There are many space issues that FIRST LEGO League teams could investigate for the upcoming challenge season.
However, there is one controversial paramount concern and that is the astroid that is coming close to earth's atmosphere, astrophysicist such as Neil deGrasse Tyson (American astrophysicist, author, and science communicator. Since 1996, he has been the Frederick P. Rose Director of the Hayden Planetarium at the Rose Center for Earth and Space in New York City) predicts,
“On Friday the 13th of April 2029, an asteroid large enough to fill the Rose Bowl as though it were an egg cup, will fly so close to Earth, that it will dip below the altitude of our communication satellites... it's named Apophis, after the Egyptian god of darkness and death. If the trajectory of Apophis at close approach passes within a narrow range of altitudes called the 'keyhole,' the precise influence of Earth's gravity on its orbit will guarantee that seven years later in 2036, on its next time around, the asteroid will hit Earth directly, slamming in the Pacific Ocean between California and Hawaii...If Apophis misses the keyhole in 2029, then, of course, we have nothing to worry about in 2036."
Take a look at what the European Space Agency has be working on about the topic,
Back in 2011, I reviewed a book, Winning Design: Mindstorms NXT Patterns for Fun and Competiton by James Jeffery Trobaugh (Apress publishers). Since then the LEGO Mindstorms EV3 robotics system has come on the scene. So last year Trobaugh published an updated version of his NXT book to feature the EV3 robotic system, Winning Design: Mindstorms EV3 Patterns for Fun and Competitonby James Jeffery Trobaugh (Apress publishers), 2017. Again the author’s purpose is to help coaches and teams better understand what it takes to successfully compete in the Robot Performance and Technical of the FIRST LEGO League and other LEGO(R) robotics events. He offers insight into what it takes to develop hopefully a winning robot; and what comes across in the book is planning: planning robot design, planning the order of executing the missions, planning in programming.
It is a book for both rookie teams as well as veteran teams. It is one of those “everything you need to know” type of books about building a robot for the FLL tournament (which also can be easily applied to other tournaments). Most of the information presented in the NXT book was easily applied to the EV3. What is different from the NXT book is, of course, it focuses on the EV3 brick, sensors, and programming.
Coaches/instructors will find the book well organized so they will be able to find the information and advice they need; it is full of helpful tips. The sections on consistent turning, gearing, squaring up, line following/color sensors, and gyro sensors are a must read. There are a lot of pictures/diagrams to go with the explanations.Besides the robot performance, there is a section on the Techincal presentation of the competition.
There's a rumor going around. Will FIRST allow Scratch programming on EV3 bricks at the tournaments? Currently, the only programs allowed are Roblab (RCX) NXT-G, and EV3-G. Right now (May 2018), Scratch for EV3 is still in the experimental stage...
Motor Power - Determines the power and speed the motor will turn. Power is in the range of numbers 0-9 that can be combined to make a number larger than 9.
1. Zero, of course, is no power.
2. Even though you can put in a large number for the power, it seems that max. is at about 20.
3. As power increase so does speed. Plus, the distance the shaft rotates also increases. So if the robot was a vehicle and you increase the power w/o increasing the Wait For, how will it affect the distance traveled? Try it out...
We do know we can have 2 motors connected to 1 Smarthub and they will both be controlled by a single Motor This/That Wayor Motor On For block, but you can control them individually. In the LEGO Education WeDo 2.0 Curriculum Pack it shows you how by using the Motor This/That Way (which runs continuously until indicated to stop) block, but you can also use the Motor On For block. Click/Press the block until the Labelling Panel of 6 squares appears above it. Each square has a color assigned to it for each motor - up to 6 motors. Tap the Labelling Panel to change the color and assign that motor on the particular Smarthub.
Now, we can take it a step further, you can individually select up to 6 motors on the 3 Smarthubs paired with (connected) and programmed by one program string or parallel program strings from one device (tablet/computer). You can select which motors to control on which Smarthubs, as well as assign different power levels the same way with Motor Power blocks, but remember an unselected Motor Power block or unselected Motor This/That Way orMotor On For block will control all motors at that point in the program. However, multiple sensors cannot be "selected" (if a sensor on one Smarthub detects, then the response causes all Smarthubs to respond and this is where motor selection can be helpful to control which motors you want to respond. Sound and displays are through the device so it happens exactly where it is in the program string. Imagine, you can turn on and off any motor on any Smarthub in your project - Awesomeness!
To run his car, instead of just adding programming blocks in one line of code, he actually used three lines of code - parallel coding. If he had put all of it in one line of code, the vehicle would pause while waiting for, let's say play sound, to finish executing before continuing to move. Now, in the LEGO Education WeDo 2.0 Curriculum Pack parallel coding can be done by using the Send Message, and Start On Message blocks. However, Daniel had not learned those blocks yet, so he invented his own way of doing parallel coding.
By doing this he was able to have the vehicle perform 3 functions at the same time - in this case: movement, color change, & sound. Cool!
To run the above 3 Loop programs, use three finger to tap on all 3 Start blocks at the same time or quickly tap on each Start on each.
Another way of parallel coding is to use the Message blocks:
If you like a little challenge, you can also write a code that has WAIT for Time at the beginning of the programs so that you have time to tap each Start individually. The program below is without Loops so it will run just once. The challenge is getting all to start and end at the same time - test your programming skills!
There are various ways of coding, explore the possiblilites...