Posts

Nationals - Post 2 (18/01/19)

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Sumo Competition Begins! Improving the Mechanisms The building team has continued improving forward movement, to make it as consistent as possible and so that the robot does not wobble whilst moving. They have also been working on improving the attachments and the mechanisms that connect them to the robot, changing the 4 -toothed gears to ones with more teeth to improve accuracy.
Contacts About the ProjectWe have had a reply from Professor Owens, he gave us a contact for Ruth Bamford, who is working on the same idea as us at the Rutherford-Appleton Laboratory. We then contacted her to ask her about our project idea. We are also working on contacting NASA and the European Space Agency about our idea.
Sumo Competition

The year sevens and eights have just started to build their robots fro the sumo competition. Some of them have been using some ideas from the Lego website to make their robots even more competitive. They have also been experimenting with different attachments, such as fli…

Nationals - post 1 (16/01/19)

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First Session Back Today is our first meeting together since we won the regional competition on Saturday 12/01/19. Today we have been trying to fix the problems that we had with the turning circles and the straight movement. The team is using a trial and improvement method to get the turning values correct so that the turning is much more reliable.
The project team has been contacting more scientists about our project idea to gain more ares to improve on. They are currently contacting Matt Owens, who is a professor at Reading University. They are going to try and contact the European Space Agency about our idea as well.

Some others I. The team have been looking at videos of previous years nationals to find out how many points we need to aim for. This will help us decide which extra missions we need to add into our runs.

Competition Day - Regional Win

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Earlier today, nine of us went to the Rutherford Appleton Laboratory, in Didcot, to compete in our regional FLL. Core values was first, at 10:15, and went quite well, with us all saying things and our pre-prepared poster helping us out too. We achieved second place in the core values ranking.

Next, as 12:00, we had our first robot game, which went terribly. Because there was no practice table and we didn't have enough pre-game time, we weren't able to calibrate our colour sensors and turning constant, so none of our movement worked properly. We scored zero (although also had three penalties for interruption).
At 13:00, we had robot design, and this went amazingly. The judges were very impressed - especially with the robustness of our robot and the modular, fully-commented code (which is available, open-source, on GitHub). We ranked second on this and received comments from the judges afterwards that our robot and coding were exceptional.
Next was another robot game session, w…

Week 11 (11/01/19)

Final Preparations Practicing the Presentation Today we have been practicing for the presentation and making some final adjustments to the order and some speech. All of the other aspects of the competition have been finished and everyone mostly knows their words for the project presentation. The Core Values poster has been printed after some more final edits and the robot and all its attachments are complete. To see our FLL code, please go to https://github.com/rs-blackthunder/fll Sumo Competition After the FLL, we will be running a Lego robotics sumo competition in the Friday club. the area that the bots will fight in is roughly the size of the FLL test board and the robots will fight until one robot is destroyed or cannot move. We also did this last year and receive a lot of positive feedback from club members. 
This week members have been starting to build their robots that they will use in the competition and brainstorming what good tactics are and what attachments to use to carr…

FLL December Update

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Over the past few weeks, we have been unable to run Robotics Club as usual at school, so the team spent two full days (approximately 20 hours) together working on the FLL. Most of this was spent on building attachments; we now have six independent attachments and one add-on. We also completed our robot game plan towards the start of the month; this specifies which missions will be completed in each run, and also gives routes to each of the mission models, viz.:
This plan allows coding to be far more efficient, as we can use the My Blocks we created (moveForward, which takes a value in centimetres; leftTurn, which takes an angle in degrees; and more) to perform the required movement, inputting rough values to start with and then refining them. We find this to be the most efficient method of coding.

Over the past two weeks, Matthew has been hard at work coding our robot; we have now completed run one and half of run two. All of our FLL code is open-source and available online at https:/…

Week 10 (14/12/18)

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Building Attachments In the final week of term, some of the older students have been building attachments for our FLL robot. These will be multi-use attachments, with the aim being to make our robot & runs as efficient as possible. We currently have an attachment for use with the payloads & core extraction and will produce multiple more before the competition day.
Coding the Robot Today, Matthew was adding experimental values for movement in run 1, creating the script to lower and send the payloads onto/down the ramp and drafting the rest of the runs. The speed of coding should ramp up considerably with only a few weeks left until the competition and an operational robot. Project The project is coming along nicely; the team has decided to solve the problem of cosmic radiation in space. Our idea is to create a magnetic shield - more details to come!

Robotics Club Competition - Missions (30/11/18)

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Deadline for RobotsToday the year sevens and eights have been given the deadline for the completion of their Robots. They have been given 3 weeks, starting from today, to finish completing building their bots. This date has had to be delayed as some of the teams have missed some weeks so they are behind on the building of their robots.
Missions There is now a new plan for what missions they will be completing. Each team will be creating their own missions based on current and previous missions from the FLL website:
https://www.first-lego-league.org/en/season/robot-game/missions.html
This is to help develop creativity skills in the younger students at school.