Category Archives: events

Volunteered at Perot Museum for Innovation and Engineering Discovery Day

Model Scout Robotics put in a full day volunteering at the Perot Museum on February 9.   For the Discovery Day on Innovation and Engineering event, the team members gave demos of our FIRST LEGO League 2012 Robot Game solution.  We also brought several of our other LEGO Mindstorms robots and had a station set up so visitors could drive our robots on the floor using our tablet, Android phone or LEGO Mindstorms controller.   One of the robots was a variation of our MoonBots robot so the kid driver could drive watching the robot’s camera output on our laptop.

One of our parents kept a tally on visitors to our station.   We demoed to a total of 320 people at the Perot Museum.    We got as many kids as we could to run our remote control enabled LEGO Mindstorms robots and gave the kids the opportunity to setup and run our robot missions under our guidance to give them the feel of competing in a FIRST LEGO League robot game.   It was a fun day!

1st Place Champion’s Award at North Texas Regional FLL Championship, on to Nationals

Model Scout Robotics participated at the 2012 North Texas FIRST LEGO League (FLL) Regional Championship tournament at the Hockaday School on January 12, 2013.   They won the 1st Place Champion’s Award at the event — the highest award in FIRST LEGO League at the regional level.    This award is earned by the team with the strongest performance across all four areas of the competition (robot game, robot design, project and core values).

Our team now has an invitation to attend the FLL North American Open Invitational championship at LEGOLAND California from May 17 to 19th 2013!   We are raising funds and we are going!Team members are (from left to right): Walter, Anthony, Matthew, Veronica and team captain Katherine.

Coppell FLL Scrimmage and Engineering Expo

Model Scout Robotics went to the Coppell FLL Scrimmage and Engineering Expo on Nov 10, 2012. Thirteen North Texas FLL teams participated.  Model Scout Robotics had the top score.  Our robot made some mistakes, but we still earned first place.   Here is the team with our “Cowstravaganza” First Place Robot Game trophy (photo coming soon).  Coppell Robotics First Tech team is called the Mad Cows — thus the cow themed trophy.

A big THANK YOU to Matthew Johnston and Coppell Robotics for hosting an excellent scrimmage.  We know how much work has to occur “behind the scenes” for events like this, and the whole team of Coppell organizers and volunteers are to be highly commended for their work.

We were also quite glad to see so many familiar faces from last year’s North Texas FIRST LEGO League competitions.  If we didn’t get a chance to properly say “hello” to you, it’s only because we were busy trying to watch other teams’ robots and fix some unexpected problems with our own! (Our robot failed spectacularly in its second round…  Lesson learned:  Always check that your sensor cables are plugged in fully at the start! :-) )  Best of luck to everyone at the regional qualifiers!

After participating in the FLL Scrimmage the team visited the Coppell High Engineering Expo which was adjacent the to FLL scrimmage.   Katie chatted with many of the colleges that were presenting at the Engioneering Expo.  The colleges were looking for students with past engineering and robotics experience which is good for our whole team.  Katie, Veronica and Walter visited most of the college booths.  Matthew and Anthony spent some of their time watching the Coppell Robotics basketball playing robot and talking shop with the team.

Coppell Robotics hosting FLL scrimmage Nov. 4

Terrific news! Coppell Robotics will again be hosting a scrimmage for FLL teams on November 4th. They hosted a scrimmage last year, and as a (then) rookie FLL team we found it to be incredibly helpful in our preparations for the regional qualifiers.

Also, like last year, the scrimmage will be held in conjunction with the school’s 5th Annual Engineering Expo, which means that FLL team members can explore schools and projects related to engineering, as well as see some of the entries for high school level competitions. Last year our team really enjoyed touring the many exhibits.

So, if you’re a FLL 2012 team in the North Texas area, I highly recommend having your team participate in the scrimmage. Don’t worry if your robot doesn’t perform well — the important thing is to get some experience with a contest-like environment and to see how other teams are approaching the challenges. (For example, the “fish sweeper” we used in last year’s robot game came directly from watching another team’s robot at the scrimmage do a similar thing.)

Space is limited, though, only about 15-25 teams will be able to participate, first-come first-served. To register or get more details, send an email to coppellrobotics@gmail.com.

Even if you don’t have a robot ready for the scrimmage, make plans to attend the scrimmage and Expo. Just having an opportunity for your team to meet other teams and share ideas will be worth it.

International Observe the Moon Night 2012 is Saturday, Sept 22nd

This Saturday night, September 22, is International Observe the Moon Night.   Space enthusiasts with telescopes have planned moon observation events throughout the world.  Many of the events are open to the public.  To find a party near you, check out the event map at the International Observe the Moon event’s web site.    There are hundreds of moon gazer parties throughout the world.  Chances are there is a public moon watch event near you where you can talk with space enthusiasts and view the moon through their telescopes.   Our robotics club will be at a Dallas area public moongazer party.

 

Matthew and Anthony win at DPRG Roborama2012a

Matthew and Anthony for Roborama 2012aOn 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!

North Texas Regional FLL Championship Playoff Videos

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.

Team Model Scouts wins awards at 4th annual North Texas FLL Robotics Championship

Team Model Scouts 2011

Team Model Scouts (#8658) won two awards at the fourth-annual North Texas FIRST LEGO® League (FLL) Regional Championship robotics tournament.  The team placed 2nd in the Robot Performance Competition and received the Judges’ Award as special recognition of their overall performance at the tournament.  The team consisted of (left to right in photo) Brady Chanpong, Katherine Thomas, Matthew Thomas, Anthony Mellone, and Brendan Chanpong, all of Plano, Texas.

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.

Unofficial FLL Scrimmage at Coppell Engineering EXPO

We went to a scrimmage today to practice being at an FLL tournament.  The scrimmage was part of Coppell High School’s Engineering Expo.  So the afternoon was part scrimmage and part field trip.    Robbie worked quite well on their FLL tables.  We earned 121 points in the robot game.  There were a few waves in the mat.  We wonder if the regional qualifier tables will be similar.  A big thank you to Coppell Robotics’ FLL Team “The Mad Cows” for putting on the scrimmage event!

Also, did you know that Coppell High School has an engineering booster club?  Parents and the community really support the education of their future engineers in that city. Awesome!