FLL offseason task?

The FLL team that 256 mentors (Willow Glen Middle School) is having a team challenge. The challenge will pit half the team against the other half of the team to compete in a fully autonomous, FRC-like match. The 2 groups can only use parts found in the standard NXT 2.0 Kit of Parts, and items such as string, tape, and other household items. So, we’ve gotten the rules set up, but the only problem is we have no challenge for the robots to complete. So, that’s where you at CD come in! Does anybody have any good ideas for challenges? We also have a limited amount of lego parts for game pieces, so common household items are preferred for game pieces.


mini lunacy. play with ping piing balls. each team has to use wheels with no rubber on them, make the field roughly proportional. i could see a lego lunacy robot that would be pretty slick. 2 motors on drive, another one on belts, or teams can shovel.

Robot sumo. It looks simple, but the autonomous behavior can get pretty complex. You also have to think about details such as how to get the best speed and traction you can with a limited set of parts.
Google around for videos and rules.

Put a barrier across the center of your normal field table. Use the duplo balls like the one from body forward, or ping pong, Start with an equal number on each side of the barrier. 3 minute challenge is to have the fewest balls on your side of the table at the end.

I really like that last one! I would make sure that the barrier dividing the FLL table is white or some other color than the standard black wall. Is there a size limit to the robot in this challenge? I know FLL robots are currently restricted to 12x12x12 inches (the Base volume).

Any height, and width, as long as the parts used are in the available kit, and the included string, rubber bands, etc.

I second this one. We started sumo with our FLL teams after the Body Forward season was over; the kids are having a blast. As are our high school FRC mentors (and a certain adult mentor, who shall remain nameless) . :slight_smile:

The build isn’t necessarily simple; you can use some pretty complex features. There’s a LOT you can do with programming. Unfortunately, multi-tasking with NXT-G isn’t pleasant, but it can be done.

I’d qualify the sumo choice for the case of an older FLL team. The presence of FRC-aged mentoring will help immensely with the building and programming nuances involved in robo-sumo competition. The game requires a special playing field/board too.

The most satisfying part about your post is that your FRC team apparently understands the value of a “farm team” approach to sustainability. They seem to know whence cometh replacement FRC team members.

Find one of the internet’s NXT Bluetooth Remotes, run off of PS2 controllers, and recruit future drivers. I was the TA for a summer robotics class and I had the students play a teleop game with the balls that come in the NXT kits; they had a blast.

The game itself was fairly simple and made using nothing but cardboard boxes, an FLL board, and some textbooks. Arrange the balls in the center of the field. Place the textbooks the short way across the field, about a foot from the end, and use the cardboard to make a ramp from partway between the books and the middle of the field up to the books themselves. In the exact center of the field, use painter’s tape to make a small box. The goal is to retrieve the balls from the middle and dump them over the edge of the textbooks into a goal zone. At the end, any robot in the center box receives bonus points, creating pseudo sumobot. You can add an autonomous period if you like.

It’s fun, it recruits drivers, and it has the added bonus of teaching the kids how to build the FLL cage, which is among the most commonly used of all FLL manipulators.

We just have our kids re-do themes they haven’t done before so since our FLL team was all rookie members this year, we are having them do Climate Connections but I like the mini lunacy idea!


We did the 2009 competition in robofest with our FLL team, nice break, end of the year event, simple games, no project. :slight_smile:

You could look up a few years, all the games are played with household items, on a banquet table. (hint, start with the table legs folded on the floor, $300 nxt’s survive 2" drops better than 30" drops.)