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M15 Lander Touch Down

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  • #16
    Respectfully, I disagree. I know you are talking in part about returning to base but, a game strategy reason for landing is to leave the robot at the end of the table at the end of the game. My team delivers the red brick and gas to the circle when they land the lander and push the solar panel. The time runs out a second or two after pushing the panel to the other table. A return to base would take 6 seconds they don't have. Another, more important reason for this is the challenge to the kids. We have a couple of kids in 8th grade that are pretty advanced mechanically and in coding (next year I'll be like a rookie coach again).

    The team decided to skip a couple of the easier points in order to learn more about how to tackle an harder problem. They could have spent the time getting 40 points somewhere else and easily scored higher on the table overall. Instead, they went after the harder problem, may have scored lower overall on the table but, learned a great deal more. I used to build models. I stopped building the snap together models because of the lack of challenge. I turned to the 1,000's of parts, glue together models that took much more time but, were more of an accomplishment.

    The team this year skipped the closer, arguably easier tube delivery/habitat/Gerhard in order to tackle the harder, more satisfying lander problem. We (coaches) let them run with it. So, they gave up 68 easy points for 22 hard points. But, when that lander hits the circle in one piece, the feeling of accomplishment in the kids is amazing. Solving a problem that other teams avoid is a really big win to them. It's worth the loss of points.
    FLL coach from 2015, state 3x, World 1x, state ref, state judge.

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    • #17
      Originally posted by DJR View Post
      The team this year skipped the closer, arguably easier tube delivery/habitat/Gerhard in order to tackle the harder, more satisfying lander problem. We (coaches) let them run with it. So, they gave up 68 easy points for 22 hard points. But, when that lander hits the circle in one piece, the feeling of accomplishment in the kids is amazing. Solving a problem that other teams avoid is a really big win to them. It's worth the loss of points.
      Kudos to your kids! Hopefully before the next round of competition they'll be able to refine their designs and find time to get the easier points.

      Comment


      • #18
        Originally posted by DJR View Post
        Respectfully, I disagree. I know you are talking in part about returning to base but, a game strategy reason for landing is to leave the robot at the end of the table at the end of the game. My team delivers the red brick and gas to the circle when they land the lander and push the solar panel. The time runs out a second or two after pushing the panel to the other table. A return to base would take 6 seconds they don't have. Another, more important reason for this is the challenge to the kids. We have a couple of kids in 8th grade that are pretty advanced mechanically and in coding (next year I'll be like a rookie coach again).

        The team decided to skip a couple of the easier points in order to learn more about how to tackle an harder problem. They could have spent the time getting 40 points somewhere else and easily scored higher on the table overall. Instead, they went after the harder problem, may have scored lower overall on the table but, learned a great deal more. I used to build models. I stopped building the snap together models because of the lack of challenge. I turned to the 1,000's of parts, glue together models that took much more time but, were more of an accomplishment.

        The team this year skipped the closer, arguably easier tube delivery/habitat/Gerhard in order to tackle the harder, more satisfying lander problem. We (coaches) let them run with it. So, they gave up 68 easy points for 22 hard points. But, when that lander hits the circle in one piece, the feeling of accomplishment in the kids is amazing. Solving a problem that other teams avoid is a really big win to them. It's worth the loss of points.
        I like it even though it is bad game strategy. One of the things I like most about FLL is you can make it be whatever you want it to be. I have many fond FLL memories of teams that played their own game. My favorite of all was an all pneumatic robot, including the drive motors. It was really hard to control and it was barely capable of scoring any points, but it would drive around the board and the team was so happy about getting it to work. When FLL changed their scoring to make the robot game score a qualifier cutoff instead of blending all four parts of the competition I was concerned it would curtail this freedom, but my local affiliate decided to ignore the new scoring guidelines. I still see fewer oddball robots than in the RCX days, but that is probably due to a substantial drop in the average age of FLL participants.

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        • #19
          I have told the kids that as long as they are working on the robot, I don't care what missions they do or how many points they get. They can invent their own missions for all I care. If it's fun (which also means challenging, because if it isn't challenging, they will get bored with it pretty quickly), they will stay engaged and my personal mission is accomplished. The reality is, they never take me up on my offer. They like the challenges as posted.

