August 20th, 2010 - We received the field kit (the mat and the legos that build the field components). It took us a few days to build all of the field components. see overview of the field: http://www.firstlegoleague.org/uploadedImages/Challenge_Specific/Body_Forward/FLL%202010%20Body%20Forward%20Robot%20Game%20Playing%20Field%20-%20NEW.jpg
September 4th, 2010 - The Official Release date of the 2010 Body Forward Challenge - this is when we learned exactly what we needed to make the robot do to the various components on the field or the Robot Missions. see the Missions link: http://www.firstlegoleague.org/uploadedFiles/Challenge_Specific/Body_Forward/Body%20Forward%20-%20Missions.pdf
Now we had 13 weeks to design our robot and program it to complete the Field Missions. But that is only half of what we needed to accomplish! There is also a research project and presentation that you need to identify and work on as a Team.
The Team quickly decided on a Forklift design for the Robot and started to program and accomplish the missions. The biggest problem we ran into was consistency in Robot performance. We found that using starting jigs and aligning with points out on the field was the best way to improve our Robot consistency and performance.
Part of the Field setup was a pill dispenser - which immediately got us thinking about our Great-Grandma and how she had a hard time keeping track of all of her medications and how her daughter and son worried about her getting them. Our Great-Grandma wanted so badly to remain independent and we as a Team brainstormed how technology could have helped her remain independent.
So we came up with a prototype elderly robot companion and dubbed it RememberBot - it would help with medicine dispensing, reminding when to take medicine, when to eat, when to go to appointments, as well as monitoring the health of the elderly person and engaging the elderly person with a slideshow of family members, memory jogging games and puzzles, and keep them connected to family members and physicians.
We made up a little skit to present this information to the Judges on Competition Day.
December 4th, 2010 - FLL Competition Day, Pittsburgh, PA at CMUs National Robotics Institute - details in next blog entry!