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First Lego League in Virginia and DC


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Thomas Tweeks Weeks <[log in to unmask]>
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Thomas Tweeks Weeks <[log in to unmask]>
Thu, 4 Oct 2018 22:11:10 -0400
text/plain (86 lines)
Thanks Steve. (sorry for the duplicate emails)

The "tower" I'm talking about is indeed the M01 "space travel ramp tower" as seen here: 

The tower (with the ramp on it) is barely stable enough (with it's thin footprint on the mat) to stay in position. With the mat mount being so close to the edge of the mat (and in the NW corner), the mat movements of even loading a M01 Vehicle Payload that bumps the ramp can pull it up off the table... making it nearly impossible to know which way the tower is going to be leaning.

Even with using exact robot positioning using color sensors from the near by black line is not usable.  IMHO, the mission's mechanical tolerances combined with that mat lifting movement are not up to regular lego par. 

We require our kids always test successful missions at least 4/5 times. They had M01 working 5/5 until the mat started moving around.

Personally.. We're thinking about taping down our M01 space travel mat area down and see if it helps (and if so, will ask that our local table refs do this at the competition).   We've already wasted around 18 hours on that mission.. (after having everything working, and then the mat taking it out of tolerance).

I would recommend you poll a few other coaches and see what they're seeing too and make a decision soon.


Coach T.Weeks
Fire Breathing Rubber Duckies Div-1, #19237

On Monday, October 1, 2018 11:02pm, "VA-DC FLL Referee Advisor" <[log in to unmask]> said:

> The Field Setup Guide only permits (optional) tape at the east and west
> sides of the mat.  Not all tournaments use tape.  I like to tape the mats
> at the tournaments that I attend, but the mats over the last couple of
> years have not stood up well to having tape put on them, so I don't always
> do it any more.
> I am surprised that you aren't seeing a vertical tower, but I haven't seen
> a setup on a full table yet, or one that's had a lot of use.
> I assume that the "space travel ramp tower" is the dark gray tower with the
> orange section on top that has the Vehicle Payload pre-loaded on it.  There
> could be tape on the west edge of the mat nearby.  If we do see a lot of
> tilting, then I'll plan to recommend it to all Virginia-DC tournaments.
> If the tower is the white Solar Panel support tower, then no, teams should
> not expect to the mat taped down nearby.  The same goes for the Strength
> Exercise machine. The Robot will need to deal with a Mat that is not taped
> down nearby.
> Steve Scherr
> Virginia-DC FLL Referee Advisor
> On Mon, Oct 1, 2018 at 10:40 PM Thomas Tweeks Weeks <
> [log in to unmask]> wrote:
>> Can anyone tell us if teams will be able to rely on the mat around the M01
>> mission  space travel ramp tower being taped down to the table surface?
>> Without it being taped down, it's vertical position is far too variable to
>> be in a predictable position (not always vertical) and thus.. much more
>> difficult than normal to hit every time reliably. Even if you use optical
>> sensors to tag the distance to the ramp.
>> I want to tape down the mat in that area to make the tower more stable and
>> give the team a more reliable experience to code and build for.. but don't
>> want to do so if that's not going to be a guarantee at the competition.
>> VA-DC HQ?
>> Tweeks
>> Coach of Fire Breathing Rubber Duckies, Div-1 team
>> ------------------------------
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