We offer two different levels - one for kids ages 8 to 10 based on the EARLY program and the other for kids ages 11 and up based on FLL. The younger class is focussed primarily on mechanics and good building practices. The older class is for programming.

      For the FLL based classes, we spend the first two 1/2 days doing programming exercises culled from a variety of sources - the Robolab teacher's guide and the Robotics Educator materials as well as several other books. I keep track of what levels the students have completed so that if they come back for another camp, they are encouraged to move into more advanced programming skills. The final two 1/2 days are spend giving the students a chance to solve missions from past FLL challenges. I have kept the mats and obstacles over the years so we have lots to choose from.

      I would be glad to share my notes, 'curriculum', etc.... Let me know how soon you need it -probably after December would be good!

      Marie
      Coach - Mini-Monsters, Molecular Mechanics, Tetramatics, 10 to the negative 9


      1. Message by: bluecheesyflamingos 11/02/2006 18:01:48 GMT
        Hi Marie,
        Thank you so much! I will contact you after December to get the information. Thanks again, Carla :)

        Coach
        Blue Cheesy Flamingos
        MI Team


      2. Message by: robodogs2506 11/09/2006 00:49:16 GMT
        Hi Marie,

        I co-coach (if that is really a word) a robotics team in Florida. We have talked about the idea of having a summer workshop in the summer allowing our current team members mentoring/teaching the basics to those that might be interested. I would appreciate any advice you might have on planning/running such a workshop.

        Dale
        Robodogs


        1. Message by: TechnoBots 11/26/2006 19:55:06 GMT
          Carla, Marie, Dale, et al;

          The core of the TechnoBots team attended a 9-week summer session that I develped myself. We met twice weekly and covered one topic per week. Each 3-hour meeting consisted of 40 to 60 minutes of instruction, leaving the rest for construction and experimentation. (This is our second year in FLL. The "core" consisted of the three returning members from the previous year's rookie team. Those three members were subsequently responsible for conveying that knowledge and expertise to the three new members selected in September.)

          In the summer sessions we reviewed basic and advanced Lego and Technic construction techniques, gearing, motors, sensors, essentials of programming, and construction of mechanical and motorised accessories. We constructed three robot chassis, each with different gearing and wheel combinations, then chose the most desireable of the three as the basis for our competition robot this year. We had the robot ready to go even before the challenge was announced. (We used last year's Ocean Odyssey missions and mat for practice.) All we had to do when the NanoScience challenge was announced was determine our strategy and construct the attachments appropriate for each mission or combination of missions. Being ahead on the mechanical aspects gave us more time to develop our presentation material and practice our teamwork at the missions table.

          I'd be glad to snail-mail you a copy of our workshop outline and a list of our published and internet resources.

          In the service of Gracious Professionalism, the same offer is extended to any interested FLL coach.

          Rus Stolling, Coach
          Mickey Cox TechnoBots
          Champion's Award winners @ Modesto, CA, Local Tournament


          1. Message by: bluecheesyflamingos 11/28/2006 16:39:09 GMT
            Hi Rus,
            I dropped you an email. I have a bit of space on our server if you have the files digital you can just download them there for everyone. Carla :)

            Coach
            Blue Cheesy Flamingos
            MI Team


    3. Message by: Mindstorm Masters 11/04/2006 09:53:43 GMT
      We have kids coming by our "robotics lab" (spare classroom and junk storage area) all the time, asking to join. There are so many disappointed faces when we tell them the club is full, that we will probably be running "something robotic" after Christmas.

      Do any other coaches or teams do this? I'm thinking of a sort of after-school club, maybe re-do the Nano Quest challenge over a six week time frame. We can keep the mission models as built and go from there. Or something else completely different, like ... uh ... something cool anyway. (We still only have two robots, so that's another issue.) Hopefully we can keep up the interest level so that we can run another FLL challenge team (or even two!) next fall. Also a bit of education so that everyone realizes this is not a Lego Building club.

      -- Nora


      1. Message by: TechnoGeeks3974 11/08/2006 19:41:52 GMT
        Yes, I do. Our FLL program is also an after-school activity. During competition season it is classified as an academic team and second semester it becomes a Lego Robotics club. I have had the same problem in the past with some kids and parents thinking it was a Lego building club but when the name became Lego Robotics the focus of all involved changed.

        I have also had kids asking to join in the last couple of weeks and told all there would be open enrollment again in January. With no FLL team limit have as many join as you and the "lab" can handle. Get another adult (teacher, parent, college engineering student) to help. We meet in a middle school science classroom with 1 table and we currently have 3 teams for a total of 19 students. It's chaos most meetings but the kids are thriving on the noise and mentoring each other. I personally would close enrollment at 24 students for our classroom size.

        Last year because of a small number of students and half of those were new to Robotics, we started informally with simple building projects mentored by the experienced kids and worked our way up to battle bots which the kids always seem to enjoy. This year I suspect a much larger group so we will be more formal, but it will depend on who participates. Last year we had 1 team and this year 3, so interest is growing.

        I also want to move to the NXT system for next year, so if we can get funding and the new kits this spring we will start learning them.

        Also, Carla, I believe you mentioned in a posting somewhere about starting research on the topic before the Challenge was announced. How did that work and what if anything did you focus on? Research is always so tough to get the kids working on, how did you motivate them at that time of year?

        Melody


        1. Message by: bluecheesyflamingos 11/08/2006 19:55:55 GMT
          The research during the summer worked great. Basically we had small assignments to go learn about different things in nanotech. Alot of is was go on the internet, find something really neat and come back and tell us about it. Then as the summer went along we were lucky enough to get into a lab and actually work on a project. Carla :)

          Coach
          Blue Cheesy Flamingos
          MI Team


Discussion: T-shirts By: Nanobots3756 11/30/2006 19:04:26 GMT
One of the parents mentioned designing a logo for the T-shirt on the computer and then printing it out on a special iron-on paper you can use in a printer. Has anyone heard of this or used it? If you have, how well did it work, what is it called, and where can I buy it?

Thanks,
Teresa

  1. Message by: zap85 11/02/2006 14:55:04 GMT
    Hi Teresa, we considered this last year. You can buy the sheets at a large office supply store, but I think you need to make sure that what you are buying will work in the printer that you have. We decided against doing it ourselves because we were told it works best on light colours and our kids were determined to have dark t-shirts, so we got them done by a t-shirt store instead - they did basically the same thing but they had the experience to make it work better on the dark background with less fuss for us, and it turned out okay.

    The t-shirt is stiff in the entire area of the printed sheet, so it's not the most elegant but our kids don't seem to care about that, and they have lasted well enough that the team is wearing the same shirts this year (their logo does nott have any reference to the mission year.)

    Doreen


    1. Message by: fll-freak 11/02/2006 15:12:15 GMT
      Another solution is to use a company like Mystic Color Labs. You upload a picture to them, they print it to the shirt and send it back to you. Its more expensive, but the results tend to come out better than hand done. But then again its fun to make it yourself!

      I had a tee-shirt made from a picture of our state tournament Director's Award. It was outgrown before it wore out.

      http://www.mysticcolorlab.com/storetshirts

      -Skye


    2. Message by: Bluelightning1381 11/02/2006 15:33:20 GMT
      You can find a local screen printer to do shirts around $10.00 each. By the time you buy shirts and the transfer material, you will spend almost as much, and the t-shirts look so much better if you have them done by a screen printer.

      If you want to do them yourself, I had fantastic luck with an iron on tranfer material I found at Michael's Craft store. It'd recommend white t-shirts, but saw they have a transfer for darker colors too. Read the directions carefully - this brand gave tips on how to avoid that shiny background look by peeling the transfer off right away when still hot. Good luck!


    3. Message by: Mini-Monsters 11/02/2006 17:10:25 GMT
      We have always used transfer paper for our t-shirts. My teams like to personalize their own shirts with a team design uniform on the front or back and the individualized pic on the opposite side. (This all started the year we had an artist on the team who drew awesome pictures of each person interacting the one of the obstacles on the table. Each team member had a different obstacle. Of course, he is long gone but his legacy lives on!)

      One of our parents owns a heat press. We have found that paper designed for dark shirts does not work well. Rather, we go ahead and have dark shirts and use the same paper as we would for white or light colors. They look just fine and folks really like the hand-drawn art. You can find the paper for a reasonable price on-line at places like www.bestblanks.com or www.coastalbusiness.com. There are tons more links if you search for heat press paper.

      We bought a cheap inkjet printer to use just for the transfer paper. I would strongly urge caution in using the laser printer papers and a laser printer - major issues of melt and clogging.

      We have also found this approach to be more affordable than professional printing - largely due to the number of screens our shirts would require.

      Marie
      Coach - Mini-Monsters, Molecular Mechanics, Tetramatics, 10 to the negative 9


    4. Message by: bluecheesyflamingos 11/02/2006 19:10:16 GMT
      It depends on the images you are going to use and the shirt color. If you have the art work already done then professional printing cost can be as low as $6 a shirt. (Make sure to contact the printer so they can tell you if the want a digital file or a print out) Thats about what your going to pay to do iron-on-shirts.

      Professional printers base the price on the quantity of the shirts and how many colors they are printing. A shirt with an image that only uses 1 color can be $6. Our shirts this year have 3 color and are costing us $13 a shirt. Also our shirts are black so they charge you for an extra color which is a ink base they print the other colors on so they are very vibrant. So we are paying for 4 colors instead of just the 3 you can see.

      If you want a cheap very unique design have a professional printers print white shirts with a black-outline of the image. Then use permanent markers and rubbing alcohol to create a tye-dye effect. The process is called chromatography. It's very cheap and looks great; that was how we did our uniforms last year. Here is a not so great picture of what ours looked like: http://www.bluecheesyflamingos.org/aboutus.php?url=team

      Hope this helps, Carla :)

      Coach
      Blue Cheesy Flamingos
      MI Team


      1. Message by: Gear Geeks 1 11/03/2006 18:30:48 GMT
        One other option is using CafePress on the computer. If you have someone who can create the graphics, they can make their t-shirts through CafePress. My son has created t-shirts on CafePress and I know of at least one FLL team that created their t-shirts using them. You can also sell your products on CafePress. You can design mugs, buttons, hats, etc. with your logo and buy or sell them on CafePress.

        I do not personally know how the details work on CafePress, but you can visit their website at www.CafePress.com and see how it works.

        I hope this is not too vague.

        Mary
        co-coach Gear Geeks 83


    5. Message by: cougarbots4326 11/07/2006 16:35:57 GMT
      We use the tranfers for both dark and light shirts every year. The process is different for each. With light colors the image is printed backwards and you peel off the paper backing after ironing. For dark color the image is not reversed, and you actually peel off the printed image like a sticker, and then iron it using parchment.

      The most important thing is to keep moving the iron back and forth evenly over the image, and not to over-do it. When it says 30 seconds, it really means it.

      ~Jean


      1. Message by: bluecheesyflamingos 11/07/2006 16:40:51 GMT
        How well do these last? I have done them in the past and after 2 or 3 washings the plastic seems to curl up. Carla :)

        Coach
        Blue Cheesy Flamingos
        MI Team


        1. Message by: Mini-Monsters 11/09/2006 02:03:41 GMT
          I'm still wearing mine from 3 years ago. In the summer, I wear it and wash it once a week during camps.

          Marie
          not-so-smelly coach!


    6. Message by: nanoknights216 11/28/2006 06:11:50 GMT
      These (the printable iron-ons) are terrible. My husband's team has used them twice. They look okay (but not very) until you wash them, and then they very rapidly degenerate. It is an uninspiring solution. You'd be better off to just get a plain solid shirt--even if you decorated it with fabric paint or permanent markers. Even those fusible fuzzy or slick letters are better.
      Tammy
      NanoKnights


    7. Message by: GranbyRedBlox1945 11/28/2006 17:20:09 GMT
      I think that technique is critical for the iron transfers. I read many reviews about the iron transfers before making some last year for our JFLL team. I was expecting what is described by Tammy, after a wash or two it deteriorates. BUT, my boys and I still wear our shirts a year later and they look great (many many washes). We used the Avery brand for dark shirt style of transfer. From what I read online you need a very hot iron. Also, run them through the dryer inside out before washing the first time.

      Merle
      Granby Red Blox


      1. Message by: SMART 11/28/2006 17:38:04 GMT
        That was also our experience. The dark shirt Avery transfers work will if the directions are followed properly and stand up pretty well over time. Certainly good enough to use for the few days they would be required for a single season.

        - Peter


        1. Message by: MI FLL Volunteer Moderator 11/28/2006 19:04:30 GMT
          Were those transfers on the shirts you wore at the World Festival? They did look good.

          See: http://www.colellaphoto.com/fllwf/FLL/0001/index.htm for pictures of the SMART team at WF.

          - Gary


          1. Message by: SMART 11/28/2006 19:26:16 GMT
            Thanks for the positive feedback, but no, those were screen printed. The original plan was to put an iron on underneath our team name. But once we got them, we liked them so much as they were that we kept them.

            The prior year we used screen printed shirts. Black shirts, white background on the transfer (dark color transfers). We got a lot of positive feedback on them. There is a picture of them on page 9 of this powerpoint file (which I found in this section of the FIRST Lego League resources on USFirst.org). Kind of cool that our kids picture from that year ended up in this file. I've seen that picture in two or three different brochures now. Last year it was in the brochure at our state championship and I was scratching my head trying to figure out how they came across it.

            - Peter


            1. Message by: MI FLL Volunteer Moderator 11/30/2006 19:04:26 GMT
              Heh, my daughter's on page 14 of that presentation. It was taken in Atlanta in 2004 (Mission Mars). The really unique thing is that behind my daughter's head you can see the banner of her current FRC team sponsor.

              Once they get a picture they like, they keep using it. It appeared in this year's coach's manual, and was on the screen at the FRC Kickoff 2 years ago. I think it was in an annual report as well, plus other places on the website from time to time.

              - Gary

              PS. Sorry if some of this is duplication from the "Gotta Brag" posting.


Discussion: Attachments By: wlcrobowarriors2181 11/25/2006 05:30:02 GMT
Can any attachments be reaching over the side of the table?

  1. Message by: fll-freak 11/03/2006 21:22:49 GMT
    This comes up once in a while. Nothing says you can't unless you are trying to interfere with the robot on the other side. In fact it is fairly common to reach over into the other table to activate the shared mission.

    Now with that said their are monsters in these waters. No two FLL tables in the world are the same. They are not all build as per the instructions on the website. That means that the support post for the lights may not be in the center, but rather at the corners. It may mean all kinds of other obstructions that you may not have on your practice table. The inside volume of the table should be to spec, but after that all bets are off. So assuming you can extend over the edge at any location is perilous.

    -Skye


    1. Message by: MI FLL Volunteer Moderator 11/03/2006 22:56:30 GMT
      You may NOT extend over the side when starting. Base is defined by the inside edges of the border walls.

      As Skye says, tables are built differently. Michigan has quick-disconnects for the light supports at the State Tournament. The structures extend about 6" either side of where you would encounter a 2x4 on a standard table setup.


    2. Message by: R.C.-Xtreme 11/08/2006 15:05:36 GMT
      Is inside defined as the inside edge of the base line or outside edge? One of our attachments aligns with the outside edge. When adding attachments how closely will they be enforcing this rule. Some times we re start the robot very close to the edge of the border line.


      1. Message by: fll-freak 11/08/2006 15:18:32 GMT
        From the rules:

        i 11. BASE Base is an imaginary hollow shape formed by vertical walls that rise from the perimeter of the Base*s footprint (including the inside surfaces of the border walls), and by an invisible ceiling 16 in (40 cm) high. NOTE: Base is a VOLUME*not an area.

        i 32. BENEFIT OF THE DOUBT In situations that are too close to call, like when a split-second or the thickness of a line is a factor, the team gets the benefit of the doubt. In general where the team disagrees with the ref and the team can respectfully raise sufficient doubt in the ref*s mind, the ref meets with the head ref, and the resultant decision is final. Here, the team should NOT necessarily expect the benefit of the doubt.

        With all that said, I would work hard never be in a position to have to use rule 32. Try to change things such that there is no doubt in the mind of the ref that you are in.

        I used to work for a company that make aircraft simulators to train military pilots. The simulators were used for both advance flying techniques but also for strategy. As such, they had databases of enemy weapons and their locations. If you allowed yourself to fly close enough to an enemy weapon, the simulator 'killed' you even if the probability was near zero of a real kill. The reason was to force pilots never to trust to probability.

        The probability of being called outside of base by 1/4 inch when that is 6 inches above the mat is fairly low. But does your team want to risk their lives on it?

        -Skye


      2. Message by: MA_Head_Ref 11/08/2006 15:39:49 GMT
        In training Refs, I have one firm rule: only make a call if you are SURE. That way, when it gets questioned, there will be no doubt in your mind as a ref that it was [in/out/whatever], and no amount of parents arguing and kids crying can change it.

        So, a LEGO directly on the mat that sticks out is clearly out. But a LEGO 10 inches above the edge that might actually stick out a fraction during a within-match restart might get by.

        What I do not like about the way the rules are written (and Scott knows this), is that people tend to think that it means "out is ok". That is not what it means. Benefit of the doubt is for things like when the robot is moving, there is temporary lack of sightline, parallax, or something that makes the call difficult for the Referee to be certain of.

        Do not ever plan on having the robot a little bit out and getting away with it.

        Way back to the original question: we always call the more generous side. So the outside of the base line is the actual "edge".

        Jack Gregory


    3. Message by: MI FLL Volunteer Moderator 11/08/2006 19:03:15 GMT
      The line of Base on the mat this year is very narrow. Nothing like that wavy beachhead everyone had to deal with last year. :-)

      I'm guessing that your question is not splitting hairs over that thin black line. Rather, are you asking about the walls, the south and west sides of Base? Base is defined as the *inside* edge of the walls. 2x4's are 1.5" thick, and if refs clearly see parts overlapping that width, or extending even farther over the edge of the table, the robot should not be allowed to start in that configuration.

      - Gary


    4. Message by: Mindstorm Masters 11/09/2006 06:21:54 GMT
      It would be very nice if we could hang our alignment jigs over the wooden sides of the table -- great stability -- but I guess that is Definitely Out. Right?


      1. Message by: fll-freak 11/09/2006 13:56:36 GMT
        Correct.

        But..., if after the legal start with it inside the base, your robot pushed it into position then used it, that would be legal.

        -Skye


    5. Message by: TechnoBots 11/25/2006 05:30:02 GMT
      EVERYBODY!! Take a look at rule #20, Starting Position. Here it is:

      "For all starts, all portions of the robot (not just where it touches the mat) and its currently used attachments, strategic objects, and deliverables must start from completely in Base, with leniency for slight overextensions."

      "All" and "must" need no discussion. "Robot" is defined in rule #7. "Leniency" and "slight" are at judges discretion.

      Rus
      TechnoBots, 529


Discussion: NXT vs RCX By: tanrobotics 12/03/2006 02:24:34 GMT
If you have coached FLL before, feel free to add anything to this thread. I'm trying to compile everyone's feelings on how the NXT is shaping up vs. the RCX.

Here are my $0.02 worth:

The NXT's directional controls are amazing. We had a number of new kids in this year, and most of them are able to use very simple programs to accomplish the missions. One team's mission (I coach 2 teams this year) to get the Molecular Motor and the Self-Assembly was done by the Grade 5 kids using only about 6-7 movement blocks. Remember, these missions are all the way across the board, and they are doing both missions back to back without any re-alignment.

In order to do those two missions with the RCX's, and with just dead reckoning, would have taken a great deal of luck, if it worked at all!. At first, I was trying to discourage these kids from doing the obvious "go forward, turn 90 degrees, go forward to the Self-Assembly..", simply because I knew that there was no way this would work consistently with the RCX's (old habits die hard). When they showed me the NXT programs working CONSISTENTLY, I was just amazed. I really thought that they needed to re-align the robot to the wall, or use light sensors, or some combination. However, they were able to get the 2 missions with just a simple jig.

I think it helps a LOT with the overall frustration level for these kids (I'm watching the new kids). One of the things that I had a major problem with in the RCX days was the inconsistency of the robots. For veteran kids that was not an issue, but for new kids, it REALLY turned them off robotics.

With the NXT, I found that the kids are really finding the NXT easy to program and understand. I spent much less time this year helping them debug their code, and much more time teaching them about Programming, Robotics, and Nanotechnology.

I think the NXT is the right fit for encouraging kids to be interested in Science and Technology. With the RCX, it was a struggle to even keep my OWN daughters interested in robotics and computers. My older daughter still refuses to make Computers a career choice (she is in Grade 11) simply because she still thinks it is too much work (...from debugging the RCX code for years) -- which is rather sad, because she is actually VERY good at Computers (she regularly gets 95%-100% on her computer courses, and can actually come up with solutions that *I* didn't even think of).

My younger daughter (Grade 7) is finding the NXT-G much simpler to code and test, so hopefully she won't get as frustrated! :)

Paul Tan.
Co-Coach of St. Clement's Lego Robotics
Nano Penguins 1
Nano Penguins 2

  1. Message by: StormBotics 11/05/2006 16:16:39 GMT
    I agreed that NET is much easier to program. However, my view of using NET as RCX with Robolab for both is different.

    I found it very rewarding for the kids to learn how to use compound gears, and gear reduction skill in order to obtain precision which produces much more consistent runs. These kids range from 9 to 14. It has been A LOT OF work and these children have learned SO MUCH in the gears train configuration just in the past 6 weeks. I and my other 3 coaches all were so gratified to see some the gear trains that kids have come up with. Simply beautiful designs!

    We run roboclub throughout the school year, focus on educating kids robotics, science, engineering, and mathematics, along with other disciplines such as presentation, project management and all. I like using the RCX+robolab instead for that purpose. Yes, the inconsistency of the motors has definitely created much difficulty, and kids complain about it. But then, that's good, because they will learn the importance of using sensors feedback, then TRULY dive into the mechanical advantage of gears as they will have to come up with different gear train to solve the inconsistent problems.

    Then, in terms of programming, they will really learn more intricacy in computer science and needless to say, a lot of strategies...

    I am striving to get that "light bulb on" look from kids; making them to look for gratification from feeling they have "learned" something that they usually do not get. Not instant gratification - "No pain no gain"; making this a habit as a lifetime learner. Using RCX is great as I feel using NXT will shortcut a lot of learning opportunities. I will continue using RCX for future roboclub. I know frustrating the kids will not help. That's the key... come up a program scheme that will excite them... Make them excited about what their hard work has generated will keep them continue. Really, it will!

    However, I do agree that for competition, it is surely more preferreable using something more consistent though.


    1. Message by: GearGeeks2128 11/11/2006 22:23:45 GMT
      I absolutely agree that so far I have found the RCX to be a better teaching tool for my classes that are ready to dive into the mechanics and the programming. However, the ease of using NXT for start up teams with all rookies is a quick plus right out of the gate.

      I think this year that I may experiment with using NXT in my introductory level robotics classes and then move the students to RCX for the "nitty gritty" stuff they can learn better with the RCX.

      Glad to see others still see the teaching value with the RCX.

      ~Mischa in GA
      Co-Coach
      Gear Geeks Teams #83 and #2128


    2. Message by: NANOBEARS724 11/17/2006 03:10:57 GMT
      Have you run your program for the motor and self assembly on more than one mat? Even though the mats are much better this year than last year, we find that the friction is different on different mats, and that turns that works perfectly on one will greatly miss the mark on the other mat. I don't want to put a damper on, but I would not want you to be shocked at different results at the tournament.

      Linda
      Nanobears 724


      1. Message by: tanrobotics 11/21/2006 16:59:06 GMT
        I can report that for the actual tournament last weekend, the dead reckoning used worked (at least until the robot broke and they rebuilt it incorrectly after the second round :<).

        It seems that it is consistent on different mats and tables.

        Paul Tan.


        1. Message by: zap85 11/21/2006 18:25:08 GMT
          At the same tournament, our team's NXT robot also used a lot of dead reckoning and (a big surprise to me since it's been an awful season) they did very well with it (first in performance, and director's award).

          However, they had done a lot of other things to ensure consistency as well - in particular, most of their mechanical devices were designed to accommodate quite a variation in robot position to still be successful, and they also used alignment jigs. Chalk all that up to the learning they took away from their rookie season. It was their consistency that took the day, not brilliant programming for sure.

          Other teams had far more missions solved than our team did, yet couldn't get those missions to work when it counted, so I had assumed that the mat played some role in that.

          I did see some RCX teams crash and burn when their robot fell apart on the table - we suffered that fate last year and certainly the NXT robots seemed to be more sturdy, although our kids have still been careful about things like checking tires, tightening pegged connections, replacing bent axles, and so on.

          Doreen, Team ZAP!


      2. Message by: Mission:Plausible_1593 11/22/2006 16:46:55 GMT
        We had problems running these two missions (motor and self assembly) at the regional tournament even though they ran perfectly on our home table. Our team has now visited two other teams local tables. What we found was that the surface under the mats had a great effect on our robot's performance. If the surface was smooth, ie luan, like the current table directions call for, our robot ran perfectly. If the underlying surface was rough, ie plywood, like the old table directions of a few years ago, our robot could not make the turn correctly and usually ran into the stain resistant fabric mission.

        Therefore, I don't think the problem is the mats except that they are so thin that the underlying surface has a great effect on the robot's performance. This issue had a great negative impact on our teams score.

        Jon T
        Team 1593


        1. Message by: SMART 11/22/2006 19:15:24 GMT
          The new mats definitely have the issue of the "thin-ness" allowing the underlying table to have an effect.

          But with the old mats, you had a number of other major issues such as...

          - bubbling
          - Big difference in performance between a brand new mat (like what you'd have at a typical competition) vs. an old mat (like the one your team spent 100+ hours practicing on)

          Most rookie teams learn the hard way that relying on "open loop" programming/dead reckoning is a big risk and will often lead to having to do lots of tweaking come competition time.