          The season is over for us, but the kids still have their school choice time a couple of times each week, and some of them have said they want to keep on coming to work on missions! Isn't that awesome?!?!
          Norfolk, Virginia, USA
          2014 World Class Learning (coach)
          2015 Trash Trek (coach, judge)
          2016 Animal Allies (coach, judge)
          2017 Hydrodynamics (coach, judge)
          2018 Into Orbit (coach, head judge)

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          • #20
            Originally posted by DJR View Post
            The team this year skipped the closer, arguably easier tube delivery/habitat/Gerhard in order to tackle the harder, more satisfying lander problem. We (coaches) let them run with it. So, they gave up 68 easy points for 22 hard points. But, when that lander hits the circle in one piece, the feeling of accomplishment in the kids is amazing. Solving a problem that other teams avoid is a really big win to them. It's worth the loss of points.
            I get your point and applaud your team for going for the tougher missions. But... Gerhard mission is NOT as simple as it seems!

            One of my teams successfully completed Strength Exercise, which was extremely difficult and only worth 16 points. So it is similar idea to the Lander Touch Down mission.
            Legolympians - 2009-2015 (retired - joined FRC team 5422 Stormgears)
            Legolicious - 5th year girls team
            Brick Force - 2nd year boys team

            2015 - Mass FLL coach of the year.

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            • #21
              Originally posted by SkipMorrow View Post
              I have told the kids that as long as they are working on the robot, I don't care what missions they do or how many points they get. They can invent their own missions for all I care. If it's fun (which also means challenging, because if it isn't challenging, they will get bored with it pretty quickly), they will stay engaged and my personal mission is accomplished. The reality is, they never take me up on my offer. They like the challenges as posted.

              The season is over for us, but the kids still have their school choice time a couple of times each week, and some of them have said they want to keep on coming to work on missions! Isn't that awesome?!?!
              Young kids really like rules. It is'n't until they get older that they dislike rigid guidelines. Of course then they fear being different, so they do what everyone else is doing. It is unusual that a team wants to do their own thing.

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              • #22
                Originally posted by Leon R View Post

                I get your point and applaud your team for going for the tougher missions. But... Gerhard mission is NOT as simple as it seems!

                One of my teams successfully completed Strength Exercise, which was extremely difficult and only worth 16 points. So it is similar idea to the Lander Touch Down mission.
                Every mission is difficult until it is solved. I thought airlock was simple, but I already had a tall forklift doing 3D printing and strength. Lander was tough until I decided to do it just to do it. Then it became easy, even obvious. It becomes difficult again when I want it to be efficient.

                There are no easy missions, and there are no really hard missions. Instead there are missions thar are familiar and missions outside our experience. A rookie team probably has a tougher time tipping the space travel ramp than an experienced team moving the docking module.
                Last edited by Dean Hystad; 12-13-2018, 04:39 PM.

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                • #23
                  Originally posted by Dean Hystad View Post
                  I already had a tall forklift doing 3D printing and strength.
                  You say it like designing a sufficiency strong forklift for strength exercise is a trivial task. It might be easy for you and me, but 12 years old, who has minimum experience with rack and pinion system can find it challenging.

                  One of my boys spent almost two months working on this, he was really determined to get it done and eventually he succeeded! It was a very proud moment for him and his dad (who is co-coaching)! Team got Mechanical Design award, partly because of this mission!
                  Legolympians - 2009-2015 (retired - joined FRC team 5422 Stormgears)
                  Legolicious - 5th year girls team
                  Brick Force - 2nd year boys team

                  2015 - Mass FLL coach of the year.

                  Comment


                  • #24
                    Originally posted by Leon R View Post

                    You say it like designing a sufficiency strong forklift for strength exercise is a trivial task. It might be easy for you and me, but 12 years old, who has minimum experience with rack and pinion system can find it challenging.

                    One of my boys spent almost two months working on this, he was really determined to get it done and eventually he succeeded! It was a very proud moment for him and his dad (who is co-coaching)! Team got Mechanical Design award, partly because of this mission!
                    I didn't say making a fork lift strong enough to do strength is trivial. I said the airlock mission was pretty easy because I already had a nice tall fork lift that could lift the astronaut and drop him into the airlock. If I didn't already have a tool that could perform the task the mission would have been tougher. The solution was easy because it was familiar. I could do it with Lift and Lower and I already had a Lift and Lower tool. Stop reading things into the post that aren't there.

                    Using a rack and pinion for a fork lift is challenging. No wonder your team had a tough time. There are lots of way the lift is implemented in a real fork lift, but I don't think any real fork lifts use rack and pinion. Maybe they don't build them that way because it isn't a very good way to build a fork lift. When teams decide to take on a task like building a fork lift they should study what it is they want to build, and I don't mean look for a LEGO design. A lot of LEGO designs are pretty bad and if you don't know how the real thing works this isn't obvious.

