Tuesday, October 21, 2014

New Name? Maybe.

We've been brainstorming possible new names for the team. The current frontrunners are keeping Rejecting Reality, and SLEED, which has the fist letter from each team member's name.

Today we talked about our project. We started figuring out the general plan for our presentation. The most popular idea is to do a short commercial followed by additional explanation by the team and keeping it short so the judges have extra time to ask questions.

We also started working on attachments to do the "door" mission and the "project based learning" mission. Emmett and Damek worked on an attachment that opens the door without the robot even leaving base! It uses beams and rubber bands to be flexible but strong so it doesn't have to hit the door in exactly the right place in order to open it. Luke worked on an attachment to deliver the loop models to "project based learning." It's touchy, but seems like it might work. Here's the robot - you can see the attachment with the loops on it.


Here's a picture of our points tracking chart. "Working on" means that someone has started a meaningful attempt at programming the mission or building an attachment for it. As of today, we are working on 130 points, with 15 of them "complete." 



Wednesday, October 15, 2014

Tracking Points

Something new that we have added this season is a graph on the wall in our meeting room so we can track the number of robot game points that we currently are successful at achieving as well as show possible points with missions we are currently working on.

This week we solved the mission Changing Conditions which gives us 15 points.  We are also working on the following missions:

Community Learning:  25 points
Cloud Access:  30 points
Engagement:  20 points

-Damek

Tuesday, July 8, 2014

June challenge results

June's challenge day was really interesting. First, Eden and Luke seemed to realize how big the time bonus is which started a day-of-the-challenge arms race to speed things up. They learned about how things can change (usually for the worse!) when you simply crank up the power on a robot or swap out the wheels for bigger ones. In the end it was a fun day, though, with lots of running back-and-forth between the game table and their work areas. 





Ping Pong Morning Results:
Luke: 40
Eden: 38

Ping Pong Afternoon Results:
Luke: 40
Eden:38
Saerichai: 30

In the morning runs, Eden both discovered and solved a problem that can happen when you speed up the robot dramatically, all during and between his "official" challenge runs! Luke and Eden were separated by only 1 second in the afternoon - it was a nail biter!

Treasure Hunt Morning Results:
Eden: 30
Luke: 28

Treasure Hunt Afternoon Results:
Luke: 30
Eden: 28

In the morning runs, Eden beat Luke by 3 seconds, and in the afternoon, Luke was faster by only 1 second again! Maybe we need a more precise timing system - these kids are putting my fingers to the test for sure.

We didn't have any participants for Find the Pass this month. The kids have been working on three challenges with very different requirements. It's difficult to produce a single robot to work on them all, so several kids have chosen to specialize and FTP is the challenge they tended to drop. I'm a little sad about that, because FTP has some really interesting problems to solve. I understand though, because solving them requires lots of really repetitive fine tuning or big new thoughts and difficult programming. Maybe next month I'll make it worth lots of points to see if I can get them to work on that.

Friday, May 16, 2014

June 14th Invitation and Challenges!

Second Saturday Robot Challenge Series

For the June 14th challenge, we are continuing with the first two games, Ping Pong and Find the Pass in place, and adding a third, Treasure Hunt. The current details for all three games can be found below.

Next Challenge: June 14th
Future dates – mark your calendar! , July 12, August 9.

On the second Saturday's of the month, May through August, our FLL team is hosting a Robot Challenge Series from 10am-3pm (bring a lunch!). Each Saturday will feature robot games, and more importantly, a show-and-tell period where the kids can share their ideas about how to best solve the challenges. There will also be time for revising programs and adjusting robots in between runs against the challenge(s), and of course, time to play.

You are invited to bring your robot ready to compete, or just to come and watch and learn during the show-and-tell and hang out with the other kids. Read on for game details. Please contact me if anything is confusing, or if you want to borrow a ball setup for practicing Treasure Hunt before the competition date.

Details:

10am-3pm (bring lunch!)
Stephanie Ozenne's house
2538 W 6830 S
West Jordan UT 84084

or (801) 568-7809


Game #1: Ping Pong
In this game of ping pong, your robot is the ball!

Game Specifications:


TABLE SETUP: This game is played on a standard FLL game table, on the white back of an old FLL mat. The mat has click-lock from a previous robot game on it, so it will not be perfectly flat but is mostly flat. There are two blue lines running across the short length of the table, made from 1” blue painter's tape, spaced 36 inches apart. The robot will start near one of the lines.

GOAL: The goal of this game is for the robot to drive back and forth between the two lines. The robot doesn't have to completely cross a line, any part of the robot passing over any part of the line counts as reaching that line.

STARTING LOCATION: The robot will start near the leftmost blue line, with the exact location decided by the robot handler.

TIME LIMIT: This game does not have a time limit. It will be over when the robot has completed the challenge or crashed into a side wall, or stopped and is no longer making progress.

Points:
Three points will be awarded each time the robot reaches a line (not including the initial line when the robot is first starting out), up to a maximum of 30 points. During the run, if the robot goes off course and crashes into a side wall, the run will end immediately. If the robot is intentionally squaring against the wall, the run will continue. Additionally, a time bonus of ten points will be awarded to the fastest robot to 30 points, eight points to the second fastest, six points to the third fastest, four points to the fourth fastest, and two points to the fifth fastest.