          This is a perfect opportunity for you to introduce your kids to the concept of using feedback from the environment to ensure that your robot is where it should be (closed loop programming). Some simple examples:

          - Follow a line till you hit a known obstable.
          - Line follow
          - "Square up" against or follow walls

          and many others. This also applies to attachment design. A good attachment design can make the programmer's job very easy by allowing simple procedures to get the attachment to the right place.

          I'm working with a veteran team that does a pretty good job at accomplishing mission. Even so, I'm always amazed by the ability of some teams to make their robots so incredibly consistent. If you can motivate the kids to _want_ to do that, then they can learn an incredible amount.

          - Peter


    3. Message by: CV CA Volunteer Moderator 11/19/2006 08:27:50 GMT
      We just had a tournament, and I have been processing comments made by the robot design judges. The consensus seems to be that teams using RCX have interviewed better -- they seemed to understand what they were doing, had better rationale for their designs, and the designs were more sophisticated. They often had tried several designs and discarded the unreliable ones. The NXT teams generally scored respectably, but when asked why they chose a design, they tended to answer, "Because it was the first thing we tried and it worked."

      Admittedly, rookie teams tend to use NXT, while an RCX team is most likely returning, so this may have a role in the lack of sophistication.

      Yolande


      1. Message by: dhystad 11/22/2006 20:27:32 GMT
        RCX did best at our tournament also. But the most experienced teams all used RCX. One team started out with NXT but decided to revert back and used their previous years robot.

        A word of caution to NXT teams. I was the program judge and got very tired of seeing programs that consisted solely of Move blocks. If your team is doing this they will be scored very low.


        1. Message by: SMART 11/22/2006 20:54:41 GMT
          My team is an NXT-G team. Our team's programs definitely don't just consist of move blocks so I don't think this will affect our team. But I can totally understand a more junior team using mostly move blocks and being successful.

          I've made this point elsewhere on the forum. If the NXT-G makes it possible for teams to succeed without complex programming I don't think they should be penalized for that. Rather it is the responsibility of the judges to focus on what the kids DID have problems with and how they overcame them.

          The more I see about this the more I think having a separate programming award/judging may be both obsolete and potentially unfair to NXT-G teams.

          Let me try an example. Consider a program of all move blocks. Is it simple? Are you sure? What if the move blocks are designed to make it so the robot hits certainly obstacles consistently, or guide along the walls, or shift speeds at certain times for greater consistency? The program may look simple, but the thought the kids put in to how to solve the problems they were having may not have been.

          So let's here it! What does everyone else think? If a team solves all the missions with "simple" programs, but cool consistent mechanics should we applaud? or should we tell them they should have made the programs more complex.

          - Peter


          1. Message by: NorthAndover2478 11/22/2006 21:03:12 GMT
            I'm not sure I follow. If a mission can be solved with a single simple move command, why is that not the perfect solution. In real engineered systems, simple is a really good idea.

            If the goal is to create complicated programs, then the missions should require it by the nature of their design.

            Just my two cents.
            Peter


            1. Message by: dhystad 11/23/2006 20:19:31 GMT
              From what I saw at our first regional tournament, my prejudice against using odometry alone have been justified. Once again, technical judging scores closely aligned with how well the team did at the table. The most successful teams used light sensors, bumpers, did line following, squared up against walls, had attachments that corrected or compensated for alignment errors, etc...

              Teams that only used move commands in their programs did poorly in technical judging and poorly at the robot game.


    4. Message by: BrightLights2006 11/24/2006 04:48:04 GMT
      From the technical judging rubric, IMO a team building even the most basic robot with the NXT SHOULD be get at least GOOD in the Locomotion and Navigation section:
      "Goes defined distances most of time. Not too fast for accuracy or too slow to accomplish mission. Turns reasonably accurate and consistent. Allows for variables. Moves between two points with reasonable accuracy and consistency. May use various sensors"

      Whereas this is challenging for even a well designed RCX robot.

      -Rob A>


      1. Message by: dhystad 11/24/2006 05:30:46 GMT
        Several NXT teams are having problems with Locomotion and Navigation. You still need to select the right tires, position the CG low and well between all the wheels, prevent wheels and axles from rubbing, and make the entire structure strong enough to resist sagging or twisting.

        From what I witnessed at the tournament, RCX robots that used navigationional landmarks (such as lines on the mat, walls, obstacles) were more accurate than most NXT robots. Even though the NXT robot does a better job at going straight. Even the most accurate odometry accumulates errors over time, whereas a line on the mat is always in the same location.


    5. Message by: ExcelsiorRed5126 11/30/2006 05:35:59 GMT
      With the NET, I agree with dhystad. My team is having problems with the wheels, they have their center of gravity too much on the right side, making it so one wheel comes off the ground and messing up their programming.


    6. Message by: ExcelsiorRed5126 11/30/2006 05:36:39 GMT
      Sorry, I'm new to this. I ment the NXT.


    7. Message by: NANOBEARS724 12/03/2006 02:24:34 GMT
      My team just competed today. They used the NXT, and most programs were 2 move blocks: forward and back. This was all that was needed for most missions, so why get complicated? They did not place at all in the technical presentation, but got second place on the field competition, so they obviously had a very good, consistant robot. They did not use any sensors, and only did turns on 3 missions (hit the arm on the self-assembly, empty the dirt, and move the pizza). They also won the 2nd place Champions Award. So simple programming does not always produce poor results.

      Linda
      Nanobears


Discussion: choosing team members to run missions at competition By: Under Pressure 3108 01/23/2007 15:54:04 GMT
How do other teams choose who will run missions at the competitions? Is it natural selection? Is it usually a team vote? I have one member of the team that is insisting that he be the one to run the missions because he is most familiar however he gets very flustered when we run our timed trials at practice and does not recover quickly from setbacks. He has a difficult time with constructive criticism from his teammates and rarely takes their advice. The problem is that most of the team will probably vote to have him at the competition table. Do I step back and let that happen?

  1. Message by: fll-freak 11/12/2006 05:33:16 GMT
    Consider using the tag team approach.

    -Skye


    1. Message by: redrobots2924 11/12/2006 06:42:04 GMT
      It also depends how many team members you have. We've had 6 in past years and with 3 rounds my co-coach and I just picked the pairings ourselves based on what we saw throughout the season. Who worked well with who, etc. If you have more than 6 like we do this year then the tag team approach is a good idea otherwise not all of the kids will get a chance up at the table. Of course, even with 6 or less you can still do the tag team approach and can work very well based on certain kids knowing how to run certain missions better or more consistently.

      Our main concern has always been to get the kids exposure at the competition tables as much as possible so you just have to work it out. Just some food for thought, hope it helps.

      Phil
      Coach - Red Robots, MI


    2. Message by: NanoBytes 203 11/12/2006 13:55:10 GMT
      First we asked who wanted to be be considered for driver and who for assistant. Then they each told why they wanted that role. We decided that we would have two pairs of drivers and assistants. So we voted for driver and for assistant and each person could vote for two each.

      After we took the top two for each role we asked them to pair up and they did so without any hassle. We plan on using one pair on the first run, the 2nd pair on the 2nd run and then the one with the best score on the 3rd run. Also if we have someone that can't make the tournament then we have one pair already parcticed and ready to go.

      Good luck - 6 days to go.

      Eric P


    3. Message by: Under Pressure 3108 11/12/2006 15:57:01 GMT
      Thanks, this has been really helpful. I only hope that it's not too late to get this organized with the kids.

      -Michelina
      Coach Under Pressure


    4. Message by: GeniusInDisguise1559 11/13/2006 04:16:28 GMT
      We used a tag team approach with 6 boys. The person with the next mission helped the person running the mission go through a checklist (right program? right attachment? aimed? ...). The person with the next mission would grab the robot if it went astray or receive it in base and get it ready for their mission. It took a little practice, but they cycled through pretty seamlessly at our tournament this weekend.

      Bob
      Team 1559


    5. Message by: DarkMatter747 11/13/2006 05:24:41 GMT
      We took the "ask who wants to be driver and assistant" approach, too, a few days before the November 11 tournament. As is our usual custom, we left ourselves too little time for enough robot practice. :)

      At the tournament, we had two practice rounds, three rounds that counted and four pairs of team members (eight on our team). I decided who-to-put-where tournament morning based on the team members' performances the afternoon before, but I left the last of the five rounds unscheduled, since I was going to have to figure out which of the four pairs would run twice. I scheduled the driver who forgot to load the molecules and buckeyball on the robot the day before for the first practice round. That was a good move, because he forgot to install an attachment during setup, but he did remember the molecules and buckeyball. :)

      During the rounds, we discovered a number of opportunities for improvement, both with the robot itself and with the robot operating procedure. ;) ;) But we did score high enough so that we avoided total disaster.

      When the first four rounds were over, I gathered the two best pairs together, who had both scored about even, to try to figure out which pair would run the final round. Both pairs seemed equally enthusiatic and determined to be the lucky pair. We deliberated for a while and I began to worry about meeting the check-in time for the round. Since, based on our performance it looked as though we were headed to the MI State tournament, I suggested that maybe one of the team members would like to forgoe the final round and be the one to head down on the floor during the closing ceremony to receive the State Tournament entry certificate, but unfortunately, getting the certificate didn't seem anywhere near as attractive as being able to run the robot during the final round. Then one of the team members suggested that all four could run the robot using tag team", and everyone very excitedly agreed. I thought - "why didn't I think of that!

      I should have known they would be able to come up with a good solution, after their performance in the "teamwork" interview - but that's another story! :)


    6. Message by: robothinktank4083 11/30/2006 20:01:48 GMT
      Say we decide to let three different builder/programmer teams run one round each at the tournment, should they all run the same missions? Or is it okay to let each group run their choice of missions?

      jenn


      1. Message by: redrobots2924 11/30/2006 20:26:51 GMT
        The choice is all up to you and your team as long as there are only 2 team members at the competition table at any given time.

        Phil


      2. Message by: MI FLL Volunteer Moderator 12/01/2006 15:43:58 GMT
        I presume this means you can't accomplish all your missions in one round. You do realize that the rounds are scored individually, not cumulatively, right? Your high score for the day will only be what you achieve in one round.

        Thus when choosing which missions a driver team should try to do, you want to maximize your score. Some driver teams may not be as adept at running one particular mission, and so would affect the choice of which missions to try.

        - Gary


    7. Message by: robothinktank4083 12/01/2006 20:32:02 GMT
      When you say "all of your missions" are you actually referring to every mission on the board???

      There is no way we can accomplish ALL of the missions in one round. I can't imagine that we can even accomplish all of them in three rounds. (course they may end up surprising me)

      Our whole team, including our coach, me, are rookies, and if there was ever a "struggling team" it would be us.
      For now, I still encourage them to try their best, but if other teams are completing ALL of the missions, than we are way out of our league... this year anyway.

      At this point,I consider this our primer season and hopefully our team will have had a bunch of fun, feel proud of themselves for what they've accomplished, and will have learned something from the experience.

      Then hopefully they will can come back stronger next year and increase their skills, will, and determination exponentially.

      Jenn

      rookie coach
      Team World Domination


      1. Message by: nanoknights216 12/11/2006 01:04:29 GMT
        Yes, it is possible to do all the missions in one round. It's much easier if the robot does more than one mission per trip, though. This is our second year and we have something for everything and they take about 2 minutes, though they aren't 100% reliable. To give them the skills to do this, I taught a lego camp last summer. We met before the release of the challenge to practice building robots. I've made them stay on task and not just play legos during meetings, and been specific in my expectations. What does the team want to do? Who wants to do it? Now, you, are you doing your task? How's it going? What problem are you addressing right now? Does it work? Why not? How can you fix that? Here's a book with some ideas on that problem, try page 12. What sensors might help you solve that problem? Could you solve it by changing the attachment? The programming? The kids get off track easily if not reminded what their current objective is. Maybe that sounds pushy, but it's sure fun to see the kids glow when they accomplish what they set out for. My job as coach is to prod them to go past what they feel like doing and to keep grappling with a problem when it seems too hard. Take a break, ask a friend, try a new approach, but don't stop trying to solve it. I'm a mechanically incompetent person myself and couldn't create my teams attachments if my life depended on it. But I love to teach and I understand physics well enough, and programming well enough. My main use, though, is to plan and pester!

        Our team has five missions/mission sets. We have a first string of operators that are kind of the more experienced kids at running them, but everyone wanted to run something, so we also have a second string. Because we got three turns at the table at locals, we had one chance for each and then they negotiated who got to run the last time. A couple kids didn't want to run anything, and that's fine too. I wouldn't necessarily let one kid do everything if more than one wanted to. However, I will tell you, our accuracy is reduced by sharing. Voting sometimes doesn't work out to everyone's advantage. I do sometimes dictate to my team what we will do in cases like this, and I act as mediator in the operator negotiations.

        Please, even if you have no robot at all, go to your tournament. It is so fun and educational. Most teams at our local scored under 100 points. And the kids looked like they were having a wonderful time. There is plenty to celebrate.
        Tammy


    8. Message by: cleanupcrew23 12/01/2006 23:40:06 GMT
      You will be surprised what missions you can accomplish in 2-1/2 minutes with practice. At some point before your tournament (and it may be too late if it is 12-2), you will just need to start trying to see what missions you can pair together. If you can get 5 missions total done, then you need to start trying to have them organize the missions in a manner that will allow easy transitions from 1 mission to the next. You might not want to move the pizza to the head if it will be in your way later. You might be able to have certain attachments put on at the beginning of the match and save some fumbling during the match. You might be able to use the same attachment for more than one mission with a little thought. Some of my kids best ideas come when I tell them to forget about the easy way, tell me a "CRAZY" way to get it done... Sometimes it works...

      Pick your first mission and write down what attachments you will need. Load your program into slot 1. Determine the next missions and load programs accordingly in slots 2,3, etc... Now work out who is going to run the robot. I prefer the tag team approach if allowed at your tournament. see comments in Team Mentoring - Help!! about tag team approach...

      Don't worry about your final score in robot performance this year, just assure them that they have done the best they can for now. Make sure they really pay attention to the other robot runs while at the tournament so that they learn more about the mechanics of attachments and how to attach them securely. Have them talk to other teams and learn as much as they can about other robots. They will also learn from their own robot runs. THey will figure out that there has to be a way to be more consistent and they will get better.

      My first year team in 2002 ran 3 rounds and scored a 57, 75 and an 88. We thought we could score around 200 but no way. We then went to another tournament and scored over 200 all 3 times. We learned a lot that year!! We kept getting better and better by learning more consistent means of navigating and building robots that would not break. In our third year, we finally scored a 400 at Atlanta. So hang in there and let them learn. They are embarking on a journey that will be very rewarding if they stick with it...


      1. Message by: robothinktank4083 12/05/2006 09:28:03 GMT
        Hi And thanks for the advice.
        But how to I nudge them in this direction without crossing the line of helping too much?

        Jennifer


        1. Message by: Mindstorms Mayhem #5 12/05/2006 17:03:41 GMT
          I would suggest showing them that the "tag team" approach has been used by many top teams. Check out the videos at our web site: http://www.mindstormsmayhem.org/team-videos.asp

          We have used the "tag team" approach almost exclusively since 2003. This approach has some big advantages: all the students have "ownership" of part of the missions, any given student doesn't need to know the full details of running all the missions, it can build teamwork, each student can practice their part until they can do it reliably. However, the tag team approach does have some drawbacks that need to be managed: having 10 students take turns interacting on the robot requires all 10 to be careful; not all roles are the same -- there may be contention for certain roles; it can be difficult to execute in tight quarters, etc; if you're solely worried about "best score" the tag team approach might cost you a few points, but will reap big dividends for the team, and I think can be implemented without adding a big risk to getting high scores.

          Ever since we have made the switch, I am certain the tag team approach has been an overall improvement to the teams I coach.

          --ken
          Co-Coach for MAYHEM FLL Teams
          http://www.mindstormsmayhem.org
          http://www.moremayhem.org


    9. Message by: GeniusInDisguise1559 12/03/2006 07:00:27 GMT
      The Flying Geeks scored a perfect 400 points twice today at the NH State tournament and had almost 1:00 left when they were done!


      1. Message by: Mindstorms Mayhem #5 12/05/2006 17:06:25 GMT
        The amazing accomplishment of the Flying Geeks is being discussed in some other threads, but if you'd like to see videos of their incredible feat, you can visit http://www.mindstormsmayhem.org/congratulations-flying-geeks.asp

        --ken
        Co-Coach of Mayhem FLL Teams
        http://www.mindstormsmayhem.org
        http://www.moremayhem.org


    10. Message by: Under Pressure 3108 12/04/2006 17:28:29 GMT
      WOW!


    11. Message by: theguysinside644 12/06/2006 05:03:23 GMT
      I've seen quite a bit of discussion about tag teams being used and have watched some videos of it in action. The videos seem to show the next person in the tag team come to the table with the next attachment. Is this what is happening with tag teams? This would provide a great advantage to the team in having the attachment all ready when they get to the table. I was under the impression that attachments had to be at the table. If this is allowable, our team would look into using this approach.


    12. Message by: MA_Head_Ref 12/06/2006 05:28:29 GMT
      Attachments have to be at the table. The videos you have seen may be old, but that is not legal now.

      Jack Gregory


      1. Message by: fll-freak 12/06/2006 14:03:30 GMT
        What rule states that the attachements must be at the table all the time?

        In New Hampshire, the teams have to pass an inspection post while they are in the queue. The 'off duty' refs check the robots for legal parts. When their turn comes, they come to the table. If they want to play tag team, they may hold their attachements while away from the table or pick them up from a container near the table.

        I just looked over the rules again and found nothing that speaks (pro or con) to this!

        -Skye


        1. Message by: MA_Head_Ref 12/06/2006 15:14:32 GMT
          i "8. MATERIALS At the competition table, the robot, its attachments, and all strategic objects must be made entirely of LEGO elements in original factory condition (except LEGO string and tubing may be cut to length). At the competition table, the total package of robot, attachments, and strategic objects when viewed all at once must conform to the following quantity limits on electrical parts, no matter what the team intends to use at any one time:"

          "At the competition table" couldn't be more emphasized, I think.

          Think about it. With extra hands away from the table, a motor could be moved from one attachment to another without affecting the work going on at the table. This is clearly wrong. Everything should be at the table the entire time. The wording seems clear "viewed all at once".

          Jack Gregory


          1. Message by: fll-freak 12/06/2006 15:31:04 GMT
            Interesting. I had not picked up on that.

            But would that not also mean that the traditional container on the floor/TV tray would not be allowed as well? Where does "at the table" end? A foot away, two?

            I think that in NH, the 'viewed at once' is considered to have happened at the inspection station just prior to the match. Not that the ref needs to see every object at the same time.

            Your point about moving the motor is good. I will need to talk to our head ref at lunch today and get his view on this. It may even have been implemented that way this year as I was away from the tables judging.

            -Skye


          2. Message by: SMART 12/06/2006 17:25:12 GMT
            I have never seen it enforced that way - not even at the World Festival in Atlanta last April where tag teams were common.

            The rule does not say all your robot, attachments, and strategic objects must be viewed all at once. It only says "when" viewed all at once. A theoretical vs. actual phrasing. I believe it is left to the discretion of tournament organizers how they want to validate that teams have met the materials rules. In fact, I have never been to a tournament where there was an inspection of parts either formal or informal. If a ref noticed a team was using something illegal they would stop them, sometimes a team would complain when they saw another team using something they thought not allowed, other than that at the tournaments I've been to it was honor system.

            But either way, once all your items have been viewed (or whatever the tournament refs want to do), I think it is a major stretch of rule 8 to say that it requires all attachments to stay immediately next to the table and be viewable at all times.

            - Peter


            1. Message by: MA_Head_Ref 12/07/2006 00:12:29 GMT
              I certainly have enforced it in the past. I can't get away from the fairness doctrine. Having things (potentially) going on behind my back is not good.

              However, I should state that I am not surprised not everyone has enforced it this way. I am on the tough side. But my reading of Rule 8 says FLL wants to be tough and clear on this. I know for certain that complaints have been lodged in the past about manipulation going on with tag teams. This seems like an appropriate answer to it.

              I should also note that once upon a time I thought it was not the Ref's job to be a part inspector. However, I have seen it written now that it is our job "the referee will ...". We cannot do that job if the stuff isn't all at the table at once.

              Jack Gregory


            2. Message by: Mindstorms Mayhem #5 12/07/2006 15:22:29 GMT
              The Mayhem teams have been using the tag team approach ever since Mission Mars in 2003, and have never been at a tournament which used Jack's interpretation of the rule above. We've always been permitted to have students "away from the table" hold attachments in preparation for their turn as robot handler. That said, I think that rule 19 describes this situation and leaves discretion in this matter up to the tournament referee:

              > 19. HOUSEKEEPING Any objects at Base which could get in
              > the way of the robot***s preparation or motion may be kept
              > ***near*** Base as long as they do not cause any changes in the
              > field.

              The rule doesn't specify that all the attachments need to be kept in base, but can instead simply be "near" base. Of course, at any given tournament, the definition of "near" is up to the referee's discretion at that tournament. We've always been at tournaments where the referees allowed students "away from the table" to hold their attachments in preparation for their turn. Yet, since "near" isn't defined in the rules, I think it would be acceptable (although maybe unpopular with tag-team teams) to define "near" such that all attachments need to remain in the possession of the current two robot handlers or "at the table." (i.e. not with the other students waiting to rotate in who are "away from the table.")

              I've never considered this issue before, but it seems to me that the question is whether the students currently serving as robot handlers are the only ones permitted to handle attachments of the robot, or if instead the students "away from the table" could also do so. It seems pretty clear to me that a team which was making a significant change (such as swapping a motor) to an attachment while "away from the table" would be in violation of the "only two team members at a time" rule. However, I also think it is just fine for students "away from the table" to be simply holding their attachments waiting their turn. I think this is a case where appropriate referee discretion may be the best approach.

              The Mayhem teams, who have practiced the "tag team" approach with all of the students holding their attachments while "away from the table", would be put a little off-balance at a tournament enforcing a description of "near" which meant that all attachments had to stay in the immediate vicinity of base. However, in the current rules, it does look like this is left to a judgement call by the referee.

              --ken
              MAYHEM FLL Co-Coach
              http://www.mindstormsmayhem.org
              http://www.moremayhem.org


              1. Message by: SMART 12/07/2006 16:02:00 GMT
                A very well considered post Ken.

                I would say though if a team is planning a tag team approach and the rule about having all attachments near base is enforced narrowly, probably the next best thing would be for a team to make a "custom" box to hold the attachments where each attachment is in a clearly marked place. As they step up to the table they would know exactly where to pick up their attachment. End result - a team that is willing to practice a tag team approach should be reasonably unaffected.

                As always, check with your tournament director first. I've mentioned it in a few places on the forum and I'll say it again, I've been to a lot of tournaments that disallow tag team for safety reasons. You won't want to spend all your time practicing tag team only to find out it won't be allowed.

                - Peter


                1. Message by: Mindstorms Mayhem #5 12/07/2006 16:23:53 GMT
                  > I've been to a lot of tournaments that disallow tag team for
                  > safety reasons. You won't want to spend all your time
                  > practicing tag team only to find out it won't be allowed.

                  We've attended such a tournament in past years too, and I understand the tournament organizer's rationale. However, with the rotation in/out of team members now being explicitly mentioned in the rules, I really think all tournament hosts should plan the tournament table setup in a way that permits the tag team approach to be performed safely. (e.g. Not put the tournament tables on top of a stage with only a 3-foot wide area to stand next to the table without falling off the stage.)

                  The boost that the tag team approach provides to team morale, a feeling of "ownership" by all the students, and camaraderie is amazing!

                  --ken
                  MAYHEM FLL Co-Coach
                  http://www.mindstormsmayhem.org
                  http://www.moremayhem.org


          3. Message by: nanoknights216 12/11/2006 00:36:03 GMT
            You're kidding, it would be illegal to use the same motor in two different attachments???! I had no idea. All I knew is that you could only use one motor, not that it was illegal to attach different things to it. We attached two different flappers to a motor this time. Is this outlawed? In the few tournaments in Oregon that we've been to, the kids hold their attachments in line while waiting for thier turn.
            Tammy


            1. Message by: fll-freak 12/11/2006 13:51:35 GMT
              Tammy,
              It is not illegal to move a motor from one attachement to another during a round. It is illegal to swap attachements each with their own motor thus using more than 3 motors over the course of the round. I remember a City Sights team that ran their first mission with one motorized attachement and then having one student spend nearly the whole round moving the motor to a new attachement for the last mission. Not a great solution, but still a legal one.

              -Skye


              1. Message by: Mindstorms Mayhem #5 12/12/2006 06:20:09 GMT
                > I remember a City Sights team that ran their first mission
                > with one motorized attachment and then having one student
                > spend nearly the whole round moving the motor to a new
                > attachment for the last mission. Not a great solution, but
                > still a legal one.

                Hey, I know a team that resembles that remark! The Mindstorms Mayhem team used the "motor-swap" strategy on CitySights, but on missions #2 and #5. The swap is done off-camera (that's why there's often only one student in view) but the idea is shown in the old 2002 CitySights videos on our web site. ( http://mindstormsmayhem.org/team-videos.asp ) The strategy is still legal today, although there are better ways to get the job done with some creative engineering. (For example, chekc out this Wikipedia page: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Power_take-off -- if it works for a tractor, it can work for a LEGO robot!)


      2. Message by: theguysinside644 12/08/2006 03:45:40 GMT
        I thought this to be an important question, so asked it of Scott Evans. Here is his reply. It fully answers my questions and should remove any doubt about the way tag teams can operate during competition.

        Q. I've seen quite a bit of discussion about tag teams being used and have watched some videos of it in action. This has been discussed at: Miscellaneous --choosing team members to run missions at competition. The videos seem to show the next person in the tag team coming from behind the line with the rest of the team to the table with the next attachment ready to be put on the robot. Is this allowable with tag teams?

