Monthly Archives: February 2015

Robot grunge blockss

First Lego League Open Source Robotics Badges

NOVALabs is developing an open-sourced robotics badge system for First Lego League to help youth develop robotics skills.  The concept is inspired from Boy Scouts and Girl Scouts.  I used the concept with team and the results were amazing.  You can find my badge system under resources.  We are now taking it to new level and making it open sourced.  Don’t be surprised if you see a kick starter campaign.

Follow our progress, follow us on twitter.  We are currently looking for badge suggestions.


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Getting back in the game – Legoland Tournament Prep

After finishing 2nd Place Champion in the VA-DC region, I was ready for a break.  I wanted to focus on www.startingpoints.com, our new team management system for robotic teams.  With our season success, we did qualify for open tournaments and will be attending the LegoLand tournament in May.   I did not think my team would be up for it given the expense but everyone jump for it.  I am actually excited about it.  It also means I will be blogging about our prep and experience.

My big question, how do you prepare for these tournaments?

I am fortunate to have coaching friends in FLL who have competed in the tournament.  They have been a great resource.  I now understand the tournament structure and how competitive the robot game will be.  Scores will be high.

I have confidence in my team’s project, core values and technical but the robot, like most robots, was not consistent at tournaments.  It is capable of a 420 run on a perfect run, which are very rare.

Friday, we are having a team meeting to discuss two things:

  1. What is our tournament goal, to be competitive or have fun?
  2. How much fundraising do we want to do?

The answer to the first question will set our practice rhythm.  If we want to be competitive, we will build a new robot to that addresses some shortcomings of the girls design and leverages approaches we observed this season.   I actually got a new robot for Christmas.  A grown man getting a LEGO robot for Christmas, I am nerd and I accept it.

Stay tuned as I share our experience.

Help me when a bet, I am betting my Upper Quadrant marketing team a lunch.  I need @starting_points to have more followers than @upperquadrant.