Robots and LEGO – Just two of our favourite things!

It has been a very busy few weeks, with some big changes happening down in the robotics lab.

FLL 2016 Team Names – The votes are in!

The Year 5 team will be known as the “Robotic Rebels”, and the Year 6 team voted for “The Motherboards”. Well done girls!

Our Competition Practice Table has Arrived

With the help of Mr B, our school groundsman, our FIRST LEGO League competition practice table has now been built and installed. At about 2.5m x 1.4m, it wasn’t a small (or light) addition – and it is only half the size of the full competition table! The girls will be using it regularly from the start of next term, as they participate in a practice FLL season using the 2015 Trash Trek missions and models.

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Speaking of models, we had no idea how hard it would be to construct our FLL mission models, or how long it would take. The girls have spent weeks trying to decipher the build instructions, constructing a LEGO trash sorter, power station, cars, and a compost machine. One of the greatest lessons we have learnt so far is that we need to follow the instructions to the letter – if you don’t, the models simply don’t work!

Given we have a whole new set of LEGO models to build for the 2016 Animal Allies season, it looks like we’ll be scheduling some lunchtime and after-school building sessions come early September …

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We welcomed (and named) some new robots! 

A few weeks ago, we took delivery of some new EV3 Mindstorms robots, enabling us to return our two loaned LEGO NXT robots to Curtin University. Our thanks go to Tim Keely, from the Curtin University Engineering Outreach team, whose loan & support made our program possible.

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Our new robots, with names including “Bubbles” and “Alice”!

Wrapping up our focus on programming for now. 

As Term 2 drew to a close, we finished up our programming work with a series of challenges focused on how to use touch, ultrasonic, and colour sensors to aid robot navigation. I’ll share more about these in future posts.

As we move into our last week, the girls are beginning to learn about basic robot structural design and gearing. The next step will be introducing and exploring the engineering design process, as the teams start to familiarise themselves with the FLL competition format & robot building challenges next term.

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