Tuesday, November 24, 2009

Final weeks

Like most projects much of FLL is trying to control chaos and then organizing it into something presentable. As we near our Dec. 12th date much of what we've been working on is now coming together.

Our project this year is so awesome. We've spent a lot of time in research and have interviewed four experts with a fifth lined up. I'm hoping the judges will be blown away. The team has done a terrific job. 

Carol and I have worked hard to put a state tournament polish on what we're presenting at our regional. The purpose is to be that much further along should we advance to state. Last year we discovered the month interval between regional and state leaves very little time to make improvements. Especially when you factor Christmas and News Years into the equation.

Considering all the time we've spent the project our table missions are a tad behind schedule. I'm not too worried though because we've worked out our navigation so that the robot can find its way using sensors and way points. Unlike last year the kids are working out the solutions pragmatically. Their plan is to run three missions with a couple contingency missions in case something goes wrong and they need to retrieve the robot by hand.

I'm also proud of the kids for learning and applying some advanced programming techniques. Six of our seven members can explain a proportional controller and half them can write one from memory. I think it's pretty cool. I hope the technical judge will think so too.

Sunday, November 22, 2009

Table Progress

West: The robot can pick up the blue loop, the gray loop, and the three loops consistently every time but still has to pick up the next gray loop yet.

End (east): Robot performs every thing consistently but the ending turns still need to be tweaked.

T2: First two loops grabbed consistently but brown still needs work.