FIRST® Robotics Competition Game Release and Kick Off

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On Saturday, January 6th, FIRST® Robotics Competition teams from all over Alberta met at SAIT to view the live broadcast of the 2018 Game Reveal and Kick Off!

2018 Game Release and Kick off, hosted at SAIT Calgary, AB

FIRST POWER UPSM finds FIRST® Robotics Competition teams trapped in an 8-bit video game. Each three-team alliance has three ways to help defeat the boss: Tipping the scale or the alliance’s switch in their favor to earn points, exchanging power cubes for power ups (force, boost, and levitate) to gain a temporary advantage during the match, and climbing the scale tower to face the boss. The alliance with the highest score at the end of the match, which includes autonomous and teleoperated periods, defeats the boss and wins the game.

Over the next six weeks, teams will design, build, program, and test their robots to meet this season’s engineering challenge. Once their robot is built, teams will participate in the Canadian Rockies Regional at the Genesis Centre in Calgary, to compete against teams from USA, Mexico, Turkey and Germany.

If you missed the live broadcast you can still watch the full details  below or check out FIRST® Robotics Competition YouTube Channel for the video playlist of the FIRST POWER UPSM  Challenge.

Good luck to all teams and POWER UP!

Auto-Nation Invasion

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On December 2nd, 2017 FIRST Robotics Society hosted the first ever Auto-Nation Invasion practice competition at SAIT in Calgary, Alberta.  This event included all four levels of FIRST®.

FIRST® LEGO® League Jr. showcased their AQUA ADVENTURESM progress on their Team Model and Show Me Board.  Thank you to Ultra Master Water Surfers (Team 11227) and Ultra Mega Golden Dragons (Team 12225) of Calgary, Alberta for coming out and showing off their surfing simulator and dog park fountain.  Fantastic innovations on both projects!

FIRST® LEGO® League teams began their very first challenge of the HYDRO DYNAMICSSM season. LEGO® EV3 bots navigated throughout an exciting field of challenges such as pipe removals, man-hole covers, water treatment, collection and applications.  What an incredible turnout with 10 teams! Thank you to Aqua Narwhales, MicroWave, Prehistoric Programmers, Nose Creek Kodiaks, Bragg Creek Robotics, University of Calgary The Spray and Unicorns of the Sea, Okotoks Waterlords, Blue Tech & H20 for your participation!

(Photo by Lydia Sobschak/SAIT)

Four teams with FIRST® TECH Challenge came to test their robots in this head to head challenge. SWAT Bots, Data Wolves, Canmore OLS & Xplorobotics showed off their Relic Recovery skills by scoring glyphs into the cryptoboxes and completing rows,
column, and ciphers, transferring relics to the recovery zone, retrieving jewels, parking their robot on the balancing stones, and navigating to specific parts of the playing field!

 

The highlight of the day was the FIRST® Robotics Competitions BetaBots Challenge.  Teams competed against each other in this first ever Pollen Action event. Thank you to all teams who came out to compete, and Congratulations to Team 5630, the Nomads on winning first place this unique competition!

(Photo by Lydia Sobschak/SAIT)

 

(Photo by Lydia Sobschak/SAIT)

Quality Award for superb execution went to Team 6351, Rundle College whose machine was built with an exceptionally thought out and detailed plan in mind.

 

 

(Photo by Lydia Sobschak/SAIT)

Innovation in Control Award went to Rookie Team 7277, Mandela Robotics for solid programming, innovating while addressing the game’s challenge and building a reliable robot able to withstand the stress of competition.

 

(Photo by Lydia Sobschak/SAIT)

Creativity Award went to Team 1482, Grandin Ghosts. This team created this device/strategy rather than discovering it once the robot was built. This team was also the highest ball shooter of the day.

 

 

(Photo by Lydia Sobschak/SAIT)

Judges Award went to Team 4733, Scarlett Robotics whose perseverance shined when it came to troubleshooting their robot.  This circumstance showed that the team fully embraced the principles of FIRST®, thereby catching the judge’s attention.

Thank you to everyone who came out to enjoy this incredible event!  A very special thank you to our sponsors DOW, SAIT & the Government of Alberta, whose generous contributions continue to help us to inspire young people to become the science and technology leaders of tomorrow!

Join our Java education livestream on Nov 13

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Richard McMullin from Ontario is a Java Expert and has run a number of popular sessions on Java for FTC and FLL. He will be joining Craig and Max tonight to talk about the fundamentals of setting up your Java environment. This podcast is most useful to those teams with some Java experience. Please join us Monday, November 13 for this live stream. You can tune in through our YouTube channel here.

