Exit 5 Robotics Wins Award at 2014 North American Open Championship

Exit 5 Robotics recently concluded their 2013/2014 FLL robotics competition season with the FLL NJ State Finals in March and the FLL NAOC (North American Open Championship) in May.  The NJ State Finals this year hosted a record 72 teams.  Against this tough field, the team walked out with two shiny pieces of hardware, a well deserved Champion’s Award (3rd Place) and a well earned Robot Performance Award (2nd Place).  The finish was enough to qualify them for the NAOC in LegoLand / Carlsbad, California, their third consecutive international finals competition.

The NAOC this year hosted 76 of the top teams from the United States, Canada, Mexico, and specially invited teams from South Korea.  In three days of intense but friendly competition, they tweaked their robot, practiced their project presentation and admittedly had some fun around LegoLand.  Against this stacked field of competitors, the Exit 5 Robotics team ended up being one of only thirteen teams with two or more judging callbacks.  As the last day of the competition closed, the results for all the teams were in.  Exit 5 Robotics received a piece of shiny hardware in the form of a Gracious Professionalism Award (2nd Place), an Honorable Mention – Research Project, Honorable Mention – Core Values, and placement in the top 40% of robot scores.  Congratulations to the Pithons from Scarsdale, CA and the Moovers from Kildeer, IL for their fantastic Champion’s Award 1st Place and Champion’s Award 2nd Place respectively.

With the close of this season, and the transition of many members on to other endeavors such as FTC, it would be a great time to make special mention of the first individuals to ever win three NJ State FLL Champion’s Awards: Alice Huang, Stephanie Tam, Evelyn Huang, Chloe Lam, and Flora Xia.  Also, special thanks go to Tiffany Yu for her work in mentoring the team this year.

Upon returning home to NJ, the team had a lot to share about their experiences with their peers.  Thoughts from each person on the team.

FLL is of the most life-changing experiences that can happen in someone’s life.  It takes science, math, research, creativity, and critical thinking skills and makes people exercise them to the max, but keeps it fun and appealing! Even those who hate those particular subjects will start to love them.  And there’s even more joy in the heart-pounding competitions.  Something fun and educational… that’s what FLL truly boils down to.

I really loved FLL and the Nature’s Fury FLL season.  I learned a lot from being on the robotics team.  I enjoyed being with my team mates.  It was an amazing experience to be with all my friends.  Having grown up watching the older girls participate in robotics, I really enjoyed this first year on the team.

The FLL season was so much fun! I loved working with my teammates or just hanging out. I would like to thank all the professionals we met with, especially the ones from Livingston. We couldn’t have accomplished this without your help. Overall this year was really fun and everyone did such a great job. GO EXIT 5!

FLL is an experience that I’ll always hold close to my heart. It took a lot, but it gave back so much in the form of lessons for both robotics and for life: working with people is       challenging but rewarding, sometimes things that can only be described as “stuff” happens…but with a little patience, persistence, and creativity they can be fixed, and of course have food around because it makes everything better! I’ve come out of this a better person than I went in (I think…) and I look forward to what we will achieve in the future.

I really enjoyed this season, even with all of the highs and lows, it was fun working with everyone, and working hard on the robots.  I learned a lot about technology, and in my last year of FLL, I learned many lessons that’ll help me later in life.

FLL is a awesome and fun thing that teaches you to work together. I t shows and helps you with things you would need to know in the future.An example is, 1 rotation =360 degrees.During the NJASK, a test we take, there was a question on degrees and I used my knowledge from robotics to help answer the question. FLL also halped me make many new friends. In my opinion it is time consuming but it’s worth the time.

As a “veteran” of FLL, aging out of this competition, I have already competed in 4 seasons and been to 10 competitions in states all over the nation, and although is started as a hobby, it has now become part of my life to compete, go to practice and attend outreaches several times a year. I love the adrenaline at the competitions, the knowledge that is gained from the project, and overall, I love the great memories made with all my teammates and coaches throughout the years. Although I am sad to be moving on from FLL, Walt Disney once said, “Keep Moving Forward,” so I am excited to try my luck at reaching my goal of going to the World Festival with my new team in FTC.

FLL, has been a totally new and amazing experience. It has taught me things that I wouldn’t have known, and made me realize the potential that I have. For example, I learned how to do more thorough research and be confident with what I’m saying, explaining, or selling. This helped me in school and in other situations. FLL has taught me many useful things.

I‘ve been doing robotics for three years and it’s only taken me a few months to learn the one thing that I find most important, to have fun with those who you consider close enough to be family.

