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We have wrote before on the general rules of the competition, but we still have some details on the missions that we would like to mention, to guarantee that you will work efficiently and properly.

Q1: For the transitions, can a team add a part below the bridge to stop it from tilting?

A1: No.  That would violate the requirement from the scoring condition

Q2: Can a robot add a part that to the ball game, that will stop the other teams from pushing their ball to the center position?

A2: No, as it would affect the functionality of the mission

Q3: For the bowling, is the robot allowed to shoot the ball from a different spot other than the marked starting area.

A3: Yes. There is nothing that shows the starting position of this mission.

Q4: Can the robot change the positions of the orange medicine bottles, while keeping them on the marked line and still get scored for it.

A4: Yes, but the team has to make sure they return those to the exact position they were put at and not any position within the marked black box.

Q5: To What direction will the similarity recognition be pointing at

A5: At the start of each round the similarity recognition on each table will be pointing to the east.

Q6: What if the flowers fall of the garden, will we lose the points?

A6: No, as long as they fall while the robot is moving and you have not removed them in the base.

Q7: If the balls from the ball game fall within an area that can distract the robot’s move, will I get to repeat that mission.

A7: The judge, if asked, will remove the balls and thus they would not distract the robot’s movement or sensors during each run, if you need the balls that will fall of during the run on your table as part of your strategy, they can remain where they are if you want that.

Those are all of the questions we had for now, check this post repeatedly to stay updated on the missions status. Please make sure to read the documents as all of those rules are mentioned, watching the video is not enough. If there are any questions that you would like to ask, please write a comment or send them here: support@fll-lebanon.org

GOOD LUCK 🙂

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We are now preparing for the FLL season and we repeatedly get same inquiries. We wanted to make sure that all teams have the same info and prepare equally without surprises popping out on the day of the competition out of nowhere!

The team members in Lebanon must be 8 and the coach is considered the 9th member. As for the mentors, teams can add up to 3 mentors, but we suggest to keep one only instead.

For the Missions part, the teams can only use 1 robot on the table per round. However, the robot’s design can be changed during the FLL day between rounds.

There is no specific order for the missions. The team can do whatever they find needed by the start of the 2 minutes and 30 seconds and end their round the way they find convenient. The judge will fill the scoring sheet by the end of the timing of each round, depending on the final state of the missions table, and during the time will only have to manage the team’s penalties.

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For the project, the team has to prepare a research on a solution for one of the problems found in the general theme of the competition. Some of the problems that seniors might face are walking, using technology, medical problems, amnesia… The students have to research on the specific topic they chose and come up with an innovative solution to it (eg: a pill that can help prevent diabetes at growth). The solution is not necessarily to be in robotics. 

The team have to present their research findings in 5 minutes. Note that the more the presentation is creative the higher the team will score on the presentation part. The team can make a song, use powerpoint, make a documentary… Nothing is forbidden in the presentation as long as you show your findings and suggest your solution in a good way. Here is an example of a nice and interactive project presentation. 

For the programming and design, the team might be asked to show the judges a mission that they have prepared and the judges might want to have a look at your programming. Make sure that you get your team’s laptop and in case you don’t have one, make sure that you get it on a Flash memory, CD or an external hard disk. The coach and mentors are not allowed to enter with the team to this judging committee.

In the core values, the team do not know about the exercise they are about to do until they enter and they are asked to do it. It might be a talk or making a tower out of LEGO or even asking the team to draw something on the wall together in 5 minutes. Note as well that only the team members are allowed to go into this room and coach/mentor(s) are allowed in, if the judging committee asks for him/her to enter the room. 

In all the parts except the Missions, your scoring will remain confidential till the end of the match. As for the missions, your score is usually delayed between 5 to 10 minutes after each round you have, for it to be displayed live. 

Below is an example of how your score will appear after each missions round you have. 

