Slide deck from our 2010 Advanced Programming Workshop PDF Print E-mail
Written by Jamie Diamond   
Saturday, 28 August 2010 17:47
Here's the 2010 Slide Deck
Last Updated on Friday, 24 September 2010 08:28
 
Cougar Workshop Bot PDF Print E-mail
Written by The Cougars   
Tuesday, 07 September 2010 06:50

We've designed a Cougar Workshop Bot. And the Incredibots have designed an EV3 version.  It's a simple robot designed just for the workshop.  So If you don't already have a robot for the workshop try this one.  You should be able to build it in about 1/2 an hour.  It's the simplest robot we could come up with that could do ALL of the labs.  It's only got 79 parts plus 6 wires.  With 2 light and 2 touch sensors appropriately located you can try out the back-to-wall and advance-to-line programs.

The LEGO Digital Designer file is attached to this article and the printed building instructions are here
And a new EV3 version of the printed building instructions are here.

 

Wire as follows:

Left Motor -> B

Right Motor -> C

Left-Front Light Sensor -> 1

Right-Front Light Sensor -> 4

Left-Rear Touch Sensor -> 2

Right-Rear Touch Sensor -> 3

Attachments:
Download this file (Cougar Workshop Bot.lxf)Cougar Workshop Bot.lxf[ ]16 Kb07/09/10 07:00
Download this file (EV3 Robot.lxf)EV3 Cougar Workshop Bot[ ]14 Kb15/09/14 19:57
Download this file (EV3_Workshop_Robot.pdf)EV3_Workshop_Robot.pdf[ ]4298 Kb17/09/14 07:57
Download this file (NXT_Workshop_Robot.pdf)NXT_Workshop_Robot.pdf[ ]1575 Kb17/09/14 07:57
Last Updated on Wednesday, 17 September 2014 07:58
 
Joey Explains Magnetic Attachments PDF Print E-mail
Written by The Cougars   
Tuesday, 05 October 2010 18:37

Question

Quick question about the magnets.  I'm a 2nd year coach but this is the first I've heard of them.  I see how and what to order, but exactly how did your team use them?  Are they used to attach attachments to the robot instead of "clicking" Legos together?  Did you ever have problems with attachments falling off their magnets, or are they pretty strong?

Answer

Magnets:  Don't over-rate their usefulness.  They are 1 means to an end.  There are multiple ways to do what we are doing with magnets.  The logic-stream goes like this.

1 - Highly specialized tools are more effective at performing specific tasks with simple programming.
2 - Time is the most limiting resource in an FLL round.
3 - If we can make attachment switching both very fast and reliable then we can utilize highly specialized tools without running out of time.
4 - We used magnets.  We have seen other teams use a girder in hole kind of method, one team had a standard slot under the robot and pushed tools out and left them on the field, and one other team used a remove tools only kind of process.  The goal is the same.  To make the in base transitions quick, reliable, and easy for the kids to do.

This year we had 3 different tools that attached in the same way to the front of the robot, with magnets, and 1 more tool that snapped over the arm and attached with magnets.  This year our robot had a flat front made out of girders.  That flat front had 2 one pip spots in it where the girders left a hole.  The tools had flat backs (to mesh with the robots flat front) except where the robot had a hole, the tools had a girder sticking out 1 pip (we used an "L" girder to accomplish it), that would fit in the hole in the front of the robot.  So the tool, if held against the front of the robot, was generally stable and would not slide around if held against the front of the robot.  The magnets were then used to "hold" the tool against the front of the robot.  The magnets weren't needed to keep the tool from getting too close to the robot.  The magnets weren't needed to keep the tool from sliding around on the front of the robot.  The magnets were only needed to keep the tool from pulling away from the front of the robot.
 
And yes, the magnets are pretty strong. 

