The New Hartford RoboSpartans robotics team had a great time at the FLL@SUNYIT Qualifying Tournament on Saturday, December 5, 2009. The team received a Champion’s Trophy for First Place in the West Division along with a First Place in Robot Performance. Regional teams competed at SUNYIT in four areas: teamwork, robot design, robot performance and research project. Students, ages 9 to 14, from Clinton, Frankfort, Holland Patent, New Hartford, Rome, Sauquoit, Utica, and Vernon participated in this year’s challenge along with teams from the Capitol District. The double tournament hosted 22 teams, split into East and West divisions. Two top teams from each tournament, along with a wild card choice, advance the Hudson Valley Championship Tournament on February 27, 2009 at Dutchess Community College (DCC), in Poughkeepsie, NY. Local teams moving on to DCC with the RoboSpartans are: Girls on the LEGo from Holland Patent (1st Place East), LegoForce from New Hartford (2nd Place East), and Einstein Dudes of New Hartford (Wild Card-3rd Place West).
RoboSpartans Smart Move Team Project
The DCTO is a trunk organization system designed as the RoboSpartans' Smart Move: Improving Transportation project. The project was designed to specifically to meet the needs of the New Hartford Police Department’s Dodge Charger. DCTO is currently being tested in Car 55. The design builds on an existing Chrysler trunk mat kit donated by Carbone Auto Group. The team added a hinge, made extra access to additional space below the kit, and created specific storage holders for items to be used by Officers. They also researched and found more compact, collapsible, LED lighted cones that meet traffic safety standards. The installation allows patrol officers to be more efficient and effective in handling traffic situations. It also will improve gas mileage of the patrol vehicle by reducing weight in the trunk. The NHPD will also have convenient storage for a new first aid kit and AED. The Team is donating DCTO to the Police Department. The RoboSpartans’ next step is researching the possibility of a patent on their idea. A Smart Move!
The Team Robot, named the GRE (Greatest Robot Ever), held its own at the SUNYIT Tournament. The robot followed the Smart Move theme and team project with a trunk organization system to hold key parts needed for scoring. Decked out in Spartan Red and Blue, the bot is known for being solid, sturdy and sleek!
The 2009 RoboSpartans formed in June of this year, meeting semi-regularly in the summer to build Sumo Robots and twice a week once the season began in September. Two veteran RoboSpartans, Maysara Elazzazi (12) and Ryan Payne (11), are joined this year by newcomers, Sean McGlynn (10), Grif Shenkel (9), Zak Goldsmith (14) and Mike Betro (14). In addition to FIRST LEGO League, the team enjoys spending time together playing SuperSmash Brothers and eating pizza. They recently surpassed their recent goal of 50 pizzas for the season. Other events scheduled for the team include participating in America’s Greatest Heart Walk on March 6, 2009, promoting FIRST LEGO League regionally with open meetings and informational sessions and competing in a Sumo Challenge at the 2010 Mohawk Valley Technical Education and Pre-Engineering Showcase.
For more information on local FIRST LEGO League, contact team coaches Bob and Lisa Payne at firstname.lastname@example.org.
FIRST LEGO League Background
FIRST (For Inspiration and Recognition or Science and Technology) is a global program created to get kids excited about science and technology. FIRST LEGO League (FLL) is geared for ages 9-14 (up to 16 outside of the U.S. and Canada). FLL utilizes theme-based Challenges to engage kids in research, problem solving, and engineering. The cornerstones of the program are its Core Values, which emphasize contributions of others, friendly sportsmanship, learning, and community involvement. Each annual Challenge has four parts, the Project, Teamwork, Technical/Robot Design and the Robot Game. Working in teams of up to 10 kids and guided by at least one adult coach, team members have about 10 weeks to: 1) Build an autonomous robot that will, in 2 minutes and 30 seconds, complete pre-designed missions 2) Analyze, research, and invent a solution for a given assignment and 3) Create a clever presentation about their solution to perform in front of a panel of judges.