On the second Saturday in November we gathered with 32 other teams to compete in the First Lego League International Robotics Challenge. This year’s theme was Into Orbit and entries were “out of this world”.
The day runs a bit like a sports carnival…it’s loud, busy and very energetic. We had to juggle our time between our 4 Robot Challenges, 3 Judging appointments and as many practice sessions as we could fit in on the spare tables in between. By the end of the day we felt like we had run a marathon!
We had to program our robot “The Super Nova Rover” to do a series of tasks “autonomously” (which is a fancy word for “on its own”). Unfortunately, our Rover wasn’t so Super on the day and we had all sorts of problems. We weren’t able to get our best possible score but we placed 14th in the Robot Challenge, which wasn’t too bad. There were other challenges to navigate as well.
We had to share how we had used the FLL Core Values such as Gracious Professionalism (clap clap wooo… it’s an FLL thing), Cooperitition (no, that’s not a typo…it’s a made up word that FLL are very proud of, it’s all about competing against and cooperating with other teams). We were also judged on how we designed & built our robot, what strategies & problems we had and how we used our coding for the robot challenge.
Another task was to identify and solve a real life problem that humans face in long term space travel. We had to present our ideas to our peers and to a panel of judges. We designed a resistance based sit-up vest, a lightweight rowing machine (both simple machines) and a vacuum shower cubicle …all designed to replicate gravity with minimal weight or energy required to get them into space, or to use them.
We think we did well for our second year, especially since most of our team had never been in this competition before…and, we were competing against high school students!!