        A. Sure. As long as the ref has seen all the attachments at once prior to the match to see if Rule 8 is being followed, the scenario you describe happens all the time.

        Q. This would provide a great advantage to the team in having the attachment all ready when they get to the table. I was under the impression that attachments had to be at the table. Fred Fuller

        A. No. Of course they're all right in the area, and again, the referee does need to se them together at some point, but after that, it's just a logistics preference for the team. If you could point to the source of your confusion in the Rules or Q&A I'd be happy to address it.

        Best Regards,

        Scott

        Scott Evans - evans@usfirst.org
        FIRST LEGO League Engineer
        FIRST : For Inspiration and Recognition of Science and Technology
        Phone:1-800-871-8326 ext:118, 1-603-666-3906 ext:118,
        Fax 603-666-0043
        [ http://www.usfirst.org/ ] http://www.usfirst.orgQ.


    13. Message by: botzealots1105 01/23/2007 15:54:04 GMT
      If the official does not want the parts away from base a well organized cart with the attachments lying in their places like a surgical tray would solve the issue. I have always let my team decide who should run the robot and when. The kids need to learn to make these types of decisions fairly, and they do.
      Mike


Discussion: Emergency kit By: TekTwisters1573 11/13/2006 18:45:17 GMT
what should we bring in the emergency kit ??????????

  1. Message by: TekTwisters1573 11/13/2006 15:17:46 GMT
    need info by this week....


    1. Message by: fll-freak 11/13/2006 18:33:10 GMT
      What is an emergency kit?
      -Skye


    2. Message by: GearGeeks2128 11/13/2006 18:45:17 GMT
      If you are talking about an emergency robot repair type kit here are some ideas....

      our teams have taken boxes with parts sorted...not all the parts we own just the ones we know we might be likely to need in an emergency. Our team has members from The Argonauts of past years that have affectionately dubbed these "beautiful boxes" because if you are in a situation where you need them...they certainly are beautiful...plus they are all sorted.

      For example:
      pins, axles, bushings, beams, gears, spare wheels, extra connecting wires, weird parts your bot requires, etc.

      We also take our laptop and the USB cord or RCX tower (for whichever you are using.)

      In previous years we took copies of our programs saved to the laptop. This year we have saved all of programs to a thumb drive (just in case the laptop should crash the night before the tournament! And yes, we know teams that have had this happen.)

      Hope that helps get you started.
      ~Mischa
      Co-coach
      Gear Geeks I & II (#83, #2128)


Discussion: Tournament Experiences By: CGMSC2605 11/22/2006 17:25:58 GMT
Tournament Experiences

We attended our state qualifying tournament this past weekend (Nov. 11). I thought I would start a thread where teams could post their experience, particularly concerning what to expect at a tournament.

Quality of the Field:


Overall, expect all of the same problems you have at home at the tournament. The difference being the ref's haven't learned all the things to check and may not be 100% up to speed on the corrections.

Quality and Consistence of the Scoring:



Overall the tournament was run very well. The problems with the tables were fairly minor and mostly the same things we have all learned from working with the tables for many weeks. The ref's listened t

  1. Message by: CGMSC2605 11/13/2006 20:19:38 GMT
    The rest of the previous post:
    Overall the tournament was run very well. The problems with the tables were fairly minor and mostly the same things we have all learned from working with the tables for many weeks. The ref's listened to the suggestions of the coaches prior to the start of the competition runs and made all the necessary changes.

    The one problem with the rule interpretation concerning starting positions was fairly significant. I sincerely hope it did not affect who qualified for the state tournament.

    How did we do?
    Third Place in robot performance with a score of 268 IIRC with an RCX robot. (High score at the tournament was 311.)
    First Place for the Research Presentation.



    1. Message by: MA_Head_Ref 11/14/2006 15:38:14 GMT
      Thanks for posting this. Can you state where this tournament was, and who was the Head Referee?

      Jack Gregory


    2. Message by: CGMSC2605 11/14/2006 19:46:11 GMT
      Jack

      I'll send you the info in a private email.

      We (FLL participants) owe the organizers, refs, judges, table helpers and other volunteers at a tournament a huge debt of gratitude. I don't want to embarrass or insult anyone who is working as a volunteer.


    3. Message by: TechnoGeeks3974 11/15/2006 18:51:06 GMT
      I was not aware that the competition tables were available for this close inspection prior to the coaches meeting. Is this generally the case?

      We also attended our regional this past weekend and as far as I'm aware, minor wrinkles in the mats were the only problem, not incorrect setup.

      My team had no compliants as they won robot design award and placed 3rd so we are headed to state.

      Melody


      1. Message by: fll-freak 11/15/2006 20:13:38 GMT
        A well run coaches' meeting will include time to allow the coaches or a team representative to examine the table(s). This is your best chance to get any major problems fixed.

        I now check the tables for model locations, proper model operation, dust on mat, mat in proper location, tables in proper location to each other, smooth inside surfaces of the borders, and smooth surface under the mat. Each of these checks has its own sad history with my team.

        My tool kit contains double sided cloth carpet tape for fixing major mat curl issues, black gaffer tape to cover over large knot holes in the borders, some sandpaper to knock of high spots under the mat, and a lint roller for cleaning the mats. If possible, I volunteer the night before to help setup. Nothing like solving problems before they happen.

        -Skye


    4. Message by: Mission:Plausible_1593 11/22/2006 17:06:42 GMT
      I had several issues with the tables and scoring at our regional tournament:

      1) In order to put all the space elevator on its marks on both tables the two tables were misalligned. I had to tell the head ref this was incorrect, that the space elevator was to be located in the center of the table. This was fixed although it was still somewhat inaccurate.

      2) We first didn't receive credit for the molecular motor because the mechanism didn't spin. We had to show the Q and A's to convince the judge to give credit.

      3) The smoothness of the surface under the mat had a great negative impact on our teams score. We didn't figure this out until we got home. We had problems running the two missions (molecular motor and self assembly) at the regional tournament even though they ran perfectly on our home table. Our team has since visited two other teams local tables. What we found was that the surface under the mats had a great effect on our robot's performance. If the surface was smooth, ie luan, like the current table directions call for, our robot ran perfectly. If the underlying surface was rough, ie plywood, like the old table directions of a few years ago, our robot could not make the turn correctly and usually ran into the stain resistant fabric mission. I think that the problem is the mats are so thin that the underlying surface has a great effect on the robot's performance.

      4) The strength of the magnet was much stronger than the magnet on our home table. Several times our attachment just bounced off at the tournament. Again after we got home we checked other local tables and found a great variance in the strength of the magnet, our home table being on the weaker side.

      Jon T
      Team 1593


Discussion: Just for fun By: MI FLL Volunteer Moderator 11/22/2006 19:49:00 GMT
Many teams have names that reflect the current Challenge theme.

Just for fun, can you come up with a team name that encorporates all the Challenges from the beginning of time?

* First Contact
* Volcanic Panic
* Arctic Impact
* City Sights
* Mission Mars
* No Limits
* Ocean Odyssey
* Nano Quest

- Gary

  1. Message by: fll-freak 11/17/2006 19:09:37 GMT
    Ken and I were brainstorming one day at lunch. We figured it would be funny to have a research project that had aspects of all the previous missions. We figured a Nano solution to a city problem build for people with disabilities in an arctic ocean of the surface of Mars with the threat of a volcano.

    Somehow we figured that most judges would not have the history with FLL to appreciate the topic.

    -Skye


    1. Message by: Mini-Monsters 11/20/2006 03:04:38 GMT
      The Accessible Extraterrestrial Oceanic Nano Garbage Sniffers

      Almost all of them!

      Marie


    2. Message by: cougarbots4326 11/22/2006 17:08:02 GMT
      Unlimited Aquatic City Nano Martians with Frozen Lava Contacts


    3. Message by: Mindstorm Masters 11/22/2006 19:48:46 GMT
      Nano Volcano Contacts First Mars City. No Impact on Arctic Ocean Sights. Your Mission: Limit Panic.

      I didn't get Odyssey in there, though.

      -- Nora


Discussion: adding file attachments By: team_pluto 11/19/2006 17:02:46 GMT
How do I add file attachments to this forum? I tried several times but it does not seem to work.

  1. Message by: fll-freak 11/19/2006 17:02:46 GMT
    For whatever reason, you can't seem to attach a file to the first message. Create a discussion, tell us you you will be attaching a file, then post again with the file attached.

    -Skye


Discussion: Lego Trophies By: CV CA Volunteer Moderator 01/21/2007 03:36:08 GMT
Every year, teams come home from State/Championship events with Lego trophies that everyone loves and wants to tear into 10 pieces. These trophies cost over $100 and are not for sale to the general public anyway, but I've stumbled across some reasonably priced alternatives, for which I will attach photos below.

  1. Message by: CV CA Volunteer Moderator 11/22/2006 08:20:11 GMT
    Option 1 - Leftover Legos

    This summer, I was given a 5-gallon tub of hand-me-down Legos of various shapes and sizes and thought that maybe I could make our 5 tournament trophies from this stash. I was planning to make the trophies of different colors (I had almost equal amounts of red, white, yellow, and blue), and easily had enough bricks for many more than 5 trophies. Unfortunately, after 2 trophies, I ran out of black plates and colored plates; Lego Shop-at-home had a few sets, but not of the shapes, sizes, and colors that I needed, so I abandoned that idea. They did have a set of assorted brown plates, which could have worked if I had had more motivation. A photo of the 2 trophies I did get done will be attached . If you can find a cheap source of plates, this might be a viable option.


    1. Message by: CV CA Volunteer Moderator 11/22/2006 08:21:54 GMT
      Option 2 - Trophy Trials & Tribulations

      I've never been a fan of trophies, especially the commercial ones, but one of the members of our tournament committee was rather insistent on having them (and found a way to pay for them). I was disappointed that he thought my Lego trophies looked "a little weird", but as chancellor of the exchequer, he was also holder of the veto power, so I went ahead and ordered some from an online supplier. When they arrived, I opened the box with great anticipation, and within minutes, both my husband and I were in tears * him from gales of laughter, and me, from consternation that the tournament was only a week away and our trophies were topped, not by the dignified lamps of knowledge that I thought I'd ordered, but by 8 maids-a-graduating. My only consolation was that the trophies were easy to take apart (they unscrew from the bottom), and the online company assured me that they could send me the proper topper within a week. Although the trophies were eventually adorned with the lamp of knowledge, it became apparent that the trophies could be reassembled without having any topper, leaving open the possibility of adorning the trophy with a LEGO creation, like a gear train, carousel with minifigs, or other construction hot-glued to the top. Using a commercial base negates the need for layering with large numbers of plates, and yet, the trophy can be uniquely LEGO. If I didn't have the disapproval of the committee, I probably would have gone this route.

      Yolande

      P.S. I now have the remains of 8 ladies in waiting (girls with graduation caps and gowns) on screw posts. For the cost of postage, they are yours for the taking.


      1. Message by: CV CA Volunteer Moderator 11/22/2006 08:27:11 GMT
        Photo of trophy base


    2. Message by: CV CA Volunteer Moderator 11/22/2006 08:28:46 GMT
      Photo of Lego trophies


    3. Message by: Mindstorm Masters 11/22/2006 14:09:00 GMT
      Great story Yolande! Lego gear toppers sounds like a super idea to me. Your trophy committee needs to learn to think inside the Lego box! Probably the kids have never heard of the "lamp of knowledge" anyway.


    4. Message by: GeeWhiz1421 01/19/2007 08:22:09 GMT
      My team got a 2nd place Lego trophy this year, so I modelled it in Lego Digital Designer. I had to use red pieces because there were not enough yellow shapes to complete the trophy. The model uses about 300 pieces and Lego would send me those red pieces to build it for $30 + shipping, tax etc.

      I netted a parts list and just crossed out red and wrote in yellow, to see if I could muster enough yellow to make an alternate. Yes I could, and did make one. Sometime in the process I was wondering the same thing about breaking it up into those 10 pieces you mentioned. Then each team member could get a piece. The trick, as I saw it, was to make those 10 pieces a sort of 3-D puzzle that would assemble into a trophy like the one they won.

      My solution to that building challenge uses a variety of other hidden parts, but I now have a 10-piece puzzle. I will distribute the glued sections to the team members as a reminder that they got the trophy by teamwork and it will require teamwork to put the trophy together again. I still have the original, of course. I may tell them that . . . eventually . . . . we'll see..... :-))

      Meanwhile, if there is any interest in my puzzle or the LDD, I'll be happy to post some pictures of them somewhere. Next year, I will hope for a 1st place version to analyze.


      1. Message by: CV CA Volunteer Moderator 01/21/2007 03:36:08 GMT
        What a creative way to share the trophy! I hope the kids weren't mourning its "Solomonic" division/destruction. BTW, I'm posting a very belated reply to your question regarding RIS timing in the Programming folder.

        Yolande


Discussion: Awards and State Advancement By: bluecheesyflamingos 11/28/2006 19:15:14 GMT
I was wondering how much weighting each of the scoring areas are given for state advancement based on awards. I know in MI when you read the list of trophies awarded it says counts/not counts towards state advancement.

Ok now the reason I am asking. I know my team did great in research and will do great with the teamwork judging. But the robot is a sad little thing. I think we might score a 150-200 at the table at best at regionals. The robot design and concepts are strong and the kids can explain those. But as for it actually running, the programming needs a lot of work and we have run out of time.

I am hoping to squeak by at regionals so we can get the extra couple weeks we need to really get the robot running. Do teams ever squeak by with research and teamwork going well but the robot needing work?? Thanks, Carla :)

Coach
Blue Cheesy Flamingos
MI Team

  1. Message by: zap85 11/27/2006 22:56:17 GMT
    I would ask your tournament director what criteria they are using. Last year my rookie team had a "sad little robot" for sure, but the tournament advanced teams that had scored well overall, so my kids squeaked into provincials because of their performance in the other categories. This year, the same tournament advanced only the overall winner and the two robot award winners (performance and design), and didn't consider overall performance in advancing teams except for the Champion's Award.


    1. Message by: SMART 11/27/2006 22:57:48 GMT
      Probably best to post this in the Michigan folder - I think it is very state/regional specific.

      For example in CT, half the spots are for teams that get 5 specific awards (Champions, Performance, Robot Tech, Project, and Teamwork), and the rest of the spots available at a regional are given by lottery to teams in attendance. Other states assign a weight to each area.

      So in CT a strong project or great teamwork could definitely get you to the state competition.

      - Peter


    2. Message by: DarkMatter747 11/28/2006 14:22:35 GMT
      This year in Michigan the amount that each award category counts hasn't been posted, but, based on past years my guess is:

      Robot Design = 25%
      Robot Perfomance = 25%
      Project Presentation = 25%
      Teamwork = 25%

      Also, more Michigan teams will advance this year - about 30% rather than 25% as in previous years.

      I know you must have the jitters, but I think your team will be fine.

      Which local are you attending?

      -Dave


      1. Message by: bluecheesyflamingos 11/28/2006 16:29:09 GMT
        The Zeeland one this Saturday. Your right it is probably the jitters. ;) We just have never had this many problems getting a running robot. Carla :)

        Coach
        Blue Cheesy Flamingos
        MI Team


        1. Message by: MI FLL Volunteer Moderator 11/28/2006 19:15:14 GMT
          Ehh, just try dropping the robot in the parking lot. :-)

          I can't find any hard criteria for advancement, other than the fact that 7 teams will go on from Zeeland. I would presume the 25% figure is right.

          The site for the World Festival gives 25% for the considerations in choosing the Champion Award (formerly Directors Award - I don't know why they had to change the name.)

          Good luck.

          - Gary


Discussion: Robot has to be turned off before running program By: NANODOCS4196 12/04/2006 21:58:36 GMT
We are finding that our programs run more accurately when we turn the robot completely off and then back on before running the individual programs. We are just a little concerned with the extra time it takes - and remembering to take this step while under pressure at the tournament - but it does seem to produce the most accurate results. We are running an RCX with Robolab. Just wondering if anyone else have had this happen with their robot...

  1. Message by: SMART 11/28/2006 22:10:46 GMT
    That is rather unusual. Are you using containers? If so perhaps the turning off and on of the robot is resetting your containers thus allowing your programs to work. If so, then this is a bug in your programming. Containers in Robolab are generally "globals" and in fact carry their values from one program to the next while the RCX is on. I know this as our team used that feature to their advantage a couple of years. If that is the case make sure you properly "reset" your containers when needed.

    Other than a programming bug/issue, we've never had the problem you describe.

    Regards,

    Peter


    1. Message by: fll-freak 11/28/2006 22:22:01 GMT
      But containers also keep their values over a power down! The only time they get reset is if you reload the firmware or you set them yourself. This issue of having to powerdown the robot is very strange!

      Can you post the offending program?

      -Skye


      1. Message by: Mindstorms Mayhem #5 12/04/2006 18:48:48 GMT
        > But containers also keep their values over a power down!
        > The only time they get reset is if you reload the firmware
        > or you set them yourself. This issue of having to powerdown
        > the robot is very strange!

        Be careful here -- the above always used to be true on the RCX, but we have found that containers on the NXT in Robolab do not persist after turning the robot off. In other words, every time you turn the NXT off, the containers get reset. (Well, at least in Robolab; I don't know about NXT-G.)


        1. Message by: fll-freak 12/04/2006 18:59:12 GMT
          Thats funny. That is not what I observed. When I was writting the PID loop, I had to clear containers or else I started with the errors from previous runs. This certainly happened between runs, and I was pretty sure it happened over a power cycle as well. Sounds like I need to go back and triple check.

          -Skye


        2. Message by: 12/04/2006 21:58:36 GMT
          Deleted


    2. Message by: NANODOCS4196 11/28/2006 22:31:53 GMT
      Thanks for your reply - we are using rotation sensors and I know that in the program they have the count reset to 0 after certain steps - i.e. go forward x, back up x, reset to 0 , one motor forward x (turning), back up x, reset to 0, etc. Not having the program in front of me, I am not certain exactly where they reset and where they don't. Does this sound right?

      Thanks again for your help!
      Cara (2nd year coach -still feeling like a rookie)


    3. Message by: NANODOCS4196 11/28/2006 22:34:50 GMT
      We are meeting in about 30 minutes - I'll have the program with me when I return in a few hours - thanks, Y'all!


    4. Message by: NANODOCS4196 11/30/2006 04:27:06 GMT
      ok - so it's been a few hours + 24 more...

      Yesterday after practice I was just too frustrated to think about it any more. We spent 2 hours there programming and programming - things would work and then they wouldn't and we couldn't figure out why. ( Did I mention our tournament is Saturday?)

      So today we go back and one of the guys who was not there yesterday was working on the programming and noticed one of the rotation sensors was not registering when he was using the robot to get the #of clicks to be input into a program. We switched to another rotation sensor and all went smooth. All I can guess is the bad rotation sensor worked at times, and at others it didn't.

      Thanks for listening!

      Cara


    5. Message by: Mindstorm Masters 11/30/2006 04:30:53 GMT
      Cara, glad you found the problem! A similar thing happened to us. Previously working program stopped working, would crash on right through the touch sensor. Turned out that the little snappy-in-wire-to-NXT-thingy on the touch sensor was not snapped in! How or why remains a mystery. Like you, we gave up in despair and the answer was obvious in the next meeting.

      -- Nora


    6. Message by: NANODOCS4196 11/30/2006 07:26:18 GMT
      ok - so it's been a few hours + 24 more...

      Yesterday after practice I was just too frustrated to think about it any more. We spent 2 hours there programming and programming - things would work and then they wouldn't and we couldn't figure out why. ( Did I mention our tournament is Saturday?)

      So today we go back and one of the guys who was not there yesterday was working on the programming and noticed one of the rotation sensors was not registering when he was using the robot to get the #of clicks to be input into a program. We switched to another rotation sensor and all went smooth. All I can guess is the bad rotation sensor worked at times, and at others it didn't.

      Thanks for listening!

      Cara


Discussion: what robots can we use next year?? By: nanocats4394 11/30/2006 00:11:04 GMT
we need to know what robots we are allowed to use next year the nxt, the rxt or both???????

  1. Message by: bluecheesyflamingos 11/29/2006 22:08:31 GMT
    I believe that both will still be supported for a few years because of replacement costs. Carla

    Coach
    Blue Cheesy Flamingos
    MI Team


    1. Message by: dhystad 11/30/2006 00:11:04 GMT
      NXT and RXC until 2008. Haven't heard anything about after than.


Discussion: SNOW! By: MI FLL Volunteer Moderator 12/01/2006 15:59:04 GMT
(I know, a nasty 4-letter word)

A lot of areas of the Midwest are getting snow today, and I presume it will be moving toward the NE tonight and tomorrow. And there are a lot of qualifying tournaments going on.

Be safe out there, best of luck to everyone, and welcome to FLL weather!

- Gary

  1. Message by: bluecheesyflamingos 12/01/2006 15:59:04 GMT
    Thanks Gary ;) I am stuck inside my apartment right now because the whole place is covered in ice! I hope it clears up some before 7am tomorrow. Good luck all at your tournaments tomorrow, Carla :)

    Coach
    Blue Cheesy Flamingos
    MI Team


Discussion: Perfect Score By: fll-freak 02/02/2007 00:24:40 GMT
An amazing thing happend today at the New Hampshire State tournament. A team had a perfect score. Now that in itself is impressive but not completely out of the ordinary. I have seen perfect scores in years past.

But what was remarkable and I beleive the first time in FLL history, was that this team did it in ONE outing from base. Thats right, the kids lined up the bot, pressed the run button, then watched the robot solve each and every mission with NO human intervention. This feat also included a return to base to autonomously pick up a new attachement before heading back out again.

The team was the Flying Geeks coached by Randy Bohannan. I have had the privaledge to watch this team grow over the years. This is a team that shares information and is always available to help out. To see this team mature to the point of shatering the history books makes be proud to know them.

I am even more humbled in that I had a small part in their success. I had mentioned to the team that I did not think it possible to solve all the missions in one outing. The team took that as a challenge to prove me wrong. And having seen it with my own eyes, I know that I was wrong and will start my penance.

Randy was also awarded the adult coach mentor award. Not for dedication to his team, but for his dedication to all rookie teams in the area. Randy developed and teaches an FLL class to any and all teams in the area. Scheduling new classes whenever he is asked. A wonderful gentlemen that opitimizes Gracecious Professionalism.

I will try to post more information on the tournament in a day or two.

-Skye

  1. Message by: DarkMatter747 12/03/2006 05:28:52 GMT
    Wow!


    1. Message by: StormBotics 12/03/2006 14:02:08 GMT
      Please post the video clip so that we could see their impressive work.


    2. Message by: MI FLL Volunteer Moderator 12/03/2006 15:49:25 GMT
      Did they also qualify for the World Festival? If so, I really want to go back to Atlanta.

      Congratulations!


      1. Message by: fll-freak 12/03/2006 16:10:12 GMT
        The Flying Geeks did not advance to World Festival. The competition in NH is very strong. Many teams were scoring in the high 300s including at least one 398. Research topics by all accounts were superb and I can vouch for the technical quality having been one of the 8 tech judges.

        The Director's/Champion's Award went to the Inventioneers whose coach will now be sporting a red mohawk in accordance with the bet she made with her team.

        -Skye


    3. Message by: redrobots2924 12/03/2006 17:14:01 GMT
      Just curious, was the Flying Geeks robot a RCX or NXT and do you know what programming software they used? It seems this year's missions were a little easier in that there where no requirements to read color of flags, raise 15 flags (or so) above a sunken ship, etc. It appears many teams are able to do more with dead reckoning than in past years. Just an observation, right, wrong or indifferent.

      Regardless of all that, they deserve a huge round of applause that's for sure for doing something you don't see that often.

      Phil


      1. Message by: fll-freak 12/03/2006 18:39:02 GMT
        They were using an RCX with Robolab. They did not rely on dead reckoning. I saw lots of landmark navigation using both touch and light sensor. The first part of their mission included a circumnavigation of the whole board. Including a dangerous run down the far end of the board between the wall and the molecular motor. When they returned to base to pick up their attachement, they were only 1/16 of an inch misalligned. So it is obvious they reset their position numerous times along the way.

        i for doing something you don't see that often.

        Its not something we have EVER seen to have a robot get a perfect score in just one outing!

        Looking over the notes I took, the Flying Geeks took first place in robot design. A fairly obvious choice for such a technical marvel.

        -Skye


    4. Message by: FlyingGeeks195 12/04/2006 05:47:53 GMT
      Thanks Skye for the kind remarks.
      Yes, I am very proud of our team - they took your remarks as a challenge. I didn't really believe they could do it - but I definitely wasn't going to let them know it.

      The key feature on the robot was two light sensors that were boxed in and served as the front skids for the robot. The front end floated with respect to the robot so they were always flush with the mat. We tested the robots with all different lighting conditions including cameras with flash and infrared focusing - the robots were impervious.

      One thing that didn't come out at the competitions - we actually have 4 robots that all run the same program - and all have scored 400 multiple times. Needless to say, we have two that are better than the other two, but they all work.

      The robot was designed to try to use mechanical attachments for as many of the missions as possible - we ended up using a motorized arm for only the Molecular Motor, Self-Align, Atom Separation, and our backup Elevator (getting the other team's side). Everything else was done with mechanical attachments.

      We used Robolab 2.5.4. With the two front light sensors, we had 10 different line following algorithms stored in subroutines. Two of these were capable of detecting and recalibrating at every vertex (round circle) on the table. We did this by following one side of a line with one light sensor and then detecting the line leaving the vertex with the other. This was a remarkably easy way to detect where we were. One of the two critical places to detect was the blue line behind the self-align model. We used and LFA to get to that blue line and then backed into position for the Molecular Motor. The other was the Atom table (Blue table of death) We used an LFA that stopped with a touch sensor against the wall, then backed up, turned, and registrated against the table base. After that, everything used LFAs to navigate.

