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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FTC Blog

FIRST Tech Challenge
The official FTC Blog
  • 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