Calibrate Program PDF Print E-mail
Written by Joey   
Wednesday, 07 October 2009 21:16

UPDATED 10/17/2009 at 10:37pm  - Revised code to remove use of Mini-Blocks 

This is our Cougar Calibrate program.  It is set up to use the light sensor on port 1.

  1. Start the program.
  2. Move your robot around until the light sensor is reading the lowest value you can easily find on the field (darkest spot).
  3. Press the left button.
  4. Suddenly it will be reading 0 for that dark value.
  5. Move the robot around until the light sensor is reading the brightest value you can find.
  6. Press the right button.
  7. Suddenly it will be reading about 100 for that light value.
  8. Move the robot around checking to see that the light values are ranging from 0 to 100.
  9. Stop the program.
  10. Do not run it again unless you want to recalibrate again.  The first step of the program resets the light sensor calibration.

 

Attachments:
Download this file (Cougar Calibrate.rbt)Cougar Calibrate.rbt[Calibrate Light Sensor 1 for min and max values]1078 Kb17/10/09 21:36
Last Updated on Saturday, 17 October 2009 22:05
 
Magnets for your Robots PDF Print E-mail
Written by Jamie Diamond   
Monday, 19 October 2009 19:34

Several teams have asked us about our use of magnets.  We used magnets extensively in the Power Puzzle and a fair bit in Climate Connections.  We will probably use them again this year.  Here are the parts we use complete with links to  them on Bricklink.

The Magnets themselves are LEGO Part # 73092 -> http://www.bricklink.com/search.asp?q=73092

The magnet holder we use most often is Part # 2607 -> http://www.bricklink.com/search.asp?q=2607 

Some other magnet holders we have and have occasionally used are Part # 2609 -> http://www.bricklink.com/search.asp?q=2609

and Part # 30159 -> http://www.bricklink.com/search.asp?q=30159

 
Bluetooth USB Adapters PDF Print E-mail
Monday, 19 October 2009 21:57

The Lego Mindstorms support page lists several Bluetooth devices that are supposed to be compatible, however, that was with Windows XP. Some of the devices have bad reviews when it comes to installing and working with Vista. The Belkin F8T013 does seem to have good reviews with Vista. The Abe UB22S is the one that Lego sells.  Local sources don't stock much and the ones they "Ship to Store" (i.e. WalMart sells the Cables-To-Go device) have reports that they are not compatible with Vista. Buyers would be well advised to do some research on the web before buying anything.

Here is the link to the Lego Bluetooth compatible devices: http://mindstorms.lego.com/overview/Bluetooth.aspx.

I will try to get some screen shots of the steps to set up Bluetooth in the MindStorms program. If anyone has anything already - please send it for me to add.

Last Updated on Tuesday, 20 October 2009 08:36
 
Do you use NXT-G or Robotlab? PDF Print E-mail
Written by Jamie Diamond   
Tuesday, 08 September 2009 19:00

Do the Cougars use NXT-G or Robolab?

We're using NXT-G 2.1 with the addition of some standard sub-routines and the legacy integer math blocks and the legacy mini-blocks.

Last Updated on Saturday, 04 September 2010 14:51
 
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FTC Blog

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  • Invisible Inequities Training: Toward a Bias-Free FIRST Front-Line?
    As many of you were preparing for the holiday season in 2016 and feeling one way or another just after the U.S. Presidential election, FIRST®launched Invisible Inequities—a free, online training module to grapple with bias and help create more diverse, inclusive and equitable teams.

    FIRST Diversity and Inclusion has been collaborating with NAPE to design a training series for Coaches, Mentors, Volunteers, Partners and other key stakeholders who work directly with students. Invisible Inequities is the first of three online modules offered and help participants:
    ·         Identify examples of cultural stereotypes and bias and how they affect equitable participant engagement on FIRSTteams,
    ·         Reflect on differences between their team demographics and their community demographics, and
    ·         Apply strategies to recruit participants from underrepresented and underserved groups.

    So, is it possible to be totally bias-free as you are recruiting team members and interacting with them in FIRST Tech Challenge or our other three programs? No. We know that culture shapes your biases and beliefs about people based on their age, gender, race, language, (dis)ability, or income level—usually without your realization. “The mind is a difference-seeking machine,” is the best way to think about it. Globally recognized for her work on Implicit Bias, Mahzarin Banaji says your hidden biases cause you to create order of the innumerable details you’re processing at any given moment and make reasonable assumptions. However, that “firewall” in your mind sometimes governs your thoughts and behaviors, shapes your preferences, and can create a Blindspot—the mind’s quick, incomplete sorting judgments about someone’s “character, abilities, and potential” to thrive.

    FIRST is committed to bringing its programs to students who would benefit most and to address inequities in STEM. FIRST has set a strategic priority of making its programs more inclusive and better representing the communities where teams are located. We are not currently as diverse as we would like to be and certain underrepresented and underserved students feel marginalized. A 35 minute to 1-hour length training could never attain bias-eradication. That’s not feasible. Acknowledging your bias allows you to laser-like focus on strategies that deny your biases the chance to influence student recruitment, roles and retention on teams. Through engaging and reflective activities on the power of culture on your interactions with students, these modules will equip you with specific strategies to support community outreach, student participation, persistence, engagement and success.


    When asked, “How likely is it that you will change the way you creating an inclusive environment for your team as a result of participating in the Invisible Inequities training module?”, nearly 87% of training survey completers to date say they are very likely to change or somewhat likely to change.  “So now, knowing my bias, I will try to compensate in recruiting all different groups. I was going to say recruit them equally but now after following the module, I will say that I need to approach this with equity in mind--not equality,” reflects Jared Hasen-Klein, a high school junior and Director of Team Operations at Team 1836: The MilkenKnights who’s not only taken the training, but also participated in the training design youth focus group.

    That’s the kind of consciousness competence shifting and triggered action-planning we are hoping for! We know the training has potential for impact, but we need to engage a critical mass of Coaches and Mentors. Kudos to the FIRST VISTA Members and management team for incentivizing training participation in the underserved communities where they have a presence! I DID IT is the simple message members email along with the certificate of completion to be entered in a drawing to win some pretty fabulous prizes.




    Have you completed the module? What will you do to spread the word and encourage engagement within your sphere of influence? The training module is free and accessible to anyone through Schoology Learning Management System. To start, fill out the module access form, and you will receive instructions on how join the course.

    Post By: Shelley Henderson, Diversity & Inclusion Manager, FIRST