      By determining that we were going to do everything in one run, we had the kids program each "segment". The kids were asked where to start their segment and we told them "anywhere in the vicinity of the end of the previous segment, but you have to end up at point X". That built in a lot of margin for each task.

      One other thing - we actually had backup missions for every task. During practice, when things went wrong, the kids were still scoring between 380 and 395 (because of the yanks). That was due to all the backup missions and the fact that the regular program completed all the tasks in a minute 39 seconds.

      I have to say that almost everything I've learned about FLL was beg, borrowed, or stolen from Skye Sweeney (fll-freak),Ken Streeter and Bill Gray from Mindstorm Mayhem, and/or Ken Bell from Mach 6. They are all great inspirations! Thanks guys.


    5. Message by: FlyingGeeks195 12/04/2006 06:30:27 GMT
      Skye,
      I have some 27Meg videos of some of our practice rounds that scored 398 and 396. Can one of those be posted here? The only video of a 400 that I've converted out of my camera (so far)was done with the lights off :)

      I'd love to see a video of one of the three 400's at the tournament if anyone gets a hold of those, let me know.

      Randy


      1. Message by: fll-freak 12/04/2006 13:54:10 GMT
        I believe that a 400 was recorded by a Mechanical Mayhem team member. If that turns out to be correct I will make sure you get a copy.

        The Forum will not accept a large attached file. If you want, I can host the clip for you at www.fll-freak.com.

        -Skye


    6. Message by: FlyingGeeks195 12/04/2006 16:45:14 GMT
      We had several people trying to take videos, but they started getting excited and for some reason the videos are really blurry :)

      I'll get you some of our older videos for now and see if I can get some useable recent ones.

      Thanks!
      Randy Bohannan


      1. Message by: bluecheesyflamingos 12/04/2006 18:31:55 GMT
        Thanks Randy! Dark Matter has a video for No Limits that was a perfect 400 with one attachment. While we have never been able to score above 275 any year (this year 176), it really helped get my team motivated for the next season and our state tournament. I am hoping this video will do the same again for us and all the other teams who have 'sad little robots' like ours *wink* Carla :)

        Coach
        Blue Cheesy Flamingos
        MI Team


    7. Message by: FlyingGeeks195 12/04/2006 18:52:54 GMT
      One of the tricks we used this year to make the robot better was to video tape it's runs. We then spent a lot of time watching those, seeing the little things that you don't remember after a run. The only videos I have available at the moment are the very first ones before we made a bunch of accuracy fixes. But they are still fun to watch. I can't wait to see a video of the runs from the NH State Tournament. The excitement in the room escalated with every task the robot completed. Of course the team knew the 3 places we were worried about. After we finished the Atom Separation table, we knew we were golden.

      Randy


      1. Message by: fll-freak 10/26/2006 19:57:35 GMT
        Randy,
        Your wish will soon be a reality!

        -Skye


    8. Message by: FlyingGeeks195 12/04/2006 20:06:08 GMT
      Yes, I just received an email from Nathan Streeter. I can hear the videos, just can't see them yet.

      Randy


    9. Message by: Mindstorms Mayhem #5 12/04/2006 21:55:00 GMT
      Congratulations, Flying Geeks!

      As has already been described here, the Flying Geeks achieved what was practically unthinkable -- completing all the table missions in a single outing for a perfect score of 400! As Skye mentions, the accomplishment was no fluke, but was a result of making exceptional use of feedback navigation from the lines, walls, and mission models.

      Mindstorms Mayhem is pleased to congratulate the Flying Geeks on winning the NH State Robot Performance Award in an unprecedented style. We are glad to host videos of two of their 400-point rounds on our web site. You've got to check these out, you won't be disappointed! (We also have posted video of our 385-point semifinal round which was sufficient for us to receive 3rd place.)

      --ken
      Mayhem FLL Co-Coach
      http://www.mindstormsmayhem.org
      http://www.moremayhem.org


    10. Message by: bluecheesyflamingos 12/04/2006 22:14:22 GMT
      Wow is the biggest understatement! I am at work watching it and I wanted to get up right here and start cheering! Amazing stuff. This definetly gives my team some inspiration for next year. Congrats, you deserve it! Carla :)

      Coach
      Blue Cheesy Flamingos
      MI Team


    11. Message by: Whizards 12/05/2006 01:30:45 GMT
      That is simply amazing! Wow. I don't even know what else to say. :)

      - Errol


    12. Message by: 2746 12/05/2006 05:52:41 GMT
      WOW! - one team I coached attempted something similar in city sites -it worked repeatedly in practice - but at the tournament it cashed an burned the approach was not robust enough. A lesson etched in all of their minds since.

      Showed the video to my team tonight * this year*I team mentor was programmer of the City Sites crash and burn wants to meet this team * the rest of my team is now convinced they should stop FL as there is nothing left to prove.

      I say * lets get all the kids to this level and give Scott a run for his money in laying out the problems !


    13. Message by: FlyingGeeks195 12/05/2006 16:32:59 GMT
      Thanks for the kind words. 2746, tell your team that there is still plenty to be proven. (Like doing the same thing with an NXT). Also, I don't want to give Scott any hints, but there were a few key elements of the game that if they were in place, we wouldn't have been able to do the single mission. As it was, we had to solve 2 or 3 key elements - precision navigation at almost every point on the mat, the ability to manuever the robot in tight spaces, and the ability to keep the attachments simple. The final product looks pretty simple, but all of these elements really do go together like a hand in a glove.

      Another key element was the dedication of the kids. We had 10 on the team this year. 3 of them routinely put in 20 hours/week or more. 2 more routinely put in 6 to 12. The other 5 put in at least 5 hours of good quality work.

      When I first mentioned that running everything in one mission had never been done, I didn't really think this group of kids could do it either, but they worked really well as a team and their skills complemented each other greatly. Possibly the reason for their success - we didn't have any of the super programmers or super builders who took control of the design. So take heart, your teams can do it too! In fact, I would expect someone who is going to Atlanta will do it by then.

      Thanks again,
      Randy Bohannan


    14. Message by: botzealots1105 12/05/2006 18:57:53 GMT
      Great job Flying Geeks! That must have been an awesome tournament with 3 teams scoring that high. Those perfect runs look easy when you see them like that. We know how hard they come, we posted a 400 at the MN state tournament last year and had the phenomenal experience of winning the head to head at the World Festival in No Limits with 4 runs of 400. We however had to return to base for parts, my hat is off to you! We have regionals on Dec. 9th. I hope to have more good news.
      congratulations,
      Mike Siemsen
      coach, BotZealots

      this quote by the way explains how it gets done,

      "Another key element was the dedication of the kids. We had 10 on the team this year. 3 of them routinely put in 20 hours/week or more. 2 more routinely put in 6 to 12. The other 5 put in at least 5 hours of good quality work."
      Mike


    15. Message by: botzealots1105 01/21/2007 18:41:33 GMT
      Our state tournament was Sat. Jan 20th. The Botzealots were able able to overcome difficulties in their first two runs (scores of 354 and 319) and post a 400 in performance and 5 more 400s in the head to head (6 consecutive perfect scores).
      They took second place in the tournament with 3 points seperating them from first place. This is the first time in 4 seasons that the Siemsen/Richert Homeschool team has not been in first place in a Minnesota tournament. I am very proud to be their coach.
      Mike Siemsen


      1. Message by: fll-freak 01/22/2007 02:07:14 GMT
        Six consecutive perfect scores is amazing. Congratulat your team for such an impressive accomplishment.

        -Skye


      2. Message by: MI FLL Volunteer Moderator 01/26/2007 03:39:20 GMT
        A great achievement. Too bad we won't see you in Atlanta this year. Although .... If you want to ref or judge, I'm sure they can use your talents. Go to the VIMS (Volunteer Information ..something) on the main FIRST website to indicate your availability.

        Gary


      3. Message by: DarkMatter747 01/26/2007 04:18:59 GMT
        Scoring 400 is impressive enough, but doing so consistantly is good reason to be more than proud. Congratulations!

        -Dave


      4. Message by: dhystad 02/02/2007 00:24:40 GMT
        Mike,

        I knew you guys were in trouble when Banano's were announced as finalists in every category but didn't receive a single trophy, not even a judges award. I said to my wife "They're going to give it to Grant this year". Her reply was "You're crazy! Nobody can beat the Botzealots."

        I'm sorry I didn't have an opportunity to judge your team this year. I always enjoy talking to your kids. They are so smart, so intense, and unfailingly polite. But I had new responsibilities this year. There is a division 1 team who have their sights on being the next MNFLL dynasty.

        Hope to see you in highschool robotics next year.

        Dean Hystad
        Coach of the Nano Chix


Discussion: FLL 2007 By: team_pluto 12/05/2006 00:16:26 GMT
Does anyone know what the theme for FLL is in 2007?

  1. Message by: redrobots2924 12/03/2006 14:49:59 GMT
    A teaser is usually given at the State (Championship) Tournaments. Until teams start attending those we won't know. Our's is next Saturday.

    Phil


    1. Message by: MI FLL Volunteer Moderator 12/03/2006 15:51:44 GMT
      "Usually" meaning starting two seasons ago. Prior to that, it wasn't announced until the World Festival - that's when we first heard about Mission Mars.

      It will be interesting to see what Scott, Betsy, Nancy and all the rest of the crew have up their sleeves.

      - Gary


      1. Message by: fll-freak 12/03/2006 16:14:23 GMT
        It was announced at the conclusion of the NH tournament and there is also a hint at the end of this year's mission animation movie. I will not spoil it for those of you yet to compete.

        -Skye


        1. Message by: redrobots2924 12/03/2006 17:08:38 GMT
          Speaking of the movie... can we send you or the kids doing the movie this year a blank DVD to get a copy like last year?

          I don't think they showed the Ocean Odyssey movie last year at the State Tournament in Michigan but hopefully they will this year. Do the Tournament Directors have to request it from you or do they all get a copy by default?

          Phil
          Coach - Red Robots, MI


          1. Message by: fll-freak 12/03/2006 18:40:33 GMT
            All state level tournament directors should have received a copy.

            -Skye


        2. Message by: NANOBEARS724 12/03/2006 23:26:34 GMT
          My tournament was Dec. 2, and there was no announcement at the end (or if there was, I was too wiped out to realize it!). Could you please email me the subject?

          Linda
          Nanobears
          lbarring@ccisd.net


          1. Message by: fll-freak 12/04/2006 00:58:29 GMT
            FLL will announce it one their web site soon enough. I also suspect that somebody will spoil the surprise soon enough! :-)

            -Skye


        3. Message by: NANOBEARS724 12/04/2006 17:05:58 GMT
          Skye,

          Could you please be more specific about which "mission animation" movie? Is it on the 2006 FIRST Compilation DVD? If so, which of the seven parts?

          Linda
          Nanobears


          1. Message by: fll-freak 12/04/2006 18:18:46 GMT
            Each year FIRST comissions a stop motion animation to describe the missions at the various state tournaments. In years past it was Ken Streeter and myself that make the animation. This year it was Brian Jennings and John Kirkhart both members of a high school FRC team.

            It is not available on the web at this time. You need to see it by attending a tournament that shows it. After the tournament season, the animation is normaly posted to the web.

            -Skye


    2. Message by: Buxton High Voltage 12/03/2006 17:30:29 GMT
      This is my third year coaching two teams as an after school activity. I would love a copy of that movie as well. I still seem to be foundering around. First we had no space and we had to assemble table top elements in the dim light in the hallway (at one school) The other was in the portable and we had kids going back and forth between the portable and theschool building We have state competition this Saturday and we solved only three missions and have only a good start on the presentation. How does everyone get done on time with 2 hours per week during after school for 8 weeks?????? More time would make a difference for our teams since most of my team members are new to the program every year (grades 4 and 5).
      Thank you!


      1. Message by: NANOBEARS724 12/03/2006 23:21:41 GMT
        Here's some suggestions:

        1. Choose the team in May, then meet 5-6 times over the summer (about 4 hours each time) to learn to build and program using the previous year's field missions.

        2. When the new challenge kits arrive in the fall, your kids can make guesses about what the missions will be, and try solving them even before the official challenge rules are announced.

        3. Meet twice a week after school, and during the last month add an extra 30 minutes to each meeting time.

        4. Divide your team into "Group A" and "Group B." Have Group A work on the missions (they should be working independently by now) while you take Group B over to the side (another room if possible) to work on the research project. After 45 minutes, take Group A back to the tables, let them talk for a few minutes to find out what the builders/programmers are currently working on, and then take Group B away to work on the project, adding onto whatever Group A has created. This way, progress is made in both areas each meeting.

        5. If money is available, purchase one robot for every 2 students. Have the students decide on a robot design, and build every robot exactly the same. Divide up the missions between the mini-teams, and conquer!

        Hope this helps.

        Linda
        Nanobears


      2. Message by: nanoknights216 12/04/2006 08:26:11 GMT
        You've already gotten some great tips from Nanobears. I a similar schedule with my homeschool team, actually, we only meet once a week for 2 hours usually. However, I also scheduled monthly "Lego Blitz" days that were intense 5 hour work periods on a weekend. When these are well planned, the kids can get a lot done. By well planned, I mean assign activities to each child in hour blocks, making sure that there is enough help in the right places and enough free time to keep brains fresh. The schedule helped our team share the one nxt that we have.

        I hosted a week long lego camp in the summer that a couple of kids on the team came to. I also made robot kits available to take home, with Robolab Video Trainer to help them learn to program in their own time if so inclined. I imagine that you could perhaps set up a similar thing in your school's computer lab so the kids could work on their own at lunch or something?

        I started meeting with my team the third week of August, as soon as we had a table set and we got the models built right away so they could be thinking of ways to approach the likely missions and see what the navigation options are.

        My husband coaches at a school. He just cut out coaching two teams this year and is only doing one because it is *really* hard to keep that many kids working productively with just one coach--unless they are pretty experienced.
        Tammy


    3. Message by: redrobots2924 12/03/2006 18:19:27 GMT
      A teaser is usually given at the State (Championship) Tournaments. Until teams start attending those we won't know. Our's is next Saturday.

      Phil


    4. Message by: team_pluto 12/05/2006 00:16:26 GMT
      Here's something I found on the web concerning next year's FLL theme.

      http://thenxtstep.blogspot.com/2006/12/next-years-fll-theme-announced.html


Discussion: Judging Categories By: bluecheesyflamingos 12/14/2006 19:57:26 GMT
We got our scores back from MI regionals and we did well but a couple of the areas they marked as weak we are confused on. Let me say first that these are the quick summary, top level categories the judges were judging on. We just got a circle that said if it was a weakness or strength. These are NOT the actual scores.

The one that we are confused on the most was listed as 'resources utilization'. Our research/skit was about a newspaper salesman. We actually handed out a newspaper to the judges the kids made with articles in it about our research. At the end of each articles they sited where the information was from. The kids also mentioned this fact to the judges. Any ideas how we can improve in this area? Any ideas would be great, Carla :)

Coach
Blue Cheesy Flamingos
MI Team

  1. Message by: GearGeeks2128 12/04/2006 20:23:16 GMT
    Resources utilized include all materials used to conduct your research from start to finish not just what you reference in your presentation. One easy way to make sure you don't miss doing this is to have the kids keep a bibliography throughout the season so that they can put it into their research folder to give to the judges. It helps to do this as you go so that you don't have to try and remember everything the last week before the tournament!

    I judged Research Presentations at World Festival 2006 and this is one of the categories even some World Fest teams could improve upon. The other category often lacking is sharing what you've learned with your community.

    Hopefully these thoughts will help others in the future.
    ~Mischa in GA
    Co-Coach
    Gear Geeks #83, #2128


    1. Message by: bluecheesyflamingos 12/04/2006 20:36:43 GMT
      So you mean they wanted to see a quick reference list of everything and everyone we have learned something from? Carla :)

      Coach
      Blue Cheesy Flamingos
      MI Team


    2. Message by: GearGeeks2128 12/04/2006 20:46:08 GMT
      Definitely the resources related to your final problem and solution. And even the resources you utilized for general nanotech info.

      For example....our teams this year studied a little about each topic on the FLL field table to get them started and then branched into their respective topics from there. They didn't list absolutely every resource they utilized but definitely listed the ones related to the topic they chose. Does that help? I guess it would always be better to have too much than too little though. Another thing you want to be sure to list are any experts or professionals your team talked with about their topic.

      ~Mischa in GA
      Co-Coach
      Gear Geeks #83, #2128


      1. Message by: bluecheesyflamingos 12/04/2006 20:52:40 GMT
        Yes it does make sense. We will add an appendices for state. Thanks so much! Carla :)

        Coach
        Blue Cheesy Flamingos
        MI Team


    3. Message by: bluecheesyflamingos 12/04/2006 21:49:11 GMT
      Well that was so painless that I have a couple more to ask *wink*

      We scored just avg on these but I would like to improve on them:

      - Analysis/data Supporting Mat.
      - Solution Defined and Support Data
      - Universal Design Elements

      For the project my kids whet into a nanotech lab and created nanospheres. When they combine them with another chemical it made a solution that could break down a certain pollutant in water.

      I am not sure what the difference is between the first 2 things. Should we be brining in the graphs that show it works? We didn't at the local event because to the average person they look like a bunch of lines. Any advice would be great! Carla :)

      Coach
      Blue Cheesy Flamingos
      MI Team


    4. Message by: GearGeeks2128 12/04/2006 22:11:48 GMT
      Your graphs would definitely come under the first two categories listed above. Even if it looks foreign to others include it and have your kids be able to answer questions about it. I would definitely highlight the fact that they went into a real lab and created the nanospheres.

      (Just a side note, the rubrics in the back of your Coach's Handbook has the guidelines for each category.)

      Make sure you are leaving a research folder with the judges that has a project outline with your team's problem and solution stated, the data supporting their solution and the bibliography. It's only a few pages but it gives the big picture in outline form for the judges to refer back to when they are filling out their judging sheets. Your presentation folder should be an overview of your research and presentation together. For example, if you do a skit include the dialog in your folder as well so that the judges have it. You can put it all in a report cover or simply staple it together in a packet. The material is what's important!

      Now for the Universal Design Category. That category came into play during the No Limits Season to encourage people to think about products and how they effect everyone. They have continued the category to highlight product or solution designs that utilize Universal Design. For example, if you made a new car...how did you incorporate elements of design that make your product accessible to all people including those with dissabilities? If your project is not developing a product that requires universal design then this category would not be applicable. It is extra not a deduction.

      At the World Fest level they award a Univ Des. Trophy to the team with a product/solution that best incorporates UD. Not all State or Regional level tournaments do this.

      ~Mischa in GA
      Co-Coach
      Gear Geeks #83, #2128


    5. Message by: Randazzo1589 12/05/2006 05:34:42 GMT
      How would they let the judges know that they have shared the information they learned with their community? My kids presented their skit and presentation to the parents of their school during the school science fair. They were the highlight of the show, since everyone was wondering what we have been up to the last 8 weeks.


    6. Message by: GearGeeks2128 12/05/2006 05:51:58 GMT
      Make it part of your closing for your presentation to the judges. Just a simple transition statement with details about who and where your team shared. Then let the judges know you are ready for any questions they might have.


    7. Message by: LegoLabRats868 12/06/2006 19:04:53 GMT
      Does everyone leave a folder with the judges? We tried that at No Limits, and the judge handed it back to them & said they couldn't leave material. (he had not even looked at it). Maybe this was just a uninformed judge.
      The kids have kept a binder w/ emails and copies of articles, etc. Would just the source list be enough? How long is too long? They have a really good research project, and did well at Regional, but won for technical. Heading on to state I'm trying to figure out what they can do to improve.


      1. Message by: fll-freak 12/06/2006 20:14:46 GMT
        I was a tech judge at our state tournament. I was overjoyed to be given a small report folders with a team intro page, spec sheet, and code. I knew that it might come in handy during deliberations.

        I was not willing to accept large 3 ring binders crammed with stuff. I was happy to look at them during the interview, but I knew I would not have the time to look at it during deliberations.

        Your mileage may vary.

        -Skye


        1. Message by: LegoLabRats868 12/06/2006 20:19:45 GMT
          For the technical we have always done a spec sheet - pciture of robot, list of missions attempted, and list of sensors. We staple it to our programs.

          What I'm trying to figure out is how much to put in this folder. I wouldn't want to look through the whole binder either, but maybe the source list, outline of project, emails, & pictures. (maybe 5 pages) Is that too much, too little???

          Technical has always been easy. Boy I struggle with the research and what is required or necessary.


          1. Message by: bluecheesyflamingos 12/06/2006 20:28:40 GMT
            We are in the same boat. We decided to do one of those little see through report covers with a couple pages in it.

            Our idea was to just do a 10 bullet point front cover of the problem, current solution and our solution. Then inside a list of resources/people we talked to and some pictures of the kids in the lab.

            I know there has to be other things we should be including. What else am I forgetting? Should we also include the graphs? They prove our solution works but are just gibberish without the kids to interpret them. Thank you all!! Carla :)

            Coach
            Blue Cheesy Flamingos
            MI Team


          2. Message by: fll-freak 12/06/2006 20:46:08 GMT
            I think there is a difference between what you leave with the judges (or try to leave) and what you bring in to show. What you bring for show and tell should be everything you have created.

            I would be delighted to get to thumb through a massive 3 ring binder full of pictures, rough drafts, research materials, etc. It would show me that the kids dug in and did not just Google up their project or robot.

            As a judge for tech, I would want picture of kids (AS DRESSED on the day of the competition), picture of the bot and attachements, list of sensors used and for what, mission planning, and code listings. No more than 3 pages on top of the code listings.

            For a research judge, I would again want a picture of the kids, a picture of them doing the presentation, a synopsis of the research, synopsis of their outreach, and a list of references. Total of 2-3 pages.

            Its got to be something I can use in a few moments! Not something I need to study. During deliberations, we are pressed for time. Parents do not want to wait for hours while we go over your materials page by page.

            -Skye


            1. Message by: GearGeeks2128 12/06/2006 21:37:12 GMT
              That actually describes it perfectly Skye....bring it all but leave a synopsis with a team photo included on the cover!

              ~Mischa


    8. Message by: GearGeeks2128 12/06/2006 19:41:43 GMT
      I would always have a folder together to leave with the judges. Some may opt not to keep it but they are the minority I assure you. Always better to be prepared and have brought to much than to miss something.

      By the time the teams make it to World Festival the caliber of their research is very high. All the teams we judged left folders with us.

      Hope that helps,
      ~Mischa in GA
      Co-Coach
      Gear Geeks #83 & #2128


    9. Message by: GearGeeks2128 12/06/2006 20:29:22 GMT
      The more useful folders I saw as a Project Judge at 2006 World Fest included the following:
      A Cover Page with team photo
      Overview of their project, including problem and solution
      Dialog of any skits, etc
      Resources Utilized Page (include any experts or professionals with whom you've corresponded or interviewed)
      Outreach to the Community

      ~Mischa in GA


    10. Message by: Under Pressure 3108 12/06/2006 23:22:51 GMT
      Who is responsible to prepare all of this stuff? Are these folders and info pages all done by the kids? As a coach, I have had a hard enough time trying to motivate the team to get through the research project and the missions. I can almost hear the chorus of groans if I showed these posts to them and told them that they have all this work to do now to prepare for the Provincial championships in three days. Is this work that the coach is supposed to be doing?

      -Michelina
      Coach Under Pressure


      1. Message by: fll-freak 12/06/2006 23:38:56 GMT
        The team introduction page that your torunament will want, can be created by the coach. As for all these other things, they should be kid created.

        This is one big difference between a rookie team and a team with 5 years experience. The rookies arrive with the shirt on their backs. The veterans bring in all the support material and judge packets.

        Now none of the judge giveaways are needed except for the team introduction page (rank, name, serial number, photo). The extras are simply discriminators that MAY help the judges remember you when they are trying to allocate awards.

        -Skye


        1. Message by: dhystad 12/06/2006 23:48:45 GMT
          Most teams don't bring even an introduction page. Sure is nice as a memory jog when judging. A nice little intro page and picture are probably worth about 3 points at my judging station.


      2. Message by: tanrobotics 12/07/2006 02:32:37 GMT
        Welcome to the joys and groans of coaching, Michelina!

        I'm always having to find ways to "trick" or "bribe" the kids to do these seemingly mudane but important items.

        I've got only 3 vetran kids out of 9 kids in this current team that is going to meet you at the Provincials. I'm forever trying to convince the team to do some work. They finally started to do some work when I showed them the postings about the 400 points in one run, and how the Flying Geeks DIDN'T win the Champions award, and WASN'T GOING to Atlanta. They then began to realize that the project is just as important.

        (However, to be fair, these kids are having exams this week and next, so FLL is taking a bit of the back burner for them).

        Paul Tan.


        1. Message by: MI FLL Volunteer Moderator 12/07/2006 15:12:46 GMT
          My daughter's team competed in 17 tournaments over the lifetime of the team - some qualifying, some practice. They went to Nationals (as it was then called) 3 times, the first as 2nd place in the state when it was a pilot invitational. In those 17 tournaments, they won the table ONCE. It's about a lot more than the robot!

          - Gary


      3. Message by: zap85 12/07/2006 03:56:08 GMT
        I've got four kids on my team, all doing this for the second time. They have been more willing to do this prep work since they saw it pay off last year.

        What worked well both last year and this, is to put one kid in charge of the tech interview, and one in charge of the project interview. (They choose these roles about halfway to the regional tournament.)

        It has been their responsibility to gather the relevant info from the other kids and put it together in a folder for tournament day - it's treated like any other homework assignment in their lives, and in that sense I suspect their parents may have helped out with formatting and spellchecking (and nagging), but I know that the content has been done by the kids. (These same kids are responsible for taking the lead in those interviews, by knowing the information and also knowing when to throw questions to other team members.)