Dim lights Embed Embed this video on your site

Dim lights Embed Embed this video on your site  

Last Updated on Tuesday, 05 October 2010 21:04
 
The Performance PDF Print E-mail
Friday, 27 August 2010 07:48
Hey its Ginnie and I just watched the final product for the Cougars for the Moonbots Challenge and the final product looked great!!! I guess memorizing things can help you.  I am hoping to have a pplace in the top three but we already made it to the top 20!!! everyone should be proud of what they did.  I'm really happy with the end product.  I'm sad that I wasn't there for the actual runs but i was there in spirit I guess Smile.  i had so much fun when I was there though.  I've started school here in Chicago and made the school soccer team so that's exciting.  Once again I'm very happy with the end product.  See ya!
Last Updated on Saturday, 04 September 2010 15:12
 
Cougar's final blog-whole team PDF Print E-mail
Written by Joey   
Wednesday, 25 August 2010 21:33

Joey here: The whole moonbots experience was fun. From never having the whole team there at one time, to D-day being the first day of high school, i was stressed. We had been having robot troubles the last few days before the competition but when it came time for the real runs we did well. It was a different experience but it was worth doing and I would do it again. I am currently mentally fried after stress from my first day of high school, moonbots competition, and the fact that i have only been home for 3 days. Thanks for Google and LEGO's support. Getting all the LEGOs was an unexpected bonus. 

Jacob talking here. This is my last moonbots blog I am very sad that this is over i have had so much fun talking to all of you. I would thank the people at Lego for supplying us with the field. We hope that the judges choose us for a prize. I love Lego Mindstorms so much I couldn't write enough about Mindstorms. Now that I know about Moonbots i wish to do this a second year. I cant wait to hear or see the new topic for next years "Moonbots'' I love Lego and Google so much. Thank you CoolCryEmbarassedFoot in mouthFrownInnocentKissLaughingMoney mouthSealedSmileSurprisedTongue outUndecidedWinkYell 

Philip for this part:  So we just, literally JUST finished our competition run submission!  It went great!!!  We scored a 220 points out of the possible 250 we went for.  This means that we picked up 4 yellow rings, and 1 blue ring.  We only missed one ring.  We filmed our run, took pictures of the artifacts, stood on the peak of eternal light, and made it back to base with our rings.  Joey, Jacob, and our coaches/mentors were here too, but Ginnie was absent :( because she moved to Chicago a week ago.  It was sad to see her leave, but we are DEFINITELY going to send her our video's and the results when they come out.  Overall, it was a great experience, and we did GREAT considering Ginnie is now in Chicago, Jacob was in Canada, and Joey was sailing his heart out across the country!  Also, we had originally heard that ring orientation was to be decided, so we built an arm to pick up rings from the base to be able to pick up from any angle.

Jamie and Judy: This was quite the adventure! The Cougar's goal was to have everything done by August 12th.  The last official team practice was August 12th.  Dr. Judy left for New York and Canada on the 11th. Coach Jamie left for Canada on the 13th.  Jacob left for Canada on the 14th.  And Ginnie moved to Chicago (forever, sob) on the 15th.  Philip was loaned a key to our house (the field is in our basement), and he carried on with programming and testing while the rest of the team was out of town.  We all shared ideas by emails and phone with Philip as he programmed and tested.  And everybody blogged from wherever they were when they had the chance

The ruling that came out on the 13th that the rings would be lined up as in the Challenge Blueprint.  We emailed back and forth about about whether we should build a simpler arm that could spear multiple rings and once, and raise and lower faster.  We decided, as a team, that it was too late to make any significant hardware changes. Besides, the arm works pretty well. Just for fun, Joey just ran and videoed one last run with the rings facing different directions and the arm was able to pick up all the rings.

Joey again: Everybody (except Ginnie) got back into town sometime on Sunday, August 22nd.  We met that evening to finish up and submit our video.  Here are some of the things we did since then:

- We reprogrammed mission 1 to move across the field on a hybrid of distance & proximity instead of just distance (too inaccurate) or just proximity (which frequently failed because we are at the upper limit of the ultrasonic sensor's range). 

- We added a catch to the arm so that it catches at the top and resists pulling away from the robot.  This seems to have stopped the rubber band issues.

- We had to rebuild the end of the arm gearing because it started to lock up at the top. New gears, same design, seemed to fix the problem.

- We had to build at least 3 different camera mounts before getting one that worked

- We added an ultrasonic start to the mission so that we don't have to use the computer to start a run. We just wave a hand in fromt of the sensor.

