Apr 29, 2006

FLL - Posting 9

This one's personal.

I enjoyed my time at FLL. Just when you think you've seen it all, a group will walk over with a RCX contraption that performs a challenge using a completely unique method. I can't wait to see what these kids can do with the NXT.

The BIGGEST complaint I heard from all the teams I watched was the difficulty in keeping their bots going in a straight line. One challenge required the bot to go almost 6 feet in a straight line and this was very frustrating to them. After many demo's of the NXT and the straight line the device could hold, they were in awe. With the NXT and straight-lines being an issue of the past, FLL will have to figure out new ways to frustrate the builders :)

There was a LOT of discussion about whether FLL would be fair with NXT and RCX bots participating next year. There aren't any answers yet, but I did hear some teams admit they weren't going to be able to move over to NXT for at least a few years. Other teams were ready to scrap their RCX and move completely to NXT. FLL has its hands full with figuring out how this can be resolved.

I got to meet Soren Lund. Very nice individual - and VERY positive and proud of the NXT. He gave me his business card, so I have his phone number now... (don't worry, Soren, I won't abuse the privilege - international rates are crazy.) There is a gathering tomorrow of the MDP and I have some questions for him... if you have some, let me know. I'll do my best to pin him down for a few Q&A minutes.

All in all, it was a great time. LEGO is definitely behind the product, and the kids (and adults) were surprised and impressed with the new components, motors, and sensors.

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