        I know you're stressed coming up to Provincials, so just make your best judgement as to what is reasonable and possible to do before then so the kids are pumped for the tournament and not stressed.

        See you there :-)

        Doreen, Team ZAP!


    11. Message by: LegoLabRats868 12/07/2006 01:23:17 GMT
      First year the kids would have been appalled to be asked to prepare this type of folder. (if we had even known it existed). But now it's 4 years later, and they want to be competetive at State. They know they've done a good project. I'll probably print this whole post & give it to them, and I've no doubt they'll run with it. My contribution will probably be taking the picture, urge them to keep it to just 3-5 pages, and proof reading for spelling (if they ask me to). It's kind of neat to look back & see how much they've grown.


    12. Message by: NANOBEARS724 12/07/2006 06:01:42 GMT
      Just curious - at ya'lls tournaments, do the technical and project judges get any training before the tournament, or is a volunteer handed a judging criteria sheet five minutes before the first team arrives?

      Linda
      Nanobears


      1. Message by: dhystad 12/07/2006 10:50:58 GMT
        In Minnesota all judges and refs attend a three hour training session. Even me, and I've been doing this since '99.


      2. Message by: fll-freak 12/07/2006 16:07:13 GMT
        In New Hampshire all judges and referees are trained in advance as well as a refresher just before the tournament.

        -Skye


      3. Message by: SMART 12/07/2006 16:12:31 GMT
        It varies rather dramatically. I judged at a tournament, and the tech judges received no training whatsoever. The tournament organizers tried to pair up those who had experience with Mindstorms with those who didn't. It did't work out too badly for technical judging. The tech judges I worked with had solid engineering credentials and were definitely able to ask good questions. Since I had a lot of experience with mindstorms I was able to fill in the gaps a bit.

        I'd be much more concerned on the research judging side, because it is important that the research judges understand the requirements of the project. For example it wouldn't be right for a team that just does a presentation about all the cool things they learned about nanotech to outdo a team that followed the project guidelines and spoke to all three points clearly.

        Of course, it would be far better for all judges to have training.

        - Peter


    13. Message by: FlyingGeeks195 12/07/2006 16:33:29 GMT
      Re: They finally started to do some work when I showed them the postings about the 400 points in one run, and how the Flying Geeks DIDN'T win the Champions award, and WASN'T GOING to Atlanta. They then began to realize that the project is just as important.

      For what it's worth, the Flying Geeks had straight "Excellent" scores on our project judging. What killed us this year was the Teamwork judging. I also think that there were a lot of really good research projects this year, so having all Excellent scores might have put us in the top 10 or 20 teams, not necessarily high enough for directors.

      Last year, the team's goal was to "Win Director's Award". We ended up in 8th place performance, won 2nd place Teamwork, and also had very strong Research scores. The kids were very disappointed - even though they had a great year.

      This year, I refused to talk about "winning Director's". I tell our team that there is only two things they can control - how the robot performs at the table and how they react/interact with everyone at the meet. Our goal this year was to do the perfect score in one trip - we accomplished that and have been overwhelmed with the response.

      My recommendation to Carla is to prepare the kids to do the best they can, but let them know that all of the non-performance related categories are subjective. Kind of like Figure Skating. After the competition is over, go over the rubrics and scoring with your kids and get their input. sometimes they need to see how they might have impacted the scores.

      As an example, I have one student who is repeatedly off in left field somewhere. We had been scoring 400 rounds in practice since Thanksgiving day. We did not do it in front of the technical judges and the judge asked this student how many times we had scored a perfect score. I heard him say "two times" (thirty or forty is more like it). I asked him about it later and he said "but we did score a perfect score two times yesterday" (we had done a demonstration for our sponsor with our worst of 4 robots). He had forgotten to add the "yesterday" or the fact we were demonstrating our bad robots. So, it is totally understandable how the judge's perception can be drastically altered by a few comments.

      It's more important for the kids to have a good time, make friends, and enjoy the experience than it is to take home a trophy, but that perception has to be started at the very beginning of the season. I recommend setting realistic goals, or tiered goals rather than setting all your hopes on a certain prize. You just never know how things will work out.

      Randy Bohannan


      1. Message by: bluecheesyflamingos 12/07/2006 17:20:48 GMT
        I think you have been watching my team! ;) I have on little guy who is forever in another universe. And did something very similar at our competition. We are going to watch our video this weekend with the kids and let them tell us what they see went wrong.

        Fun is the one thing my team would win an award for. (Can we add that as a category? *wink*) Last year you could find them limboing with our teams banner. This year there was a competition to see who could be the first to place a sticky letter on one of the coaches foreheads. I have to say my co-coach gave one of the girls a dollar to do it to me!!

        We set very realistic goals at the beginning of the season; non of which talked about awards. There were things like score a 200 on the mat. Complete a research book to show the judges.

        Thanks for advice Randy. I am really glad to see I am on the same page as you. ;) Carla

        Coach
        Blue Cheesy Flamingos
        MI Team


      2. Message by: tanrobotics 12/07/2006 17:45:04 GMT
        Thanks for the insights, Randy! I really agree that setting the expectations correctly at the beginning of the season is very important.

        I can really relate to your sentiments about having one student just say the wrong things. When we were down in Atlanta last year (our first year down there), I was totally floored when during the technical judging, one of the kids said "Well, we had our robot fall apart some times and had to rebuild it during the tournament".

        Like your experience this year, our robot never fell apart during the tournaments, and really only broke when that same kid was horsing around during practices. Again, it seems that one kid in left field can really ruin it for the team.

        Now, if someone know a way to get those off track kids focused on what the other kids are doing, that would be a major accomplishment worth a director's / champions award.

        When I first started in the FLL at Volcano Panic 2000, we hand picked the kids to make the team, actually only getting kids that would work together. This strategy worked great, and we won 2nd place Director's cup at the Maine state tournament. For the past several years now, we have been letting anyone join that wanted to join. This has made the challenge of creating a working cohesive team much more difficult. Next year, we might go back to having try outs and culling the more disruptive team members as it really is not fair to the kids that really want to work.

        Paul Tan.


        1. Message by: NANOBEARS724 12/07/2006 18:31:09 GMT
          My first year, we took anyone who got a permission slip signed. A lot of things were built with Legos, but most did not apply to the missions! I now have an application packet that includes an essay about why you want to be on the team and how you think you can contribute, an essay about the current theme (showing research and writing skills, including bibliography), and a teacher recommendation form. In addition, the student's report card is checked, and if any N's (needs improvement) or U's (unacceptable) are given in conduct, the student is not eligible to apply.

          I get about 50 students who pick up an application form, but only about a dozen actually fill it out and return it. This weeds out those students who only want to play with Legos, and not do the other work. It also prevents those problem students from applying in the first place.

          Linda
          Nanobears


          1. Message by: fll-freak 12/07/2006 18:33:54 GMT
            Any chance you could post that package for other to use?

            -Skye


          2. Message by: dhystad 12/07/2006 23:47:00 GMT
            Do we really want to weed out kids? Aren't the kids who get N's an U's the ones we should be taking? Aren't they the ones who need a positive educational experience?

            I ran an FLL program through community education last year. This year they wanted me to run it as a program for gifted children. I refused and formed a neighborhood team instead. I think there's plenty of programs for gifted kids already. FLL doesn't have to be another one.

            I look at FLL as a vehicle for science and math education. I had two lousy teams last year, but they all knew how to program in ROBOLAB. They knew how to convert travel distance into wheel rotations by dividing by the wheel circumference. They understood gears and how the sizes effect the torque and the speed. They understood how the radius of the wheel effects it transfers power to the ground. They actually knew what torque was, what intertia was, how to find the CG of an object. They understood how to do scientific experiments. What a hypothesis is and how to design and experiment to test your hypothesis. They learned how to be better observers. Sure they are still a bunch of scatterbrains and wild childs. But they are a little more focused and a little less wild.

            So go ahead and screen out kids to help your team achieve success. I'll follow my path. Some day I may get to take a team to the state tournament. I'm pretty sure the only way I'll attend the world festival is as a spectator. But that's fine with me. Not coaching at these events gives me an opportunity to judge, which I enjoy very much.


            1. Message by: NANOBEARS724 12/08/2006 00:44:35 GMT
              My first year, when I was faculty sponsor, not coach, one student lay on the ground and kicked and screamed that he wanted to go home almost every meeting. His dad was the coach, and he wanted the kid on the team, so the kid stayed. This student should not have been on the team. Students who crawl under the table and play around every time my back is turned should not be on the team. Students who build fencing swords with axles and poke other students instead of working on missions should not be on the team. Students who throw Legos at other team members should not be on the team. I am not trying to choose winning students, I am trying to choose students who will work on the challenge and not disrupt the process. I don't view this as discrimination, but as survival. And I don't want to win the first place trophy since my team would not be allowed to go to the World Festival anyway (district policy forbids out of state travel for elementary students). I would rather a team that can attend win first place. So to me success is everyone wants to be there and working on the challenge. What happens at the tournament is gravy.

              Linda
              Nanobears


            2. Message by: Mindstorm Masters 12/08/2006 00:47:51 GMT
              I agree with you, Dean. Except the statement "I think there's plenty of programs for gifted kids already" -- you're lucky I guess. That is not the case in our area. The school board's "gifted" program takes one or two kids per school (maybe, if you're lucky) (less than the top one percentile, BTW, don't get me started) and provides perhaps 12 hours of math enrichment over the course of a year, no science. It's laughable. The bottom 10-15 percentile get LOTS of additional attention. You're gifted? Too bad.

              Our rookie team put in an average of 3 hours per week for our 3 month FLL season; I don't need to tell you other coaches about the quality of that experience. Next year we'll get started earlier. IMO FLL is superior quality to any "enrichment" program I'm aware of here. And none of our kids are "gifted" enough to get into the gifted program, yet our team placed very respectably at the tournament, even bettering some older teams at the table (sorry for the brag).

              Just my two cents.
              -- Nora


            3. Message by: tanrobotics 12/08/2006 00:48:27 GMT
              I'm more interested in screening for kids that are willing to work and try to learn. A lot of times I begin to wonder why some kids are even joining the program. We had one kid that always disappeared to the washroom for most of the time on our meets (we meet in the school twice a week).

              When the regional tournament came, she wanted to be the one talking to the judges and blocked everyone else from touching the computer at the technical judging session, even through she had done none of the work in programming or building.

              It's these kind of kids that I would like to screen out. Give me a kid that doesn't know anything, but is eager to learn, and I'll bend over backwards to teach them everything I can.

              Paul Tan.


            4. Message by: CV CA Volunteer Moderator 12/08/2006 05:53:59 GMT
              I think there are times when there are great benefits to opening the doors to all who are interested, and other times when being selective is advisable.

              My first coaching experience was a Math Olympiad team at my son's Title I public school, which also houses the city's GATE program. We started with 60 students, 15 coming from GATE, and 45 coming from all other classes, including resource. The team placed respectably, and was amazed to score better than some schools that had names like "XXX Prep Academy". There was something indescribable about the look of pride when the kids received their awards, especially the ones who had previously been told that they were "not good at math."

              When my son approached me about starting an FLL team, I knew that we couldn't take all 60 kids, and that the school's budget wouldn't allow for even one team, let alone 6. Because of my son's age, we had only 2 years to make our team work, so I was less willing to take the risks associated with an unknown population. Finances required us to use my son's allowance-bought RIS kit, further limiting the member pool.

              The happy ending was that the kids had a great experience, and as a result, they brought FLL to an area where there were no FLL teams within a 90-mile radius. The recruited teams have achieved things that were not possible with my own team, including Title I public school teams and teams with girls and underprivileged minorities. Had we tried too hard in those first years to reach those populations, the team might have struggled due to lack of resources, and we might not have had the momentum to press on and expand. I have great admiration for the coaches of those teams at less than ideal school situations, and am pleased to support the efforts of those who are achieving what I could not with my own team.

              Yolande


            5. Message by: nanoknights216 12/09/2006 04:31:47 GMT
              This is a great question (do we really want to weed out kids.) Sometimes, yes, I do feel very much like weeding. I think you need to make your expectations as a coach very clear. The competitive kids that are going to be really upset when a goof-ball wrecks their chances need to be told that it is more important that the goofball gets what they can out of it than the competitive child get their plastic trophy. OR, goofballs need to know that their need to distract is not going to trump the competion-based kid's drive for excellence. Some coaches can handle one way and some the other. My husband is a coach, and he doesn't allow goofballs and he makes the kids re-do their work until they get it right. His spurned goofballs formed their own team and are mad at him. I let the goofballs on my team and celebrate their growth, stay on their case and have frustrated acheivers. No perfect world!


        2. Message by: dhystad 12/07/2006 23:21:10 GMT
          Judges (at least good judges) are unlikely to let a minor comment like that effect the score very much. I also think it is not a good practice to ever say that any of the team members ruined anything.

          I ran two teams last year. Team A and Team B were very much like the proverbial ant and grasshopper. A kid on Team A wrote a research presentation for Team B when it became obvious that Team B wasn't going to do anything. He just wanted to help out his friends on Team B. Prior to presentation judging I told Team B that they had to notify the judges of the situation. It was OK to give the presentation, but not OK to take credit for Team A's work. Guess what they said when asked who did what on their presentation. If you guessed "Coach did it" you win a cigar.

          So who was at fault here? What the kid said was true. I did edit (spelling and punctuation corrections) and type the script. I also printed out the bibliography and script and added them to the team folder. I also knew that there were kids on Team B who were not going to be able to focus at the tournament. Even though I said to give Team A credit they never heard my instructions.

          In the end I have to conclude that the fault is all mine. I failed Team B by not finding a way to motivate them to work on the research presentation. I made a error in judgement by allowing Team B to use the presentation. I made a procedural error in not informing the judges of the situation ahead of time. I made a planning error in not having assistant coaches and team managers to make sure the season ran smoothly. I could go on and on with all the mistakes I made.

          By the end of the tournament I was feeling pretty glum. But then something magical happened. First, one of my kids walked right up and gave me a HUGE hug and thanked me for coaching the team. And this kid is not the huggy type. Next one of my grasshoppers apologized for not being more focused. And then, almost to a man, each team member walked over to shake my hand and made some comment about how the scores they received accurately represented the amount of effort they put in. Nobody griped, nobody complained, nobody cast blame. They may not have been very good FL teams, but they were good kids and I think they understood and practiced FLL values.

          Not all successes are measured in trophys.


          1. Message by: bluecheesyflamingos 12/07/2006 23:32:09 GMT
            I think this is how every coach feels at the end of the season. By this time you are just ready for that 40 winks. Then the tournament arrives and you see all that they did accomplish and all they learned. They really re-energize me. The day after state I am usually on websites looking into grants for the next season.

            I agree that not all success's are measured in trophies. My kids prove that each and every year. They are definetly the reason I get up on the weekend *wink* Carla :)

            Coach
            Blue Cheesy Flamingos
            MI Team


          2. Message by: tanrobotics 12/08/2006 00:55:48 GMT
            > Judges (at least good judges) are unlikely to let a minor comment like that effect the score very much. I also think it is not a good practice to ever say that any of the team members ruined anything.

            I definitely agree that it is not good practice to say that a team member ruined anything. I never mentioned it to the kids, the kids mentioned it to each other after the tournament. They do notice what is going on at times. :)

            As far as having one word affect the judging, I think it really does, even with good judges. I mean, I was a technical judge at a practice tournament, and you only have 5 minutes to make a judgement call on the team. Sometimes it is only one word you have to clue in on. If the other kids came in and corrected that one kids, I would factor that in, but if they didn't, I would take the single word/statement at face value. Either way the team would loose marks either for the statement, or for a teamwork cohesion issue.

            Paul Tan.


            1. Message by: dhystad 12/08/2006 04:13:58 GMT
              5 minutes? You only get 5 minutes? Wow, I feel rushed with the 20 minutes I spend with a team for technical judging. Next time I see Fred Rose (runs FLL in Minnesota) I'm going to kiss his feet.

              Sorry about some of my comments. Our tournament is coming up Saturday and I guess I'm a bit on edge.


              1. Message by: tanrobotics 12/08/2006 06:04:27 GMT
                lol... I know the feeling... our Provincial/State Tournament is on Saturday as well. The kids have already forgotten their lines for the skit that they did two weeks ago... We'll have a last practice tomorrow and hopefully they can get that last robot programming change done right. Many ideas were already thrown out the window because of lack of time due to the kids' exam schedules..

                Paul Tan.
                ..counting down the time until I can say YAY! I'm done for another season, now I can get 40 winks!


        3. Message by: MI FLL Volunteer Moderator 12/08/2006 15:56:31 GMT
          > When we were down in Atlanta last year (our first year down there), I was totally floored when during the technical judging, one of the kids said "Well, we had our robot fall apart some times and had to rebuild it during the tournament".

          > Like your experience this year, our robot never fell apart during the tournaments, and really only broke when that same kid was horsing around during practices. Again, it seems that one kid in left field can really ruin it for the team.

          Hey, we didn't give you an "Against All Odds" award for that, did we?

          No joke, another team was up for that in part because one kid said their laptop broke - he was too ashamed to say he forgot it at the hotel that day. Think how they would have felt if they had gotten the award.

          GP rule #1 - Don't lie to the judges!


          1. Message by: tanrobotics 12/08/2006 17:15:43 GMT
            Nope, we just walked away with one of the GP awards, which was very nice in itself ;)

            Wow, that was interesting that he was too scared to fess up to it.

            Paul Tan.


        4. Message by: Mini-Monsters 12/14/2006 17:53:29 GMT
          And then there was Mission:Mars. The team was asked "Do you think there's life on Mars?" One of my gals answered "Of course! Everyone knows about the little green men on Mars. Don't you watch TV?"

          Marie


          1. Message by: bluecheesyflamingos 12/14/2006 18:13:22 GMT
            LOL!!! I can only hope if my kids say something silly again its as good as that one *wink* Carla :)

            Coach
            Blue Cheesy Flamingos
            MI Team


            1. Message by: LegoLabRats868 12/14/2006 19:57:26 GMT
              Best one we ever had was Mission Mars too. It was the first year & we didn't have any adults mentors or anything. During the research judging one of the judges asked "Did you have any experts you talked to?". On the tape most of the kids say "no", but one team member (I guess in a bad attempt to make things better) pipes up "yes we did, we had a scientist!" (on the tape at that point the whole team kind of takes a step away from her). The judges asks "Who was your scientist and how did you communicate?" My team member proudly says "It's my Uncle! I called my Aunt and told her what the questions were & she asked my Uncle and then called me back." At this point the judge is looking as confused as the other kids on the team were. "oh," he says. "What kind of scientist is he?" "He's a rocket scientist!" She says "That's what my Aunt always tells my Mom."

              Mind you we didn't have any adults in the room during the judging, and none of the kids said anything to me afterwards. That jaw dropping incident was quite a surprise when I looked at the tapes later! Luckily that particular team member transfered schools, but that incident has been the spring board for a number of discussions over the years of always telling the truth to the judges, and the ethics of lying to try and win. Part of the discussion always centers around how the other kids knew she was lying, but did not do anything to correct the lie.


    14. Message by: NANOBEARS724 12/07/2006 21:20:18 GMT
      Ok, here's my first attempt at attachments. There are 5 documents, some with multiple pages. Yes, I should put them into one file. Someday*

      This season was the first time I did summer training sessions. Last year, I chose based on the applications only (blind reading so as not to know names), and the team was not as good in practice as they were in print. So this season, the application got you to the table, and then your performance got you to the team.

      At the end of the summer sessions, I made up a new mission, and each student had 1 hour to write a program and build any attachments for their robot (the one they had been using all summer). The mission: move one brown crate from the base to the large square at the end of the table where the pump station was (I removed it and the duolock from the mat). The crate inside the large square was 30 points, or if you could get any part of it inside the small square, that was 35 points (required turning). If the crate was entirely in the small square, that was 40 points. The top 8 scores made the team, with time required as the tie breaker. If Johnny writes a program and builds an attachment and delivers a crate in 23 minutes, that beats Jimmy doing the same thing in 45 minutes. However 40 points beats 30 points, even if it took longer. So the team was chosen by what they learned over the summer, and how well they could perform under pressure. The students competed in shifts, and the mission was kept secret from those who had not performed yet, so it was fair for everyone.

      In case you are wondering, the summer sessions were chosen as days when the air conditioning would be turned on in the building because the office staff would be working.

      Linda
      Nanobears

      PS: Looks like I can only attach one document at a time. I will add more posts until all 5 are posted.


      1. Message by: NANOBEARS724 12/07/2006 21:20:59 GMT
        Here's Form 1.


      2. Message by: NANOBEARS724 12/07/2006 21:21:40 GMT
        Here's Form 2.


      3. Message by: NANOBEARS724 12/07/2006 21:22:21 GMT
        Here's Form 3.


      4. Message by: NANOBEARS724 12/07/2006 21:22:52 GMT
        Here's Form 4.


      5. Message by: tanrobotics 12/07/2006 22:22:27 GMT
        Thanks!!!

        I'm sure we will be able to put your forms to good use when we start our next year's training in Januaray.

        Paul Tan.


        1. Message by: bluecheesyflamingos 12/07/2006 22:30:03 GMT
          Wonderful forms!! Too bad I'm the softy who never turns anyone away or I would be using them. ;) Carla

          Coach
          Blue Cheesy Flamingos
          MI Team


          1. Message by: NANOBEARS724 12/07/2006 22:55:49 GMT
            Yes, well, I was only going to take 8 students (4 robots, 2 students each), but since only 10 came to the "playoffs" and I could legally take 10, I took all 10. Regretted it during the last month. Will add to criteria: must maintain a good conduct record during the fall semester to remain on team. Won trophies in spite of, not because of, 2 students.

            Linda
            Nanobears


    15. Message by: WisdomQuest39 12/11/2006 04:29:40 GMT
      Regarding "weeding out some kids." Our weeding process does not involve technical, oral, reading, or writing skills, just a firm commitment to the team and to FL. I think that given limited space on a team (10 kids), the criteria for weeding out some kids is important. You can't take all of them. Just like the real world. Each team can decide these criteria.

      And, just like the real world, sometimes the most important qualities are not technical, but personal. Think of work place situations: often times a co-worker who gets along poorly with his/her co-workers eclipses any technical work he/she could do.

      As Nanobears724 said, kids who disrupt the other kids consistently need to be weeded out or taken off the team--that was part of our contract.

      We also had a kid or two who were unable to concentrate very long (most of the kids were 10 on my team). they got along fine with the team, and was not too distracting at any time. Several of our kids had learning disabilities, reading below their grade level and not writing well at all. We coaches helped them out by reading aloud and taking dictation. This took a lot of time, but ultimately, the kids learned a lot. We'd do it again with the same team (and hope to next year).

      Our "weeding" process took place over the summer. We had a ego club over the summer in which we taught the kids basic technic builing techniques (lots of stuff from Ferrari, Ferrari and Hemple). They learned a little, and some kids dropped out. Self selection.
      Anyway, we had a great year, and the fact that our kids did not make it to the NH state finals only makes them more excited to try harder next time.

      They are actually asking me if we can have another meeting before Christmas! I'm excited, too.
      Jon of NH


      1. Message by: bluecheesyflamingos 12/11/2006 23:58:37 GMT
        When I was completing my bachelors I took a class called gender issues in education (Yea another one of those General Education classes I thought would be useless but I am using now).

        I think one of the most amazing studies we saw was the 'squeaky wheel gets the grease'. It had hidden camera footage of teachers in class rooms, who every time you had one unruly student they got all the teachers attention. This is very true of any situation with a group of students. This caused some of the more gifted students to be left behind so to say. Instead of being able to excel at their own pace they were held back by the unruly student.

        When I look at my group of kids now, I have the good kids who are there to learn. We emphasize this from day one about the time commitment and that the team is about learning not goofing around. But my first year was a total nightmare and I wish I could have screen out 2 of the students who spent their time throwing legos and being in general 'mean' to the rest of the team.

        So while since then I have never said no to a new team member, if I see this kind of student again I would ask them to not join. I would rather have 9 kids be able to learn and excel than hold them back for the sake of 1 who could care less. Just my 2 cents, Carla :)

        Coach
        Blue Cheesy Flamingos
        MI Team


        1. Message by: Under Pressure 3108 12/12/2006 04:29:02 GMT
          Carla

          How did you "ask" those 2 kids to not come back. I have one that didn't seem to care about any of the work but he showed up to every meeting and all the other kids love him. They had fun together as a team but in terms of contribution, he was more of a wandering, disruptive influence. Nice kid too, he wasn't rude to me but I spent alot of time asking him what he was working on and assigning him tasks.

          -Michelina
          Coach Under Pressure


          1. Message by: bluecheesyflamingos 12/12/2006 17:35:28 GMT
            All I had to do was make sure we have the parent/student/coaches contract at the parents meeting the next spring. And I stressed at the meeting about time commitment and that only those students who worked hard and committed the time would get to run the robot.

            Also for one family having females students on the team in leadership roles was a problem, but which I stressed would happen again during the season. So with all those things combine I never saw them again. I think I just got very lucky.

            As for the student who is a wanderer, a parent over seeing them worked well for us. I have one on my team that is just wonderful but if I turn my back for 5 seconds he is doing something else. In the end I met with his parents and they agreed that one of them would be with him at all meetings to keep him on tasks and not distract the other kids. It worked great. He turned out to be a pivotal part of our research and at our teamwork interview this year. Which I would have thought of it last year with him *wink* Carla :)

            Coach
            Blue Cheesy Flamingos
            MI Team


    16. Message by: GMT


Discussion: New Hampshire State results By: fll-freak 12/07/2006 16:48:22 GMT
NASHUA * The Inventioneers, Team 1693 from Pelham, earned the Director's Award at the fifth annual New Hampshire 2006 FIRST LEGO* League Tournament held Saturday at Nashua High School North.

