The design of the robot for this competition is entirely up to you. The basic 9797 design (also known as the tribot) is a good place to start.

Your son will soon find that the trailing wheel design for the tribot makes it hard to steer consistently - when the robot reverses, a well made tribot's trailing arm will swing around sometimes to the left and sometimes to the right. This will make the robot's path hard to control - especially for missions outside the base quadrant.

If he gets to this learning point, he will next redesign the tribot with a skid or slider, or take matters into his hands and build a robot entirely from scratch . . . and an engineer will be born. Remember to be there to watch and take pictures. The moment is priceless.

Later on will come more frustration . . . when attachments don't come on and come off, programs don't behave or time starts to run out. It is all part of the experience.

What sounds like an enormous failure will become an extraordinary learning experience and a lesson in persistence. I hope you enjoy the journey as must as most of us here have.

Don't hesitate to ask for help - there are tons of resources on the web (official and unofficial). We are all in the same boat and the success of one is a success for us all.

Best of luck.

Nari Narayanan
McLean Robotics Institute

Sent via BlackBerry by AT&T

From: Scott James <[log in to unmask]>
Sender: First Lego League in Virginia and DC <[log in to unmask]>
Date: Fri, 16 Sep 2011 00:01:56 -0400
To: <[log in to unmask]>
ReplyTo: <[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,
Scott James

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