Cougar's FIRST® Lego League Advanced NXT-G Programming Workshop at Rockwell Automation Cleveland PDF Print E-mail
Tuesday, 10 August 2010 23:39

FIRST® Lego League Advanced NXT-G 
Programming Workshop 

Presented by Cougars, Bionic Barracudas, & Rockwell Automation 

September 25, 2010 9:00– 4:00 
@ Rockwell Automation, Mayfield Heights 

Get your teams together and then Take It Up a Notch with an Advanced Programming Workshop! 
The Cougars of Columbus, http://www.cougarrobot.com and the Bionic Barracudas of Strongsville are among the very best FLL teams in Ohio and have graciously offered to help FLL teams in our area learn to write better NXT-G programs. 

The objective of this workshop is to gain awareness and comfort with a few advanced programming techniques and their practical application to a First Lego League competition robot. It is an interactive workshop. We will spend a short amount of time explaining a topic, and then quickly move to discussion, application, and practice.  And then on to the next topic.  Our target is 25% instruction and 75% application & practice. 

What to bring: 
Bring your own laptop loaded with Mindstorms NXT-G 
Bring your own robot, 2 touch sensors, 2 light sensors, 3 motors, some wheels. (if your team does not have a built robot, build the example robot from kit instructions). 
Bring a USB cable to transfer programs to your robot (in case Bluetooth isn't working in big crowd). 
USB thumb drive to share data. 
Paper mats will be provided (Please do not bring competition mat and models). 

Who is invited: 
Kids will do most of the teaching and learning, but coaches and parents are welcome too. 

Location: 
Rockwell Automation, 1 Allen Bradley Drive Mayfield Heights, OH 44124. 
It is a short distance from I-271 and Cedar road. 
Directions and arriving instructions will be sent prior to the workshop. 

Cost is Free. Space is limited.  Please RSVP by September 10 
RSVP to:  This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it

Contact Information: 
Dave Fort This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it , Software Engineer, Mentor FRC team 1001, Brush High School, w) 440-646-3885  h) 216-691-0406. 
Sheila King This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it , Software Engineer, Mentor Hudson FLL Teams,  This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it , w) 440-646-3430, c) 330-926-6288. 
Mike Rudder This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it , Systems Engineer,  This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it ,  Mentor Kirtland FLL Teams, w) 440-646-5263, c) 440-476-4938. 
Rick Cherney This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it , Software Engineer, Mentor FRC team 120, 440-646-3258 

Agenda 
9:00 - Meet & Greet, introductions & expectations 
9:30 - Icebreaker activity 
9:45 - Basic NXT-G programming - a review 
10:15 - Introduction to the Design Principles & Strategies 
KISS 
Mechanical Design Choices 
Navigation 
Strength and Power considerations 
Tool Design First 
Quick attachment switching (magnets or pins) 
Leapfrog Development 
Competitive Development 
Change only 1 thing at a time 
Repetitive Testing 
Slow Motion Video (show the robot, then show the video) 
Change Control—Never go backward. 
10:30 Basic Techniques Mini-Sessions 
Incremental Development using Bluetooth - Where to go from here? 
Precise Turns - Left Face! 
Debugging Tips - What in the world is it thinking? 
Video - What's really going on here? 
Sensors - When should I stop? 
11:15 Development Strategy and Prototyping 
12:00 Pizza Lunch 
1:00 Medium Techniques Mini-Sessions 
MyBlocks - good things come in small packages 
Multi-threaded programming - walking and chewing gum at the same time 
Dependent threads and synchronization - throwing the newspaper while riding your bike 
2:00 Advanced Techniques 
Position Registration, our favorite subroutines - X marks the spot. 
Sensor Calibration - is it night or just cloudy? 
Timers - when will this match be over? 
Variables - how many times are we going to do this? 
Master programs/menus/scripting - your wish is my command 
Mini-blocks - how can we squeeze all this stuff into my tiny brain? 
3:30 Clean up 
4:00 Adjourn 
                    
Additional Sessions (parallel sessions may be offered depending on the attending team demographics). 

Last Updated on Tuesday, 31 August 2010 08:00
 
Cougar's FIRST LEGO™ League Programming Workshop at iSpace Cincinnati PDF Print E-mail
Tuesday, 10 August 2010 23:05

FIRST LEGO™ League  Programming Workshop

 

Come and learn programming skills

that will improve your FLL team’s score!

iSPACE will be offering a free FLL programming workshop conducted by the Cougars who were the 2009 FLL Ohio Championship team.  The Cougars will be assisted by the Fossil Fuel Fighters who were the iSPACE Champions.  Teams that have attended previous Cougar workshops have seen their table scores increase.  iSPACE hopes that by providing this workshop, more teams will gain knowledge that will enable them to improve their robot’s performance. 

This workshop is geared toward those team members who will be their team’s programmers in the 2010 Body Forward Challenge.  We are limiting participation in the workshop to 2 members per team.  At least one adult must accompany the team.  Each team must bring their own laptops, preferably Bluetooth capable and already have the LEGO Mindstorms software (NXT-G) loaded.  They should bring their own NXT robot (a basic robot chassis, our exercises will be based on a robot using differential or tank-style steering), a 3rd NXT mtor, 2 touch sensors, and 2 light sensors.Students are asked to bring a sack lunch.  Snacks will be provided.

Preference will be given to teams participating in the iSPACE tournaments in Cincinnati and Northern Kentucky as well as the St. Louis Batavia tournament and the Winton Woods Tournament.