FIRST LEGO League * For Innovation and Recognition of Science and Technology * seeks to encourage an interest in science, math and technology among students, ages 9-14, in a compressed, rapid-paced program.

The Inventioneers were among 50 New Hampshire elementary and middle school teams who researched, designed, and demonstrated a robotic solution to this years* challenge, Nano Quest. In addition, Quest asked students to research and propose uses of nanotechnology in applications such as medicine, computers and the environment.

The Pelham team looked at nano technology uses in water filtration and proposed a device to wipe the debris from collection traps. Team members edited a children*s book that told the story of the solution, explained team member Sarah Heimlich.

Team members agreed that the space elevator mission presented the greatest challenge among the nine missions. *The original strategy showed the robot didn*t have enough power to lift the elevation straight up. The solution was to find a better approach that allowed the lever to release itself,* she said.

The Inventioneers win makes the team eligible to participate in international competition next April in Atlanta.

Runner up for the Director*s Award was Team 1405, the Nano Monkeys from Elm Street Middle School, Nashua.

Technical Performance Awards (highest overall score based on the robot's performance in the timed rounds) went to:

First Place: Team 195, The Flying Geeks from Nashua Christian Academy. During the competition rounds, The Flying Geeks were the only team to earn a perfect score in one run of the robot.

Second Place: Team 2624, the Nano Hogs from Safford School in Hollis.

Third Place: Team 5, Mindstorms Mayhem, a home school team from the Milford area.

Fourth Place: Team 1727, Chicnology from Merrimack Middle School and Thornton*s Ferry Elementary School, Merrimack.

Technical Robot Design Awards (best incorporation of team design and programming) went to:

First Place: Team 195, The Flying Geeks.

Second Place: Team 619, Mach 6 from Manchester Church of Christ.

Third Place: Team 2624, the Nano Hogs.

Team Project Presentation Awards (best proposal concept, documentation and oral presentation) went to:

First Place: Team 2517, the Handy Green Machines from Chester Academy.

Second Place: Team 1773, Artificial Intelligence from South Meadow School in Peterborough.

Third Place: Team 5095, Girls Precision Robotics Team (GPRT) from Manchester.

Teamwork Awards (team whose members best demonstrate enthusiasm and spirit, partnering among themselves and among the teams, and problem solving skills) went to:

First Place: Team 5, Mindstorms Mayhem

Second Place: Team 1560, The Computer Chips from Londonderry.

Third Place: Team 1840, Nanohawks from Hillside Middle School, Manchester.

Special Judges* Awards (recognize particularly innovative strategies and performance) went to:

The Judges* Rookie Team Award went to Team 1817, The New Boston Robo-Soxs from Bedford.

The Judges* High 5 Award for ultimate grace under pressure went to Team 1478, the Memorial Mini-Mindstormers from Hudson Memorial School.

The Judges* Perfect Process Award for planning and execution went to Team 1596, the iBot Nanos from Amherst Middle School.

The Judges* Against All Odds Award that recognizes the team that persevered despite several setbacks was given to Team 574, the Hampstead Hackers from Hampstead Academy in Atkinson.

The Outstanding Coach Award went to Jen Gaffney, an 8th grade math teacher from Elm Street Middle School. Young Adult Mentor Awards were given to Kristine Zeeb and Celia Nissen. Outstanding Volunteer Award went to Randy Bohannan, the Flying Geeks coach and rookie team mentor.

  1. Message by: fll-freak 12/05/2006 00:52:03 GMT
    Cont.

    New Hampshire tournament hosts included high school FIRST teams from Hollis Brookline, Bishop Guertin, Nashua, Manchester Central, Merrimack, the University of New Hampshire, and Nashua High School North. BAE Systems sponsored the event.

    For more information on the NH tournament, visit http://www.eis.na.baesystems.com/lego/index.htm.


    1. Message by: tinytech2483 12/07/2006 16:48:22 GMT
      CONGRATS TO ALL! I am going to Atlanta as a spectator and was hoping to see the Flying Geeks robot. That's pretty amazing.

      We placed 13th out of 47 but as a rookie coach with a rookie team, I really can't complain about that. My team is already excited about next year's challenge.

      -Tiny Tech


Discussion: NXT Light Sensor - Sensitivity By: bluecheesyflamingos 12/08/2006 18:10:03 GMT
My team wants to use the light sensor to read which bars are which color on the end of the mat (eg, red, blue, yellow). How sensitive is the light sensor? Thanks, Carla :)

Coach
Blue Cheesy Flamingos
MI Team

  1. Message by: SMART 12/08/2006 18:10:03 GMT
    Because the sensor shines a red light you won't have much luck reading Red (or yellow for that matter). Blue should work fine.

    - Peter


Discussion: What a tournament! By: MI FLL Volunteer Moderator 12/12/2006 21:20:19 GMT
I just got back from the MI State Tournament for the SE area of the state (N and W have their State Tournament next weekend).

There was something that never happened before. Two teams got a perfect score of 400 - Dark Matter and Mini Meez. Well, that has happened before, more than one team getting a perfect score.

Our rules say the tiebreaker is the next highest round. Guess what - 398 each. So the third round - 360 each. (The Mini Meez' 360 happened at my table, the first round of the day, and they only missed a perfect there because one of the red atoms fell off the table. We knew it was going to be a great day!)

So they had to use the 4th round. A couple years ago MI changed the rules at State, so that all 4 rounds counted - the first time to the table wasn't a practice round. They figured by the time you got to State you didn't need more practice. And if a team's highest score happened in practice, it wouldn't have counted for them.

Mini Meez 300, Dark Matter 290. 10 points difference over 4 rounds!

So Mini Meez got the trophy for high table performance. A few minutes later Dark Matter won the Champion Trophy, and will be invited to Atlanta.

Great job by both teams, and by all the teams that were there today.

I've said it before, but I really enjoy the priviledge of working at FLL tournaments. I also help at FRC and will work at FVC this spring. But there's something special about FLL.

- Gary

  1. Message by: FlyingGeeks195 12/10/2006 20:54:16 GMT
    That must have been amazing! Congratulations to both the Mini Meez and Dark Matter!


    1. Message by: DarkMatter747 12/11/2006 11:43:55 GMT
      Thank you for the Congratulations, and Congratulations to the Mini Meez! Those Mini Meez really gave us a run - we were at the same local, too, and they beat us there. I think there were at least two other 398 scores by other teams, too. The scores should be at MichiganFLL.org in a few days.

      Yes, it was quite a tournament - we're still recovering from both the tournament and the party afterwards. :)

      I've posted photos - quite a few of the pit area. They're at http://www.darkmatterfll.org/gallery/2006-Novi-Oakland-County-Nano-Quest-Championship-Tournament

      I'm working on videos as well.

      -Dave


    2. Message by: DarkMatter747 12/11/2006 15:09:04 GMT
      Another amazing happening about the tournament:

      The third place Champion Award winners were the Masterminds, Team 773. Dark Matter and the Masterminds are both from Muir Middle School in Milford, but we're completely independent teams that work at different locations with different coaches.

      I believe the FLL pilot was held in 1998 in our school district, Huron Valley Schools. I could be mistaken about this next point because I don't go back that far, but I think our two teams are the first teams ever to win the Champions/Director Award in our district.


      1. Message by: MI FLL Volunteer Moderator 12/11/2006 18:59:58 GMT
        You are correct, Dave, this is the first time anyone from Huron Valley won the Champion (FKA Directors) Award, at least as far back as 2000 Volcanic Panic. The state website doesn't list who won in First Contact, nor in the pilot that was run in 1998.

        My daughter missed something that had been at at least one earlier State tournament. They had all the setups from all the historical games. It was a fun stroll down memory lane.


        1. Message by: bluecheesyflamingos 12/11/2006 19:06:22 GMT
          I already told Dave and Pat congrats but I will do it again ;) I am so excited for you I was jumping up and down at my desk at work.

          Did they show the teaser for next years theme at Novi? So sorry I missed seeing you all, Carla :)

          Coach
          Blue Cheesy Flamingos
          MI Team


          1. Message by: MI FLL Volunteer Moderator 12/11/2006 19:09:45 GMT
            No teaser shown, but Dave Verbrugge read a script about it. (As Dark Matter stewed waiting to find out who won!)

            By the way, Paul Copiolli posted the scores on ChiefDelphi at http://www.chiefdelphi.com/forums/showthread.php?t=50358

            - Gary


            1. Message by: DarkMatter747 12/12/2006 05:12:01 GMT
              Here's the teaser from the printed program:

              2007 Teaser - Alternative Energy Season
              How do our personal energy choices to do things like heat our homes, fuel our cars, charge our cell phones, power our computers, or even download music to our IPODS impact the environment, economy, and life around the globe? Which resources should we use and why? Explore how energy creation and consumption choices affect the planet and our quality of life today, tomorrow, and for generations to comes. Can FIRST LEGO League teams find the ultimate solution to this global Power Puzzle?


    3. Message by: DarkMatter747 12/12/2006 05:19:22 GMT
      Dark Matter robot videos are at http://darkmatterfll.org/2006FLL.html


      1. Message by: MI FLL Volunteer Moderator 12/12/2006 19:12:34 GMT
        Carla, you can't look until Sunday! :-)

        - Gary


        1. Message by: bluecheesyflamingos 12/12/2006 21:20:19 GMT
          LOL *sticking tounge out* Already did ;) Carla

          Coach
          Blue Cheesy Flamingos
          MI Team


Discussion: Watch OUT -- Table construction at tournaments By: tanrobotics 02/27/2007 18:23:09 GMT
Skye, and everyone:

I think we need to bring up a point to Scott and other people about the table construction methodology.

I just came back from the Ontario Provincial Tournament, and had some interesting observations: Our robot normally scores around 340-400 on our practice runs. When we went to the provincial/state tournament today, the highest score we could get was just under 200 points. Needless to say, we were eliminated from the quarter finals and walked away without any team prizes.

Basically our main program that does 4 missions together (fabric, motor, self-assembly, atoms), kept pulling to the left right after we launched it. We tried all different fixes - changing to the backup robot, etc. The frustrating thing about it was that we were unable to reproduce the left bias on ANY of the practice boards at the tournament, AND we tried all 6 of them! However, on the actual tournament boards, (and we were on 3 different boards for the 3 runs), the left pull always took place.

Also, the stranger thing happened: a couple of the strong teams using NXT's got eliminated during the quarter finals by teams using RCX's. Now, these were the number 1 and number 2 ranked teams with 385, 370 scores in the first 3 rounds.

I finally figured out what was going on. There were 4 sets of tournament boards (a set having 2 boards). 2 sets of the tournament boards (which WE had the bad luck to be always on), were built using 1/4" plywood and braces as per http://www.firstlegoleague.org/default.aspx?pid=23690. The other 2 boards were built using 5/8" plywood. All the practice boards were built out of 5/8" plywood.

Guess what, the 1/4" plywood bends due to the weight of the NXT robots. This causes the robot to turn unpredictably. Because our team was stuck always on the 1/4" boards, we were never able to score above 200. Also, because the other 2 strong NXT teams were on the 5/8" boards for the first 3 rounds, they were able to score their usual score (we had met some of them before during the regionals). However, when they got to the quarter finals AND they had to play on the 1/4" boards, their NXT's went crazy as well!!!

ARRGGGGGGHHHHHH.... Figures that it would take me until much after the tournament to figure out what was going on!!!

I think we need to change the official construction methodology of the boards. Or, AT THE VERY LEAST, MAKE SURE ALL THE BOARDS INCLUDING THE PRACTICE BOARDS AT TOURNAMENTS ARE BUILT THE SAME!! We would have figured out what was going on sooner if one of the practice boards were built out of 1/4" plywood!! Also, if there was a practice board with that construction, we could have rewritten and rebuilt our robot to compensate for this!!!

Paul Tan.

  1. Message by: SMART 12/10/2006 17:43:23 GMT
    Wow, that's a tough one. I don't think I've ever heard of a problem exactly like that before. We've certainly had board issues though (not so much this year). One tournament we had curved walls, another tournament the boards weren't level (so everyone's robots veered!), etc.

    I wonder if there is some other way to make these than using wood? Maybe some sort of plastic table that could be sold to tournaments and teams? Not sure how realistic that would be.

    I'm sorry it went against your team Paul - I know you have a great team.

    - Peter


    1. Message by: zap85 12/11/2006 00:25:52 GMT
      Paul, why do you suppose this affected the NXT robots more than the RCX bots? By the end of the day, I certainly had noticed the different table construction, but I assumed it would have affected all the robots equally.

      Doreen


      1. Message by: tanrobotics 12/11/2006 00:33:42 GMT
        The NXT motors are heavier than the RCX motors. Also, since the NXT motors and CPU are much bigger than the RCX, they generally have move connecting parts, which in turn increase the weight as well.

        Going over the video tapes, we definitely could see our robot veer left whenever it ran over the bump caused by the 4 bracing wood beams underneath the 1/4" plywood. I suppose some other designs that have more wheels to allow for more weight distribution might not be affected as much. However, as most of the NXT robots used a two large wheel differential drive design, move of the weight seems to be concentrated on those two spots, which is probably enough to warp the wood.

        Paul Tan.

        Paul Tan.


    2. Message by: tanrobotics 12/11/2006 00:38:40 GMT
      Thanks Peter.

      It's just that this sort of board problem biases against heavier robots (unlike your curved walls problem! At least all the robots were equally handicapped!)

      Good luck with your team, I'm sure you would do well again this year!

      Paul Tan.


    3. Message by: dhystad 12/11/2006 04:45:48 GMT
      My RCX robot with alkeline batteries is heavier than my team's NXT robot with the rechargable lithium battery. I don't think that weight was your problem.

      I saw many teams at several tournaments that had similar problems. Maybe the table was warped, or there was a bump in the middle, or the mat didn't line up exactly right. These tables killed NXT robots but didn't effect RCX robots. The problem was that the NXT robots depended on accurate odometry, and odometry stinks for navigation. The RCX robots probably didn't depend on odometry and used navigational landmarks and line following.

      Haven't we said for years (in FLL) that odometry is a lousy way to navigate? Just because we can now do better odometry doesn't mean that the method is now a better choice. It's still lousy. I tiny change in the environment, like table sag, is all it takes to throw an all odometry solution out the window. Next year the problem may be bubbles in the mat, or maybe a non-uniform surface finish. There will always be some problem.

      I'm quite relieved to see so many NXT teams having problems this year. I was afraid that FLL may become the point and shoot league. But now I see that my fears are unfounded. Odometry is still lousy. Lazy teams that depend on single solutions will fare poorly. Creative teams that come up with good solutions will win the tropies.


      1. Message by: SMART 12/11/2006 15:38:01 GMT
        dhystad,

        I would point out that Mr. Tan's team does not rely on all odometry. They were also the team posting questions about their code to align their robot to the lines with two light sensors. They also posted about going to other team's tables before the competition to test their robot on different boards.

        At some point defects in the construction of the board will affect all teams regardless of their approach. Although I agree that odometry is a poor solution and should be minimized by teams that want to be competetive, if you have significant defects in the board - that could equally affect teams using line following (robot skips to other side of line due to defect under mat), Wall following (gouges in the side walls or warping of wood), etc.

        Lastly, when you have a situation where there are dramatic defects on only some of the mission boards, then fairness comes into play. As Mr. Tan mentioned, the winning teams did not have to compete on the problem boards. So now we don't know whether those teams had superior solutions to the problems or just got lucky. Although there is an element of luck to the board, fairness should dictate that tournament organizers do their best to ensure the luck doesn't come from faulty tournament equipment whenever possible.

        This is not a rant against tournament organizers - I know how hard it is to run a tournament. Any experienced FLL team knows to expect issues on the mission boards at competition and to try their best to be prepared for all eventualities. I'm sure at Mr. Tan's tournament they were doing their best and probably had no idea about this problem.

        To use an anaology - if I play a tennis match where my side is full of potholes that make the ball bounce in all different directions, and my opponent has a nice smooth side (and we never switch sides), I don't think the score is very meaningful.

        - Peter


    4. Message by: botzealots1105 12/11/2006 09:02:25 GMT
      Paul, I understand your frustration. I have built 16 tables for Minnesota tournaments with 1/4" bottoms. They are flat and straight. The key is that they have 9 braces across the bottoms the short way and 2 running the long way. The edges are trapped in a groove in the sides. I heard no complaints from anyone about the tables. It is not the 1/4 " material that causes the problem but (like many robots) poor bracing. I too think it is important that all the competition tables at a tournament be made the same so that everyone deals with the same issues. That is why I made the tables. Teams need to be able to think on their feet and adjust to anomalies on the fly -- not an easy thing to do. I shove books under our practice table legs when the kids aren't looking or move or modify a fixed piece on the challenge table to help the kids learn to deal with gremlins. While these problems can be frustrating it is important for everyone involved to remember that those setting up the tournaments are giving their best effort. Volunteering to help is the best way to get things changed.
      Mike Siemsen


      1. Message by: bluecheesyflamingos 12/12/2006 18:04:54 GMT
        Its great for veteran teams to have this kind of challenge ( I love throwing curve balls at my kids) but for a rookie team it might be the end. Too much frustration right away just makes kids want to quit.

        If you were a rookie team only scoring 100 points to start (and usually very proud of that fact) and all of a sudden for no reason you could see your robot was only scoring 1/2 of that? From a child's perspective it would not make me want to come back for a second season. It would make me think that no matter what we did it wasn't going to work and why should I bother. Just a thought, Carla :)

        Coach
        Blue Cheesy Flamingos
        MI Team


    5. Message by: MA_Head_Ref 12/11/2006 15:24:09 GMT
      Great, if sad, story. At the Eastern MA tournament on Dec 9, there was a table with a bad truck lift mission. It was very subtle, but the bottom line was that the dual-lock was under the platform where it is supposed to rest on the mat, and that raised it just a bit higher than our "home field". Since our robot had worked just fine at home, this was something we had never faced. To make matters worse, it just happened that we got put on this same table 4 times in a row, with the truck mission failing every time.

      A valuable lesson, but it is always hard to know how to prepare for these things. It seems like there is something like this every year.

      I feel for the Refs in the situation, because I have been there (I wasn't a ref at this tournament). And I have real sympathy for uncorrectable problems like tables with hills.

      Quarter-inch ply is too light for this job. I recommend backing it with foam insulation panels, the kind with mylar on both sides. They are extremely light and flat. But that doesn't help you at a tournament.

      Jack Gregory


    6. Message by: CGMSC2605 12/11/2006 18:29:26 GMT
      Isn't the current table design different than it was in years past? When I built our tables six (!) years ago the instructions did not use 1/4" Luan. I'm sure the old instructions specified either 1/2" or 3/4" plywood.

      Perhaps it is time to re-specify the competition table. The main deck should probably go back to being at least 1/2" plywood. In addition, it is silly to specify the stringers as being 1x4's. 1x4's are an uncommon dimensional lumber size, why not just use the much more common, stronger, and probably cheaper, 2x4's?

      Granted a 1/2" (or 3/4") deck with 2x4 stringers will be significantly heavier than the current spec but for something this big (and this critical) the additional weight is probably required.

      Furthermore, the table setup specifies 2x3's for the light standards. Again, an unusual lumber dimension which might as well be the more common 2x4's.

      BTW, Though "Luan" is a plywood not all plywood is Luan. Luan generally has one side that is very smooth; no voids, divots, splices, puttied in wholes, seams etc.


    7. Message by: botzealots1105 12/11/2006 20:47:38 GMT
      Like all engineering problems there are the cost-weight-ease of manufacuring issues. All 1\2" plywood is not created equal there different grades from A\C to CDX, different core materials and material grades of veneer. Then there is the problem with the dimensional (2x4) lumber, it is never dry enough at the time of purchase so it continues to lose moisture and warp until it is dry. If the tables are used for more than 1 season there is a storage issue, are they stored flat? I have designed a few different tables to try work arounds for the different issues. An excellent table is expensive to produce requiring more skill than the average team can generally muster, a good table can however be made cheaply and easily enough. Here in Minnesota we have 3 regional tournaments going on at one time (over 260 teams this year)on multiple weekends, that is a lot of tables and some of them are better than others. 4 tournament tables, 2 judging tables, 4 practice tables, makes 10 tables per tournament times 3. There are going to be variations in 30 tables even from the same builder. Have your team and coach learn to go over the tables and look for discrepancies, try to get them fixed by the officials or figure out a work around. It is a bit like the weather, you can't control it so you have to plan for it. Just remember that the people setting up the tournament have the kids best interest at heart. It still hurts when "The best laid plans of Mice and Men often go awry" but it is a good life lesson to learn.


    8. Message by: bluecheesyflamingos 12/12/2006 18:01:06 GMT
      What a great idea!! Something light weight that would fold in half. I would love to have a portable table that didn't take 4 people to carry and that didn't warp when it got wet. ;)

      I believe last year when I built our table it cost me over $50 for supplies. I would happily shell at LEAST that much for a standardized plastic version of the table. You should but this is the feedback folder. Carla :)

      Coach
      Blue Cheesy Flamingos
      MI Team


      1. Message by: SMART 12/12/2006 18:35:30 GMT
        I will provide it as feedback to FIRST. Not sure how feasible it would be. But even if not "perfect" anything mass produced would at least be more consistent that what we have now.

        Also agree about fold in half. I would happily live with a seam in the middle if I knew that it would always be there and the team could plan for it. Anything that doesn't fold is hellish to transport unless you have a truck. And a fold in half would be a lot easier for tournament organizers to store from year to year in my opinion. Something plastic you could probably get volunteers to stick in their basement or garage till next year if all else fails!

        All that said, I suspect the economics of it will be an issue. If it is an extra expense to teams to buy a standardized table, it will benefit teams that have money to spend over teams that don't, unless it is very low cost.

        Regards,

        Peter


    9. Message by: nano2569 02/27/2007 18:23:09 GMT
      Hi Paul:

      Wow. I never even thought to check the tables. All our tournament runs were on the same table and we never scored over 200. On the tournament practice table the team was scoring over 300.

      Fortunately, our team took first place for teamwork. Among other things, they handled their frustrations well as a team.

      Next year, I'll be checking the tables!

      Thanks for the tip.


Discussion: Consistant Runs, Mats at home & at tournament By: LegoLabRats868 12/24/2006 14:52:30 GMT
Ok, for the second year in a row we have done very well at the mini tournament run by the local university, and then gone to the regional and not done nearly as well, even though we have made minimal changes to robot or programs. After searching through the forum and reading quite a bit, and then talking to the team for their impressions, we think it comes down to this: mats.

The mats at the mini tournament the past two years have been ours. Since I have a school group and then a home group, I have two sets of mats, so it's easy to just volunteer to bring both sets. When we think back about it the good runs have been on our mats. Reading the forums I see comments about how there can be problems at the big tournaments because a lot of times they are using new mats, which can be slicker than my more worn ones.

Does anyone have any suggestions on what to do about this? We dust off the mat periodically, but we haven't cleaned it - what would you use to clean it anyway? It doesn't appear to be dirty. Most of our problems, in hindsight, have been with turns & the slick mat explanation covers that. Despite the lower than anticipated table scores at the regional, the kids will be going to state & we'd like to solve this problem. Short of purchasing a new mat, does anyone have any solutions programming (Robolab), cleaning, building (we have the thin tall rubber tires)?

  1. Message by: FlyingGeeks195 12/10/2006 20:58:19 GMT
    The Flying Geeks are done for the year. If you want to send me some of your code via personal email, I'd be glad to give you some suggestions.

    Randy Bohannan


    1. Message by: dhystad 12/11/2006 04:23:21 GMT
      I test the robot on various surfaces. If it makes accurate 360 degree turns on the mat and a slipery waxed wood floor and a laminate countertop then I feel comfortable that it will perform well anywhere.

      If my robot doesn't do well on all these surfaces then I try to determine why. Is it weight distribution? Is it wheel slippage? Do the axels sag?


    2. Message by: team4870 12/11/2006 05:48:57 GMT
      There are many many causes for the Robot not to be consistent with each run. Some of them are:
      * Wheel slippage, due lack of friction on the mat
      * Wheel slippage, due to power of the battery. The more charge, the higher the slippage.
      * How level the table is (i.e., sags and warp)
      * How heavy the robot is or in other words, how the weight is distributed on the wheels.
      * Dust building up on the wheels and mats.
      * The NXT computer being being faulty. I have seen it do some really unexpected strange things (i.e., take a hard turn in the middle of a long move)
      * The robot chassis is loose
      * Bending of the plastic axis between the wheel and motor (NXT)
      * Initial placement of the robot.

      As you can see with the above list, there is somethings you can control and others you can't. In fact, there is a lot of errors you can't control.

      The key to success is how can you minimize these errors. If your robot does a lot of turns to get to its destinations, work with the kids to minimize them. If you run the robot at 100% power all the time, it will slip less when the batteries run down, so run the mission at a lower power percentage.

      Remember the key here is to have the kids discover this issues and to learn how to make the robot more "error" tolerate.

      If possible, learn and talk to other teams to discover how they over came these issues. View video tapes of successful l past teams, and discovered what they did to over come them. The fun is in the learning.

      Good luck at your next competition and have fun.

      Stephen Rozum


    3. Message by: botzealots1105 12/11/2006 09:16:44 GMT
      We wipe off our mat and wheels with a damp cloth.
      Factors that have affected the robot in various settings include lighting (light sensors), temperature and humidity (affects traction) or Variations in field set-up. Travel itself affects the robots especially if you leave them in a hot or cold vehicle. The team is usually more excited and nervous at a tournament and they make mistakes.
      Mike


    4. Message by: Nanomighty2358 12/11/2006 14:39:50 GMT
      Teams I have coached have had similar experiences. We scored one 400 in our local mini-tournament this year, but got no better than the 320's at the championship we attended, mainly due to mat and table differences.

      In our first year (the No Limits season) our robot turned only by sitting down onto a worm-gear driven turntable--no scrubbing in the turns, in other words. This was a slow way to turn, so our programs used very little turning--we turned only twice, all in the same and final trip out of base. There was no problem with our turntable-based turns at tournament.