- We shortened the main mission up to stay within the 3 minute time limit.  The robot is capable of picking up the blue rings in the craters and we had written the code to do so. But just getting in and out of the craters took too much time.  We now get the 1st 2 yellow rings along the back wall, park on the POEL, pick up 1 blue ring from the right crater, cross the center wall, pick up the two yellow rings, dash for home.  If all goes well we get 220 points.  We put in a timer reset block right after the ultrasonic start. The robot now checks the time and if it has time, turns around and picks up 1 blue ring without entering the left crater then dashes for home for 250 points. If there isn't enough have time to pick up that last ring, then the robot just dashes for home

- We made a test Skype call with James Isom to make sure it was going to work well.

- We talked about the live mission webcast

-We put together a pre-mission checklist which included tightening both omni wheels, tighten arm and check tension, turn on the on board camera.

Last Updated on Sunday, 05 September 2010 21:06
 
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FTC Blog

FIRST Tech Challenge
The official FTC Blog
  • Welcome to (or back to) FIRST Tech Challenge!
    Welcome to our FIRST Tech Challenge Family! 


    FIRST® registration is now open! It's the perfect time to register your team, ahead of summer break! Check out our streamlined registration process—a simplified dashboard with reminders. Two Youth Protection Plan (YPP) screened Coaches are still required to manage the team roster and begin meeting with youth; however, now Coaches and administrators can create teams, pay, and order products while Coaches are completing the screening process. 

    Our 2017-2018 season is going to be our most exciting season yet! If you have stumbled upon this blog post and have yet to sign up for a team, check out our Start a Team Checklist & Resources that will take you through the process of starting a FIRST Tech Challenge Team. If you still find that you need assistance in starting out, feel free to contact us here at FIRST by shooting an email to ftcteams@firstinspires.org. We also have a handy "Chat" function on this website that allows you to ask questions to our amazing Operations Team. 

    Once on board, you will find that this Useful Links document is your one-stop shop for everything you potentially will need to be successful for your season with FIRST Tech Challenge. Our goal is to not only provide these resources in one convenient location, but also make it easy to find everything you need.

    Your Local Affiliate Partner is also one of your greatest resources. These are your event organizers, your local FIRST contacts, and greatest advocates for your needs throughout the season and beyond. Check in with your Affiliate Partner and when applicable, check out their websites to find out what is happening in your area. Although we post all events on our FIRST Event Search Portal, registration for events are handled locally.  


    It's super important to look at the main topics of each Team Blast, they're sent out weekly and have critical information pertaining to deadlines, program information, and important season information. We have found that Teams who ignore Teams Blasts are at times at a disadvantage when important news is being sent out to the field. We cannot emphasize enough how important it is to check our Team Blasts. You can sign up for team blasts in our registration system or by emailing ftcteams@firstinspires.org. You can also check back in and read all of our FIRST Tech Challenge Team Blasts on our Team Blast archive page


    Each FIRST Tech Challenge Team is unique. From the composition of the type of students who have joined, to the challenges they face when moving throughout the season. These resources are the main topics that you will find necessary. However, we do recognize that this may not cover every circumstance. For that, we strongly encourage Teams to start exploring the FIRST Tech Challenge Forums. Most notably our:

    • Game Q&A Forum - post questions and read clarifications on game rules. Our Game Design committee monitors this forum and your answers will come directly from them.
    • Technology Forum - extremely helpful when building your robot. Post your tech-oriented questions here.
    For the most up to date news on FIRST Tech Challenge, make sure to connect with us through our Social Media pages. We are not only posting on what is happening in the community, but also any important announcements. However, our number one way of communicating any important updates or changes will be conveyed through our Team Blasts. We send out these weekly communique to your Main and Alternate Coach/Mentor. If you are not either of these two roles, but want to stay current with FIRST news, sign up in Team Registration on the www.firstinspires.org site or email ftcteams@firstinspires.org


    Start exploring our FIRST Tech Challenge website and social media channels and do not hesitate to reach out to us here at FIRST with any questions. We've got something a little different and exciting heading your way this week! Keep your eyes peeled on our social media channels. And you'll want to make sure you mark your calendars for the FIRST Tech Challenge Official Season Kickoff on Saturday, September, 9th!