Thursday, August 12, 2010

FLL - Body Forward Challenge

The First Lego League's challenge for this upcoming season is Body forward, and the theme is all about Bio- medical engineering. Just check out the new field table mat and all the medical imagery on it!

Of course the challenge detail will be released on September 1, 2010, but who can wait that long! As soon as I received the set, I rounded up my free child labor, and put them to work to quickly assemble all the model sets.

So let's take a quick look at all these fantastic models this year. Starting with the upper left corner, we have the ramp and syringe. It looks easy enough with a red crank shaft that when tapped can release the syringe that is on wheels! and my guess is the syringe need to be released and returned to the base to score some points.

Next we have the artery and stent and the mission must be to push the stent into the artery to hold the artery straight and open. The question is are they going to let us place the stent at the mouth of the artery, or are they going to make us bring it from base and deliver it into the artery.

Next we have a large bone broken in the middle. Since one side of it is mounted to a rotating base, my guess is you need to rotate the broken piece and set the broken bone aligned then cover it with a blue cast.
This is not going to be too easy here!

Below the small bones, there is the large Bone Bridge with a blue ball and the goal. The placement of the bridge looks very interesting, why the 6 degree angle, I'm not sure, but again, with 2 pieces to the bridge, does that mean we have to deliver the lower half, lock it with the little lock piece then spin the bridge to kick the ball into the goal?

On the lower right side of the mat is the tissue areas, which has a clever image of a tissue box and a large organ(as in musical organ) on the board. This model consists of five square pieces that has one side black and the other side white. With a quick two click you can turn the square around.So my guess is they are going to make us turn the square so that all of them will be black or white. Do you think they will throw in the twist, where the referee will set the pattern right before each round, so you don't even know which squares need to be turned?

At the far right end of the mat is the brain and the connected door. There are some interesting sticks on the side of the brain that looks like it needs to be pushed but it doesn't seem to be doing anything....or does it? The stick on the bottom end controls the door, so my guess is we need to push it to open the door, and then deliver those lovely little people through the doors?
Next to the door is the pressure tester, this is a puzzling one, I wonder if this one have anything to do with those two eye balls? if so, how are they related? There is a tiny little hole in the front of the pressure tester, do you think we need to stick something in there to trigger the pressure tester to drop? Hmmmmm... can't wait to find out if that is the case!

On the top of the mat, there is a medicine dispenser and container, it looks like we need to push the dispenser and drop the little lego pieces into the container. Since the container is not locked onto the mat, do you think that means we need to move the container back to the base to score some points?

To the left of the dispenser, we have a mechanical hand ready to grab onto the tray with handle sitting atop on the platform that straddles between the edge of the tables. Does that mean, the other table's platform will be adjacent to ours, and can we grab their handle and steal the points? Hmmm....interesting!

Next to the hands is the heart, and the pace maker and patch, my guess is they need to be delivered into the heart. That should be easy enough, right?

Check out this nice video that Jonathan from Tech  Brick put together showing you how to put the pieces together in 120 seconds

Friday, June 4, 2010

You've Got Mail !

CyberKids Robotics is hosting a National Robotics Competition this summer to give teams the opportunity to compete on a national stage and get some extra practice in for the upcoming FLL Robotics season.

You've Got Mail !
National Robotics Competition

CyberKids Robotics is a non-profit education company dedicated to improving the STEM education of students in North Carolina, South Carolina and Virginia through our exciting robotics competition program. CyberKids Robotics is hosting a National Robotics Competition called "You've Got Mail!". The theme of this competition will be helping the Postal Service process and deliver the mail using a LEGO Mindstorms NXT robot of your design.

For this competition, your robotics team cannot have more than six team members. All team members must be between the ages of 9 and 14 as of June 1, 2010. All construction, programming and robot execution must be performed by the registered robotics team members.

After registering your team, you will receive a "You've Got Mail !" competition mat, field setup kit and a set of detailed rules and regulations for the competition.

Each team's robot must be built entirely out of LEGO elements, and must be controlled by LEGO MINDSTORMS NXT elements. Only one LEGO MINDSTORMS NXT Intelligent Brick is allowed for each robot. All robots must be programmed with LEGO MINDSTORMS NXT-G.