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That’s all we have been asked about for now. Stay posted by checking the blog, as this is where we will be posting and resolving the questions we get. If you have a question yourself, please send them here: support@fll-lebanon.org 

LEGO have released the all new EV3 Mindstorms Kit after 2 generations of the set earlier, the RCX and the NXT. Trying to solve some of the old issues with the Mindstorms kit and trying to improve its functioning, will the new LEGO EV3 be able to work out some of those problems, and will the new features of the EV3 be handy in education?

First, the RCX came out, although the LEGO parts were easy to handle, the programming language was a bit difficult especially with 9 year old kids trying to make something fun out of the kit. The worst part was in the accuracy of the robot once built; we remember trying to build the robot in FLL 2006 Season and whenever the robot had 3 things to do, it would try something new on its own at each try. It was never capable of doing anything twice one after the other, because of the battery power and the external rotation sensor that always had mistakes in counting its own movement.

LEGO realized the problem, and they came out with a new set in 2009, which they called the NXT Mindstorms 2.0. With new building parts that dropped the old stud bricks and only granted it modest access to the Mindstorms set compared to its predecessor,  and introduced the new technic pins for better assembly and stability. LEGO added an extra port to for the sensors, while kept the motor ports of the same number as that for the RCX. The new programming interface was more easy to use, with what programmers like to call “drag and drop”. Although the software looked simple and a bit childish for kids age 15 trying to work on the Mindstorms kit, it was capable of setting any order that the NXT was able to comprehend into a bloc, that all you had to do was drag it from the function’s palette and dropping it at the assembly line of your working area.

The NXT is capable of doing so many great stuff, but it wasn’t compatible with what every person using Mindstorms wanted to have. The NXT was being programmed using NXT-G and ROBOTC, but others wanted it to be RC controlled. Others thought of having an app for it, and was only developed for android systems and not specifically by LEGO people (You can find a list of those apps here). Many problems later on started to rise while using the Mindstorms NXT, and some of those that we have seen most are the wheels problem, others were in the motor ratios, as 3 motors weren’t providing the same power at the same time and especially in FLL practices as many teams still face this issue even with a new out of the box Mindstorms kit. Others complained of the memory and other found it really irritating that they couldn’t build more designs because of the limited quantity of parts, and that’s when we always referred to the 9695 Resource Set for extra parts and new set of wheels.

The new Mindstorms EV3 is out now only in LEGO retail, while the LEGO Education has halted its launching of the EV3 set till mid-2013. For some educators, using EV3 have started in their classrooms, to go on with the STEM concept that they launched with the 2 earlier versions of the Mindstorms (RCX and NXT); so far everybody seems happy with the new remodeling of the product.

EV3 stands for evolution. This evolution has hit the 2 main elements of the kit use, which is the design and programming. The software has been given a new appearance and new tools, but not new orders as the old software is capable of doing everything you need. Users can add images and draw on the new software, which is pretty handy when trying to imagine the track of the robot’s movement. The new workbook tool makes the software more classroom user friendly, teachers and students can share their work through workbooks by adding videos, images and links to their workbooks, which facilitates the assessment by their teachers as the students set their work to one place without the need to refer to other documents for checking their assignments; this tool is there to fix the profile issue in the older software. As for the online connection, it seems that LEGO is looking to benefit from the students’ interests, opinions and creativity in using the software for later development; for that, updates, sharing and support can be done in one click on the new software. We have to admit that the appearance looks much nicer, more modern and compatible with the shape of the EV3 brick. What remains vague at this time, is whether the students will be able to incorporate the use of a wide range of sensors compatible with NXT earlier and now the EV3, but not compatible with the earlier version of the software, on the new one, as easily as using a sensor that comes with the kit, such as the angle sensor or the deviation sensor not manufactured by LEGO.

