Today was the first day of FLL. I donít think anyone really knew what to expect as they filed into the room and glanced over to the table only to see the challenge mat- intricate and colorful. As our team members entered the room, the mat had no legos on it- just the graphics that had been printed onto it. The pieces had been somewhat sorted previously by James and I. During this class, we were surprised at our setup speed. We were able to complete the entire setup in just 1 day!
-Walker built the fence, the ball racks, and part of the basketball hoop.
-Jake built the red flags, the CD holder, the busses, the cereal bowl holder, and the white flag.
-Zach built the stairs, the table, and the boat.
-Aaron built the glasses, the chairs, and helped with the white flag.
-Gabe built the basketball hoop.
-I built the gate.
There was two new faces and six familiar ones (including myself and James). There was also talk of several others to join the team in the near future. All in all, we had a fun, productive, day.
Today was the first day of programming. We started breaking up into groups to do missions. I, out of nowhere, came up with a team name that we will most likely be using because we all agreed that it sounded great: "The Spectacles!" We all liked this name because it was a pun (spectacles, glasses, and spectacle incredible scene).
-Walker worked on the stair challenge.
-Aaron and I built several pairs of glasses that weíll probably wear to the competition.
-Greg worked on the basketball challenge.
-Gabe practiced programming using events in Robolab.
-Jake helped Walker on the stair challenge.
As well as everything else we did today, we talked a bit about the research project. Although we donít KNOW what it is, we can assume that the research project will be about how robots can help the disabled people. It was James who suggested creating a Guidebot for the Blind. This, we thought would be the perfect project. It would be fairly simple to find the information weíd need because we have a major Guide Dogs for the Blind facility close by. Also, it would be a great opportunity to make a prototype out of Legos. We all had fun today and it looks like this challenge will be the best. Go Spectacles!!!
Today during First Lego League, we worked on replicating our chassis. Also, we modified our solutions to several challenges. Many of us were working on replicating our chassis but a few of us were working on challenges. Today we made good progress although one of our computers wasnít working until the end of class.
-Aaron was going to make a program for the stairs, but decided to help out with the chassis replication.
-Davis and Gabe worked on the bus stop. They have decided to create a mechanism that will slide over the side of the table when it senses the white of the flag. So far, they have created the the main attachment and plan to figure out a way to attach it to our bot very soon.
-Greg, Nick, and Walker worked on chassis replication. So far, they have nearly finished three more chassis which will give us a total of five chassis. (Aaron helped find parts).
-Zach and I worked on the forklift for the CD. We have completed the basic forklift- although some modifications may be in order. All we really have to do now is program. Walker figured out an easy way to pop this attachment on and off today!
Today, we concentrated on the speed of our robot. Even though many of us probably should have been working on our challenges, we decided this was important after seeing another fast, yet efficient robot complete many of the challenges.
-Greg worked on Play Ball and making our bot faster. He has created and programmed his attachment. It consists of an array of axles connected to beams which cause a ball to be released when it hits the basket. Also, he changed the gear ration on one of our chassis to 1-1. This caused the bot to go a bit too fast and veer a bit too much in our teamís opinion.
-Jake and Zach worked on the forklift for the CD. Their attachment has proved able to grab the CD, but it needs to be programmed from base. As well as this, they started building yet ANOTHER chassis.
-I worked on finishing up the chassis that we had started last session. Now we have six complete chassis.
-Gabe tried to figure out why it was that the bots werenít going straight. He believes that by putting more weight on the rear wheels, the bot will go a bit straighter. We all hope heís right!
-Davis also helped finish the chassis.
-Nick helped out everywhere.
Today was a big day for our team. We realized that our current chassis design was 1. Way too complex,
2. didn't drive straight, and
3. needed better motor access so that at a moment's notice we'd be able to switch motors out.
-This was today's challenge.
-Walker worked on simplifying his chassis to see if it was still useable. Although he hasn't finished his modifications, it looks promising.
-Gabe worked on the bus stops and gate. He wasn't particularly needed anywhere else and at this point, didn't need a chassis. So far, he's nearly finished the bus stop attachment- a light sensor sensing the side of the stops then extending a rod at the correct time, and started a gate opening attachment. Like a cross between our ice core and habitation modules last year, this attachment will slide through the gate, lock itself, and back up until the attachment jiggles out of a housing which we're hoping is just long enough to open the gate.
-I designed a whole new chassis along with Nick. We designed it specifically so that the motors would be easy to remove. The end result was awesome- a thin machine where if Walker's chassis had 200 pieces, the new one, Spex 2.0 would had at most 100! As well as all that, it drove incredibly straight. It might have just been luck that I'd found to motors that went at exactly the same speed but it was cool nevertheless.
-Davis worked on delivering the pet food. Although he hasn't made an attachment for it, he claims his program will work perfectly if the bot can go straight- we all hope so!
-Jake and Aaron worked on getting the cd. We're thinking about redesigning our attachment- instead of using a motor, just popping the cd off by hitting it at an angle at a high speed. We'll probably decide next class.
There's a lot more to do and we seem to have fallen about 2 months behind! Hopefully, we'll catch up soon!
Today, we made a ton of progress. For example, Aaron and Davis can almost do the stairs without problems. Jake began the Serve Dinner challenge. Speaking of food, Walker is doing great with the pet food. Greg made good progress in Play ball. He has now made his program to go straight out to the hoop and reverse after several seconds to return to base. Greg is also now working on a device to remove the opposing teamís ball from the center hoop if necessary. Nick is beginning to CAD Spex 2.0- our new design. He is nearly done. Gabe and I worked on a mechanism to lock the glasses on our bot. The team is working well.
-Nick just started CADing. Even though he has been alone for most of the time (Greg helped him start out) he is doign GREAT!
-Walker figured out a better way to get the pet food to the patio, but the rubber band he needed on the bot sometimes made it go wild.
-Greg can do the Play Ball mission 10 out of 10 times!
-Jake decided to make his Serve Dinner attachment bend to release the cereal.
-Davis and Aaron altered their stair mission program. They nearly have it working.
-Gabe and I locked the glasses into place with our locking system.
Today, we talked all about the research project. we decided to focus on people who are blind. Our plan is to compare the IR message of the RCX to the -------- of modern technology to find a given product. We also plan to have some sort of scissor lift system to allowed crippled or otherwise disabled people to reach the desired product.
-Zach worked on the CD and glasses. He has his main program down and is now fine tuning it.
-Gabe worked on the bus stops. His new attachment simply whacks down the white flag as the bot turns 180 degrees to return to base after sensing the white flag. His program is nearly finished.
-Walker worked on a new program idea for the pet food, gate, and stairs all in one. It has a while to go but looks promising. He plans to use a similar attachment to Gregís Play Ball attachment to drop the food on the patio, then swing it into the gate to open it. Then, the bot simply reverses to drive up the stairs.
-Nick continued CADing our bot and itís various attachments. He has now completed Spex 2.0 and Gregís Play Ball attachment.
- Davis helped Walker with the stairs.
-Jake continued working on the Serve Dinner mission. He has completed his attachment and is now finding that at full power, the bowl slides right off the table so is making the needed modifications.
-I worked on figuring out exactly which version of Spex 2.0 we are going to use because there had been several modifications made on different replicas. All of the bots are now the same.