Game #2: Find the Pass!
Your robot needs to traverse an avalanche prone mountain pass that is just pass a shallow river that your robot can easily cross.  Frequent avalanches change the terrain, so you never know where the robot will be able to get through. Your robot will start its trip on the far side of the river at a location you will specify (before knowing where the passes will be).

Game specifications:


TABLE SETUP: The playing field is fairly flat and matte white. The "river" is a strip of 1" blue painter's tape run across the short length of the table. The "pass" is a 13" gap between unfinished 2x4s set so they're 3.5" high. The 2x4s are 8" long and lined up to make a complete wall across the short length of the table, except for the 13" gap. The 8” wall segments will be rearranged to change the position of the pass between runs. They will be click-locked to the table and are fairly sturdy, but they will probably fall over if rammed hard enough. There will be click lock on the table in the area of the pass that the robot may touch. There will be two walls with "passes" in them, randomly placed. There will be 24" from the river to the first pass, and 24" between the first and second passes.

GOAL: The goal is for the robot to find both passes as quickly as possible. “Finding a pass” means that some part of the robot has broken the plane of the front side of the pass.

STARTING POINT: Any location on the far side of the “river,” to be set before the location of the passes is known.

TIME LIMIT: This game has a 2 minute time limit.

Points:
Fifteen points will be awarded for each pass that the robot finds. “Finding” a pass consists of getting any part of the robot past the front plane of the wall in the area of the pass. Additionally, there will be ten points awarded to the fastest robot to find both passes, eight points awarded to the second fastest robot, six points to the third, four points to the fourth, and two points to the fifth. Once time bonuses have been awarded to the robots who have found both passes, the remaining bonuses will be awarded to the fastest robots to find one pass, until all time bonuses have been awarded.


Game #3: Treasure Hunt
You're hunting for treasure at the bottom of the sea! Three balls are each worth ten points, but you'll have to decide the best strategy for bringing home the most points. Watch out for the wreckage in the middle of the table – you'll have to avoid it!


NOTE: there will be ONE yellow ball in the game setup. The two balls here are a reminder that the position of the yellow ball is “floating” somewhere randomly in the approximately the range shown by the two balls here.

Game Specifications:

BALL HOLDERS: the bases under the balls are 6 stud x 6 stud plates with 1-by-x LEGOs on the outer edge. I used the bases from the Red and Blue Quilts from FLL's Senior Solutions field kit. The balls are from Bowling and from the “Ball game” that crossed two competition tables, also from the Senior Solutions field kit. I have a few extra of these – contact me and I can lend you one to work with if you need it!













TABLE SETUP: The center of the red ball is located 10” past the front of the blue line nearest to it, and 7” from the table wall. Note: our table walls are unusually short, extending only 2½” from the table top. The base under the red ball is click-locked to the table. The blue ball will be click-locked to the table at the end of the blue line as shown. Note the shipwreck debris (chunk of 2x4) in the middle of the table – it is click-locked to the table and must be avoided. The yellow ball will be located 7” from the wall of the table, but in a randomly determined location approximately within the range shown in the picture. The yellow ball will not be click-locked to the table, it will move easily if a robot runs into it.

GOAL: The goal is to bring as many of the colored balls back to the Sea Base as possible. Touching a robot when it is outside of the Sea Base will incur a 3 point penalty. The robot may make as many trips out of the Sea Base as it can in the 90 second time limit, but only balls that are inside the Sea Base when 90 seconds is up will count for scoring purposes.

STARTING LOCATION: The Sea Base is the area to the left of the leftmost blue line that crosses the short side of the table. The robot will start at any location inside the Sea Base.

TIME: This game has a 90 second time limit. Scoring:
Each ball collected and brought back to the Sea Base before the 90 second time limit runs out is worth ten points. Each time the robot is touched when outside of the Sea Base, a 3 point touch penalty will be incurred. Additionally, there will be ten points awarded to the fastest robot to collect all three balls, eight points awarded to the second fastest robot, six points to the third, four points to the fourth, and two points to the fifth. Once time bonuses have been awarded to the robots who have collected all three balls, the remaining bonuses will be awarded to the fastest robots to collect two balls, etc, until all time bonuses have been awarded.

Sunday, May 11, 2014

May 10 Challenge Wrapup

The first "Second Saturday Challenge" was  a great success! I have to be honest, I wasn't sure the kids were going to solve any of the challenges. A week before, I was thinking about cancelling the first one because the kids hadn't made much progress. Having worked with these particular kids for two seasons, though, I know how much they get done under pressure and at the last minute. It isn't always pretty, but they do get to work. I'm still trying to figure out how to get them to start working earlier in the process. I'm hoping that the repeated challenges over the summer will help get them to start working earlier!