The new shape of the EV3 is definitely better. A bigger screen (178×128) for you to look at easily without the need to goggle, but remains monochrome, which is a draw back. The new design has also integrated new spaces for the user to fix the brick to their robot in a better and a more stable way. EV3 dazzled us with changes, which definitely shows the evolution LEGO have been talking about; a new processor RAM, which LEGO has multiplied by a thousand, to reach 64MB instead of 64KB, 4 motor ports for you to use 1 extra motor instead of 3 motor ports in the NXT, an SD card slot for you to add up the memory to 32GB if needed instead of the 128KB that the NXT had, as for the USB communication speed, EV3 packs a 480Mbit/s port compared to the 12Mbit the NXT had. As a plus, LEGO has made sure that all NXT servo motors and sensors are compatible with the all new EV3, don’t throw those away, you can add them to your new collection if you decide on getting one. Talk about evolution, you have to talk about multiplying your numbers by thousands and hundreds for LEGO, but not for the price tag, they are here to educate and they want learning to be for all, so they only added couple of bucks to the price, which is nothing compared to the effort they have been putting to get something out on the market as EV3.

For the design of the EV3, LEGO has hit the market with new design capabilities, we did not like the aggressiveness of the new designs that has been promoted, with the shooting going on and on with different models, but we were definitely amazed by the snake model and its movement; all we  thought of the humanoid trying to moon walk when we saw the snake moving around. New sensors available such as the Gyro sensor instead of the sound sensor while the color sensor is promised to be in the kit instead of the light sensor. However, the 2 touch sensors are still produced, which is not preferable for the FLL teams especially as they rather use 2 light sensors or 2 color sensors instead.

All in all, it seems that the Mindstorms EV3 looks great and works great as well and promises to live up to its name. We will be keeping this post updated on the coming releases by LEGO on the EV3 changes and we will sure post our opinion once we get our hands on one, meanwhile stay posted and send us your feedback.

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FLL Lebanon had an interview on January 14 at LBC the “Helwe L Hayat” show. The competition concept was explained by Farah Mtaweh, Project Manager at FLL Lebanon. It was great to know that a number of the FLL fans watched it and left there feedbacks on our facebook page and what we liked more was the interviewers friendliness and a huge thanks goes for the people behind screen, especially Mr. Elie and Joana Ramadan for their interest in the FLL mission in Lebanon.

Thanks to all who watched the show yesterday. Hope you enjoyed the interview as much as we did 🙂 

You can check the interview on our youtube channel through the FLL Lebanon facebook page. 

The 2012 FLL “Senior Solutions” season is on and teams are getting ready to compete on March 23, 2013. We have 31 teams registered so far from different schools and organizations and we hope we will reach 35 by the end of January.

The teams registered so far are of the following organizations:

  1. Al Mahdi with 2 teams
  2. Al Makassed with 2 teams
  3. Al Kawthar
  4. Martyr Hasan Kaseer High School
  5. Al Hadi
  6. International College (IC)
  7. Al Iman Saida with 2 teams
  8. Shabakat Al Mo’asasat Al Tarbawiya with 2 teams
  9. Al Ofoq Al Jadeed
  10. St Coeur Ain Ebel
  11. Al Iman Tripoli
  12. Al Bayan
  13. Rawdat Al Fayha’
  14. National Orthodox School
  15. Madrasat Al Badr Lil Ta’leem Wal Tarbiya – Fnaydek
  16. Al Abrar Educational Center
  17. National American School
  18. Sabeel Rashad
  19. Al Imam Al Jawad
  20. Al Marj Baakline with 2 teams
  21. Cedars Cultural School
  22. Ajyal School
  23. Al Irfan
  24. Techno Future
  25. Beissour Official Secondary School
  26. Deutsche Schule
  27. Lebanese International College – Rashaya
  28. Gutenburg School Baabda

    We are welcoming teams to register till the end of January 2013 to be part of the FLL 2012 season, and hopefully we will post their names once they finalize their registration. To know more about FLL and how you can be part of our mission, check our website, contact us by email support@fll-lebanon.org or by phone on +961 (0)1 741 337

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