A PlayPump Story Takes Students On A Water Journey

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How often are children told to wash their hands or drink lots of water?  Probably pretty often.  Many have easy access to swimming pools, fountains,  fresh water lakes, some even have the ocean right in their backyard.  Unfortunately it’s a sad reality that accessible clean water is a luxury to many parts of the world.

So how do we teach young people to appreciate such a valuable resource when their accessibility to water is literally at the turn of a tap?

You let them discover the journey.

In FIRST® LEGO®  League Jr., students learn about a very special outdoor play apparatus in South Africa called a PlayPump.  In the communities where these were built, children are able to play on this practical merry-go-round that pumps water out of the ground and into a holding tank. From there,  a tap can be opened so the community can access this clean water supply when needed.  Students find out the benefits of this invention, and also the challenges that it faces.  Furthermore, they learn that this isn’t a one step process.

In conjunction with their Inspire Model (a LEGO Water Pump), students build the different stages that water travels in order to get to where it can be used.

Next on their Aqua Adventure, students will choose a water use that they’ll focus their team model around!

 

Are you interested in becoming a coach or mentor? It’s not too late start a FIRST LEGO League Jr. team. Email us at mentors(Replace this parenthesis with the @ sign)frcwest.com today!

FRS Education Series Livestream

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Today’s edition of FRS Education Series is the first of a two part session on strategy. These two sessions will be covering off Strategy as it primarily relates to FRC and FTC.

This session will be live streamed on our YouTube channel

The first half of today’s session will be focused on, after the game reveal, how do you get started? How do you put together a design and build strategy to achieve your goals? The second half of today’s session is focused on a commonly overlooked but critical aspect to game play: scouting. What are the different types of scouting, what to look for when scouting and how to use this valuable information.

The next Strategy session will focus on game and match strategy as well as the role of the drive team.

Join our Calgary Electronics Class!

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FIRST Robotics Society, its Student Board, and BusBoard Prototype Systems (www.BusBoard.com) are hosting a day-long basic electronics class on Sunday Oct 15 at Bow Valley College, downtown Calgary. Space is available for up to 175 students. We are recording this event to use as a later webinar for off-site students (date TBD).

Preliminary Class Outline:

The first half of the day will focus on basic electricity, wiring, and troubleshooting skills. Each student will receive a Junior Genius Kit #1-Blinky Lights with 60 page manual which we will work through as a group. The presenter (Scot Kornak from BusBoard) will lead everyone through this hands-on course step-by-step with a powerpoint presentation, but each team should have a mentor or leader present to help students as needed.

Topics covered include:
• Introduction to basic parts, LEDS, resistors, capacitors, transistors
• series & parallel circuits, wiring and connections
• how a breadboard works to build prototype circuits
• basic LED circuits, light up LEDs, series & parallel circuits
• voltage and current
• reading assembly diagrams and schematics
• transistors and electronic switching
• make the 2 transistor blinky light circuit

The second half of the day will explore how to connect circuits to a controller like the FIRST roboRio or a simpler controller like an Arduino or Teensy. These simpler boards may be used to add robot features (non-movement or control features, as per the rules). Various input and output circuits will be built to see how they work (without programming or connecting to an actual controller).
• digital vs. analog electronics, digital logic
• introduction to integrated circuit (I.C.’s) and gates
• switches, transistors, relays, and diodes
• a simple on-off motor H-bridge drive using relays
• transistor H-bridge motor drives and PWM
• making devices talk: introduction to serial data, SPI, I2C, CAN

Cost: $30 CDN – Participants will receive a Junior Genius #1-Blinky Light kit (with breadboard and 60 page manual) and supplemental FIRST training day bonus parts including a DC motor with gearbox and wheels.
Links:
www.JuniorGeniusKits.com/FIRST
www.frcwest.com
www.BusBoard.com

Tickets are available through EventBrite to purchase spots for your team at this event.
https://www.eventbrite.ca/e/basic-electronics-training-day-tickets-37744338332

To get more information about the FRC/FTC training day, send an email to info(Replace this parenthesis with the @ sign)busboard.com and we’ll let you know further details when available.

Note: Mentors and teachers may take a seat and work through the kit along with the students to get hands-on electronics practice. We highly recommend it if you haven’t assembled circuits before. Please buy the extra tickets on-line when you purchase tickets for your students.