ARL-Sponsored FIRST Lego League Electrobots Take Delaware Championship

March 05, 2013

Story Highlights

  • The Electrobots, sponsored in part by the U.S. Army Research Laboratory (ARL), recently won the First State For Inspiration and Recognition of Science and Technology (FIRST) Lego League (FLL) Champion's Tournament at the University of Delaware
  • The team has been invited to participate in the North American Open Championship at LEGO Land California in May
  • Howard Kash and Tom Kendall, both of ARL's Computational and Information Sciences Directorate's Computational Sciences Division, served as robotics coaches and provided mentoring

The Electrobots, sponsored in part by the U.S. Army Research Laboratory (ARL), recently won the First State For Inspiration and Recognition of Science and Technology (FIRST) Lego League (FLL) Champion's Tournament at the University of Delaware. The Electrobots were judged the best overall out of 126 teams in the northeastern Maryland, Delaware, eastern Pennsylvania, and southern New Jersey region.

The award citation that came with the trophy made of LEGOs reads, "The Champion's Award is the most prestigious award that any team can win. It encompasses the key elements of all of the other Technical and Team Performance Awards. The Champion's Award celebrates the ultimate success of the FIRST mission and the FLL Values. It measures how the children inspire and motivate others about the excitement of science and technology, solving problems, working as a team, and demonstrating respect, and gracious professionalism."

As a result of winning the First State FLL Championship Tournament, the team has been invited to participate in the North American Open Championship at LEGO Land California in May. The team has also been invited to share lessons learned with local teams in Harford County to enable improved competition in the upcoming 2013-2014 season.

According to one parent, "the Electrobots' accomplishments are in no small part due to the material support provided by ARL." She said the team received its initial robotics kits from Dr. Sandy Young, Weapons Material and Research Directorate.

Howard Kash and Tom Kendall, both of ARL's Computational and Information Sciences Directorate's Computational Sciences Division, served as robotics coaches and provided mentoring and logistics support, respectively.

The Electrobots earned the privilege to move forward to the First State FLL Championship Tournament by winning the Champion's Award at the January 5, Delaware Regional FIRST Lego League Qualifiers at Oxford Area High School in Oxford, PA.

One of the judges commented that the Electrobots "had a very good robot design and use of sensors." Another judge stated "their team interaction was outstanding."

This year's theme, Senior Solutions, challenged FIRST Lego League teams to improve the quality of life for seniors by helping them continue to be independent, engaged, and connected in their communities.

The Electrobots' partnered with local senior citizens. After interviewing them to understand the challenges they face as seniors, the Electrobots learned that non-compliance with medications is a very common issue. They chose to help seniors with non-compliance, so they can live their lives without worrying about when and how much of their medications they have to take.

They also designed and programmed an autonomous robot to perform tasks related to senior living, such as gardening, wood-working, picking up a prescription bottle, and were scored on the number of tasks completed within a 2.5 minute timeframe.

 

Last Update / Reviewed: March 5, 2013