fredag 5 december 2008

How do you get to the FLL World Festival? Practice, practice, practice.


Practice, practice, practice is what the St. Clare’s FIRST LEGO League (FLL) team, the Transformers from Staten Island, NY are doing to prepare for the FLL World Festival later this week at the Georgia Dome in Atlanta. The Transformers practice 5 to 6 times a week from 2 to 4 hours per session in the science lab at their school. They practice with multiple robots on multiple tournament tables while working toward that perfect 400 point score. ”The pizza delivery man knows us well, parents send in nourishment, and maintenance is ready to set up cots for us!” says their dedicated coach, Mary Lee.



The Transformers are a team of 18 students, ten boys and eight girls from 11-14 years of age. Most of the team has experience with LEGO MINDSTORMS, participating for 1-3 years in a minor league before joining the ”Majors” (which is the team at St. Clare’s that competes in FLL tournaments). All 18 team members along with their family, friends, and coach are attending the festivities in Atlanta.



”This is the second year that the Transformers are using a LEGO MINDSTORMS NXT robot. We now recognize the NXT as a more advanced machine with tremendous possibilities,” explains Coach Lee.



About FLL Events


Each year FLL teams embark on an adventurous challenge based on current, real-world issues. Students between 9 and 14 years of age build and program a robot to complete a set number of missions in 2½ minutes (the robot game), present research on a given topic (the research presentation), and share how they designed and programmed their robot (the technical presentation). This year’s FLL theme, “Power Puzzle” challenges teams to use robotics to understand and create solutions for one of today's most critical environmental issues: energy management and conservation.



The Robot Game

The Transformers found the solar panel mission to be the most difficult robot task in the Power Puzzle challenge. Four separate groups of students worked on troubleshooting the mission, each with their own robot. The biggest trouble was getting the solar panel to stay on. ”We finally tackled this by adding extra pieces to the panel that allowed it to hang, and we added little claws that helps it grab on to the roof if it starts to flip over.” Each group helped one other succeed by sharing ideas and building for each other. ”The frustration was high at times, but it brought us closer and taught us to battle together.”



The Transformers are excited that the robots they are taking to the World Festival can score 400 points provided the opposing team does not get the satellite challenge first. Let’s hope the Transformers make it!



The Research Project


The Transformers conducted extensive research in their community on alternative enery options. They visited a home with solar panels to see how they are setup and work. They investigated their school, local zoo, and a bakery, and then researched similar structures in different areas using alternative energy and energy providers. The team even went to the Fresh Kills Landfill in Staten Island to learn about a methane gas collection system and to explore the possibility of using the area as a wind farm. The team saw that fish were dying in a local pond, discovered that the oxygen levels were low and requested that a solar aerator pump be installed as part of the Department of Environmental Protection’s Adopt a Bluebelt program. They also held a public forum on alternative energy for the community and presented their findings on all our research and allowed special guests in the field to speak. The Transformers live up to their name in transforming their community in green ways!



The Technical Presentation


The Transformers played with different robot designs including a horizontal design that they found on NXTLOG. The team played with different attachments, including a big lasso type piece that swings down over the corn and later the uranium to gather those pieces before coming back to base (after it hits the rail car and brings the coal to base). Other attachments include a big box for catching the oil and a flat piece to push objects like the dam and the power line.



For the programming, the team relies on motor rotations and time rather than sensors. Although the robot has a third motor, the team tries to limit its use, using the law of motion to swing an arm forward rather than extra programming. The team also works to multi-task when programming by either reusing programs to complete additional missions, or by completing a number of tasks in one area before returning the robot to base. The students discovered one innovative shortcut by using the robot itself to be the wave turbine, having it end up in the ocean at the end of the 2½ minutes.



The Journey to the World Festival


The team has been busy with practices and fundraising but also finds time to play sports together to ease the pressure of competing on a global level. They also have been practicing some dance moves for a special show in Atlanta. Just last week the Transformers participated in a FLL Tri-State Tournament at the Javits Center in NYC where they not only got a chance for extra pratice, but they met Mayor Mike Bloomburg as well.



While all 18 team members are prepared to play the robot game at the World Festival, some will act as ambassadors and greet attending teams, some will work as team photographers, and others as the pit crew. We look forward to seeing this team in action at the Georgia Dome!



