Category Archives: MoonBots

MoonBots 2012 The Thrive Award

The MoonBots 2012 judges have announced the awards.   Model Scout Robotics earned

The Thrive Award – For their effort to keep going no matter the personal obstacle. This team has surprised the judges for their completion of the lunar surface and the robot missions. Definitely deserve the ultimate Gold Star Robotics Merit Badge!

Our coach’s wife condition is stable.  We look forward to competing in MoonBots 2013 !

Here is a link to the project we built for the competition.

Moonbots Demonstration

Our MoonBots team (Anthony, Katie, Matthew and Patrick) finished the video of our MoonBots game and our robot running some of the game mission tasks.

We have postponed our Outreach event until we have more of the mission tasks running well.   We designed our MoonBots lunar landscape game board to be easy to transport.  After we have more missions running well we will take it to out to demo to some local scouting groups.  We also plan to demo it at Moon Day (July 20, 2013) at the Frontiers of Flight Museum in Dallas, Texas.

We had a lot of fun working on MoonBots 2012 and we learned many new skills.  We are looking forward to MoonBots 2013.

Community outreach to Troop 219 on Oct 8th

Our team visited Boy Scout Troop 219 at Christ Church in Plano TX on October 8th 2012.  Troop 219 is Model Scout Matthew’s boy scout troop.  The Beaver patrol asked us to help them with their robotics theme this month.  After introductions, SPL Alan sent the troop off to explore the 3 stations our team setup for them:

1.  An introduction to Lego NXT Mindstorms station.  Model Scout Katie went through the basic parts of a robotics system using a standard Lego educational kit.

2.  Our robotics solution to the FIRST LEGO League  (FLL) 2011 Food Factor Challenge.    Model Scouts Anthony and Walter ran this station.  We brought our foam-based travel FLL table so the robot had a bit of trouble navigating the different surface but most of the missions worked.

3. A station with a variety of Lego NXT Mindstorms based robots  that the team members have built.   Matthew, Veronica and Dr. Michaud ran this station.  Matthew also showed the NXT-G programming interface.

Selected photo of our community outreach event are below.

Dr Michaud introduces the Model Scout Robotics Team to Troop 219.

Robotics Station 1:

Robotics Station 2: First Lego League Robot Game Model Scout Robotics solution to 2011 Food Factor

First Lego League Demo at Troop 219

Robotics Station 3:   Line Following, Robotic Gadgets and Intro to NXT-G Programming

Matthew ready to present at the line following and gadget station

Robotics Station 3 Veronica, Matthew and Coach Patrick demo line following and robotics gadgets.


International Observe the Moon Night September 22 Field Trip report

What does Robotics have to do with the Moon?   Glad you asked.   Google Lunar X Prize is offering $30 million USD in prizes for the first privately funded team to send a robot to the Moon that can complete tasks as stated in the prize documents.   Google and several other companies also sponsor a competition for kids called MoonBots.  Model Scout Robotics has a team entered in this competition.  We are learning some astronomy as part of our work in this competition.

Model Scout Katie and her coach went on an astronomy field trip Saturday night September 22nd 2012 to participate in International Observe the Moon Night 2012.    The moon gazing party at the Rockwall Texas public library was led by Max Corneau, a local NASA JPL Space Ambassador.     Mr. Corneau had four telescopes set up to observe the moon.    The telescope provided a brighter and a more 3D effect than looking at pictures of the moon surface online.

Model Scout Matthew was on a boy scout trip at Camp James Ray on Lake Texoma near Pottsboro, TX. His patrol had an impromptu Moon Watch event at camp using binoculars instead of telescopes.   They used the materials published by International Observe the Moon Night to study the moon (pages 1 to 10).   Per Neil Armstrong’s family request, Matthew winked at the moon in honor of Neil Armstrong.  Here’s Matthew winking at the Moon in scout uniform to honor Distinguished Eagle Scout Neil Armstrong on flickr.  Here’s the worldwide IOMN 2012 Wink for Neil Armstrong photo group.

Below are some other photos from our participation in IOMN 2012.

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.


MoonBots 2012 Landscape Design, Game Idea and Missions work complete

For the MoonBots competition, Model Scout Robotics had to complete   “Scaled Lunar Landscape Design” and “Game Idea and Mission” documents.

We finished our paperwork for the September 15 MoonBots deadline.  We have finished this work as described in the MoonBots 2012 official rules.

Click here to see our design work for the MoonBots Phase II competition.

MoonBots Mission Models complete

We finished building our MoonBots Phase II mission models today.

Our next deadline for the MoonBots Phase II is the landscape scaled drawing and game design.  Both of these are due on September 15.  We have our game design finished.  We will finish our scaled drawing at our next 2 MoonBots meetings.

Katie is working on Sunday with our team captain to upgrade our website to add a section for our MoonBots Phase II documents.

Moonbots Meeting 8/15 Made Landscape Prototype

Our team made a paper version of our lunar landscape a month ago.  Today during our Moonbots meeting we confirmed our design by producing a prototype of our missions on the lunar landscape.  We checked that our robot could move about easily and that the robot maintenance bay (base), spaceport, plateau and all mission elements placement made sense on the board.

Our next meeting is Thursday, August 16.  We plan to cut out the plateau from Styrofoam sheets and glue together. 

Note: Our ramp got dropped and broke while we were setting up so we replaced it temporarily with a green base plate for our meeting.

MoonBots 8/11 Meeting Game Missions complete

Today at MoonBots,

  • we reviewed documentation Katie produced from prior meeting notes.  We finalized Game Mission documentation and scoring for missions and penalties.  On our final mission list, we have some missions that highlight Google Lunar X Prize,  opportunities for the Moon (mining, solar energy, science) and 2 other missions just for fun.
  • Then, Matthew and Anthony worked changes to base ramp and another prototype robot.  Katie worked on photos, this blog and building a Facebook page for our team.