I think that participating in FLL has changed me in many ways. I’ve learned how to do so many different things, I’ve made lots of new friends, and it has been a great new experience to teach me several life lessons. Participating in FLL has made me a different person.  By participating in FLL, I’ve learned how to do a lot of different things. Before being on a robotics team, programming a robot was like a foreign language. I was clueless about building a robot too. Now that I’ve participated in FLL, my knowledge about robots has grown so much, and because of the project part of robotics, I learned some valuable tips and tricks about researching. Core Values helped expand my knowledge about teamwork, and it also helped me work within a group. Now, group projects in school seem much simpler because of Core Values. When researching for these projects, I can use little tricks that I learned from project, such as using Ctrl+F when I want to find specific information on a webpage or in a document. Robot programming and design really helps for math, because that’s how I learned that 720° is 2 360° turns. Being on a robotics team gave me the chance to meet a lot of new people and make a lot of new friends. At all of the outreaches that we did, there were new people to meet, and it was fun to talk to them about FLL and robotics. Core Values taught me so many key essentials to be a good person. It helped me learn about teamwork, which helps with group projects, and losing or winning graciously. Gracious Professionalism helped me so much, because winning and losing graciously can be very difficult. Learning this with my friends also made a difference. Learning together made me feel good about myself, and discovery was also crucial in FLL. I felt proud when I discovered new things, and I have learned that winning isn’t everything. Most of all, I learned that the whole point of FLL is to have fun. Of course, learning new things is vital too, but it’s so important to have fun.  Finally, participating in FLL helped me learn life lessons, such as “What we discover is more important than what we learn.” I hope that I will continue to learn more from FLL.    

2014NAO

Enjoying the 2014 NAOC

 

2014-07-02_163600

 

Celebrating at the FLL NJ State Finals

Great Season for Alpha Force Mark VI!

Alpha Force Mark VI marking the 6th season with a Programming Award at the State

“Our programming award honors a team that utilizes outstanding programming principles including clear, concise and reusable code that allows the robot to perform challenge missions autonomously and consistently.

Here’s what the judges have to say about this team:

When responding to nature’s fury, it is imperative that the challenge rescue vehicle keeps track of its location. This team is able to account for the different speeds of its motors and based on wheel circumference, adjusts motor speed to keep moving straight as it chases the storm. The second place programming award goes to team #3070 Alpha Force Mark VI!”

They were such sweet words for a team that’s marking their 6th year in FLL.

This happy bunch of 5th and 9th graders really worked harder this year and they are so glad that they won an award at the State level this time! Their robot, Storm Chaser, is the product of a proud collaboration of teen master builders, pre-teen and teenage programmers, observant testers and the kid’s great pool of ideas.

Their rubric score sheets showed “accomplished” to “exemplary” ratings for all the categories, reflecting all the diligence they put in, mixed with the intense drive to play. The judges’ comments noted the Alpha Force team’s great energy, team spirit, nice way of working together and that the kids were having way too much fun solving the teamwork puzzle even when time was running out. Their Robot Design score sheet in particular showed the highest possible ratings in all the criteria (mechanical design, programming, strategy and innovation), noting the robot’s mature mechanical design and the member’s understanding of the programming control process.

Because this year, they were able to have a greater grasp of how all the physical components, measurements, coding, testing, observations, problem-solving, re-coding, refining and persistence all come into play when doing the challenge missions. The same goes for the research project task process and teamwork aspects.

The scores were on the mark for the Alpha Force team which has gradually seasoned through the years and which has members who started as early as 5th grade and have grown into more mature 9th graders. Earning an award at the State Championship this year is a perfect icing on the cake, especially for the senior members who are now on their last year of FLL!

Here we are celebrating A Smash!

2014 FLL State 3070 Alpha Force Mark VI celebrates a Smash!

New Jersey FIRST LEGO League State Championship Award List, 3/8/2014

Awards Team # Team Name City
Champion’s Award #1 10296 CyberHawks River Vale
Champion’s Award #2 4182 Panther Power New Providence
Champion’s Award #3 3013 Exit 5 Robotics Livingston (LRC)
Robot Mechanical Design #1 8116 ibot Builders Holmdel
Robot Mechanical Design #2 5642 George Washington STEM Club Ridgewood
Robot Programming #1 12352 Wizards Jersey City
Robot Programming #2 3070 Alpha Force Mark VI Livingston (LRC)
Robot Strategy & Innovation #1 4815 The Flaming Tornadoes Netcong
Robot Strategy & Innovation #2 11683 Terra Bots Parsippany
Robot Performance #1 (491 pts) 12852 Robo Warriors Edison
Robot Performance #2 (483 pts) 3013 Exit 5 Robotics Livingston (LRC)
Project Research #1 8527 COLAbots Flanders
Project Research #2 1669 BF Brickheads Ridgewood
Project Innovative Solution #1 3530 Montclair Clankers Montclair
Project Innovative Solution #2 12852 Robo Warriors Edison
Project Presentation #1 6411 Cobots Montclair
Project Presentation #2 12115 NanoGurus Morris Plains
Core Values Inspiration #1 17328 Purple Sabotage Westfield
Core Values Inspiration #2 12380 AEPEES Jersey City
Core Values Teamwork #1 4137 Top Brick Plainsboro
Core Values Teamwork #2 10840 Knight Robotics Kendall Park
CV Gracious Professionalism #1 3347 IDEAmaze Plainsboro
CV Gracious Professionalism #2 4869 Technomes Livingston (LRC)
Judges Award 7474 Fury Fighting Robots Lambertville
Judges Award 5494 The Fury Tamers Plainsboro
Judges Award 4021 Technotrons Wayne
Outstanding Volunteer Award Tim Leicht
Outstanding Volunteer Award John Giardina