                    Now that your team built a rack and pinion fork lift it has become familiar and it has opened up a new realm of solutions. If they ever build a fork lift again it will take two hours instead of two months, and a lot of missions that would have been a mystery in the past now won't look so mysterious. The task of building a fork lift has gone from really difficult to trivial, for you.
                    Last edited by Dean Hystad; 12-13-2018, 04:36 PM.

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                    • #25
                      Originally posted by Leon R View Post

                      You say it like designing a sufficiency strong forklift for strength exercise is a trivial task.
                      I consider the strength mission the hardest this year. It's in a weird, semi-inaccessible spot (although it has a color bar in front of it), it is stiff enough it requires a specialty gearing system (at least the way most EV3 robots are geared), even when you do create a specialty gear to lift it, it tends to lift the mat up with it, and it's all or nothing -- getting the weight part way up gets zero credit, it must be all the way to the 4th hole (which means it is lifted within a quarter inch of the entire distance it can move) to score.

                      If your kid took two months of work and got it, hats off to him! It likely would have taken us that same amount of time to figure it out.

                      (Just for fun, I tried it on my own. Since I have two "Into Orbit" sets, I took the other strength model, reversed the weight lifting part, and attached it to the robot. It kindof worked, meaning it lifted the strength model on the table, but only part way. I never got it 100%, but it was kindof fun.)

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                      • #26
                        Originally posted by brian@kidbrothers.net View Post

                        I consider the strength mission the hardest this year. It's in a weird, semi-inaccessible spot (although it has a color bar in front of it), it is stiff enough it requires a specialty gearing system (at least the way most EV3 robots are geared), even when you do create a specialty gear to lift it, it tends to lift the mat up with it, and it's all or nothing -- getting the weight part way up gets zero credit, it must be all the way to the 4th hole (which means it is lifted within a quarter inch of the entire distance it can move) to score.

                        If your kid took two months of work and got it, hats off to him! It likely would have taken us that same amount of time to figure it out.

                        (Just for fun, I tried it on my own. Since I have two "Into Orbit" sets, I took the other strength model, reversed the weight lifting part, and attached it to the robot. It kindof worked, meaning it lifted the strength model on the table, but only part way. I never got it 100%, but it was kindof fun.)
                        I've seen quite a few teams that do the strength mission without any special gearing at all. One team used the same arms they use for the aerobic exercise model and they want those arms to move quickly. No gearing down. Lifting the mat has not been much of a problem, just having the robot near the model has been enough to hold the mat down, and there is sufficient dual lock so the model stays down. You only think the mission is difficult because you didn't come up with a good solution. For a team that climbed the wall in Animal Allies the mission is easy peasy. Like I said, difficulty is all a matter of experience and perception. It is not something that is intrinsic in the challenge. I still think the manhole covers from last season are impossible, even though I've seen robots that appear to flip them over as an afterthought.
                        Last edited by Dean Hystad; 12-13-2018, 04:32 PM.

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                        • #27
                          Originally posted by Dean Hystad View Post

                          You only think the mission is difficult because you didn't come up with a good solution.
                          Hahaha, you know, Dean, you're not required to contradict everything here on the forums.

                          But, on the subject at hand, I'm only saying three things: 1) I suggested the strength mission is "the hardest this year", 2) I wasn't able to do it in an hour while watching an episode of "This Is Us" on tv, 3) the 4th and 5th grade kids on my team would have required a while to figure out a solution to it.

                          So, I'm genuinely curious, which mission do you feel is the most challenging this year? (And I promise I won't respond by saying it's actually easy! ;->)

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                          • #28
                            Originally posted by Dean Hystad
                            What can I say, there is a dearth of philosophical discussion on the forum this year.
                            I'm saddened that Schrodinger's Cat hasn't popped up in any Into Orbit discussion thus far, unlike for every previous challenge. Oh wait... it just did.

                            D@mn Cat.

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                            • #29
                              Originally posted by cschaffer View Post

                              I'm saddened that Schrodinger's Cat hasn't popped up in any Into Orbit discussion thus far, unlike for every previous challenge. Oh wait... it just did.

                              D@mn Cat.
                              I saw that too. Dean replied aannnd.... its gone.

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                              • #30
                                I am in the third quantum state; Pure, Mixed, Unapproved. Made a small edit and didn't wait quite long enough to submit.

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