      Last year with the Ocean Odyssey missions, we had a more traditional robot with a motor on each of two wheels, plus a skid, for differential steering. At tournament, on our first practice table run, every single turn was to large (turned too much). We attribute this to less friction on the skid, and more on the rubber wheels, when the robot interacts with a clean and new mat. Also, we had not kept our own mat free of fine dust, and we found later that even very fine dust would decrease the angles of our turns.

      This year we kept our table clean and free of fine dust. We again had a more traditional differential-steered robot, with the NXT, however. We attended a different competition than last year, and at our first practice table run all of the turns were too small. We looked at the wheels of the robot after the run, and they were covered with fine dust and grit picked up from the practice table. The competition tables were similarly dirty. We never did get all of our turns re-programmed, and the amount of dirt and debris varied from table to table anyway. We cleaned our robot wheels every time, but the teams were not allowed to touch the competition tables.

      Our conclusion: differential-steered dead reckoning turns are inherently variable, depending on the characteristics of the mat surface. Our proposed solutions: (1) using a robot with no turns or with non-traditional ways of turning or measuring turns (like our first year turntable robot) that will not be much affected by dust and dirt and varying surface conditions, or (2) including a turn calibration factor in our program by which all turns can be adjusted proportionately and at the same time, to ease re-programming at tournament. Of course it is almost always important to re-set your navigation position and direction using features of the mat, mission modules, or walls as often as possible in navigating a given mission.

      It seems that NXT teams may have even more problems than RCX teams, because in our experience, at least, the NXT turns, on a given surface, can be extremely repeatable. This may persuade NXT teams to rely more than they should, given varying tournament conditions, on the repeatability of dead-reckoning turns.

      At the major tournament we attended this year (the one with dirty tables), the two top-scoring teams were RCX teams, and the top scoring team of all, if I am not mistaken, had no turns at all in their programs.

      Greg


    5. Message by: Aquamunchkins 12/17/2006 11:45:30 GMT
      I am intrigued. How can you get to all the places on the mat with no turns?


      1. Message by: fll-freak 12/17/2006 16:16:26 GMT
        I am aware of such a team. They have a robot that simply moves forward and backwards. This allows from some very repeatable odometry. On top of the robot is a robot arm that has a ten inch travel. That arm manipultes the objects. Tey found that they could get all the missions solved with such a setup.

        -Skye


      2. Message by: CV CA Volunteer Moderator 12/18/2006 05:02:08 GMT
        One of our best robots only turned at the corners - it used wall following, and there was only one mission in the middle of the table that we couldn't get to (and we ran out of time, so we didn't try that mission).

        Yolande


      3. Message by: Nanomighty2358 12/24/2006 14:52:30 GMT
        I believe they had a long arm to deliver the ATP molecule(s). Pretty much every other mission can be reached, or at least approached very closely, in a straight line from base.


Discussion: Perfect scores at World Festival By: Built_on_the_Rock_1221 12/12/2006 20:58:37 GMT
Can someone tell me how the robot performance winner is determined at the World Festival? Do they take the high score as they do at the State level? What if multiple teams get perfect 400?

Thanks in advance,

Vickey

  1. Message by: MI FLL Volunteer Moderator 12/12/2006 19:09:27 GMT
    We never worried about it that much - we were just there to have fun. (Although that time the one research judge forgot to score one category, and the girls were sure that's why they ... Oh, never mind.)

    I believe if teams are tied with their highest round scores, the second highest round is used, then third highest.

    A year or two ago it wasn't a problem - one team had perfect 400 scores every time they came up to the table. They won.

    - Gary


    1. Message by: SMART 12/12/2006 20:58:37 GMT
      That was Mission Mars - wish I had been there to see it.

      I believe a team last year scored two 400s, and the year before a team scored a 405.

      - Peter


Discussion: Past years mats and modules. By: jrdevildawgs535 01/14/2007 17:21:03 GMT
Does anyone know where some of the past year's challenge mats and modules can be purchased new or used. I am trying to put together a few training camps and classes for after the tournament season to keep the kids interested and thought it would be good to work on more than just this years challenge?

  1. Message by: SMART 12/14/2006 16:49:36 GMT
    You can check on eBay - they are occasionally listed. Or check with your state partner to see if they have any they'd be willing to part with.

    It can be difficult - they are pretty much a one time deal.

    - Peter


    1. Message by: westmiddleschool277 12/17/2006 08:09:03 GMT
      I found an old Mission Mars FLL mat on E-bay 1 year ago. Every once in a while they show up on E-bay. Very rarely, though.


    2. Message by: Otters 01/14/2007 06:05:32 GMT
      How many do you need? I may be able to assemble one or some for you. When do you need it/them?


      1. Message by: jrdevildawgs535 01/14/2007 17:21:03 GMT
        We are looking for whatever we can get. Our program is new this year and we want to continue now that the season is over. we thought that practicing with some of the past years challenges would be good for the new teams. Even if we could get one of the previous years set ups we would be happy. my email is jroute13@msn.com


Discussion: Matts and Props Needed By: 2746 01/29/2007 17:23:30 GMT
My team is working/trying to start some other teams up and get them primed for next year - we have some RCX/NXT robots in hand but could use props and matts from this years challenge. Anyone done and willing to give them up?

Will pay for the postage/shipping.

Thanks

Coach 2746

  1. Message by: westmiddleschool277 12/17/2006 08:11:03 GMT
    Old sets sometimes show up on E-bay. I tried the same method as you last year and didn't have any luck. Most teams never give up their old challenge mats. Good luck, though.


    1. Message by: jrdevildawgs535 12/21/2006 19:04:37 GMT
      Why don't you get in touch with me and we will see what we can do. possibly one of my teams would be willing to help you out.


    2. Message by: theguysinside644 12/21/2006 23:11:41 GMT
      If anyone has this years or past years mats and mission models that they would be willing to part with,, it would be helpful if they posted their availability here. I've been looking for mats and models for the challenges before Ocean Odyssey. I have seen Ocean Odyssey and Nano Quest on Ebay, but nothing before that.


    3. Message by: 2746 01/08/2007 21:07:54 GMT
      Thanks to those who responded - we now have the items we need

      Coach 2746


    4. Message by: Renegade748 01/28/2007 03:28:29 GMT
      We lost our mat at the tournament today. If anyone has one they are no longer using (we'd like to use ours to practice for next year), would you please contact me at gartenmusik@verizon.net? Thanks to all - hope everyone had a great season!

      Laurie, Coach of Renegade 748


      1. Message by: CV CA Volunteer Moderator 01/28/2007 04:07:42 GMT
        Have you tried contacting the tournament director to see if it showed up and if there's any way to get it back?

        Yolande


    5. Message by: Renegade748 01/28/2007 06:06:54 GMT
      Did that via email and am awaiting a reply. Unfortunately, the phone number listed for him rings and rings, and the mobile number is no longer in service. The last email I sent a few days ago on another subject was unanswered, and the mat was gone before we left the building, so I'm not real hopeful. If it turns up, I'll repost and let you know. Thanks!

      --Laurie


      1. Message by: CV CA Volunteer Moderator 01/29/2007 01:28:52 GMT
        Did you receive any group e-mails to all tournament participants? If so, perhaps you could "reply all" if the list isn't protected and ask if one of the other teams picked it up by mistake. That happened at our tournament (2 different members thought they were supposed to get the same item and brought duplicates home, which eventually made their way back to the rightful owners).

        Yolande


        1. Message by: Renegade748 01/29/2007 17:23:30 GMT
          Of the 3 tournaments we participated in, this was the least well-run. There were no emails to all the teams that I'm aware of (most of the teams were from one school district; the school district organized the tournament and invited others). I was not even sure the tournament was going to happen, because although I received a confirmation 2 months in advance, I never received a reply to an email asking what we needed to bring, if lunch would be available, etc. The kids still had a good time, and their robot did well, but logistics were an issue all day. This is why I'm not real hopeful about seeing the mat again.


Discussion: ROBOLAB 2.9 For NXT By: westmiddleschool277 12/16/2006 00:16:19 GMT
Great season everyone! My teams have used RCX and ROBOLAB for 3 years and are not looking forward to changing to NXT next season. I was surprised that the kids really want to stick with RCX. I saw that legoeducation.com has ROBOLAB 2.9 that is compatible with the NXT and RCX. Has anyone tried it? Does it work well with NXT? Or, would people recomend sticking with the software that comes with NXT? Let's get a discussion going. Thanks, Alan

  1. Message by: bluecheesyflamingos 12/14/2006 20:09:52 GMT
    We hate the NXT-G software. After a crash programming week before state we had a lot of odd things happen with the robot/programs. I think next year we will going back to robolab but on the NXT, Carla :)

    Coach
    Blue Cheesy Flamingos
    MI Team


    1. Message by: team4870 12/14/2006 20:26:43 GMT
      Alan,

      Please post any results you get to this forum. I am extremely interested in what every results you get. This year, I coached a Rookie team and while we did do well, we were constantly fighting the NXT software.

      It works great for one time simple basic programs, but if you have to edit the code and modify the program, expect issues (i.e., like not being able to see the code, bad code produced that can cause the NXT to freeze requiring a HARD reset, or code that was working great in other part of your program (which you didn't touch) stops working correctly).

      Most of our issues have to do with the GUI editor and a few with the compiler. This year, the team learned what "not to do" with the editor. I would estimate that we lost 8-12 in productive time because of the editor over the season.

      I am seriously looking into moving the team from the NXT software the Robolab hence the strong interest.

      F.Y.I. The biggest feature by far on the NXT that makes it "superior" over the RCX (in my opinion) is the built in motor sensors. With out this, it would be basically be the same as the RCX in functionality.

      While this doesn't help your question, I home this information is somewhat useful.

      Stephen Rozum


    2. Message by: DarkMatter747 12/14/2006 21:13:34 GMT
      During the time between our local and state tournaments, my team ported their NXT-G to Robolab 2.9. We have several very experienced Robolab programmers who were glad to switch to Robolab. One member with less experience was sorry. It took the team less than one week to do the port. They did an almost one-to-one port, while making some minor improvements.

      We were very successful - we came in second at our state with a high score of 400 and average of about 362.

      We used RL version 2.9.3b8 which was the public beta patch available on the Tufts website at that time (12/9). NXT-G has a excellent-performing PID algorithm (Move MyBlock). The RL version we used did have PID capablity, but it did not work properly for us so we didn't use it. There is a new public beta available now which may have PID that works properly. That beta was available to beta testers at tournament time but we didn't use it because it wasn't public. (It became public one day later.)

      (Try it if you feel lucky, it's BETA Patch b13 :) )

      http://130.64.87.22/robolabatceeo/Downloads/patch/default.asp

      The Robolab executable size was less than one tenth the size of the NXT-G executables. One copy of our NXT-G missions would barely fit on the NXT *if* we loaded them in the correct order. The team had *five* complete copies of our missions in Robolab on the NXT at one time -- two standard versions for an east-mounted or west-mounted elevator (elevator mission was different for each by one turn) -- two "speedy" versions of those same missions so they could try to do the missions in less time with greater risk -- one special demo copy for the technical interview, and a few special utilities like a voltage checker and light-sensor monitor ---- and they had room for lots more left over.

      Bottom line: we won't take sides and endorse one or the other. NXT-G has excellent dead-reckoning ability. Robolab has less bugs, more familiarity, and much smaller executables.


      1. Message by: bluecheesyflamingos 12/14/2006 21:20:11 GMT
        Memory problem aside we liked the look and feel of NXT-G. It was simply the bugs that gave the most frustration. If they come out with a few fixes for it, I would say it is perfect for a rookie team or team with young kids. Carla :)

        Coach
        Blue Cheesy Flamingos
        MI Team


      2. Message by: westmiddleschool277 12/14/2006 21:23:05 GMT
        So, it sounds like the NXT motors loose their advantage when you use ROBOLAB? I wonder if ROBOLB will upgrade again so that the NXT motors use the internal rotation sensors. I am definitely amateur when it comes to the NXT system and look forward to learning more about it soon.


        1. Message by: DarkMatter747 12/14/2006 21:50:26 GMT
          Robolab *does* use the NXT encoders, and the motors can be synchronized. Speed control can also be used. All of these features worked very well for us. What did not work was the PID (don't ask me what that stands for) that will allow the motors to rotate very accurately to a specifed position. This is where NXT-G rules. (Or possibly *ruled*, with the new Robolab beta release.)

          PID may work very well now with the b13 release, we haven't tested it yet, but we're very anxious to do so. I know the developers believe the bugs have been fixed.


    3. Message by: 2746 12/14/2006 22:17:50 GMT
      We used robot lab with the NET and Robolab -some bugs with the 2.9 Beta software but nothing really bad. The new beta release loads better than the relate in the fall beyond that no testing yet - we are taking a break until Jan.

      NET + allows for 7 sensors - counting the built in rotation sensors - few teams will use this many. Ours used 5 including 2 rotation.

      The largest advantage I noticed as a coach was motor stopping/braking with the new NET motors is stronger - plus the new motors seem to provide a consistent velocity over the life of the battery.

      Our team gave up on synchronized motor feature as they could never figure out how to un-sync them properly and would not work in reverse - this was to be solved.

      Like others the speed control and the PID appeared interesting but ended up being useless to the teams solutions for each mission. See other postings about using odeometer navigation on the forum - if the wheel slips on startup - the robot believes it went some where. Now its lost on the table.


      1. Message by: DarkMatter747 12/14/2006 22:30:09 GMT
        You stop motor synchronization by using the synchronization command with no modifiers.

        The speed control is useful to compensate for dropping in battery voltage over the life of the battery charge.


    4. Message by: 2746 12/16/2006 00:16:19 GMT
      Thanks

      The method using the sync command with no modifiers did not always work - could have been the Robo lab version we were using at the the time 2.9.2 before we loaded the beta on.

      Team used home brew sub.vi for batt voltage from previous year but the benefit is clear if const velocity is desired.


Discussion: Building Robots for FLL- NXT Addition By: dhystad 01/31/2007 18:31:03 GMT
I'm not sure how many of you have used it, but a couple of years ago I wrote a little paper titled "Building Robots for FIRST LEGO League". This spring I was selected to participate in the Mindstorms MDP program (we got early access to hardware at a reduced price) at least partially (I think) due to my promise that I would add NXT content to BRFLL. I guess it's about time I get started.

So I was wondering what topics you would like covered? If you read BRFLL what parts did you like and what parts need changes? Should I mix in some programming? Should it be mostly programming?

I am also wondering if anyone would like to collaborate on this project. You could suggest or contribute content, edit, proof read, etc... I'm just getting started, so I'm really open to suggestions.

Thanks

Dean Hystad

  1. Message by: SMART 12/15/2006 13:50:57 GMT
    I'm fine with a building manual staying a building manual. There is a real need for that.

    What I liked about the BRFLL manual was that it presented the information in a logical progression that assisted in teaching basic skills.

    With my veterans getting them used to liftarm based design wasn't too hard. My concern is if I work with rookies how will I teach them the basics. With beam and plate construction it was always easy to start with the basic "beam-2plates-beam" concepts and work from there. I don't feel I know what the natural starting point for liftarm based design is. I feel like it would be much more random. Anything you can do to put a logical structure to allow teaching "basics" and working up to more complex designs would be incredibly helpful.

    Thanks for your efforts,

    - Peter


    1. Message by: Under Pressure 3108 12/15/2006 23:28:28 GMT
      Where can teams get a copy of "Building Robots for FIRST LEGO League"?
      We went through our whole rookie season without any such resources and I'd love to start a collection for next year.

      Thanks
      -Michelina
      Rookie Coach Under Pressure


      1. Message by: zap85 12/16/2006 00:01:10 GMT
        It's at the Minnesota website, called www.hightechkids.org. Look under Information > Library. There are many other useful documents and videos there, and I've enjoyed reading the coaches' blogs this year, too.

        Another useful website is www.ortop.org, and Skye has good stuff linked off his website at www.fll-freak.com. You'll find even more good sites by doing a google search on FLL.

        Doreen, Team ZAP!


    2. Message by: nano2569 01/29/2007 07:35:05 GMT
      I'd be interested in the building more than the programming.

      I'd love to see a section on 'useful attachments'. My team came up with some very simple designs that could be used for multiple missions, but I feel like they missed out by not building more complex robots.

      One of the kids has experience with RCX robots. He really struggled with the change to technics pieces. He found it harder to figure out where and how to connect the attachments on the NXT.

      As a rookie team, more ideas for using sensors would have helped. The kids finally added a light sensor the week before the tournament, but it was more to show they knew how than because it improved the robot's performance.


      1. Message by: zap85 01/29/2007 16:02:20 GMT
        I seem to be in the minority but I'd welcome some guidance for the programming side of things too. As a coach with no real technical background, I have found that the kids have great building ideas just from all the lego models they've built during their young lives, but the programming is less intuitive for them and I'm not much help. Frankly, it's a daunting task for me to learn enough about the programming to be able to generalize the concepts and then teach the basic skills to the kids, and I'd love any resources that could help me in that area.

        Doreen, Coach
        Team ZAP!


        1. Message by: bluecheesyflamingos 01/29/2007 16:57:19 GMT
          Hiteckkids.org as a power point presentation that is just wonderful. Also ortop.org has a wonderful demo of the concepts behind programming along with video of how to do them (http://www.ortop.org/NXT_Tutorial/index.html).

          These are the two things I am using as a start to creating a summer workshop for my team. These might really help get you started. There is also the series of books that are 'a topic' for dummies. I believe that they have one called programming for dummies. It might be worth your while to take a look. Hope that helps, Carla :)


          1. Message by: dhystad 01/30/2007 04:02:40 GMT
            The HTK robot building ppt is basically excerpts from "Building Robots for FIRST LEGO League". The programming ppt is by Doug Frevert.

            Doug and I tried (unsuccessfully) to create a FLL Whirlwind Training class this season that encompassed everything you need to do as a FLL team. We started with how to create a challenge strategy, how to design a robot to implement the strategy, how to write and test the programs, and ended with a mini competition. And we tried to make it work for both NXT and RCX. Way too much info to pack into 4 hours. I used to do 6 hour workshops just on robot building. Plus we were both still newbies on the NXT stuff. We'll do better next year.


          2. Message by: zap85 01/31/2007 18:31:03 GMT
            Thanks, Carla. I have seen all the HighTechKids and Ortop stuff and I agree it's all great. It's really amazing what resources are out there. I find I am needing to go a bit further, though, because I find that in order to teach something effectively, my own knowledge has to go much deeper than the level I want to teach. I appreciate all suggestions and I'll keep slogging through this stuff :-)

            Doreen


Discussion: Huge Thank You To All By: bluecheesyflamingos 12/18/2006 20:56:54 GMT
I just wanted to post a huge thanks to everyone out here! Even as a third year coach there is always something to learn and between this forum and local coaches emailing me, my team learned so much this year.

My team came home with weekend from our state tournament with the 2nd place innovative solution award. They not only got the award but scored extremely high in the creative presentation, quality research and teamwork. (The robot, not so much LOL)

This is our first state award so we are all so excited. It was the best surprise my older kids who are moving on could have gotten. I don't think we would have been able to do it without all of you. Thanks again, Carla :)

Coach
Blue Cheesy Flamingos
MI Team

Discussion: Test for balance By: bluecheesyflamingos 01/30/2007 23:46:26 GMT
Ok now that I am all pumped up for next season I am thinking about the summer workshops I am going to teach the kids. Can someone tell me how to teach/test a robot for proper balance and weight distribution?

I have seen teams talk about having to make sure everything is balance but I have no idea on the whys or hows. Any help would be appreciated. Carla :)

Coach
Blue Cheesy Flamingos
MI Team

  1. Message by: DarkMatter747 12/19/2006 18:23:44 GMT
    I'm no expert on this one, but I have a few thoughts...

    I believe I've seen a tutorial or two (Fred Rose?) showing how to position the robot CG at the center of the supporting locations (drive wheels and other wheels or slides) to give best stability, or resistance to tipping over. And, the lower downward the CG is positioned, the less tipping force you will have if the robot is turning.

    For best traction, you'd like the CG positioned over the drive wheels, and that position can be different depending on whether the robot is driving on a flat surface or an incline.

    These can be competing requirements, and the "best" or "proper" balance will depend on how the robot is going to be used (what next season's challenge will be). It might be a good idea to have the team develop a few alternatives so they're prepared to pick a good one when they see the challenge.

    -Dave


    1. Message by: zap85 12/19/2006 18:38:05 GMT
      I'm pretty sure this is discussed in the Building Robots for FLL document from HighTechKids.

      Doreen


    2. Message by: SMART 12/19/2006 19:05:18 GMT
      Hmm,

      I'll share a technique that a senior mentor to our team taught the kids. Don't recall if it is in the High Tech Kids guide or not. It is simple, but effective.

      Put the robot on a hardbound book like a large textbook. Place the book over a pencil (the round kind, not the hexagonal). Now roll the book over the pencil till it balances on the pencil. That is your COG in that direction. Now repeat for each direction of the robot (side to side, vs. top to bottom, vs front to back).

      We find that gives us a very clear indication of the exact point where the COG of the robot is and is very easy for the kids to understand and apply. Whenever a major change to robot base is made, or also when we have a large attachment, the kids will use this technique to help understand what potential impact it may have.

      - Peter


      1. Message by: dhystad 01/30/2007 23:29:09 GMT
        This strategy gives you the CG for the book and the robot. Unless you position the robot CG on the book's CG the result will be wrong. And if you already know the robot's CG there isn't much reason to do the experiment.

        If you want to use the book and pencil you should first balance the book on the pencil, then place your robot on the book and move the robot (careful not to move the book on the pencil) until you achieve balance.

        A fun solution is to suspend the robot from a string. Attach the string at three different locations and the CG is the point where lines drawn along the string through the robot intersect. The solution isn't valid if the robot flexes when you hang it from the string, so choose your attachment points carefully.


    3. Message by: CGMSC2605 12/19/2006 19:25:35 GMT
      Like Dave said, the "best" balance depends a lot on how the robot is used.

      The "best" balance point will depend on what you want to optimize. Usually that means that if you optimize one characteristic you get less than optimal results for other characteristics.

      For example, to minimize drive wheel slipping you want as much of the robots weight over the drive wheels. However, this weight distribution will produce a robot that really wants to do wheelies every time it starts moving in the direction of the robot's lighter end. In addition, too much weight over the drive wheels makes it hard to do things like a "squaring off turn" (backing into the wall to align the 'bot perpendicular to the wall) since the motors go into a stall condition instead of the wheels just slipping.

      My personal preference for front to back weight distribution is to have as much weight over the drive wheels as possible without giving a robot that wheelies significantly.

      Of hand I can't think of any reason why you would want to have the side to side balance be anything but centered on the robot.


    4. Message by: nanoknights216 01/13/2007 06:32:07 GMT
      Carla--
      Our team spent a lot of time fighting with weight distribution this year as they experimented with the nxt. They kept coming up with designs that had the wheels sticking out from the nxt like chicken legs, which put very little weight on them. It made turning next to impossible. So I guess that would be a "why balance is important." Also, we have a light sensor on the front of our robot, and it is tippy enough that it slams it on its face when the robot stops. Stability issues, what can I say!
      Tammy


    5. Message by: dhystad 01/30/2007 23:46:26 GMT
      Balance is important because your robot's wheels will slip and slide when it is driving around on the table. The slipping cannot be avoided, but it can be diminished and it's effects minimized.

      To minimize wheel slip you want to put as much weight as possible over the measuring wheels. Ideally these should not be the driving wheels, but that is difficult to do in RCX robots and pretty much impossible in NXT robots. For differential drive robots that means that you want as much weight as possible centered over the wheels attached to the driving motors.

      But balancing the weight over the drive wheels causes stability problems. Some teams will position balancing wheels fore and aft of the drive wheels. This would be a good solution for this year's challenge, but a robot configured this way cannot drive over any obstacles. An alternative is to put the CG between the drive wheels (say in the front) and a balancing wheel (say in the rear), but nearer the drive wheels. Now you have a robot that wants to tip forward when you accelerate backward (either when braking a forward move or starting a backward move). The tipping is bad for odometry and is minimized by limiting acceleration in that direction.

      Balance is also important because our robots are flimsy. They tend to flex and bend under their own weight. Wheels and axles are particualarly susceptable to this. Placing the CG between the wheels (for symmetric robots) places an equal amount of weight on each wheel and should result in an equal amount of flexing. Of course the best solution is to minimize the flexing by designing a stiffer chassis.


Discussion: List of World Fest Teams By: bluecheesyflamingos 12/21/2006 03:47:55 GMT
I can't remember but will there be a list of all the teams who have won a spot in world fest a few weeks before the tournament? Carla :)

Coach
Blue Cheesy Flamingos
MI Team

  1. Message by: MI FLL Volunteer Moderator 12/19/2006 19:02:56 GMT
    There was last year.

    - Gary


    1. Message by: bluecheesyflamingos 12/19/2006 19:07:30 GMT
      So where do I go about finding them and during what time frame ;) Carla

      Coach
      Blue Cheesy Flamingos
      MI Team


    2. Message by: SMART 12/19/2006 21:33:11 GMT
      They won't release till fairly late as there are some very late tournaments.

      Usually they will post it under the World Festival link off the home page, and of course if you keep monitoring the forum someone will probably mention it there.

      - Peter


    3. Message by: DarkMatter747 12/21/2006 03:46:57 GMT
      Here's the link from last year - looks like it was posted a few weeks before the Festival.

      http://www.firstlegoleague.org/sitemod/upload/Root/America/Team_Roster_3-21-06.doc

      Go to World Festival > Team Roster (Look just to the left of where I'm writing.)

