So I was figuring out strategies for my FLL teams to guide them to for their competition, and the CSM Robotics Club is also helping with FTC in Colorado and FRC. Well, as I was playing with the NXT bot, I put the FTC bot down and one of the members was jokingly asking “Well techinically…isn’t it all still from LEGO?”.
Uh, I’m sure you know this. But Just as a heads up, the metal is supplied by Pitsco, and would not be a legal Lego part.
Nice joke though.
Pitsco makes the Lego parts though, I think…
I am a new FLL coach. I am confident with all that I am doing. I know what to do and how to do it. I just have a question, what advice would you give for a first-time coach?
Although this is a topic for either a new thread or something you could search hint hint, just remember to let kids be kids and to let them keep it as their project.
Yeah, I believe that they even helped start the NXT Education kit.:]
Congratualtions! First, don’t be surprised when the students take the robot apart and start all over from scratch. They are learning that their original design didn’t cut it. However, when you are getting close to your regional dates, don’t let them take that path without agreement with the rest of the team and a full explanation to you. This will guarantee you have a robot to field come competition day.
Remember that the age of this group changes the way you need to deal with them. (vs high school students) If it is wide age group, 6th graders won’t easily work with 8th graders and girls will be intimated by boys, but it will work out in the end with your GP guidance. One or more of them is going to cry each week, it jusst happens. Losing a regional can be heartbreaking. Prepare them for it now. A win means they get to play another day and get another piece of hardware, that’s about it. If they lose they should pick another team to cheer for. There will be some robots that do not look or function as if they were built by middle school kids. It happens.
Check the rules used in your state. Be aware of the rubricks used for judging the different sections of the event. Mark important dates on a calendar so you won’t miss the.
Lastly, don’t forget there is a lot of help out there for the asking. There are a lot of people who have experience and know how who want your students to have a great time.
But you didn’t use any of the new (accelerometer, gyro, compass, color sensor) sensors!
Oh they’re on there, it’s on a vertical sensor tower. We’re still working on the demo bot.
Last I checked Pitsco was owned by the Lego Group and The Lego Group owns a majority in HiTechnic. So you could easily argue that they are Lego Parts
Looks like a good start. I just found this link to this book today.
I haven’t read it yet though, so results may vary! lol
Here’s a sample of the book with some good info to start with:
Yeah, unfortunately the zip-tie holding the batteries is not from LEGO and the compass sensor is not allowed.:]
For new coaches eh?
Well my advice is to let the kids be free. I’ve seen many teams where the coaches run the show and the kids have no fun. Remember, it’s about the kids. If they have fun, you will have fun. :D.
Actually all Lego parts ever are made in the same factory. Let me repeat that. Every Lego piece. Ever. Anywhere. All made in Billund, Denmark. Gizmodo.com (great nerd blog that covers everything from phones to robots, DSLR cameras to steampunk, DIY to NASA) toured the factory and made several great articles. here is my favorite: http://gizmodo.com/search/lego%20tour
try this nice project
Robot Arm Building: http://www.nxtprograms.com/robot_arm/steps.html
any help send me EM: email@example.com
mohamed Abu Fawdah
There are also robots that dont look like they were built by middle school students, even though they actually were built by students. In 2003 I was on the Martian Exchange Students, and in Atlanta that year we were the first team to get 3 perfect scores in competition. We had to put up with all of the garbage of people telling us we didnt build or program our robot, or that we did something against the rules. We did everything ourselves, and made sure any strategy we used was legal before we committed to it. We had a kid on our team who was 14 years old but looked older, he had to bring his birth certificate to prove to some people that he was 14. Never assume. Our team met every day for 3-4 hours because we wanted to be the best. It is not as fun when people try to tell you you did not do the work.
Agreed! It is just a fact that some parents bring a lot more to the table then mentorship. It is not hard to tell when a robot is built by students and when it is built (or partially built) by someone older. All one has to do is talk to the team and they will remove all doubt. A team built robot is built by students, who like yourself, have put a monumental effort into making it work perfectly and can tell you exactly how they arrived at their design or progam. Acting as an FLL judge or mentor, I have come to realize that there are some outstanding young people coming through FLL. It is to these students that I can point to with pride as the bright future of our country.
Agreed!! I got the feeling that a programming judge one year didn’t really think I had written the program I was showing him. Due to poor version control I realized the program I was showing him was not the up-to-date copy on the 'bot. I proceeded to mention this and explain the exact differences between the two programs. I think that convinced him that I wrote it
Pretty cool to design your own robot from different kits. However, watch the rules for any robot competition, know the type of parts, footprint and power requirements. In the meantime, you can find Tetrix (Pitsco), LEGO, FIRST CAD Library and VEX Protobot model files in SolidWorks and other 3d and 2d file formats on
www.3DContentCentral.com. Last week I saw a robot with a soda bottle attached. Dont spend your time modeling the kit part - when the real goal is to figure out your own assembly design. Marie