Oct 30, 2006

FLL Scrimmage

I was invited to be a judge by the Forsyth Alliance, a group of schools in Forsyth County that encourages collaboration amongst teams from different schools. Yesterday I got to watch 16 individual rounds of the Nanotechnology challenges for this year's FLL competition and it was awesome. I saw some real ingenuity and some great improvisation during live play. I was also able to talk to the students for a few minutes about design ideas and show them one of my robots... they had a LOT of good questions and I could see the ideas forming in their heads as they saw a variety of robotic designs to try and modify...

Pictures from the event are here. If you are involved in any FLL practice tournaments and have pictures/videos you'd like to share, e-mail me the link and a small writeup and I'll be happy to share with the world.

I had fun... thanks to Forsyth Alliance for inviting me to participate.

2 comments:

NH FLL Coach said...

Those photos look great! How many individual teams participated? Did everyone use the NXT instead of the RCX? What were the scores like?

Jim Kelly said...

I believe there were 9 schools represented, with some of the schools having multiple teams (one had 3 that I know of).

All of the teams used the NXT brick, but there were some RCX tires and older components that I saw (but no RCS sensors).

Interestingly, I saw very little use of sensors period. Almost everything I observed was "point and shoot" - we, the judges, were not adhering to the official rules, so we would award points on a challenge if the team solved it after multiple attempts... we would let them start over and reset the challenge if necessary with no penalties. Our goal was to encourage them, not discourage.

The sound level was SO LOUD that there would be no way the Sound sensor would be of any use except as a possible touch sensor set off by a clicking brick, but even then, I think the noise level would have prevented even that little trick.

I saw a few bots with the Touch sensor attached, but they didn't appear to be using it, it was just attached "for looks" I guess.

No Ultrasonic sensors seen (well, maybe one I think, but it was to give the robot "eyes" but not functional).

These were mostly (or all) 4th graders, and I was very impressed with the level of creativity and the improvisation shown... one team had their motors on backwards so "forward was reverse" - they couldn't simply turn the bot around because of the "grabber" attachment on the front, so they took off the grabber and reconnected to the rear... and it worked! Did this in about 10 seconds :)

It was fun... can't wait to see more competitions and I'm sure most or all of these teams will attempt more challenges. Most teams only attempted 2, but a few did 3 and one team did 4. No team attempted all 9 challenges.

Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...