Calibrate Program PDF Print E-mail
Written by Joey   
Wednesday, 07 October 2009 21:16

UPDATED 10/17/2009 at 10:37pm  - Revised code to remove use of Mini-Blocks 

This is our Cougar Calibrate program.  It is set up to use the light sensor on port 1.

  1. Start the program.
  2. Move your robot around until the light sensor is reading the lowest value you can easily find on the field (darkest spot).
  3. Press the left button.
  4. Suddenly it will be reading 0 for that dark value.
  5. Move the robot around until the light sensor is reading the brightest value you can find.
  6. Press the right button.
  7. Suddenly it will be reading about 100 for that light value.
  8. Move the robot around checking to see that the light values are ranging from 0 to 100.
  9. Stop the program.
  10. Do not run it again unless you want to recalibrate again.  The first step of the program resets the light sensor calibration.

 

Attachments:
Download this file (Cougar Calibrate.rbt)Cougar Calibrate.rbt[Calibrate Light Sensor 1 for min and max values]1078 Kb17/10/09 21:36
Last Updated on Saturday, 17 October 2009 22:05
 
Magnets for your Robots PDF Print E-mail
Written by Jamie Diamond   
Monday, 19 October 2009 19:34

Several teams have asked us about our use of magnets.  We used magnets extensively in the Power Puzzle and a fair bit in Climate Connections.  We will probably use them again this year.  Here are the parts we use complete with links to  them on Bricklink.

The Magnets themselves are LEGO Part # 73092 -> http://www.bricklink.com/search.asp?q=73092

The magnet holder we use most often is Part # 2607 -> http://www.bricklink.com/search.asp?q=2607 

Some other magnet holders we have and have occasionally used are Part # 2609 -> http://www.bricklink.com/search.asp?q=2609

and Part # 30159 -> http://www.bricklink.com/search.asp?q=30159

 
Bluetooth USB Adapters PDF Print E-mail
Monday, 19 October 2009 21:57

The Lego Mindstorms support page lists several Bluetooth devices that are supposed to be compatible, however, that was with Windows XP. Some of the devices have bad reviews when it comes to installing and working with Vista. The Belkin F8T013 does seem to have good reviews with Vista. The Abe UB22S is the one that Lego sells.  Local sources don't stock much and the ones they "Ship to Store" (i.e. WalMart sells the Cables-To-Go device) have reports that they are not compatible with Vista. Buyers would be well advised to do some research on the web before buying anything.

Here is the link to the Lego Bluetooth compatible devices: http://mindstorms.lego.com/overview/Bluetooth.aspx.

I will try to get some screen shots of the steps to set up Bluetooth in the MindStorms program. If anyone has anything already - please send it for me to add.

Last Updated on Tuesday, 20 October 2009 08:36
 
Do you use NXT-G or Robotlab? PDF Print E-mail
Written by Jamie Diamond   
Tuesday, 08 September 2009 19:00

Do the Cougars use NXT-G or Robolab?

We're using NXT-G 2.1 with the addition of some standard sub-routines and the legacy integer math blocks and the legacy mini-blocks.

Last Updated on Saturday, 04 September 2010 14:51
 
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  • Super Regionals - Then and Now
    Super Regional competitions were piloted in 2014 with the intent of creating a more balanced progression of competition. As FIRST Tech Challenge grew, the single World Championship accommodating 128 teams resulted in a very small percentage of teams making it to the top level of competition.

    Super Regional events provided a solution to this problem, and allowed more teams to reach a higher level of competition. The events were a tremendous success. The regions that stepped up to organize, fundraise and execute the events were amazing. The sponsors who believed in the vision donated over a million dollars to make them happen. The team experience was unlike anything else. We are truly grateful for the passion and effort that went into these events.

    Since the inception of Super Regionals several things have changed. Most significantly, we’ve added a second World Championship, as well as new World Championship venues.



    In 2017 FIRST Tech Challenge doubled the number of teams attending World Championships from 128 to 256. The percentage of teams progressing from one competition level to the next was turned on its head. In addition to more spots for 40 international FIRST Tech Challenge teams we added a waitlist/lottery for 80 FIRST Tech Challenge teams at World Championships. That still left spots for 136 Super Regional teams, or 47% of teams competing at Super Regionals.

    The cost to teams competing in both Super Regionals and World Championships is not insignificant. In addition, the cost of the events themselves is substantial, the volunteer and coach time, and the compression of the FIRST Tech Challenge season, it really adds up. Most importantly, the original reason for creating Super Regionals which was helping more students reach a higher level of competition is being solved by the addition of a second World Championship event.

    Taking into account all these factors, 2018 will be the last year of FIRST Tech Challenge Super Regionals.

    Houston and Detroit World Championships each offer new opportunities, mainly in layout and the chance to have all programs again under one, enormous roof. In fact each of the new venues can accommodate more FIRST Tech Challenge teams than our previous venues.

    Starting in 2019 we are happy to announce that each World Championship will host 160 FIRST Tech Challenge teams, or a total of 320 teams from around the world. We will continue to make the FIRST Tech Challenge World Championship experience loud. Teams can expect to compete side-by-side on the largest stages with FIRST Robotics Competitions and in places like Minute Maid Park and Ford Field as well as the George R. Brown and Cobo Convention Centers.



    The growth of FIRST Tech Challenge continues, and we love it. Making our program available to more and more students is what it’s all about. We’re proud to have Championships that recognize and celebrate the students, coaches, volunteers and sponsors that make it all happen. I look forward to seeing you out at the competitions and then changing the world!

    Thanks,

    Ken Johnson, FIRST Tech Challenge Director