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First Lego League in Virginia and DC


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First Lego League in Virginia and DC <[log in to unmask]>
Thu, 4 Nov 2010 21:00:02 -0400
Lloyd O'Hara <[log in to unmask]>
text/plain; format=flowed; charset="Windows-1252"; reply-type=original
Lloyd O'Hara <[log in to unmask]>
To: Stephen Scherr <[log in to unmask]>
text/plain (146 lines)
This is my second go around for coaching.  I coached my son's team for 4 
years and now I coach my daughter's team (two year layoff in between).  With 
my son's team, we always had three two person teams that ran the robot. If 
we had more than 6 people on the team, which we always did, they competed 
for spots at the table.  This approach worked pretty well but, as Steve 
mentioned, those not participating sometimes became disengaged.

This year we I am coaching 8 4th grade girls and we have one person who is 
the focal point at the table and will be there for the whole run.  The other 
team members rotate in and out.  I'm seeing that things are not quite as 
efficient but there is more participation.  I guess, like all things, you 
have trade-offs with each way of doing things.


----- Original Message ----- 
From: "Stephen Scherr" <[log in to unmask]>
To: <[log in to unmask]>
Sent: Thursday, November 04, 2010 7:42 PM
Subject: Re: [VADCFLL-L] NXT merry go round effect

> Rule 19, Storage:  Once the ref inspects your equipment, you may store 
> things as needed in Base, or in a box, either held by one of the two 
> people at the table, or possibly on a stand, if stands are allowed at your 
> event (decided by your tournament’s officials – check with them in 
> advance).
> Also remember:  Team members other than the two at the table may not hold 
> equipment.
> I've seen discussions from coaches in other regions who think that any 
> changes to the people running the robot are inefficient.  But, I have seen 
> plenty of teams who do quite well having specialists tag in and out.
> As a volunteer, it is my perception that teams who have various members 
> operating the robot (either during a single match or between different 
> matches) are likely to have members who are engaged, excited, and aware of 
> details of their robot design.  But I don't have any data to show whether 
> that is true or makes a difference :-)
> That's just my 2 cents worth.
> Steve
> On Nov 4, 2010, at 2:35 PM, [log in to unmask] wrote:
>> My question is what is the best way for our team to hold attachments 
>> during a match. What has worked well for others?  Also, any opinion on 
>> two kids running a match vs specific mission specialists tagging in and 
>> out? Thanks
>> Sent from my Verizon Wireless Phone
>> ----- Reply message -----
>> From: "Eric Palmer" <[log in to unmask]>
>> Date: Thu, Nov 4, 2010 1:42 pm
>> Subject: [VADCFLL-L] NXT merry go round effect
>> To: <[log in to unmask]>
>> My team this year had a robot with a particular mission and attachment 
>> set
>> that had a "veer left bias" They changed the whole robot to our backup 
>> and
>> it "veered very slightly right" on further inspection the first robot has 
>> an
>> axle going through a beam that has been damaged so there was more 
>> friction
>> on the left side.
>> For the right bias they moved a counter weight to the left and the robot
>> goes straight most of the time.  But even with that it varies, sometimes
>> badly.
>> We are using disposable batteries this year and they monitor voltage
>> closely.  The front missions they use fully or nearly fully changed
>> batteries and the last mission they use batteries whose top voltage has 
>> been
>> lowered.
>> They use a slight moist cloth to wipe the dust off the table before 
>> practice
>> and we occasionally wipe the dust off the wheels and let the tires dry.
>> They store the robot upside down so the wheels don't get flat spots.
>> The team pays attention to many more factors for repeatability as well.
>> But that said we still have problems with erratic behavior.  Turing for
>> example seems to work best (for repeatability) one wheel at a time.  That
>> slows down the missions but makes the missions more repeatable.
>> All learning opportunities.
>> Eric
>> On Thu, Nov 4, 2010 at 1:24 PM, Nagesh Chintada
>> <[log in to unmask]>wrote:
>> > This is hard to figure out without seeing it, but couple of questions 
>> > come
>> > to mind:
>> > 1. Has your team tried to reduce the power, to say, 50 or below?
>> > 2. How is the robot balance and center of gravity? For example, does it
>> > happen if the attachments are removed?
>> > 3. I noticed that sometimes loose wheels can cause strangest behaviors 
>> > in
>> > movement, so not a bad idea to check if the any part of the 
>> > attachments/
>> > frame and wheels are not loose.
>> >
>> > Just a comment: The great fun of FLL is ruined especially to rookie 
>> > teams
>> > because of all the variability in the NXT Robots. These are no doubt 
>> > complex
>> > products, and it is not easy to get consistent behavior. It requires 
>> > some
>> > experience and lots of practice. This is not my first year, but I am 
>> > still
>> > learning.
>> >
>> > I wish Lego or FLL would make it easier for all the teams - and improve 
>> > the
>> > fun factor - by providing some basic information/ instructions/ best
>> > practices to reduce variability as part of the NXT kit or FLL kit. Just 
>> > a
>> > thought. I'd like to see more teams having more fun than struggle so 
>> > much..
>> >
>> > Nagesh
>> >
>> >
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