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  • Milking automation

    Question on Milking automation - Is it necessary to push the cow before you turn the machine? We can manage to roll out the milk without pushing the cow.

    I have checked the instructions for building this mission model, and there is not any firm lock/unlock mechanism triggered by pushing the cow. Please let me know if I am missing something.

    Thanks.

  • #2
    Re: Milking automation

    Check the build carefully. The red lever cannot be pushed without first pushing in the cow.

    Originally posted by shailacdi@gmail.com View Post
    Question on Milking automation - Is it necessary to push the cow before you turn the machine? We can manage to roll out the milk without pushing the cow.

    I have checked the instructions for building this mission model, and there is not any firm lock/unlock mechanism triggered by pushing the cow. Please let me know if I am missing something.

    Thanks.
    Mentor: Not the Droids You Are Looking For - retired (World Festival Champion's 2018)
    Judge: Western PA, World Festival, Razorback Open, Mountain State
    Head Referee: Western PA Championships

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    • #3
      Re: Milking automation

      The mission states "Guide the cow into the machine, then spin the machine until Milk comes out. If you spin too far, *Manure also comes out!" but the scoring does not reflect any penalty for not guiding the cow into the machine.

      That said, I believe a properly built model does indeed require the cow to be pushed in. Its not a lot of push just a nudge, but if built properly when the cow is fully pulled out, the red level does not turn. Also, the mission states the milk can only be released by using the red lever. My kids ran the robot into the model (by accident) and knocked the milk out and thought they were done :-)

      If you are concerned your model may not be correct, make sure the following..
      There are 2 blue axle pins underneath the trays that hold the milk and manure that will lock into the base when the cow is pulled out. If you look at the instructions for bag 8 (see instructions 16 on page 17, 69 on page 49, 78 on page 55 and 129 on page 95). Hope that helps.

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      • #4
        Re: Milking automation

        I heard so many folks mention how difficult it is to build the milking model that I built it when we received the field kit instead of letting the kids do so. It is very challenging and I've built hundreds of LEGO kits. If built correctly, and if you do the field setup correctly, the machine is firmly locked when the cow is pulled all the way out. Either you have a build problem or you aren't locking the machine in the correct position.

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        • #5
          Re: Milking automation

          Yes, the mechanism should lock when you slide the cow outwards. That's part of the pre-match model setup.
          FIRST LEGO League Mentor and Referee/Head Referee since 2011.

          Comment


          • #6
            Re: Milking automation

            I'm a little worried about the interpretation of M06, "the Robot’s only movement of the Milk and/or Manure came by moving the red lever". It says "only" but does that mean "ever"? Does this restriction apply at all times?

            I'm assuming there's no penalty for jostling the milk while pushing the cow into the machine even though this could be considered "moving the milk" without the red lever. I'm also assuming that incidental contact with the machine would incur no penalty as long as the robot is primarily using the red lever to turn the contraption.

            However, are the scores for M06 and M13 effectively a "score only one" situation? Clearly the robot cannot get the milk completely into base by only moving the red lever. The robot would have to retrieve the milk and transport it back to base to score M13. As soon as the robot starts transporting the milk do we forfeit the points we earned in M06 releasing the milk?

            Obviously the same question would apply when scoring M06 and M14.

            Comment


            • #7
              Re: Milking automation

              The restriction only applies to the mission. Once the milk and/or manure are dispensed the mission is over, as is the restriction.

              Don't overthink things, at least not in ways that add restrictions.

              As an aside, am I the only one that thinks the line around the manure area is silly?

              Comment


              • #8
                Re: Milking automation

                Originally posted by Dean Hystad View Post
                The restriction only applies to the mission. Once the milk and/or manure are dispensed the mission is over, as is the restriction.
                I agree that seems the most reasonable interpretation, but is there any definition for a mission being "over"? I don't think that concept exists. All these missions are scored using "visible at the end of the match" criteria. For example, if later during the match, some piece of equipment inadvertently bumps the milking machine and causes the manure to drop, I'm pretty sure we'd lose 5 point even though the mission was over a long time ago.

                Again, it doesn't make sense to apply the red bar restriction after the milk has left the dispenser but it seems like an oversight in the description and/or rules.

