Our MoonBots Phase I finalist prizes arrived today! We received a Lego Mindstorms NXT 2.0 robotics kit to add to our collection, 4 Google Lunar X MoonBots 2012 t-shirts, a $150 Visa gift card, a Dexter Industries solar power kit for our Mindstorms robot, 25 Lego gray base plates, a set of four 48mm Lego compatible Rotacaster robot wheels, 10 Lego keychains and brochures to share. We will use our prizes to build our MoonBots Phase II contest challenge entry.
2012 MoonBots announced the 30 finalists of Phase 1 of the 2012 MoonBots: A Google Lunar X PRIZE LEGO® MINDSTORMS® Challenge yesterday at 6pm.
Drum roll, please. It’s official per the MoonBots website — Model Scout Robotics was one of 30 youth teams worldwide to be named a Phase I finalist! We get to participate in Phase II. The team is all smiles and overjoyed.
Thank you to sponsors of the 2012 MoonBots program for the opportunity to participate in Phase II MoonBots. The team is getting ready to transform its designs into reality and show our community how fun and rewarding STEM can be for youth.
For Phase II we are planning a 6 foot by 6 foot lunar landscape with mission puzzles. We will then build and program a LEGO Mindstorms robot to cleverly solve the puzzles. The last part of the competition is sharing our project with youth in North Texas . It’s a lot of work and we’re excited to make our design a reality.
On May 12, 2012, team members Matthew Thomas and Anthony Mellone placed first and second in the Junior Level Line Following contest at the Dallas Personal Robotics Group (DPRG) Roborama 2012a competition.
For the Line Following contest, robots had to successfully make two laps around a course indicated by black electrical tape on white vinyl tile. Matthew’s robot (“Heinz Doofenbot”) completed 2 laps of the course in 75 seconds; Anthony’s robot (“Subatomic Fusion”) had difficulty with one of the sharper curves but still earned second place. Both Matthew and Anthony received gift certificates to mindsensors.com and Tanner Electronics for their entries.
Below is a video of Matthew’s winning run. You can also see other videos of Model Scouts robots at Roborama 2012a, the full Roborama 2012a video playlist, and other pictures from the event.
Coach Patrick also entered some events at Roborama. We’re all looking forward to the next DPRG contest!
Model Scout Robotics attended the Boy Scout of America Circle 10 Council awards dinner at Plano Centre on April 19th, 2012. On stage, each team member was awarded a Certificate of Achievement for their success as a Scout team in FLL arobotics competitions. The audience chuckled that our winning robot was named “ScoutBot”. We were the youngest award recipients at the dinner. Two of the Scouters there thought Katie might be the youngest girl to receive a Circle 10 recognition award (she’s 14) in the Council’s history (1913) since Boy Scouts is historically just for boys. They also noted that maybe 1 Cub Scout in the council (our council is the large with about 50,000 youth members) would earn a council level award each year. Our team has 3 Cub Scouts, so Circle 10 made Team Model Scouts night a very happy one! The van was full of chatter on the way home. I wish I had taken a picture of the Welcome Robotics team banner at the registration table but it did not occur to me until the next day. I’ll remember next time!
Model Scout Katie’s pre-engineering team at school brought home the “Connecting the Community” award from the Visioneering 2012 competition at Southern Methodist University.
Model Scout Matthew Thomas earned his Arrow of Light award and Webelos 20 Super Achiever awards at Cub Scout Pack 79’s Blue and Gold Banquet on February 19, 2012. He had a great time at Pack 79. Matthew chose Troop 219 as his boy scout troop.
Footage from his Webelos to Boy Scout crossover ceremony is available.
Here are videos of our quarterfinal and semifinal rounds at the North Texas Regional FLL Championship on January 21, 2012. We scored 205 points (our highest!) in the quarterfinal round and 195 points in the semifinal round. We made it to the final round and took second place, but couldn’t get a good video angle so we don’t have that one.
Many thanks to Michael Thomas for the video footage!
Here’s the quarterfinal round. The bacteria missed the sink in the final mission(s), so we didn’t get our robot-maximum of 209 points.
Here’s the semifinal round. The robot hit and moved the blue pollution ball as designed, but the ring moved with it so we didn’t get the points there. When turning to head to the far (east) wall, the angle was slightly off so we missed the purple bacteria dispenser.
Happy Valentine’s Day!
In honor of Valentine’s Day, we have retired ScoutBot after a great first season in FLL. Our team sponsor requested that we not dismantle him and reuse the parts. Scoutbot will stay assembled on a shelf in our lab with our trophies as a permanent reminder of our great first season in FIRST LEGO League. We will still take ScoutBot out to community events. Our coach ordered a replacement Mindstorms kit so we will have enough kits for next FLL season.
The FLL competition was produced by the Museum of Nature & Science and presented by Lockheed Martin. Teams of young “engineers-in-training” spent months studying food safety, then built and programmed autonomous robots using LEGO® MINDSTORMS technology to score points in 2.5-minute “mission” matches on a food safety themed playing field. Over 150 teams from the North Texas region competed in five regional qualifiers in December 2011; the top ten teams from each qualifier were invited to compete in the regional championship on January 21, 2012.
With a mission to inspire young people to be science and technology leaders, FLL engages kids through exciting, mentor-based programs that build math, science and technology skills. Aimed at an international audience of students, ages 9 through 14, the competition teaches real-world problem solving through engineering design and teamwork.
Congratulations to Model Scout Anthony Mellone for 1st Place in the 2011-2012 Science Fair at Skaggs Elementary. His entry was “Phosphates, Nitrates, and Alkalinity! Oh My!”. He tested the levels of pollution from different sources of water; both naturally occurring bodies of water and tap water.