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Showing posts from 2018

Week 10 (14/12/18)

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.




Week 9 (30/11/18)

Coding the Robot This week the team have managed to finalize the path and runs that the robot will take in the competition. After this, they have been working out the angles that the bot will need to turn through to use these paths. Additionally, they have been testing the current code for the robot and making the required modifications to the code. This process is taking a fairly long time as they are having to use trial and error to make the turns more accurate.  The Project The project team have been deciding and making notes on two different possible problems to look into with more detail. These are cosmic radiation and the cost of getting into space. They have been looking into some already present ideas to solve these (e.g Reaction Engines) and also brainstorming ones of their own.

Pi Wars Post 4

Pi Wars Post 4We were overjoyed to receive the news that we were accepted into the Pi Wars Competition. After weeks of nervous anticipation, we can finally put our game faces on and find ways to win the competition! On the 29th of October, we contemplated chassis with different turning mechanisms, and we were choosing out of two designs: fixed axles resulting in less motors or four-wheel drive, turning the wheel and its motor as one block. We believed that the latter idea will give us an advantage in the Spirit of Curiosity and Apollo 13 Obstacle Course Challenges, because the wheels will provide better traction and will be better on uneven ground, and thus we went with this. Coretec TinyOn Friday, the 9th of November, our Coretec Robotics "Tiny" arrived! This provided us with a set of four wheels that will help us dominate the Spirit of Curiosity and Apollo 13 Obstacle Course challenges, four motors and a miniature breadboard. With these parts, no challenge can stop us, as …

Week 8 (23/11/18)

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Robotics Club Competition This week, the year 7 and 8 teams have been redesigning some of their robots, after they realised they weren't very sturdy, and movement was restricted. They had some tips from Matthew and have learned a lot this week. They are now well only the way to producing effective robots. Coding has been put on hold until the robots and tasks for the robots to complete (of which each team will design and build two) have been completed. However, many people now understand the LEGO Mindstorms EV3 programming environment.
FLL Project Research has begun this week into a method of absorbing cosmic radio waves in space, using an attachment on the front of spaceships. This is after the project team decided it would be the best idea of theirs to pursue, as it is a challenging and very interesting topic. The research document has started taking shape; should be done within the next few weeks. Work will then begin on the presentation. FLL Mission Attachments Lucas has been…

Week 7 (16/11/18)

FLL The Project Today we made a start on the project. They have been researching about different apps to help counter isolation and pass time. They have also hypothesized different techniques that let them see family and friend back home by using VR or AR technology. Mission Attachments The building team have been theorizing attachments for the robot so that it can complete several of the different challenges successfully. They have also started to create and refine these attachments so the work to maximum efficiency.  Some of the team have also started to write the code for these attachments, they will finish this and start testing it next week. 
Robotics club competition All of the year 7 and 8 teams have been given an EV3 Brick and a battery. They were using these to test their code, if any changes needed to be made they will most likely make the necessary changes next week. Most of the groups have almost finished their robots and some have started on attachments. However, the pro…

Pi Wars Post 3

Finished Chassis We completed the building of the chassis on Monday, the 12th of November. Complete with four grippy wheels, acrylic and a motor board, all the robot needs now are wires and a Raspberry Pi board to begin its path to victory! As well as that, four motors for four wheels on the chassis will ensure that we get the full range of movement out of the robot.


Pi Wars Post 2

New Robot On Friday, the 9th of November, our Coretec Robotics "Tiny" arrived! This provided us with a set of four wheels that will help us dominate the Spirit of Curiosity and Apollo 13 Obstacle Course challenges, four motors and a miniature breadboard. With these parts, no challenge can stop us, as we have the traction for uneven grounds and the speed to overcome the time limits. Although we unfortunately weren't allowed access to the laboratory, we commenced the building of our robot's base. 

Pi Wars Post 1 (2/11/18)

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Pi WarsWe were overjoyed to receive the news that we were accepted into the Pi Wars Competition. After weeks of nervous anticipation, we can finally put our game faces on and find ways to demolish the competition! Currently, we are contemplating acrylic chassis with different turning mechanisms, and we are choosing out of two designs: fixed axles resulting in less motors or four-wheel drive, turning the wheel and its motor as one block. We believe that the latter idea will give us an advantage in the Spirit of Curiosity and Apollo 13 Obstacle Course Challenges, because the wheels will provide better traction and will be better on uneven ground. We are planning to purchase the Coretec Robotics "Tiny" 4WD, which will provide us with four wheels that have more tread, two extra motors and a motor board. 

