FIRST Lego League


FIRST Lego League

organization [ FIRST stands for For Inspiration and Recognition of Science and Technology] .

Each year the contest focuses on a different real-world topic related to the sciences.cite web |url=http://www.usfirst.org/what/fll/default.aspx?id=390 |title=What is FLL? |accessdate=2008-02-08 |format=HTML] Each challenge within the competition then revolves around that theme. The robotics part of the competition revolves around designing and programming Lego robots to complete tasks. The students work out solutions to the various problems they are given and then meet for regional tournaments to share their knowledge, compare ideas, and display their robots.

FIRST Lego League is a partnership between FIRST and The Lego Group.

Competition details

There are four main sections of the competition. Firstly, students are interviewed by a panel of judges, measuring their teamwork. Secondly, the students must demonstrate that the robot that they built is designed appropriately for the tasks given (they look for effective design, use of sensors, etc.). Thirdly, the students must do a research project and give a short presentation to a panel of judges on the investigative problem solving they completed. Finally, the students must use the robots they designed to complete a set of tasks on a playing field.

FIRST Lego League (FLL) teams use Lego Mindstorms kits to build small autonomous robots that traverse these Lego playing fields and complete the given tasks. Each robot is only allowed to use a certain number of sensors and motors.

Teams in different parts of the world have different times allotted to complete the construction of the robot, due to the varying date of qualifying tournaments. They go on to compete in FLL tournaments, similar to the FIRST Robotics Competition regionals. In the 2006-2007 season, nearly 90,000 students in 8,846 teams from around the world competed. Each team has to compete in a local/regional qualifying tournament before advancing to the state/provincial tournaments.

The 1st place Director's Cup/Grand Champion winners from each state/provincial tournament is then invited to the World Festival. [cite web |url=http://www.firstlegoleague.org/default.aspx?pid=13390 |title=FIRST LEGO League / World Festival |accessdate=2007-09-16] In 2007, 96 teams competed in the World Festival in Atlanta, Georgia on April, 12th-14th. cite web |url=http://www.firstlegoleague.org/sitemod/upload/Root/ALL/NanoQuestWorldFestivalTeamRoster5.pdf |title=NanoQuestWorldFestivalTeamRoster5.pdf |accessdate=2007-09-16 |format=PDFThe 2007-2008 Power Puzzle World Festival was held on April 17-19, 2008, again in the Georgia Dome and Georgia World Congress Center.

Awards

Teams are allowed to only win one of the following awards (two if the first award is one for Robot Performance). [>cite web |url=http://www.firstlegoleague.org/default.aspx?pid=23770 |title=Awards |accessdate=2008-03-02]

Regional Competition Awards

*Robot Table Performance
*Research Presentation Award
*Robot Design Award
*Teamwork Award

tate Competition Awards

*Champion's Award - 1st Place
*Champion's Award - 2nd Place

*Robot Table Performance - 1st Place
*Robot Table Performance - 2nd Place
*Robot Table Performance - 3rd Place

*Robot Design Award
*Programming Award
*Innovative Design Award

*Research Quality Award
*Innovative Solution Award
*Creative Presentation Award
*Teamwork Award
*Rookie-Team-of-the-Year Award
*Team Spirit Award
*Judges' Award
*Outstanding Volunteer Award
*Outstanding Mentor Award
*Outstanding Costumes
*Good sportmanship award

Challenges

Table performance

The robots made by the teams perform at this event. The robot is autonomous and completes missions on a mat (where the missions are set up). The robot then has two and a half minutes to complete those missions. Two members of the team are allowed at the board during a match; however, they can switch out if needed. In the case of a serious problem, such as the entire robot breaking down, the entire team is allowed at the board for as long as the problem persists. Only one robot is allowed per team at the table; otherwise the team is disqualified. Members are not permitted to bring board items from other practice tables to the board during competition.

The robot starts in an area marked as 'base'. This is a white area on one side of the table. In base, the team members are allowed to touch the robot and start programs. Outside of base, if the team touches the robot (due to robot malfunction), the team is deducted points. This is called a 'rescue' or 'retrieve'. The bot is not required to return to base; some teams have completed all their missions without returning to base during the time allowed to complete the missions.

Technical interview

Each team has a five minute interview with a team of judges to discuss the design and operation of their robot. Judges look for teams whose work stands out for its innovation, dependability, or both. To assess innovation, the judges watch the robots work, looking for actions that impress them. They also interview team members to reveal the less obvious unique and inventive ideas. To assess dependability, the judges interview the teams to learn what solid principles and best practices were used to reduce variability and errors.

Presentation

Prior to the competition, the teams complete research related to the topic of the year. For example, in 2007 the teams researched alternative energy, which included an energy audit on a building in their area and possible improvements to its existing systems. The teams then present this information within five minutes to the judges. The teams can use props in their presentation, such as models or PowerPoints.

Teamwork

Observation judges watch each team in action and also interview the team to discuss how the team functioned. Judges identify teams that best demonstrate enthusiasm, spirit, partnership, respect to their own teammates and others, and gracious professionalism.

Competition Themes

The challenges for FLL are based on several different themes:

Recent developments

In August 2006, LEGO released a new Mindstorms kit called the NXT. The RCX, the previous kit, was still allowed to be used in competition in 2006 and 2007 (RCX users received a "fairness bonus" in points because the RCX was less advanced. [cite web |url=http://www.firstlegoleague.org/default.aspx?pid=29600|title=First Lego League mission list. |accessdate=2007-12-06] Lego is no longer selling the original RCX Mindstorms kits to the general public.

In 2006, nearly 8,846 teams and 90,000 children participated in the event, with the topic Nano Quest. In 2007, approximately 106,000 children and 10,600 teams participated worldwide.

Registration for the 2008 season, "Climate Connection", opened on May 1, 2008. More than 10,000 teams are expected.

See also

* FIRST
* RoboCup Junior
* Lego Robotics
* FIRST Tech Challenge
* Robofest
* Adventist Robotics League

References

* [http://www.flloec.org/ FLL Open European Championship website]
* [http://www.firstjapan.jp/aoc/ FLL Open Asian Championship website]
* [http://www.usfirst.org/what/fll/default.aspx?id=390 USFIRST.org/What FLL is]
* [http://www.usfirst.org/community/fll/default.aspx?id=970 USFIRST.org/FLL community]
* [http://www.hands-on-technology.de/en/firstlegoleague Hands on Technology/FLL]
* [http://www.hightechkids.org/ HighTechKids.org]

Notes

External links

* [http://www.usfirst.org/ Official FIRST website]
* [http://www.firstlegoleague.org/ Official FIRST LEGO League website]
* [http://www.fll-freak.com/ FLL-Freak Website and home of the FLL UFAQ]


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