Team Transfromers includes: Alanna Bergstrom, Adrianno Corso, Katie Geraghty, Ian Grice, Thomas Grimaldi, Matthew Gulotta, Shannon Long, Joseph Maggio, James McKeon, Steven Milazzo, Judy Muller, Meagan O'Connor, Amanda O'Keefe, Michelle Pagano, Christopher Piccirello, Paul Piccirello, James Pugliese and Serena Zinsley, and Coachs Mary Lee and Barbara Grimaldi.
Practice, practice, practice is what the St. Clare’s FIRST LEGO League (FLL) team, the Transformers from Staten Island, NY are doing to prepare for the FLL World Festival later this week at the Georgia Dome in Atlanta. The Transformers practice 5 to 6 times a week from 2 to 4 hours per session in the science lab at their school. They practice with multiple robots on multiple tournament tables while working toward that perfect 400 point score. ”The pizza delivery man knows us well, parents send in nourishment, and maintenance is ready to set up cots for us!” says their dedicated coach, Mary Lee.



The Transformers are a team of 18 students, ten boys and eight girls from 11-14 years of age. Most of the team has experience with LEGO MINDSTORMS, participating for 1-3 years in a minor league before joining the ”Majors” (which is the team at St. Clare’s that competes in FLL tournaments). All 18 team members along with their family, friends, and coach are attending the festivities in Atlanta.



”This is the second year that the Transformers are using a LEGO MINDSTORMS NXT robot. We now recognize the NXT as a more advanced machine with tremendous possibilities,” explains Coach Lee.



About FLL Events


Each year FLL teams embark on an adventurous challenge based on current, real-world issues. Students between 9 and 14 years of age build and program a robot to complete a set number of missions in 2½ minutes (the robot game), present research on a given topic (the research presentation), and share how they designed and programmed their robot (the technical presentation). This year’s FLL theme, “Power Puzzle” challenges teams to use robotics to understand and create solutions for one of today's most critical environmental issues: energy management and conservation.



The Robot Game

The Transformers found the solar panel mission to be the most difficult robot task in the Power Puzzle challenge. Four separate groups of students worked on troubleshooting the mission, each with their own robot. The biggest trouble was getting the solar panel to stay on. ”We finally tackled this by adding extra pieces to the panel that allowed it to hang, and we added little claws that helps it grab on to the roof if it starts to flip over.” Each group helped one other succeed by sharing ideas and building for each other. ”The frustration was high at times, but it brought us closer and taught us to battle together.”



The Transformers are excited that the robots they are taking to the World Festival can score 400 points provided the opposing team does not get the satellite challenge first. Let’s hope the Transformers make it!



The Research Project


The Transformers conducted extensive research in their community on alternative enery options. They visited a home with solar panels to see how they are setup and work. They investigated their school, local zoo, and a bakery, and then researched similar structures in different areas using alternative energy and energy providers. The team even went to the Fresh Kills Landfill in Staten Island to learn about a methane gas collection system and to explore the possibility of using the area as a wind farm. The team saw that fish were dying in a local pond, discovered that the oxygen levels were low and requested that a solar aerator pump be installed as part of the Department of Environmental Protection’s Adopt a Bluebelt program. They also held a public forum on alternative energy for the community and presented their findings on all our research and allowed special guests in the field to speak. The Transformers live up to their name in transforming their community in green ways!



The Technical Presentation


The Transformers played with different robot designs including a horizontal design that they found on NXTLOG. The team played with different attachments, including a big lasso type piece that swings down over the corn and later the uranium to gather those pieces before coming back to base (after it hits the rail car and brings the coal to base). Other attachments include a big box for catching the oil and a flat piece to push objects like the dam and the power line.



For the programming, the team relies on motor rotations and time rather than sensors. Although the robot has a third motor, the team tries to limit its use, using the law of motion to swing an arm forward rather than extra programming. The team also works to multi-task when programming by either reusing programs to complete additional missions, or by completing a number of tasks in one area before returning the robot to base. The students discovered one innovative shortcut by using the robot itself to be the wave turbine, having it end up in the ocean at the end of the 2½ minutes.



The Journey to the World Festival


The team has been busy with practices and fundraising but also finds time to play sports together to ease the pressure of competing on a global level. They also have been practicing some dance moves for a special show in Atlanta. Just last week the Transformers participated in a FLL Tri-State Tournament at the Javits Center in NYC where they not only got a chance for extra pratice, but they met Mayor Mike Bloomburg as well.



While all 18 team members are prepared to play the robot game at the World Festival, some will act as ambassadors and greet attending teams, some will work as team photographers, and others as the pit crew. We look forward to seeing this team in action at the Georgia Dome!



Team Transfromers includes: Alanna Bergstrom, Adrianno Corso, Katie Geraghty, Ian Grice, Thomas Grimaldi, Matthew Gulotta, Shannon Long, Joseph Maggio, James McKeon, Steven Milazzo, Judy Muller, Meagan O'Connor, Amanda O'Keefe, Michelle Pagano, Christopher Piccirello, Paul Piccirello, James Pugliese and Serena Zinsley, and Coachs Mary Lee and Barbara Grimaldi.




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Original source : http://mindstorms.lego.com/news/#69996...

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