With all due to respect to Nick Swayne, I would not diminish the basic "tri-bot". The Lake Anne Sea Monsters have made only minor modifications to the basic design for the last three years and have done very well in the robotics performance competition. Good programming and clever design of strategic objects will conquer virtually all of the missions, including this year's dynamometer. As coaches, our challenge is to push the team to think creatively on solving the different mission problems with the resources available and then refine the solutions to work reliably.
This is really supposed to be fun for all. Don't dread the robot!
You'll see a lot of new teams at all 18 of the regional competitions. There are more than 350 teams currently in the system and I'd guess half of them are new to FLL.
The fact that there are 4 components to the tournament really levels the playing field for those who have never built robots before. Lots of rookie teams build robots that look almost exactly like the tri-bot in the instruction book and do just fine at the competition. Some actually win because they concentrate on the teamwork and research which account for 50% of the total. If the kids can explain their experience level, design and programming well - they'll do fine there as well.
Also - if your robot holds the crash test figure for the entire 2.5 minutes and you don't knock over any of the penalty pieces, you'll end up with 95 points.
-----Original Message----- From: First Lego League in Virginia and DC [mailto:[log in to unmask]] On Behalf Of Dash Family Sent: Monday, October 05, 2009 2:29 PM To: [log in to unmask] Subject: Re: [VADCFLL-L] A few new coach questions
I echo paragraph 3 below, although a "little nervous" doesn't quite capture my feeling of dread. I read somewhere we should have our base robot done and be working on programming by now. We can't even get something across the rollers that will still turn - forget programming!! My team is having fun, we are learning tons - I am losing sleep!
Any suggestions would be appreciated!!
Danielle Dash Stafford VA
-----Original Message----- From: First Lego League in Virginia and DC [mailto:[log in to unmask]] On Behalf Of Laura Dysart Sent: Monday, October 05, 2009 13:34 To: [log in to unmask] Subject: [VADCFLL-L] A few new coach questions
1. Did I manage to send this to everyone on the listserve? I'm not sure I am posting correctly.
2. My team has decided to pick a challenge that feels fairly complicated to me. The United States is their chosen community and they are very concerned about fuel efficiency and the environment. They have been focused on some alternative fuel sources, car design and power sources. They have found a lot of interesting research on what already exists, and in my opinion have brought up two ideas that I think are innovative- but there is no way to prove they are possible. Every now and then a team member will say "that won't work" and I've been reminding them that all things that have been invented, we would have never imagined we would have today and started with imagination. Can the innovative part of their research be primarily imagination based?
3. I am feeling a little nervous as our team seems to be having trouble deciding on the basic robot design- I have tried to steer them towards focusing on a certain mission and what does the robot need to look like to complete that. I feel like this particular challenge has more obstacles than others I've seen- just to get access to missions- seems like it's harder for a simple first time team robot to work in these situations.
Our team is having fun- I'm just feeling the time ticking away-and I'm thinking they are going to start to feel some frustration if we don't get closer to accomplishing a mission, Laura Dysart, Richmond, VA