2015 Summer Lego NXT Camp Eureka!

Welcome to the 2015 Summer Lego NXT Camp Eureka activities log. This page will be updated daily to show the activities that the students at Camp Eureka did each day, as well as any related pictures.

 

Day 5: Competition Day!

Today was the Final day of our 2015 Summer Camp Eureka, as well as our competition day! Teams spent the first half of the day working hard to make last improvements on their robots and making final tweaks on their programs.Click on any images to get to our flickr page for all the pictures taken during this Camp.

After 10:00, the teams took their robots and marched down to their patio to show their parents what they have been able to learn in the past few weeks.

This camp’s theme was space. Our activities included many space related things, such as naming constellations, the order of planets, and recent space missions on Mars as well as a comet. In addition to this, our daily activities included learning about light and touch sensors, programing specific movements, and gear ratios.

This camp’s game was Space Race, inspired by the past year’s accomplishments in space, as well as some long term goals with regards to space exploration. Missions included transporting astronauts to the launch pad, launching them into space, bringing them to the ISS(international space station), taking instruments to the ISS, bringing more astronauts to mars, bringing a Mars rover and compressed air to a colony on mars, collecting samples from Mars, and collecting samples from a passing comet.

Through their continued hard work and efforts, many teams did very well in this game. However, a few errors such as the starting angle of the robot before running a program, and unexpected disturbances in the wheels caused some teams to lose a few points. The small differences kept some teams from achieving the perfect score. However, one team was able to execute their program without any flaws, achieving a perfect score.

The winners of the 2015 Summer Lego NXT Camp Eureka are Jhiro Calso, Ian Furuli, and Ella Nitta. Congratulation to the winning team as well as all the students, parents, mentors and other supporters that made this Camp possible!

 

Day 4: Space Race!

Today we introduced the 2015 Summer Lego NXT game, Space Race. Teams were challenged to make a series of autonomous robot programs to complete many tasks relating to space exploration. These tasks include: delivery of astronauts to launch station, delivery of astronauts to international space station, collection of samples from a nearby comet and Mars, delivery of oxygen supply to Mars colony, delivery of scientific instruments to space station, and delivery of the Mars rover to Mars.

In order to accomplish these tasks, students worked with their mentors to develop the best strategy to approach the game. Designs vary from robots that shovel pieces around the field, to robots with advanced mechanisms to capture and manipulate the pieces.

 

 

Day 3: The Maze Game!

Today was the third day of Camp Eureka!

We started the day with a word scramble activity. The students had to make as many words as possible from the letters in “Camp Eureka”. The purpose of this activity is to show that a variety of words can be made from the same set of letters. Similarly, there are near infinite combinations that can be made from a set of parts for a robot.

Next we introduced the students to their next challenge: The Maze Game. In this challenge students were to program their robots to navigate through a maze autonomously, meaning they are no longer using the controller, but giving the robot specific instructions, either by measuring each part of the field or by making use of sensors and programming logic.This challenge is extremely difficult, mainly due to the amount of programming necessary to complete it.

At the end of the day we went over the final challenge to be done on Friday. This camp’s game is  Space Race, a space themed series of challenges involving transportation of astronauts and resources across Earth, Mars, a space station, and a passing comet.

 

Day 2: Sumo!!!

Today was the second day of Camp Eureka!

To start off the day we had an activity to stimulate creativity within the students. We showed the kids an abstract image, and asked them to figure out what it is. Answers ranged from horses to laser beams. This activity showed that although the image is the same, different people think of different ideas, and it’s important to consider everyone’s perspective.

Next we taught the students about CAD(Computer Aided Design), and how we use this tool to create our own robots. But because CAD is an incredibly complex tool, we had the students use play doh. after molding different parts of their robot and putting it together, they had a 3D Scale model of what their robot may look like.

After getting an idea by modeling their ideas with play doh, the students continued to build and program their sumo robots. Building robots for this task involved building a touch sensor controller, and learning how to program the touch sensor inputs to translate into commands to move their robots, as well as use of light sensors to see when the robot is close to the white border of the sumo ring.

At the end of class, we held a competition to see who built the strongest robot. Many teams had very strong robots, often going into a stalemate. Impressively, the final robot proved to be even better than the mentor made demonstration robot. Bravo!

 

Day 1: Introduction to Lego NXT

Today was the first day of our 2015 summer Lego NXT Camp Eureka! Students from ages 8 – 12 came to our camp to learn about the Lego NXT Mindstorm building and programming platform, as well as general engineering concepts and applications of robotics in space.

To start the day we had the students participate in a blind maze activity. In this activity, students worked in pairs, one working as the robot participant, and one as the programmer. The robot participant is blindfolded, and the programmer must give commands to the robot participant in order to get through the maze. In this activity, the students needed to learn how it is to be a robot, which could only take specific instructions, and how a programmer must give the specific instructions.

Next the students were introduced to their first challenge, the Sumobot challenge. This challenge is incredibly simple and straightforward. Each team must build and program a robot that can push another robot off of a sumo ring. This challenge must be addressed with a well designed robot, utilizing advantages of gear ratios and simple machines; teams must also make full use of sensors to write a smart program that will keep them from falling off the ring.