Each team will have until midnight on August 16, 2010 to complete all building and programming and submit a video of their robot completing as many "You've Got Mail !" missions as possible within two minutes and thirty seconds. The robotics team accumulating the most points in the shortest amount of time....WINS!

Each robotics team must also submit a "no longer than five minute" video explaining the design of their robot, the team's strategy in solving the "You've Got Mail !" missions and each team member must explain their primary role for this competition.

The registration for the You've Got Mail ! National Robotics Competition is $115.00 per team.

Team Registration Fee $35.00
Competition Mat & Field Setup Kit $70.00
Shipping and Handling $10.00

Registration is limited to the first 1,000 teams. Register early so your team can have a "head start" on the competition. Competition mats and field setup kits will be shipped in the order of registration. Please allow 5 to 7 days for the delivery of your competition mat and field setup kit.

To register, click on the link below :

If you have more than one robotics team, register your first team online to get the competition mat and field setup kit shipped to you then call 828-292-2393 to register each additional team for only the $35.00 Team Registration Fee.

The Top Ten teams in the You've Got Mail ! National Robotics Competition will receive prizes.

Each team member on the Championship Team will receive a new LEGO MINDSTORMS NXT kit.

The First, Second and Third place teams will receive a free registration and field setup kit for the upcoming FIRST Lego League Body Forward robotics competition.

If you have questions, please e-mail us at or call 828-292-2393.

Good Luck !

Thursday, May 6, 2010


Excellent news for kids 9 and up, the Moonbots competition has lowered its age requirement from 13 to 9! I guess they realized, that since FLL is 9 to 14, setting the age requirement to 13 was too limiting.

So dust of your Mindstorm robot, and get ready for a fun challenge while you are waiting between your FLL season! All you need is one adult and 3-5 kids to start a team.

This challenge is basically a simulated lunar exploration, similar to those required to win the $30 million Google Lunar X PRIZE, except it is using the Lego Mindstorm robot plus video essays, team website and running the Robot game through a Live Webcast!

The competition has two phases, phase one requires your robot design documented in digital form and showing off your creativity and video blogging. All this must be done before May 28 (only 22 more days left!). From Phase one, 20 winners will be selected to participate in phase two. The 20 winners selected from phase one, each team will get a robot kit and the game table pieces so they can participate in the game challenge. During Phase two the 20 teams are also required to upload video blogging (min. once a week)from the robot as it explores the moon! Near the end of phase 2, the teams will run the robot game through a live webcast. The robot game round is 3 minutes long, and a max of 350 points can be scored on the game table, but you only get ONE shot at it.

The main difference between this game and the FLL game is that you have to mount a video camera onto your robot, and have your robot take picture or video while it is on a mission. Also, sensor wise, you have a wider selection of different sensors that you can use, as long as it is from LEGO or HiTechnic !

The grand prize is a free trip (3 days/2 nights) for the team to visit the Lego Campus in Denmark, plus FIRST team registrations for the next season.

For more info, visit

Sunday, March 21, 2010

Robot in action

Here is a clip of our team performing on the game table at the NYC citywide chapionship - Javits Center
Out team is the ones in green shirts, watch our great cheering squad's exciting cheers.

or goto

Friday, March 12, 2010

Sunday March 14, 2010 - Javits Center

Come cheer for the Forest Hills Lego Club teams this Sunday, March 14 at the Javits Center (9:00 - 3:30)
We have three FLL teams competing in the First Lego League NYC Citywide Championship Tournament.
The event is Free and open to the public. Come see what Lego Robotics is all about!

Pit 34 - Robo Squad
Pit 35 - Mindstorm Mechanics
Pit 76 - Planetary Forces

Jacob Javits Convention Center
655 West 34th Street
New York, NY 10001

Need directions to the venue? Click here
For parking information Click here
For public transportation information Click here

Tuesday, February 23, 2010

How to keep count as the light sensor passes 3 black lines

Click here for the video

One of my team member has decided that he needs 2 light sensors, and one of the light sensor will follow the black line,and the 2nd sensor, will count the intersecting black lines, and at the 3rd black line he will stop the robot and do something else.
So the question is how do you program the robot to keep count on the sensor information.
Well, here is a very good video tutorial that explains exactly this condition.
simply substitute touch sensor for light sensor, and change the control value from 10 to 3.