      -Dave


Discussion: Support for MI Moderator - Gary By: bluecheesyflamingos 01/12/2007 15:38:23 GMT
I got an email from Gary (MI Moderator) and his son was just diagnosed with leukemia. I want to start this out here to lend him some support, I know he is going through a lot with the start of treatments. Any words of encouragement will mean a lot to him. Thanks, Carla :)

Coach
Blue Cheesy Flamingos
MI Team

  1. Message by: NanoAttack4594 01/10/2007 16:48:35 GMT
    The thoughts and prayers of my family will be with Gary and his family. I will announce this at our team meeting and I'm sure many more thoughts and prayers will go out. Thanks for letting us know about this.

    Donna
    Coach
    NanoAttack 4594
    Cedar Rapids, IA


    1. Message by: CV CA Volunteer Moderator 01/10/2007 19:19:42 GMT
      Gary,

      We appreciate you, your knowledge, wisdom, and all that you do for the FLL community. Our (Vex) team will be praying for you and your family, too.

      Yolande


    2. Message by: cougarbots4326 01/11/2007 02:43:15 GMT
      Gary,
      We will all keep your son and your family in our prayers.

      Cougarbots 4326 &
      Cougarbotstoo 4327
      Warren,MI


    3. Message by: IAFLLModerator 01/11/2007 23:39:28 GMT
      Gary -

      Iowa FLL is wishing you and your son strength and courage. We hope that you both find comfort in knowing the FLL community rallies behind you in hoping for only good news and healthy tomorrows.


    4. Message by: Nancy_Paul_FLL 01/12/2007 00:11:52 GMT
      Gary,

      All of us here at FIRST LEGO League will be thinking of your son and your family. Our thoughts and prayers are with him, and we wish him the very best. I know that the wonderful community that you have helped to create will all be rooting for your son and family.

      Nancy Paul


    5. Message by: SMART 01/12/2007 15:38:23 GMT
      Gary,

      My prayers are with your family. From my family to yours we pray for a successful treatment for your son.

      - Peter


Discussion: MA spring competitions? By: jrdevildawgs535 03/21/2007 19:54:59 GMT
Would any Massachusetts or souther NH teams be interested in putting together some just for fun competitions to extend the season. We could possibly turn it into a workshop to help share ideas and educate each other?

  1. Message by: 4-Hers06 02/24/2007 17:16:34 GMT
    Contact skye at www.fll-freak.com and scroll down to the botoem and he may do it i don't know!!


    1. Message by: FlyingGeeks195 03/21/2007 19:54:59 GMT
      Hello to all FLL'ers.
      Just wanted to let everyone in the Massachussets area that The Flying Geeks will be at the Quinsigamond Community College annual competition in Worcester, Mass. It will be held on May 5th and there are still slots open if anyone wants to compete!

      If you want to compete, let me know and I'll pass along the contact info.


Discussion: Email Subscription - Subject Line Identifier By: bluecheesyflamingos 01/18/2007 18:39:31 GMT
I subscribe to all the forums for the United States on here. There is A LOT of email that comes through for new posts.

Would it be possible that in the subject line of the notification emails being sent out that a identifier could be added? Say something like '[FLL Forums]'. That way we can filter correctly and nothing gets lost to junk mail. There were a few I didn't realize were FLL because of the email address and trashed them. Thanks, Carla :)

Coach
Blue Cheesy Flamingos
MI Team

Discussion: Music?? By: 4-Hers06 04/13/2007 22:00:46 GMT
I just want to know what music you all play weather it's at practice or a tournament!!

- Thanks

Discussion: Old Building Instructions By: PlaceritaMiners2904 05/30/2007 22:48:16 GMT
Greetings All,

My Robotics Club has been asked to do a Lego Robotics demonstration at a charity event. We are trying to reconstruct some of our old mission board. We have the building instructions to all but the No Limits board. Do anyone know where I can get a copy of those.

Thanks,
Paul
Placerita Robotics
Out-Build - Out-Program - Out-BOT

  1. Message by: RoboWhizards40 05/30/2007 22:48:16 GMT
    I don't know where you can find them online. The Challenge Histories on the FLL website don't have the building instructions. I have the pdf files from the CD on my computer and could email some of them to you, but 3 of the files are over 10 Mb so they probably wouldn't make it. Email me if you want to pursue this or other options.

    Dana
    RoboWhizards


Discussion: x-pod part - spheres that twist together? By: bluecheesyflamingos 06/12/2007 00:56:08 GMT
Hi all,
Need some helping finding a part. The creator of the robot told me the part I am looking for (little green balls used as skids, which he said twisted together) is in the x-pods kit. I have pasted the link below to the pictures. Can anyone tell me what set these parts come in. Having a real problem finding them. Thanks, Carla ;)

http://mindstorms.lego.com/nxtlog/projectdisplay.aspx?id=7195ccb9-c3bb-474c-aebb-3213659f0a34#AddComment

  1. Message by: FlyingGeeks195 06/11/2007 19:56:20 GMT
    Aren't these the same balls that were on the ATP and Pizza atoms from last year's FLL challenge?

    We had one teammember who had some from one of his kits, but I haven't been able to find them either.

    If you go onto the build instructions from last year's challenge kit, you should be able to get a Lego part number, but that hasn't helped me find them either. Good luck!
    Randy


    1. Message by: bluecheesyflamingos 06/11/2007 19:58:28 GMT
      Oh thank you so much!!! It never even crossed my mind that those were different from the sphere for the bone. I will look those up. Thanks again, Carla ;)


    2. Message by: FlyingGeeks195 06/11/2007 20:35:09 GMT
      They may not be the exact same part- the "twist together" part is confusing to me, but those little balls with a 1/2 axle, 1/2 peg would do the same function.

      have fun Carla!

      Randy


    3. Message by: GranbyRedBlox1945 06/12/2007 00:56:08 GMT
      Yes, I think you are looking for a part called 'Technic ball joint', a ball with an axle hole connection. You can view it here, as well as find out what sets it comes in:

      http://www.peeron.com/inv/parts/203

      I think there was confusion in the reply about twisting together - the X-pod containers twist together - judging from the photos, the above part is what you are looking for(in lime green if that matters) and is attached with a technic axle pin (with or without friction?).

      Merle
      Granby Red Blox


Discussion: Allowable kits for 2007-2008 season By: CV CA Volunteer Moderator 06/25/2007 03:50:55 GMT
Does anyone know whether the RCX will still be allowed during the 2007-2008 season? The technical judges at our tournament reported that the most creative, innovative designs and best programming used the RCX. Admittedly, RCX users were mostly veterans, while NXT users had a higher proportion of rookies.

Yolande

Discussion: Summer Workshop - Mayan Adventure By: nano2569 07/02/2007 17:18:36 GMT
Hi:

Our team is planning a summer workshop following the Mayan Adventure book by Jim Kelly. I'll be posting daily reports in my blog.

Mayan Adventure

The reports will include photos of the robots and ideas on how to create each of the challenges.

I can't wait to see how what the kids come up with!

  1. Message by: nano2569 07/02/2007 17:18:36 GMT
    If you have any trouble with the direct link, you can cut and paste this link.

    http://www.creativekidsathome.com/creativekids/index.html



Folder: Nano Quest Downloads 10/11/2006 20:13:17 GMT



Folder: Programming Questions 09/13/2006 02:21:00 GMT



Folder: General Programming Questions 11/30/2006 16:48:01 GMT


Discussion: Unofficial FLL Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ) available By: fll-freak 11/30/2006 01:33:10 GMT
Fellow FLLer,

Please consider reading the Unofficial FLL FAQ (UFAQ) before posting your questions. The UFAQ is the result of condensing the posting from the previous four seasons. All the non-challenge specific questions have likely already been answered. The UFAQ has been updated for this year's rule changes.

The UFAQ was not authored by FIRST, but rather by coaches like you.

You can find the UFAQ at:

http://www.fll-freak.com/faq

Skye Sweeney
skye@fll-freak.com

  1. Message by: NanoEagles6108 11/27/2006 21:12:27 GMT
    how many pratcices have you had


    1. Message by: NanoEagles6108 11/27/2006 21:14:12 GMT
      are you good at programing


    2. Message by: NanoEagles6108 11/27/2006 21:16:54 GMT
      How does the space elevater work up and down.


    3. Message by: NanoEagles6108 11/27/2006 21:20:40 GMT
      I am tring to see if somone has a good idea for a robit


      1. Message by: LegoKnights1287 11/30/2006 01:33:10 GMT
        we don't want to be mean, but u spelled robot wrong it's not robit


    4. Message by: Mindstorm Masters 11/28/2006 06:32:23 GMT
      Everyone has good ideas. The problem is choosing just one!


Discussion: How? By: LegoWizards5311 11/30/2006 16:48:01 GMT
Ok I'm a first time proggamer and I just need someone to explain something to me... how and what do you do? I've read the manual and everything and I understandit I just want a little more information on how to fo this and so I won't mess up and make a horrible accident.

  1. Message by: Mini-Monsters 10/18/2006 02:12:52 GMT
    Start easy! Write a program to make the robot go forward for a certain length of time and then stop. Once you do can do that, now throw in a reverse. Next try adding a turn. Once you can program the robot to go forward, backward and turn left and right, you are on your way!

    Marie


    1. Message by: botsquad2672 10/18/2006 04:12:51 GMT
      Hang in there! It does seem overwhelming at first but it gets easier and everyone with NXT feels a little (more like a lot) like we're starting all over. This site was posted on an earlier discussion, but I don't know which one. I can't take credit for it, but it was a tremendous help for my kids. Watch the "Essentials" first, then the "Advanced". It was very helpful.

      GC


    2. Message by: botsquad2672 10/18/2006 04:13:40 GMT
      Sorry, Forgot to post the site. Here it is......

      http://www.ortop.org/NXT_Tutorial/index.html


    3. Message by: Florida_Moderator 10/18/2006 14:34:09 GMT
      If what you are looking for is a cookbook approach to programming, here is what I teach the kids I work with:

      1) Draw out what you want your robot to do. There are some great maps in the forum, search for "planning sheet"
      2) start your program with a 1 second wait.
      3) do one step
      4) make sure it is what you want
      5) repeat 3 and 4 until done.

      Our rule is : Do one thing, do it right, then move on."

      Hope this helps.
      -Laura


      1. Message by: BionicBulldogs536 10/21/2006 14:50:31 GMT
        Thanks for this very simple approach. Both our teams are having some difficulty with programming missions. I am going to show them this and hope it helps them to get less frustrated.
        Kim


    4. Message by: team223 10/18/2006 19:55:23 GMT
      Does anyone use NQC to program the robot instead of Robolab or RIS? If so, have you had good luck going that route and do you have any tips or good resources?

      Thanks!
      Susan


      1. Message by: fll-freak 10/18/2006 20:42:04 GMT
        NQC is not legal for FLL. Only RIS, and Robolab are allowed. Please read rule 9.

        -Skye


    5. Message by: tatorbots1936 10/18/2006 20:11:58 GMT
      I'm not sure if NQC is sanctioned by the FLL.


    6. Message by: team223 10/19/2006 23:49:28 GMT
      Yes, thank you, right after I asked about NQC, I found the rules prohibited it, sorry for the inconvenience!


    7. Message by: LegoKnights1287 11/30/2006 02:19:10 GMT
      you people have no life


      1. Message by: Whizards 11/30/2006 16:48:01 GMT
        Currently, yes. I'm so tired. I can't wait till it's over.

        As long as you recognize how hard coaches work for your benefit! :)


Discussion: progaming By: LegoWizards5311 11/10/2006 00:35:50 GMT
Ok I just want to know do any of you have any tips to make the progaming better and if so then tell me. You see I feel I won't be able to do this with out help from other progmers from other teams to give our team tips.

  1. Message by: KnockNanoKnights 10/24/2006 03:34:47 GMT
    Start simple and use examples within RoboLab to get the basics. This can be the other Pilot or Inventor vi's (or programs). Also use the help on the icons (right click on an icon, and select help). This gives a simple example of using the various icons. You can scroll through the various neighbors once within help to give clues as well.

    Start by just moving the robot forward. Once that works, go forward a given time stop then backup. This simple function will get a few tasks completed if the robot is aimed correctly and timing is correct.

    Now learn about using rotation sensors. Use the help on the rotation icon. This replaces the timer and will be a lot more reproducible than using a timer.


    1. Message by: nanobutmighty1175 10/24/2006 22:59:49 GMT
      robolab helps. just use rotation sensor and light sensor DONT USE TIME....

      simple as that for a straight program, make power lvl good too...


    2. Message by: Neomeodian Comedians 11/10/2006 00:35:50 GMT
      Do you have the video tutorials for Robolab? They help a lot with Programming Shortcuts. We hope this helps! (Or at least the guy posting this does.)


Discussion: RoboLab on IMAC By: KnockNanoKnights 10/25/2006 03:55:21 GMT
I am trying to get extra computers up and running. We have recently been given an IMAC, but I can not get RoboLab to run.

System
PowerPC G3 400MHz
Mac OS 9.0.3
128 MB memory with virtual memory on

12 Gbyte drive with 8 GByte available

I was able to get RoboLab to start by turning on virtual memory. But it takes about 5 minutes to go from the first RoboLab screen after selecting Administrator, Programmer or Investigator. For the Programmer, I am able to get the vi window to open, but it crashes shortly after opening.

Any help would be appreciated. Our team has doubled in size and we are scrambling for computers.

  1. Message by: REvolution1437 10/22/2006 02:25:30 GMT
    check the software requirements on the disk


    1. Message by: zap85 10/22/2006 20:27:22 GMT
      I tried installing Robolab on a G3 last year (it pre-dated the iMacs but I don't recall the specific configuration). It would load but unfortunately it ran so slowly it was pretty much un-usable, even though it met the system requirements. Based on that experience, I would recommend you put your efforts into finding another computer rather than trying to get Robolab to work on the iMac. Maybe others have some success stories to contradict my experience?

      Doreen


    2. Message by: KnockNanoKnights 10/23/2006 04:58:06 GMT
      The requirements on the CD cover have
      Macintosh System 9.0 or OSX
      166MHz PowerPC
      128MB Ram
      300MB Hard drive space

      I have the following
      IMac computer
      PowerPC G3 400MHz
      128MB internal memory
      256MB virtual memory
      Hard drive:12GB, with 8GB available

      Any help?


    3. Message by: Mini-Monsters 10/23/2006 19:25:22 GMT
      We use an older version of Robolab on our iMacs. They work fine. The newer versions do not work at all.

      Marie


      1. Message by: KnockNanoKnights 10/24/2006 03:25:46 GMT
        Thank you for your response and hope. What version do you use? Is there any way to get older versions? If I can get the version number you are using, I might be able to convince Lego to send an older version. They have not been too helpful so far. But if I have a version number, they might.


    4. Message by: botsquad2672 10/25/2006 03:55:21 GMT
      I have both Robolab and the new NXT-G software on my iMac and they actually run faster than on my P4 laptop running the same. But mine is an iMac G5 and memory and space is not a problem. I beleive you do not have enough built in memory in your G3 to run Robolab effectively. Think of it like running Robolab on a Pentium2. We had an older iMac G4 with only 128MB internal memory which was a problem running some programs till we up-graded the memory to 512MB. After that we had no problems with the programs. Don't know if that helps, but it might be a first place to start. Best of programming!

      GC
      Botsquad Coach


Discussion: Rotation Sensor By: nanoeagles528 11/13/2006 23:05:34 GMT
Our team is struggling with the rotation sensor. We can use it to count pulses out to a specific spot. Once that position is reached the RCX shuts off the program and will not allow us to reset the count or continue with the program. As a coach, I have dabbled in programs some, but I can not figure this out either. We would like to count out to a location then reset the counter and move to the next position. Maybe I am looking at this wrong. Maybe we should count out say 500 pulses, do an action and then count out to 1000 pulses and preform the next action. Just not sure how those little guys work.

  1. Message by: fll-freak 10/23/2006 14:29:59 GMT
    It would help us to know if you are using RIS or Robolab and to verify that you are indeed using an RCX and not an NXT. It might also be helpful if you were to post a sample program using your current method.

    -Skye


    1. Message by: nanoeagles528 10/23/2006 16:28:48 GMT
      RIS 2.0 mindstorm software with an RCX Unit. Typicall program has the rotation sensor branching off the top of the program, then counting out "X" number of rotations. Once the count is reached, the progrma shuts off. I thought we could call out another sensor, or run another series of counts, but I guess I really do not understand the concept of rev counters.


    2. Message by: fll-freak 10/23/2006 18:46:36 GMT
      I would suggest that you read the tutorials on RIS that are available at www.hightechkids.org. They talk about how to use the rotation sensor with RIS. If after you have read them, you still have questions, shout back.

      -Skye


    3. Message by: CGMSC2605 10/23/2006 23:20:11 GMT
      By "Typicall program has the rotation sensor branching off the top of the program, then counting out 'X' number of rotations." do you mean you are using the rotation sensor in a "watcher block"? (A watcher block is the RIS equivalent of an interupt driven subroutine. Watchers are displayed as a seperate command stack in RIS.)

      You really don't want to be using a watcher block. Just put a "repeat until" or "wait until" command in your main command stack that waits until the desired number of ticks have occured. For example;
      reset rotation2
      set power AC=8
      set direction AC^
      on AC
      wait until rotation2 > 100
      stop AC

      Note that it is best to not use an equals in the "wait until" block, use greater than (or less than). This is particularly important if you use a "repeat until" construct since the rotation counter is not being sampled continously by your program and it is easy to miss the exact count you are looking for.


    4. Message by: nanobutmighty1175 10/24/2006 22:55:40 GMT
      If using robolab, there are to "wait for rotation".

      one resets, the other doesnt, so if you need to reset each time, use the one that resets


    5. Message by: nanoeagles528 10/30/2006 16:29:41 GMT
      Thanks for the help on this. Our team did a great deal of learning at Saturdays practice with this information. We even had one of our shyest team members step up and program the pizza mission and the space elevator using this style of program. It saved us 40 seconds over our previous best time. Thanks again for all the help.

      Nanoeagles528


    6. Message by: Electronic Eagles 11/13/2006 18:38:57 GMT
      how do I figure out how long to run the motor?


      1. Message by: fll-freak 11/13/2006 23:05:34 GMT
        One solution is the gueesing game. Try 100 and see how far it goes. Make a new guess and try again. Keep guessing till you get it right.

        A faster approach is to make the guesses only once. Program in 100 units and run the robot. Mark on the back of a yardstick how far it went. Now put in 200 and mark that off. Do this till you have a nice ruler that you can use in the future.

        -Skye


Discussion: Motor speed control other than power level modifiers By: KnockNanoKnights 11/08/2006 06:53:16 GMT
Is there a way to change the motor power level through a container or other method, other than the defined power level modifiers. Our kids are trying to adjust the power level based on a sensor. We are able to connect a "value of a container" modifier, but the motor continues at the speed set by the latest power level modifier or the default value. The container value is changing since we can display this on the display, but motor speed does not.

This is within RoboLab

  1. Message by: fll-freak 10/25/2006 13:04:32 GMT
    You are indeed able to connect power level to a container using Robolab 2.5.3. Not sure if you have a bug in your program or if your version of Robolab has broken this feature. Perhaps post a sample program?

    -Skye


    1. Message by: KnockNanoKnights 10/26/2006 03:58:04 GMT
      Here is a sample program. I hope it will loop a container value 1 to 5, adjust the motor speed. It plays the tone and displays the value, but the speed does not change.

      I am using RoboLab 2.5.4 on a PC.

      Thanx


      1. Message by: fll-freak 10/26/2006 04:24:23 GMT
        So I downloaded your program and had some problems. I am now using 2.9.3 and its did not seem to support the RCX very well. I did not want to install 2.5.4 to test, but I do have some comments.

        1) One does not set the speed of a motor. One sets the power level. For a very light robot, variations in power will hardly make any change in speed. If you have a heavy or high friction robot, you will see the difference in speed with different power levels.

        2) The program as a whole looks fine. It "should" work.

        3) You have a problem with the numbers you are using for power level. Robolab has canned modifiers labeled 1 to 5. But for some crazy reason, these map to the numbers, 0, 1, 3, 5, and 7. Go figure. So adjust your loop to terminate less than 8 and start your power level at 0. And 0 is not "zero power" as you might expect but rather the lowest of the 8 power levels (0-7).

        Now run your program and use your fingers to apply drag to the motor. You should feel the torque increase as the program advances. If not, let me know, and I will restore back to 2.5.4 to test.

        -Skye


    2. Message by: KnockNanoKnights 10/26/2006 04:41:40 GMT
      Thank you. The values were the key. Not much changes in 1 to 5, but a big difference with 0 and 7.

      Thanx again


      1. Message by: fll-freak 10/26/2006 12:39:09 GMT
        Glad to be of help!
        -Skye


    3. Message by: nanomaterz2366 11/08/2006 06:53:16 GMT
      Sounds like proportional control. Checkout

      http://130.64.87.22/robolabatceeo/Downloads/Code_Archive/proportional.htm

      Imaging away / flick


Discussion: mini blocks By: 2107 11/18/2006 09:00:15 GMT
Hi, Where can I find the download for mini blocks?
Thank you!

  1. Message by: Mindstorm Masters 11/18/2006 08:58:37 GMT
    Mini blocks: Here they are at last!

    http://mindstorms.lego.com/Support/Updates/

    I can't wait to try them.

    -- Nora


Discussion: How to follow a dark line By: TechnoManiacs2245 11/22/2006 00:04:41 GMT
Following a dark line is quit simple just use the Sensor block go to light sensor an don't for get to add the light sensor on the robot but even then the best of us have problems all you robotics teams out there I need your help or now you can call me Shining Thunder for now but My team is having some.....issuses the problem is that even though we "do" the correct thing the light sensor never seems to corporate fellow robotics kids do you think you know the problem and have a solution then comment this disscusuin page we are in dear need of your help.

  1. Message by: fll-freak 11/22/2006 00:04:41 GMT
    Read "Toeing the Line" available at http://www.fll-freak.com
    The report is in Robolab, but the ideas can translate to most languages.

    -Skye


Discussion: How to follow a dark line By: TechnoManiacs2245 11/26/2006 19:28:11 GMT
Following a dark line is quit simple just use the Sensor block go to light sensor an don't for get to add the light sensor on the robot but even then the best of us have problems all you robotics teams out there I need your help or now you can call me ShiningThunder for now but My team is having some.....issuses the problem is that even though we "do" the correct thing the light sensor never seems to cooporate fellow robotics kids do you think you know the problem and have a solution then comment this discusion page we are in dear need of your help.

  1. Message by: TechnoManiacs2245 11/21/2006 23:16:08 GMT
    Hello this is.....ShiningThunder back again our teacher is talking again please we seroiusly need your help .It's already November and the championship is in January please we need your help


    1. Message by: Whizards 11/22/2006 23:27:13 GMT
      Hi Shining Thunder!

      Wow, that first message, I had a hard time reading it. *laugh* I beg of you, please try and use proper punctuation, I didn't know what you were talking about at first.

      * The light sensor has to be really close to the ground, a light sensor cannot sense something an inch away.
      * To follow a dark line, you can simple make the robot turn right when it sees white, and turn left when it sees dark. That's about it.

      :)

      - Errol


    2. Message by: CGMSC2605 11/26/2006 19:28:11 GMT
      To follow-up on Errol's post.

      Get the light sensor as close as possible to the mat. Since this years challenges do not include climbing on to or over anything, I would mount the light sensor so it touches the mat. If you don't like having the sensor touch the mat, then it should be mounted no more than about 1 plate thickness above the mat.

      With the sensor mounted on the robot write a short program that uses the sensor. For example, just display the light sensor value.

      Set the robot on a white area of the mat and note the reading. Move the robot so the sensor is on a black area of the mat and record this reading.

      Add the two readings and divide by 2 to get a "gray" value (half way between white and black).

      Program the robot to turn one way when the light values is less than the "gray" value, turn the other way when it is greater than the "gray" value.

      There are many refinements to this basic line follower. Start with exploring how the way you turn affects how the robot follows the line. Coast one motor, versus break one motor, versus reverse one motor...

      You can also explore using three light value ranges instead of two. For the high and low ranges you'll turn in opposite directions as before, for the center range you'll drive straight. Again, you'll need to experiment with how you turn to get a good line follower for the kind of line you are following.



Folder: Miscellaneous Programming Questions 03/07/2007 02:59:17 GMT



Folder: RobotC 03/05/2007 15:10:09 GMT
Anyone know if we can use RobotC for FLL?
K

Discussion: RobotC..anyone? By: RoboDogs1842 03/07/2007 02:59:17 GMT
Anyone know if we can use RobotC for FLL?

  1. Message by: dhystad 03/06/2007 01:12:39 GMT
    No. Maybe next year.


    1. Message by: Limit Busters 198 03/07/2007 02:59:17 GMT
      Probably or probably not?

      Limit Busters



Folder: NXT) NXT-G Questions 05/15/2007 21:30:37 GMT



Folder: How to use a decimal in calculations with NXT software 11/15/2006 07:03:45 GMT
We are trying to write a small program so that we can enter the wheel diameter. This would get multiplied by pi and then calculated to get the number of rotations. We can not find out how to get it to use decimals.

Thanks

Discussion: One solution By: CGMSC2605 11/15/2006 07:03:45 GMT
I don't know much about NXT programming, but one solution is to just multiply everything by say 1000, do the math, add 500, then divide by 1000 as the last step. The add 500 will round the final answer to the nearest integer. If you leave the +500 out your final answer will be truncated, which is probably OK as well.

I wonder how NXT truncates, does -5.7 truncate to -5 or -6?

  1. Message by: veritas121 11/15/2006 07:03:45 GMT
    -5.7 truncates to -5


Discussion: Algorithms for decimal calculations. By: blockheads1333 11/07/2006 18:19:04 GMT
Because I needed to convert polar coordinates into rectangular coordinates (in polar coordinates, you have an angle and a distance; in rectangular you have two distances; the robot moves more like