 

Location:                    iSPACE located on the Scarlet Oaks Career Campus

3254 East Kemper Road

Sharonville, OH 45241

Date:                           Saturday, August 28, 2010

Time:                         8:00 a.m. to 3:00 p.m. 

 

To register your team members, please call Sharon at 513-612-5786 or email her at This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it .  

Last Updated on Tuesday, 31 August 2010 07:59
 
Tonight's Cougar Moonbot Practice PDF Print E-mail
Tuesday, 10 August 2010 19:56
Tonight for the Cougar Moonbot Challenge Practice phase two we continued to program the robot and built a new chassis.  We continued to video for the blog.  We had dinner that Mrs. Miller gave to us and some coookies afterwards that Mrs. Sing had brought.  The robot is running well and we moved two sensors so they wouldn't hit the ring and get them stuck after we lift them up with our arm.  We have so far picked up two rings and stayed on the white platform for five seconds.  We have put some LEGO soccer netting on the bottom of the basket.
Last Updated on Tuesday, 10 August 2010 21:47
 
Practice Time!! (Cougars) PDF Print E-mail
Monday, 09 August 2010 19:45

Well today we had a long practice 4:00 t0 9:00 and long work always has a reward. CHOCOLATE ÉCLAIRS.  Smile Smile Smile Smile Smile Smile Smile Smile Smile Smile Now to the serious stuff, we are doing very well. We have new ways to move the robot. Instead of turning the robot we have new myblocks called FwdPOC=forward Prox On Course and FwdDOC= Forward Duration On Course. The myblocks use a compass and ultra-sonic sensor. We tell it what to do and instead of us telling it to turn we tell it where to go and it turns when it needs to.  When it gets as close as we want to the wall it moves on to the next step of the program. Towards the end of practice we went back to programing and we also started a chassis that has gears instead of chain.  When we use the gears instead of chain the robot will not break down because of chain breaking. I'm tired and going to bed. Goodnight everyone jacobMoney mouth

 

 

Last Updated on Tuesday, 10 August 2010 05:16
 
Cougar's Simple Way to Go Straight PDF Print E-mail
Thursday, 05 August 2010 16:36

 

  Ok, so Philip here with you guys today to show you a cool new program idea we have been working with lately to simplify our programming.  Now before I go over it, just to make it clear, our robot has a compass sensor for telling direction of its course, or where it is going to.  

  So what we have first is a compass sensor block that reads the direction that the robot is placed in.(or rather it reads which direction the compass is facing in)  Make sure if you do this that your compass is also far away from the NXT brick(CPU), the motors, and the sensors, as they can disrupt magnetic fields near the compass and give you unreliable readings.

Next, the programming then enters a loop that takes the direction we measured, and inputs it into the direction we want to go.  We then read the relative direcition from a second compass sensor block.  That direction is lastly input into the steering of a move block to change which way the robot goes.  The loop is there to make the robot keep adjusting its steering forever.  Oh yeah, and you have to reverse the normal left-right of the C and B motors in the move block because you'll want a minus number to make it turn right and a plus number to make it turn left.

  Now here's the cool thing about all of this.  By using similar programs to this as a "Myblock," and adding stuff for distance or proximity we end up with a set of MyBlocks for all kinds of moving around the field!

NXT-G code to make a robot go straight using a Compass Sensor
Here is a simple piece of code that will 1)read the direction the compass is facing in. 2)"save the current compass direction, and lastly 3) feed the direction into the steering of a move block that loops forever. 

Last Updated on Saturday, 07 August 2010 22:25
 
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  • The Game Design Committee is Accepting Applications!
    If you’ve ever been interested in participating in the FIRST Tech Challenge Game Design Committee, this is your chance! We will be accepting applications to add one member to the committee. The application will be open from 11/20/2017 through 12/18/2017 at 12:00pm EST.

    The current Game Design Committee is made up of five members, and we are looking to add a sixth member who will help the committee make progress on the 2018-2019 season game cycle. This individual will also shadow the current committee on a weekly conference call to get a feel for how the GDC supports the current season game.



    If you are interested, or know anyone interested, please feel free to pass this along! The official volunteer description, along with a link to the application are listed below.

    Game Design Committee – Volunteer Position Description
    The FIRST Tech Challenge is seeking an interested individual to serve one game cycle (approximately 18 months) as part of our Game Design Committee. The Game Design Committee is a group of volunteers who brainstorm, create, and implement all aspects of the FIRST Tech Challenge games (less production/fulfillment). As a member of the Committee, this person will be responsible for attending weekly conference calls, and providing input and creative ideas for the game currently being designed for next the season. This person will contribute to the creation of Game Manuals Part 1 and 2, and to other supporting documents needed for the game. The person in this role will provide support for the game once it is released for the current season via the Official Q&A forum. We are looking for someone who is creative, is a team player, and can meet the time commitments outlined in the job description.

    Job Description:
    • Contribute a minimum of 5 hours each week, including a weekly conference call that occurs during normal business hours (eastern time).
    • Provides input during the design phase to insure the game meets requirements outlined by FIRST.
    • Contribute to the design phase to make sure game elements meet quality standards and budget requirements.
    • Contributes to documentation and manuals needed to support the game throughout the season.
    • Provides support through the Official Q&A Forum to answer team related questions throughout the season.
    • Maintains confidentiality of all aspects of design process. 
    • Applicants must be a minimum of 25 years old.
    • Position may require a trip to FIRST Headquarters in Manchester, NH.
    • CAD experience is a plus, but not required.