Tuesday, January 26, 2010

EWeek at NJ Liberty Science Center

The 3rd annual Liberty Science Center Engineers Week Exhibition hosted by the FIRST LEGO League (FLL) team Landroids #109 will be held on President’s Day, Monday, February 15, 2010, 9 AM – 4 PM.

Each year, the top New Jersey FIRST LEGO League teams are invited to gather as volunteers for a day of robot demonstration and research project presentation to 3,500 to 4,000 visitors.

This year, the event will also include the FIRST Tech Challenge (FTC) and the Jr. FIRST LEGO League (Jr. FLL), forming a link between all three divisions, spanning from kindergarten to the high school level. Separate programming presentations offered by Storming Robots and LEGO models will also be on display. It will be a fun robotics day!

This LSC exhibition is a non-competitive, networking opportunity for the NJ teams. It is also a wonderful opportunity for parents and children who are interested in getting involved to see the robots up-close, and be able to chat with the teams and the coaches for more information.

This event showcases the top NJ teams from the 2009/10 season. This year will also include representative teams from the FIRST Tech Challenge (FTC) and Jr. FIRST LEGO League (Jr.FLL).

Participating Team List (will continue be updated):

Morning Session (9 AM – 12:30 PM)
FLL #4832 The Atoms Family (NJ State 1st place Champions Award)
FLL #3691 HMS Platinum (NJ State 1st place Robot Performance Award)
FLL #4104 Yobotics (NJ State 3rd place Robot Design Award)
Jr.FLL #103 Spongebots (NJ State Complexity and Decoration Award)
FTC # 3539 Say Watt? (NJ Snow Day Srcimmage Inspire Award & Winning Alliance)

Afternoon Session (12:30 PM – 4:00 PM)
FLL #109 Landroids (NJ State 1st place Robot Design Award)
FLL #4764 Bergen Bees (NJ State 2nd Place Project Award)
Jr. FLL #465 Special Lego Builder

Liberty Science Center
222 Jersey City Boulevard * Jersey City, NJ * 07305

Monday, January 25, 2010

Videos of FLL Smart Move 400 Points

Here is a collection of videos of different teams that got 400 points this year. Some of them are very cleverly designed and creative such as shooting darts at axis markers. And others had built huge multi-part machines which seem overly complicated and unnecessary.

Queens FLL Tournament Result

Congratulations to all 3 Forest Hills Teams for winning an award at the Queens FLL Qualifying Tournament, and moving onto the Citywide tournament at the Javits Center!

2010 Queens FLL Qualifying Awards
2010 Queens FLL Qualifying Tournament Winners

FLL # Team Name Pit # School
4th Place 3644 Bleeker Techies 21 BLEEKER 185
3rd Place 3348 RA Tech Titans 24 Resurrection Asencsion School
2nd Place 2320 Mr Roboto 6 IS 125 Woodside
1st Place 2280 TopGearz 15 I.S. 119

3rd Place 2677 Team Cobra 17 Academy for College preparation and Career Exploration
2nd Place 6513 MasterMinds 35 Middle School 88
1st Place 3734 Roboneers 7 Garden School

4th Place 9325 Robo Squad 19 Forest Hills Lego Club
3rd Place 1732 Warbots 14 Cambria Center for the Gifted Child
2nd Place 344 Mission Masters 2 2 PS 148Q
1st Place 9370 LAMChops Old Schoolers 25 Louis Armstromg Middle School

2nd Place 2382 Ryan Lions 1 MS 216
1st Place 3241 Zwicker 32 PS 128

Judge's Award 9514 Planetary Forces 8 Forest Hills Lego League

Champion's Award
3rd Place 2283 SuperBotz 16 I.S. 119
2nd Place 876 Mindstorm Mechanics 29 Forest Hills Lego Club
1st Place 733 Boogie Bot 28

Manhattan FLL Qualifying Tournament on NY1 News

Check out the Manahattan FLL on NY1 news!

Rube Goldberg

Here is another contest that my friend Christina Duer has sent to me. It sounds like a very interesting event.


