Wow, where to start?
There is no “correct design for the robot for this challenge”. Every team designs their own robot tailored to what they think they need and to their approaches to solving the missions of the robot game. If there was one “correct design”, there wouldn’t be much point to a “robot design” award would there? It is true that many first-time teams start with a robot like the “Tri-Bot”, whose instructions came with the robot, or some other design found on the internet, but they only use that as a starting point. Do a quick YouTube search on FLL and you will see an incredible variety of robots even within a single competition season.
Building a variety of basic robot designs that are solid platforms to work from is a skill – and one that can be developed. In the offseason, have team members build a variety of designs that they find and ones that they make up. Help them analyze them for stability, hardiness, access, center-of-gravity, traction, etc. This will build a skill set they can use next year to great advantage.
Regarding the battery pack... It is a good idea to build a robot that provides easy access to the battery pack (even if it involves removing a couple of pins to do it). You should strive to build a robot where you don’t block access to the battery pack power jack, the sensor and motor ports, or the USB port. Some people swear by using rechargeable AA batteries and swap sets of them frequently so they never have to wait for a charge. Our teams usually leave the LEGO rechargeable battery packs in the device constantly and just plug them in when they aren’t using them.
From: Scott James
Sent: Friday, September 16, 2011 12:01 AM
To: [log in to unmask]
Subject: [VADCFLL-L] Robot to Build?
Newby here with a basic question. We have the board and all the items built so making progress. My son built the robot from the instruction manual that came with the kit, 9797 in the lower right hand cover of the instructions. Then he decided to take it entirely apart to take the batteries out to replace with the rechargeable pack (not sure if it was necessary to take all apart but that was what he decided to do). Before he rebuilds it wanted to make sure the correct design for the robot for this challenge was the 9797 build instructions. Also, with whatever design we are supposed to build, are we better off with the rechargeable battery pack installed?
Thanks a lot for any input we can get on this,
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