Exit 5 Robotics was honored to represent New Jersey in the FLL (FIRST LEGO League) World Invitational Open held in Florida on May 3 – May 6. With with ages ranging up to 17, the competition involved 65 top teams from North America, South America, Europe, Asia and Africa.
With this year’s FLL theme being food safety, the Exit 5 Robotics’ research project focused on chicken through the food processing cycle. The team identified scratches on plastic cutting boards as a major problem of cross contamination and also as host for harmful bacteria. The proposal involved a multi-tiered solution with specially formulated plastic whose surface could be melted to eliminate scratches. The board incorporated an underlying layer of plastic that would act as a wear indicator to highlight scratches and alert the user of the need to resurface the board.
The team’s robot was under consideration for Robot Design Award, receiving near perfect marks from the judges. In the robot competition the girls had high hopes after finishing round one in 9th place with a score of 174 points. Reliability issues plagued their other runs, limiting their top score to 196. Although well short of their target score of 280, the result was still good for a respectable 17th place finish.
All in all, the team was very encouraged by the excellent spirit and friendly competition shown by all teams at the World Invitational Open. They had a great opportunity to share their experiences with many of the top teams in the world. Going forward, the team will be adding a two new team members for Senior Solutions and they all look ahead excitedly to the next FLL competition.