Machine Contest

The Rube Goldberg Machine Contest (RGMC) brings the ideas of Pulitzer Prize-winning artist Rube Goldberg's "invention" cartoons to life. This Olympics of Complexity is designed to pull students away from conventional problem-solving and push them into the endless chaos of imagination and intuitive thought. To be specific, groups are given an elementary challenge: something as simple as peeling an apple, sharpening a pencil, or putting toothpaste on a toothbrush. But instead of just "solving" the problem, students have to make the solution as complicated and as convoluted as possible. In fact, the more steps - there's a minimum of twenty - the better the Rube Goldberg Machine. And what a machine! An assemblage of ordinary objects, mechanical gadgets, and the oddest odds and ends are linked together and somehow get to the desired goal.

Dispense an Appropriate Amount of Hand Sanitizer into a Hand

Cradle of Aviation Museum,Garden City, NY

General public is invited to view the contest free of charge.
Cradle of Aviation Museum. One Davis Avenue, Garden City, New York. 11530

February 13, 2010 at 10:00 AM

Friday, January 15, 2010

RoboCup Junior

Another interesting robotic competition is the RoboCup Junior.
Unlike the FLL, RoboCup has the same 3 categories/challenges every year- Soccer, Rescue and Dance. and participants are allowed to use any robots of their choosing.
Here are some Videos of past competitions:



The RCJ @ NY/NJ Regional Event will be held on Sunday February 28, 2010 at the the New York Hall of Science in Queens NY.

The Regional Tournament will be a formal tournament for teams competing in one of the three RCJ challenges -- Soccer, Rescue or Dance, in primary and secondary age categories. The primary age category is for teams where all members are age 14 and under; secondary is for teams where all members are age 14 and over. A winner in each challenge category will be eligible to receive an invitation to the RoboCupJunior International 2010 in Singapore.

Robotics Update - Jan 2010

After our marathon workshop on Dec 31, 2009, the teams are in much better shape for the tournament:
Robo Squad now has 3 robots, each with a different design. Patrick and Brian are going with the Tread design and is far ahead in the programming than the other teams. Marshall and Michael has a fancy hook design that is going to catch all the hoops. Jeffrey, Feras and Justin just finished building their robot, and is starting to program the robot for the marker mission.
Mindstorm Mechanics has 2 robots, girls vs. boys. The girls have a robot fully loaded with sensors, and a giant scooper in the front. The boys have a smaller scooper in the front, and is contemplating of adding some sensors too.
I am so proud of the kids for coming up with their own original designs. Remember always test the mission run multiple times, the robot must be able to consistently accomplish the missions in the exact same manner each time. Here is a tip, always start the robot from the same position at the base, build an alignment tool if that helps.
We will have another mini-marathon session on Monday Martin Luther Day, from 9:00 - 1:00 at the field house, hope you can all make it!

Happy Building!

Coach Iffat

Mindstorm Mechanics - Jan 9

Your presentation is coming together. I will try to get some props. Did anyone download music to play during A Chaotic Morning and A Calm Morning?

You still have a lot to do. I need written and spoken introductions to explain your science board as well as the drawing that will be put on them. Please remember to bring the petition to school and get it signed. Yasmeen, I think you’re supposed to find out where to send the final petition.

Then you need a play that explains a calm morning.

Remember you have five minutes and you need to fill it and make sure you’re understood and clear.

Good luck and see you Saturday


Robo Squad Update - Jan 9

You guys rock! Your presentation looked good. I need pictures from you for the science board. Photos of TDUs, submarines, recycling plants, etc. Think about costumes and props. If you’re supposed to be a scientist, do you have a lab coat you could wear and some test tube or something scientific to carry? Brian is the scuba diver and I think he’s supposed to be carrying his wetsuit! I love it. I will get a microphone for Marshall as the reporter and perhaps a fedora or something to make him reporter-ish.

Please make sure you know your parts and have them written out on Saturday so I can make a complete script for Monday.

Also each of you is supposed to make a Lego submarine for our commercial break. Can someone write the commercial or come up with a theme song for Lego that you can all sing during the commercial break. It’s supposed to be silly and fun!

Good luck and see you Saturday