One of the FLL core values is about having fun and enjoying what we do. Sometimes it is easy to get caught up in using LEGO EV3 for FIRST LEGO League, to learn about simple and complex machines, or for other schoolwork. FIRST encourages us to have fun while we do our work. But, it is good to remember to make sure you take some time to have a break and to just have fun, too! When you have time, you should make up your own missions and challenges! By making your own challenges you can learn, have fun, and take a break from all the stressing work of robotics.
This year before Into Orbit started, we built a new robot named Mike-L. Since we had time, we started to make a game with Mike-L. We built two different colored LEGO baby owls to sit on the board with Mike-L. The point of our game is to find the pink LEGO baby owl no matter what, so if it saw the green LEGO baby owl it would turn around & keep looking for the pink baby owl by driving forward.
To play the game, we built Mike-L with a color sensor and ultrasonic sensor facing forward and mounted low.
The color sensor facing forward allows us to detect the color of the baby owl. The ultrasonic sensor facing forward allows Mike-L to stop at a close distance to the baby owl without hitting it.
Also, when we were building Mike-L, we wanted to build it so that our stuffed animals could take a ride on it. We then made a LEGO seat on top so dolls and teddy bears can fit on Mike-L.
The seat can be over the buttons on the EV3 brick, or it can be moved forward and over the sensors if you want to access the EV3 buttons.
We did this by building the entire seat attached to gears that can move on racks mounted on both sides of the EV3 brick.
The seat also has a tray that can act like a seat belt to keep the plush in place. The tray can also hold play food, so the plush can eat while taking its ride.
We never got to add on to our game like we hoped to. Next time we have a chance to play with Mike-L, we want to make it so it can pick up the correct color baby owl, run backwards with it, run forward quickly, and release the owl. We will need to add another motor or a special passive attachment to get this done. We will keep thinking about it for another day.
We had a lot of fun building this robot, programming it, and playing with it. We learned, too, while we had fun. Always remember to have fun! When you are in a tricky situation working on your project or your robot, have a short break and have fun by messing around to see what you can make with LEGO Technic, even if it doesn’t help directly with LEGO FLL. It helps you have fun, experiment with pieces, and learn how things work.
Sometimes it is hard to break your fun creations when you need the pieces for your FLL official building. Don’t be sad, though. Just take some pictures to help you remember how it’s built and you can build it again after FLL is done for the year. Even if you don’t show it to the judges, it doesn’t fit the topic for the year, or if it helps a non-existing thing like a unicorn, it is still worthwhile. You can also make your own Core Values challenges and have fun together with them. By having extra fun with your work you can enjoy FLL better and learn more! Never forget to have fun!