There is a complete description of the challenges we worked on here. The kids ended up accomplishing quite a bit. We ran the challenge once in the morning and once in the afternoon, and used their best performance of the day for scoring. The first challenge we worked on was Ping Pong.  It's  a simple task, the robot has to travel back and forth between two blue lines without veering off course and crashing into the walls.
Emmett gets ready to launch his robot during Ping Pong
Three of four participants earned the maximum possible points for Ping Pong, so the time bonuses were important!

Ping Pong Results
Emmett: 10 lines in 45 seconds, scores 30 + 10 time bonus, 40 points total
Luke: 10 lines in 64 seconds, scores 30 + 8 time bonus, 38 points total
Eden: 10 lines in 101 seconds, scores 30 + 6 time bonus, 36 points total
Jacob: 3 lines, 9 points total


The second challenge was Find the Pass. There are two walls on the table with gaps in them that can be in 5 different locations, and the robot has to find them and drive through. We rolled dice to decide where the passes would be. In this challenge, one robot found both passes, and another two found one pass.
There is great suspense waiting to see if the robot will find the second pass!

Find the Pass Results
Eden: 2 passes in 37 seconds, 30 + 10 time bonus, 40 points total
Emmett: 1 pass in 8 seconds, 15 + 8 time bonus, 23 points total
Jacob: 1 pass in 14 seconds, 15 + 6 time bonus, 21 points total
Luke: no passes

Totals
Eden: 78
Emmett: 63
Luke: 38
Jacob: 30

After the competing was done, we talked about what challenge we should add for next month. The kids practically demanded a challenge that involves an attachment, so we decided that the robots will be retrieving a LEGO ball and bringing it back to where they started. Details should be worked out by next week, but here's a photo-hint:



Monday, April 28, 2014

Second Saturday Robot Challenge Invitation!

Second Saturday Robot Challenge Series

First Challenge: May 10
Future dates – mark your calendar! June 14, July 12, August 9.

On the second Saturday's of the month, May through August, our FLL team is hosting a Robot Challenge Series from 10am-2pm (bring a lunch!). Each Saturday will feature robot games, and more importantly, a show-and-tell period where the kids can share their ideas about how to best solve the challenges. There will also be time for revising programs and adjusting robots in between runs against the challenge(s), and of course, time to play.

You are invited to bring your robot ready to compete, or just to come and watch and learn during the show-and-tell and hang out with the other kids. There are two games for the May 10th date, described on the next two pages.

Details:

10am-2pm
Stephanie Ozenne's house
(call or e-mail for directions)

RSVP  stephanie (at) ozenne.com or (801) 568-7809


Game #1: Ping Pong

In this game of ping pong, your robot is the ball!

Game Specifications:

This game will be played on a standard FLL game table, on the white back of an old FLL mat. The mat has click-lock from a previous robot game on it, so it will not be perfectly flat but is mostly flat.

There will be two blue lines running across the short length of the table, made from 1” blue painter's tape, spaced 36 inches apart. The robot will start near one of the lines. The goal of this game is for the robot to drive back and forth between the two lines. The robot doesn't have to completely cross a line, any part of the robot passing over any part of the line counts as reaching that line.

Points:

Three points will be awarded each time the robot reaches a line (not including the initial line when the robot is first starting out), up to a maximum of 30 points. During the run, if the robot goes off course and crashes into a side wall, the run will end immediately. If the robot is intentionally squaring against the wall, the run will continue. Additionally, a time bonus of 10 points will be awarded to the fastest robot to 30 points, 8 points to the second fastest, 6 points to the third fastest, 4 points to the fourth fastest, and 2 points to the fifth fastest.
Game #2: Find the Pass!

Your robot needs to traverse an avalanche prone mountain pass that is just pass a shallow river that your robot can easily cross.  Frequent avalanches change the terrain, so you never know where the robot will be able to get through. Your robot will start its trip on the far side of the river at a location you will specify (before knowing where the passes will be).

Game specifications:

The playing field is fairly flat and matte white. The "river" will be a strip of 1" blue painter's tape run across the short length of the table. The "pass" will be a 13" gap between unfinished 2x4s set so they're 3.5" high. The 2x4s are 8" long and lined up to make a complete wall across the short length of the table, except for the 13" gap. The 8” wall segments will be rearranged to change the position of the pass between runs. They will be click-locked to the table and are fairly sturdy, but they will probably fall over if rammed hard enough. There will be click lock on the table in the area of the pass that the robot may touch. There will be two walls with "passes" in them, randomly placed. There will be 24" from the river to the first pass, and 24" between the first and second passes.

Points:
The robots will have a maximum of 2 minutes to complete this task. 15 points will be awarded for each pass that the robot finds. “Finding” a pass consists of getting any part of the robot past the front plane of the wall in the area of the pass. Additionally, there will be 10 points awarded to the fastest robot to find both passes, 8 points awarded to the second fastest robot, 6 points to the third, 4 points to the fourth, and 2 points to the fifth. In the event that no robot finds both passes, these time bonuses will be awarded to the robots that find the first pass the fastest.



Thursday, February 6, 2014

Finding Base



Yesterday Stephanie (our coach) posed a challenge to us to program our robot to find base from any random point on the game board.  Eden & Emmett made a program that was successful in doing that.



-Damek