Week 6 2/11/18

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FLLToday, the entire team came together to look at which challenges that we will attempt to complete in the competition. They are exploring the mechanics of motion to help with the accuracy of the motors, for example how much to turn the wheel to turn the robot by one degree. We have been evaluating the difficulty to number of points ratio to determine which of the challenges we will complete. Some of the team have been researching about moments to see if we would be able to complete the explosive force challenge. Some methods we have been thinking about are using an elastic band to maximize the force output or dropping a weight onto the lever.  Robotics Club Competition The Year sevens and eights were finishing building their robots and starting to write the initial code for their robots. They have started to evaluate which mission models that they will complete and are refining their robots to compensate for the different attachments that they will need to use to complete the differ…

Week 5 (19/10/18)

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Repairing the Mission Models Today was much quieter than usual, as it was the last day before half term and many went home early. While in storage, many of the mission models were either damaged or misplaced. The building team fixed anything that was broken and found anything that was missing. Meanwhile, complete mission models were placed on the board and the team began to visualise how each individual obstacle could be overcome. The models will be stored more carefully next time.

Year 7 and 8 Competition The year sevens and eights that actually turned up have been making steady progress with their robots and have begun to code them. The robots aren't finished by any means, but they're getting there.

Week 4 (05/10/18)

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The Finishing TouchesToday, the building team was watching the mission model reveal video and using it to make the different attachments that are going to be used to complete the challenges. The coding team have started to code the robot, testing out the moving patterns on the board. they have been making small changes to the robot to have it as efficient as possible. We have also made a back-up robot, to test out other potential ideas for turning and moving.
Year 7 and 8 CompetitionThe year sevens and eights have been continuing to build and design their robot, they have been experimenting different techniques for the wheels and body. They have been allowed free rein of the internet to gain inspiration for their robots. They have not yet started coding their robots as they must first build the robots to a sufficient standard to be able to complete as many of the challenges as possible.





Week 3 (27/9/18)

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Building the Robot
This week the building team started building the actual robot. they are trying to find the best ways to fit the pieces together to get the most efficient outcome. They have also been watching a video on how all of the mission models need to be used. They are using this knowledge to come up with a concept for the different attachments hat are going to be used on the robot to perform the separate tasks that need to be carried out in the competition. The coding team have been trying to comeup with the preliminary code that the robot is going to use.

The year sevens and eights  are continuing with the FLL competition from last year. This week they have started to build their individual robots. They were first split into groups of ten and given some parts to use. They have been told about the different tasks that they will have to perform using these robots, to further help them design and build the robots.



Week 2 (21/09/18)

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Building the BotThe building team from last year have started to build the robot. They took robots that have been used previously at the club and were working on ways to improve them and make them more efficient. They have been working with the coding team to figure out better ways to have the code for the different attachments. They have also been discussing the matter of a giro and whether it should be used. In previous years, Black Thunder has not used a giro as it has not proved trustworthy; they have been speculating how to increase the accuracy, thus making it very useful. This came about as the new board has hardly any lines on, so it will be hard to use an infrared sensor.
Mission ModelsThe year sevens and eights finished building the mission models for 'Into Orbit'. Once they finished, they started building the mission models from last year's FLL competition. They will be building their own robots and using last year's board to try and complete the robot based…

Week 1 (14/9/18)

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Introduction to the FLL

Today we were introducing the new year sevens to Robotics Club. They were shown an introductory presentation that went over the details of the FLL competition. The more experienced members of the club started to set up the practice board. They used the mission models that the new year sevens had started to build. Some of the year sevens shared their opinions on the prospect of going to a competition outside of the curriculum. Parth said 'it's Awesome!!'.

In the following weeks, The club will be split into three groups: Project, Building and Coding. These groups will work on the appropriate sections of the competition requirements. The coding team will work on the code for the robot; the building team will build the robot; the project team will work on a document researching a chosen topic on the theme 'into orbit' and a presentation on how to solve problems regarding the theme.