Monday, September 26, 2011

FLL - Food Factor: NXT Robot & Software Resource...


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V. “LeGo-Bots Lady” Greene
2011
http://learn.cs2n.org/ - Free online FLL Programming Training
http://www.legoeducation.com - Purchasing kits & parts

Building & Programming ideas
http://mindstorms.lego.com/NXTLOG/default.aspx - 100s of models & program ideas
http://ldd.lego.com/download/default.aspx - Free designer software for LEGO models & NXT
http://www.nxtprograms.com/ - Models, building instructions, & programs
http://legoengineering.com/component/docman/ - Building instructions & programs

FLL Tournament:

Books:
Kelly, James Floyd. LEGO Mindstorms NXT-G Programming Guide.2nd edition Berkley, CA: Apress, 2010. $24.95
Griffin, Terry. The Art of LEGO Mindstorms NXT-G Programming. San Francisco, CA: No Starch Press, 2010. $29.95.
Top of Form
Bottom of Form
Kelly, James & Daudelin, Jonathan. FIRST LEGO League: The Unofficial Guide. San Francisco, CA: No Starch Press, 2008. $25.
Trrobaugh, James J. Winning Design! LEGO Mindstorms NXT: Design Patterns for Fun & Competition. Berkley, CA: Apress, 2010. $29.99

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Saturday, September 24, 2011

FLL - Food Factor: Missions Scorer App...


Last year a great App for "iDevices" was made available to score the missions in the Game Performance of the FIRST LEGO League Competition.

The new App for this year's competition "Food Factor" is now available. Looking at this year's, somewhat complex, scoring rules & conditions, this App is going to be a very valuable tool! It lets you score, time, save & e-mail your missions score, links to the FIRST website for info, rules, Game updates & Project page. Price for this wonderful tool... 99 cents.

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Saturday, September 17, 2011

FLL - Food Factor: LEGO Digital Robot Design...



One of the objectives of FIRST is to expose young people to the possibilities of engineering and technology. The LEGO® Digital Designer is an excellent way to introduce kids to the world of Computer Aided Design. FLL and FTC teams can design attachments made with the Mindstorms NXT kit, print out pictures of it, and view or print out the steps for the best way of building the attachment. It is a
free download-able program from www.lego.com, so team members who happen to have a brain-storm at home, can download it to their computer, design their idea, and bring in the results to the team at the next meeting.

It is a great tool for designing attachments, or even an entire NXT robot, while teaching young people another technological skill.

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FLL - Food Factor: Color Sensor...


It's official...

The HiTechnic/LEGO color sensor MAY NOT be used in the FIRST LEGO League competition!

The LEGO RGB color sensor is the one that is allowed to be used:


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Friday, September 16, 2011

Omni-Wheels forn NXT - Update...


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Omni-Wheels for the Mindstorms® NXT robot hobbyist...
is NOW AVAILABLE from


Rotacaster - Australia
http://www.rotacaster.com.au/robot-wheels.html 

and

HiTechnic - Marcy, NY
http://www.hitechnic.com/cgi-bin/commerce.cgi?preadd=action&key=HRC2148


However, a creative alternative...
If you happen to have a pair of Tetrix® Omni Wheels you can adapt them to work on your NXT robot. The Tetrix® Omni Wheel attaches to the Tetrix DC drive motor or uses a metal axle to attach it to the metal frame of the robot, but it can be adapted to attach to the NXT Interactive Servo Motor or as a free moving wheel attached to a Technic beam. It's excellent as a third wheel (see above photo).
The Omni Wheels can also be doubled for more stability & traction.


This Omni Wheel can be ordered from LEGO® Education; come as a pair of wheels, one spacer, and four screws. However, I used two of the 3/8" Butt Head Screws, and two 1/2" Socket Head Cap Screws.

NOTE: The Omni Wheel from Rotacaster is NOT allowed in FIRST competitions. The Omni Wheel from LEGO® Education is used in the FTC competition, which uses the Tetrix® and Mindstorms® NXT® kits to build their robot. Sorry FLL teams, this wheel can not be used in the FLL competition - yet! (:-)

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Sunday, September 11, 2011

Remembering 9/11...




May we never forget the heroes and innocent people who lost their lives that horrific day!




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Saturday, September 3, 2011

FLL - Food Factor: New Rulings...


Take Note:

There are new rulings concerning Robot Design...

In the Complete Challenge PDF Document:
http://firstlegoleague.org/challenge/2011foodfactor under "robot game - rules, procedures, philosophies and definitions" - 4- Equipment:

ELECTRIC ELEMENTS
You are allowed a maximum of six non-rotation sensors in the competition area. Choose your favorite combination from among the LEGO-manufactured Mindstorms touch sensors, light sensors, color sensors (LEGO RGB color), and ultrasonic sensors.

This is in reference to the NXT Mindstorms, any combination folks, and yes, there are only 4 Input ports on an NXT. Hmm, think creatively folks and it does say "in the competition area." (hint, hint, :-)

For using the RCX:
RCX robots are allowed, with a max of eight sensors from among touch, rotation, and light.


Also, be sure to download the awards descriptions, there is a change in the Awards:

http://firstlegoleague.org/event/judging


Remember to keep up with the clarification of or new rulings:

http://firstlegoleague.org/challenge/robotgameupdates

LEt's GO Teams!

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