2015 FLL Programming Clinics

Once again, we will be offering FLL Programming Clinics at UT-Dallas (Oct 17) and UME Preparatory Academy (Oct 24):

Please use the form below to register for the clinics.  Due to space limitations at the venues, we ask that teams limit attendance to three persons per team, one of which must be an adult coach or mentor.  For venue-specific information such as maps, parking, lunch options, etc., follow the links above to the event-specific pages.

In each clinic session I will provide opportunities for attendees to try some (not all) exercises using their own robots and laptops.  We won’t be providing any robots or laptops at the clinics, so you need to bring your own if you want to do that.  Be sure your laptops and robots are fully charged, as there may not be power outlets available.  Also make sure your laptop has the EV3 Mindstorms software already installed on it, and that you’ve been able to get it to communicate with your robot (e.g., with a USB cable).  Even if you’re using an NXT robot, we recommend using the EV3 software to program it.

If you don’t have a robot already, we recommend building the “Educator Vehicle (with attachments)” for the clinics.  This is the robot I’ll be using for demonstrations.  The instructions for this build are included in the EV3 Education Kit, and you can also find a PDF download at the top of http://robotsquare.com/2013/10/01/education-ev3-45544-instruction/ .

Of course, don’t feel as though you need to bring a laptop and robot to the clinics.  Many coaches and members have found that it’s much easier to just watch, listen, take notes, and ask questions.  And it’s always helpful to have people around who can help troubleshoot others’ programs and robots.

In each clinic there is a lot of material to cover in a short period of time, so please arrive on-time and be prepared that we’ll be proceeding at a fairly good pace.  I have other topics to cover if there is time left over in a clinic… but that almost never happens.  🙂

If you have more questions about the clinics, please contact Patrick at pmichaud@pobox.com or ask on the North Texas FLL Google Group.

Beginning Programming topics (morning clinics)

Presentation slides

  • Overview of EV3 Programming environment and programming basics
  • Motor block basics — moving forward and backward
  • Turning using a gyro sensor (EV3 robots only)
  • Using “port view” and “view mode” to see sensor values
  • Detecting lines, borders, and colors
  • Simple My Blocks (creating blocks for turning and missions)

Advanced Programming topics (afternoon clinics)

Presentation slides

  • Programming and robot game strategy
  • Loops and sensor blocks
  • Moving along a heading with gyros
  • Line following / edge following
  • Specifying distances in centimeters
  • Understanding navigation error

Frequently Asked Questions

Q: How do I register for the clinics?
A: Use the form at the bottom of this page.

Q: Can I attend both clinics on a single day?
A: Yes.

Q: Can I choose to attend only one of the clinics?
A: Yes.

Q: Can I attend the beginners clinic at UTD on the 17th and the advanced clinic at UME on the 24th?
A: Yes.

Q: Will lunch be available for people attending both clinics?
A: We will not be providing lunch as part of the clinics.  See the UTD and UME Prep specific event pages for lunch options at each location.

Q: Can I bring my team’s programmer(s) to the clinics?
A: Yes, but we ask that each team limit attendance to a maximum of three people, one of which must be an adult coach or mentor.  If you have special circumstances, contact one of the event organizers.

Q: I don’t have the EV3 Mindstorms software — where can I get it?
A: Either the education or retail version of the software will work.  You can get the retail software (free) from http://www.lego.com/en-us/mindstorms/downloads/ .  You may also want to see the EV3 software and sensor blocks (gyro) page for information about downloading the gyro sensor block for the retail version.

2015 FLL Programming Clinic registration form

(Registration has closed.)



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