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                • #9
                  Re: Milking automation

                  Originally posted by Dean Hystad View Post
                  am I the only one that thinks the line around the manure area is silly?
                  If you are talking about the fat black line, I don't think my kids would think it is silly. The milk mission was (insanely) the first one that they did. From base, they drove for the closer black line, then drove to the second, budging the cow in. Then they used a line follower to push the red lever around clockwise. They stopped, and backed out. Only the milk came out and no manure (or "chocolate milk as they call it). The programmer said "I guess we are done".

                  It took them 5 total minutes given that line (and an existing line following myblock).

                  Was there some luck involved? sure! it shouldnt have been that easy, but it was for them. All because of the silly line.

                  could the line be better, by having a crossing line to show when to stop? Sure. but with a line is better for us than not having a line at all.

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                  • #10
                    Re: Milking automation

                    On few occasions I've told my veteran teams, "You're doing something that would look like magic to a rookie team." cshaffer's anecdote below is a great example. Well done in 5 minutes!

                    Originally posted by cschaffer View Post
                    The milk mission was (insanely) the first one that they did. From base, they drove for the closer black line, then drove to the second, budging the cow in. Then they used a line follower to push the red lever around clockwise. They stopped, and backed out. Only the milk came out and no manure (or "chocolate milk as they call it). The programmer said "I guess we are done".

                    It took them 5 total minutes given that line (and an existing line following myblock).

                    Comment


                    • #11
                      Re: Milking automation

                      Originally posted by dnb View Post
                      On few occasions I've told my veteran teams, "You're doing something that would look like magic to a rookie team." cshaffer's anecdote below is a great example. Well done in 5 minutes!
                      "Any sufficiently advanced technology is indistinguishable from magic."

                      ...obligatory quote from Arthur C. Clarke

                      Comment


                      • #12
                        Re: Milking automation

                        Originally posted by dnb View Post
                        On few occasions I've told my veteran teams, "You're doing something that would look like magic to a rookie team."
                        Our club has 10 new rookie teams this year. I don't think a single one of them will get the milking automation on their own. Good mentoring opportunity for the couple of existing teams. That said, Animal Allies is not very rookie friendly. I hope to be surprised by the rookie teams as the kids push to creatively crack some of the missions.

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                        • #13
                          Re: Milking automation

                          Originally posted by WilliamFrantz View Post
                          I'm a little worried about the interpretation of M06, "the Robot’s only movement of the Milk and/or Manure came by moving the red lever". It says "only" but does that mean "ever"? Does this restriction apply at all times?

                          I'm assuming there's no penalty for jostling the milk while pushing the cow into the machine even though this could be considered "moving the milk" without the red lever. I'm also assuming that incidental contact with the machine would incur no penalty as long as the robot is primarily using the red lever to turn the contraption.

                          However, are the scores for M06 and M13 effectively a "score only one" situation? Clearly the robot cannot get the milk completely into base by only moving the red lever. The robot would have to retrieve the milk and transport it back to base to score M13. As soon as the robot starts transporting the milk do we forfeit the points we earned in M06 releasing the milk?

                          Obviously the same question would apply when scoring M06 and M14.
                          The scope of M06 is getting the milk and/or manure out of the milking machine. There are an additional missions that uses the milk after M06 has been accomplished.

                          Scores for M06, M13, and M14 are all based on the location of the milk objects at the end of the match. The way the game is structured, it seems like the team must have accomplished M06 in order to also accomplish either M13 or M14.
                          FIRST LEGO League Mentor and Referee/Head Referee since 2011.

                          Comment


                          • #14
                            Re: Milking automation

                            Originally posted by cschaffer View Post
                            Our club has 10 new rookie teams this year. I don't think a single one of them will get the milking automation on their own. Good mentoring opportunity for the couple of existing teams. That said, Animal Allies is not very rookie friendly. I hope to be surprised by the rookie teams as the kids push to creatively crack some of the missions.
                            I would think that M01-Shark Tank, M02-Warning Fence and M011 Collecting the Pig are very doable. Beehive and refrigerator can be done but could be challenging to get working consistently. If you can get some food, then the Gorilla is an easy drive out. The rest might be harder but as you say, hopefully the kids surprise you. Last year my rookies definitely got further than I thought they would.

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                            • #15
                              Re: Milking automation

                              Our milk comes out even if we don't slide the cow in. As the scoring requirements are only that you use the red lever to move the milking machine and that you have released the milk, do we HAVE to slide in the cow?

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