Dear coaches and interested Robot Track Meeters…
The track meets are fast approaching, with Kennebunk less than 3 weeks away. The number of teams and the number of team members have already surpassed the last few years and we expect them to keep going up. If you know of teams that haven’t registered, let them know they need to get it in!
A few housekeeping notes about the Steeplechase:
Q: I was wondering if you knew the event layout in order for the track meet this year? The reason I ask is my team was considering entering into several events but we only have 1 kit and needed to know if we had enough time to disassemble after 1 event and build for the next?
A: Well of course you can always enter the bridge and speed build without impacting your robot, we put those in there for that very reason. In general (hey we have technical difficulties as well) we start events as follows:
The first three take the longest and are started one after the other (once one is STARTED, we start the next) so all three of these will be running concurrently.
These three tend to be very quick and if you were in two of them, you would ask the official at one to go first and go last at the other. Normally the teams all go once, then go a second time, then go a third time to get their highest score (in case of mishaps, breakages, bad batteries, etc). But if you need to be in two places we can let you go once, twice, three times and then head off to the next event, as long as you understand you might end up with a problem three times in a row without time to fix. We’ll be as open as possible.
And check eBay and bricklink.com for motors as well. Although I’ve seldom found electronic components on Bricklink for less than the new price, so buyer beware. But a great place for most everything else. I saw one seller from the Czech Republic selling 15 used motors for as low as $14 each. (Czechoslovakia is one of LEGOs main manufacturing countries) but not sure of shipping cost or time for shipping… food for thought.
The 2012 Maine Robotics Track Meet season is well underway, although certainly not too late to form up a team and come to one of the events. Based on some questions I’ve had recently I just wanted to put out one reminder and one request.
1. Reminder: The early registration deadline ($35/student) is Friday April 6th (check, PO or online registration). If it isn’t postmarked or paid by 4/6/2012 the cost will be $40/student. So get those registrations in now. Please don’t ask on the 7th or 8th for an exception, thanks.
2. If you are collecting a bunch of checks from students for the track meet, please have them made out to your local group and then have them write one single check for everyone. Sorry, but with some teams having 10-30 students on them, we simply don’t have the administrative power to handle a couple of hundred checks coming in. Much easier for each group to do locally.
Keep those great questions coming in, Tom
I’ve had a couple of questions about the foam surface for the steeplechase. When I first put this together there was only one form of DUCT Easy Shelf Liner. Now there are two available, they are:
DUCT EasyLiner Select Grip and
DUCT EasyLiner Smooth Top
Maybe they were both available before, but the one I’ve got on ours is smooth on both sides. So here is what I’m proposing:
I am going to recover the set I have with the SMOOTH TOP liner and with the smooth side glued down and the bumpier side up (for better traction and easier gluing). The SELECT GRIP would not work as well if anyone is trying to use light sensors, so I’m going to stay away from that one; it has holes that would potentially give problems with the readings.
So use the SMOOTH TOP with the smooth side down and the rough side showing.
Sorry for any inconvenience, I’m going to put this one in the “outside of my control” category. The original roll that I had purchased from the store had the same surface on both sides, so when I received a couple of questions this week about this I had to figure out why you all were asking about the different sides.
If anyone thinks this is going to be a major problem for them, let me know and perhaps we’ll run an A and a B course with the different coverings, but I’m hoping not.
Maine Robotics is holding a teacher/parent/coach robotics workshop at the Houlton South Side School on Friday March 16th. Workshop runs from 8:30 to 2:30 and participants should bring a lunch.
We still have space in this workshop and you can RSVP by email to firstname.lastname@example.org call 866-4340. Cost to attend is $35 and participants should bring either a check or purchase order in order to attend. Maine Robotics supplies all of the equipment for the workshop and attendees will go home with three different easy to build robot instruction books (Simple NXT robot, Treaded NXT Robot, and ATV NXT Robot).