Get ready for the 2014 LRC Jr.FLL Expo

Disaster Blaster Logo

Join us in our outdoor Jr.FLL event in Livingston, NJ. The “Disaster Blaster” Expo will be held on Saturday, May 24, 2014. 

See http://www.LivingstonRobotics.org/expo/ for more details.

 

NJ FIRST LEGO League Qualifier Results (updated)

New Jersey FIRST LEGO League “Nature’s Fury” competition results from 9 regional qualifiers:

The FLL Lifehacks

planetower

Hello FLL Teams,

We, the Spongebots, just graduated from Jr.FLL last year and this is our first year for FLL.

This year, we found a lot of problems and we needed to come up with some solutions. At some point we decided that maybe we should have a dedicated webpage to show all the lifehacks that many FLL teams may come up with. As a starter, we show what we did with our trouble plane’s departure tower. We now have the (un)official FLL Lifehacks page on the Livingston Robotics Club site. Take a look what we have and perhaps you can contribute your stories. Click here to get to the page and enjoy your upcoming tournaments.

LRC FLL Nature’s Fury Expert Lectures

A Skype lecture

On September 11, 2013, LRC FIRST LEGO Leagues (FLL) teams attended a Skype lecture with System Engineer, Ryan Kelly from Virginia, to learn about snow storm accumulation prediction on the highway system, and the impact of earthquake on the east coast.

This is the first of a series of expert lectures that LRC offers to our teams each FLL season, in order for our members to gain insights about the FLL project challenge.

Upcoming LRC lectures includes:

September 27, 2013 with an Army Corp of Engineer, Dr. Roy Messaros, who is also a hydrology professor at Stevens Institute of Technology, to learn about the causes, impact and remediation of flooding.

October 2, 2013 with Livingston Town Manager, Michele Meade, to learn about township emergency preparation and responses during natural disasters.

Bracing for Nature’s Fury

Natural Fury Logo

The 2013-14 FIRST LEGO League “Nature’s Fury” season and the Jr. FIRST LEGO League “Disaster Blaster” are here!

FLL kickoff and challenge reveal will be on August 27, 2013, noon, EDT.

FLL field setup kits are being shipped in starting in July.

NFoverheadmatFor teams who are new to FLL this season, register a FLL team enable you to purchase the latest Mindstorms EV3 set with the team registration for $499. Veteran teams still have the option to use the Mindstorms NXT; while new teams can purchase the new EV3 to get a jump start on the latest educational kit.

Another welcoming change this season is the “What FIRST Teams and Events Are in My Area?” search engine has finally included the FIRST LEGO League teams. We now can search and find other local teams in the area. For people who are searching to join a team or recruit new members, TeamUp is the FLL and Jr FLL network connection.

For those new FLL team who are bracing for an exciting season, now is a good time to build an FLL table. Depending on space and needs, there are three types of FLL tables to choose from:

  1. The official FLL table (durable, easy to build, heavy, hard to transport and store. Careful to choose a high grade plywood for the table surface, keep away from moisture or the table will warp).
  2. Stow-or-Go Table by Inventioneers (light weight, foldable, easy to transport, not very durable, may have an uneven seam along the fold line, don’t lean on it).
  3. Landroids’ Sectional Table (light weight, easy to transport and store, takes apart and put together like the Ikea furniture, durable, harder to build, more expensive).

For New Jersey teams, our FLL season is from end of August to mid December. Click here for a season timeline and a list of preliminary qualifying event locations.  Plan ahead and Good Luck!

North American Open Championship @ LegoLand

On the awards stage at the North American Invitational Open Championship

The 2012 Senior Solutions season saw Exit 5 Robotics win trophies nearly 3000 miles apart, from sea to shining sea, from the Garden State to the Golden State, and from Livingston-Land to Lego-Land.  To close out the season, the team squished their enthusiasm, their robots, their research project, and their programs into a dozen carry on suitcases and flew to California for the FLL North American Open Championships in Carlsbad.  Against 75 top teams from North America and two teams specially invited from South Korea, Exit 5 Robotics competed intensely while demonstrating graciousness in a professional manner.

Jr.FLL Expo Photos and Certificates

LRC JrFLL Expo group photo 2013

The 4th annual Livingston Robotics Club Jr. FIRST LEGO League Expo 2013 was a success! Photos and “Super Seniors” certificates are now available to download at our Super Seniors Expo page. See Landroids Facebook for more event photos.

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