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Robot Week Day 4

We simplified the Library challenge this year.  The robot had to use a string to go around the basket and return to the entrance.  Then the teams had to pull on the string to retrieve the basket with the key.

Mayan Adventure - robot in Library

Here's the FTC team's robot using their light sensor to follow the ring around the basket.  This robot uses a LEGO ball as their third wheel.  Every time the robot needed to be rescued, the ball would roll away and have to be retrieved separately.


Mayan Adventure - retrieving the key in the library  

Here's a picture of Team Teamwork.  Their robot has shot the grappling hook into the basket and then backed up out of the way.  Now they just have to gently pull on the string to retrieve the basket.

One of our goals for today was to encourage the teams to program and test in stages.  Each time they showed up at the temple with a new part of their program to test, their team earned 2 more points up to a maximum of 10 points.  All the teams decided these were easy points and they really didn't need to write the whole program before they started testing.


string robot from LEGO MindstormsThe Mayan Monkeys created a little robot called Key Monster.  They tried out a line following program, but were having problems with it.  Rather than spending a lot of time solving it, they create a program that drove in a square around the basket and then headed back to the entrance.  It worked great!

Points for Mayan Monkeys

10    Testing program in stages
5      Working robot
5      Sensor to find basket or ring
5      String around basket
0      Robot returns on it's own
0      Retrieving key
8.5   Team work 

33.5 Total points for Key Monster


LEGO robot with grappling hook attached to stringTeam Teamwork decided to try something completely different.   There robot was called Experienced.  Rather than drive around the basket with a string, they just went up to the basket and used the LEGO blunt to shoot a grappling hook!   It took a few tries to create a grappling hook that would catch on the side of the basket, but it worked.  They were the only team to retrieve the key!

Points for Team Teamwork

10    Testing program in stages
5       Working robot
5       Sensor to find basket or ring
0       String around basket
0       Robot returns on it's own
5       Retrieving key
9.5   Team work 

34.5 Total points for Experienced 

String robot with Tetrix partsThe Tomb Raiders created Metallic Tarzan today.  Metallic Tarzan gave the team lots of practice with the compass sensor. They spent a lot of time taking sensor readings in the temple.  When the robot worked, it went all the way around the basket.   We all had fun watching the robot.  When it used the compass sensor, it would often spin in place until it found the next direction value.  The robot did very nice pirouettes.  At first, their robot had the string attached very low, but the spinning caused it to get all tangled.  They quickly redesigned their robot so that the string was much higher off the ground.

Points for Tomb Raiders

10    Testing program in stages
5      Working robot
5      Sensor to find basket or ring
0      String around basket
0      Robot returns on it's own
0      Retrieving key
9.5   Team work 

29.5 Total points for Metalic Tarzan ! 



Fourth Challenge 

After the teams finished the Library challenge, we had a simplified tunnel challenge for them.  They did need to get a scroll since it had information they would use on the last day.  We created an eight foot tunnel that had a pressure plate on the back wall as well as one in front of it on the floor.  The robot had to go down the tunnel, stop on the pressure plate and push the one on the back wall.  It released a trap door that dropped the scroll at the front of the tunnel so they could just pick it up.  

Here are some pictures of the trap door mechanism.  The picture on the left shows the scroll at the front of the tunnel.  The string is attached to a pin.  When the plate on the back wall is pushed, the string is pulled, the pin moves enough so that the scroll can drop down.

The picture on the right shows the area behind the gray plate that is one the back wall of the tunnel.  When it is pushed, it falls down (onto the tire) and pulls the string which releases the scroll. 

mechanism to drop the scroll pressure plate with string to be pulled


Tetrix robot pushing plate on back wall

The third picture shows the Tomb Raiders robot about to push the gray pressure plate.  

All the teams had fun with this challenge and it was a great way to end the day.


robot to go down tunnelThe Mayan Monkeys created Tunnel Bot which was simple and it worked perfectly. Tunnel Bot was the first robot to get the scroll!   Tunnel bot had a long arm that had a touch sensor on the end of it to know when it had reached the back of the tunnel.  The Mayan Monkeys were learning about parallel processing today.  Since the robot didn't have to hold the scroll as it backed up, they had to come up with a place in the program to use parallel  processing.  They used the sound effects to have the robot sing a short song while it waited on the pressure plate.  

Points for Mayan Monkeys

4   Sketch before build
5   Parallel processing
5   Finding Button
5   On Pressure Plate
5   Opening Secret Door
5   Robot return's on it's own
8   Team work 

37 Total points for Tunnel Bot


LEGO robot to drive down a tunnelTeam Teamwork created a robot called Gracious Professionalism.  It used some innovative ideas to complete a simple mission.   The robot went to the end of the tunnel,  jacked itself up, and then, used a rack and pinion system to thrust the arm forward into the hole.  It worked during testing, but they weren't able to retrieve the scroll during the scoring runs.  This picture shows the robot when it would be pushing the pressure plate.  When it's flat, the white wheels can roll along the wall to help keep it straight.

Points for Team Teamwork

3     Sketch before build
5     No set rotations, 
5     Finding Button
5     On pressure plate
0     Opening Secret Door
5     Robot returns on it's own
10   Innovative Solution
10   Team work 

43 Total points for Gracious Professionalism

Tetrix robot using compass sensorThe Tomb Raiders created a robot called Wall Runner.  Unfortunately, their wall running ideas didn't work out and their final robot doesn't look much like a wall runner!  Wall Runner has a gear as third wheel, rather than a ball.  

They did come up with an Innovative use of the compass sensor to create a line following program that didn't use a line!

Points for Tomb Raiders

4 Sketch before build
5 Using Tetrix
5 Finding Button
5 On pressure plate
0 Opening Secret Door
5 Robot returns on it's own
3 Innovative Solution
8 Team work 

35 Total points for Wall Runner


The information on the scroll was written in Mayan hieroglyphics.  All three scrolls contained the words Wisdom, Bravery and Honor in a different sequence.  


Continue reading Mayan Adventure Robot Camp  Day 5


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This page contains a single entry from the blog posted on July 4, 2009 8:38 AM.

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