UTD FLL Coaches Clinics – FLL Programming

2018-10-20 @ 9:00am - 4:00pm, University of Texas at Dallas / SEEC

Slides – Beginning Programming
Slides – Intermediate Programming

This clinic is for coaches/mentors and up to TWO (2) team members.
Cost:  Free, pre-registration is required

UT-Dallas will again be holding clinics on programming Mindstorms for FIRST LEGO League.   The clinics are offered all day, with a beginning programming clinic from 9a-12p and intermediate programming clinic from 1p-4p.

UTD’s Coaches Clinics are free of charge, but we ask that you pre-register for the event so that we can communicate event details directly to you and have an estimate of attendance size. Attendance is limited to coaches, mentors, and up to two team members.

In each clinic session we 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 typically used 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.

Beginning Programming topics

  • 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)

Intermediate Programming topics

  • 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

Also, Builderdude35 created a YouTube video about using the gyro for driving the robot.

For more information about these clinics, please contact Patrick Michaud at patrick.michaud@utdallas.edu .

2018 NTX Tournament of Robots

2018-10-07, Ford Middle School

Cost: Free and open to the public
Team registration and entry fee: http://www.ntxrobotics.com/
Volunteer registration:  http://www.ntxrobotics.com/

The North Texas Tournament of Robots is the culmination of a year’s worth of preparation and 6 weeks of building and programming for high school robotics teams throughout Texas and Oklahoma.  These teams compete with their custom designed, built, and programmed industrial-sized robots in this “Varsity Sport for the Mind.”  This unique competition combines the excitement of sport with the rigors of science and technology.

Come out and see this unique, exciting, and inspiring event!

UTD FLL Coaches Clinic – Chassis Building and Attachments

2018-09-22 @ 9:00am - 12:00pm, University of Texas at Dallas / SEEC


This clinic is for coaches/mentors and up to TWO (2) team members.

On September 22 from 9am-12pm the UT-Dallas Science and Engineering Education Center (UTD/SEEC) will be hosting a clinic on FLL chassis building and attachments.  The clinic will start with an overview of the LEGO building pieces most commonly used for building FLL robots, and then present the design principles important to developing a good chassis and efficient Robot Game execution. The clinic will then demonstrate a wide variety of attachment types and mounting options.

UTD’s Coaches Clinics are free of charge, but we ask that you pre-register for the event. so that we can communicate event details directly to you and have an estimate of attendance size.  Attendance is limited to coaches, mentors, and up to two team members.

Location: On the UT-Dallas campus, specific room and parking details to be announced and sent to registered participants the week before the event.

For more information about the event, please contact Patrick Michaud at patrick.michaud@utdallas.edu .

FLL 2018 Kickoff / Team Dynamics Clinic (Fort Worth)

2018-09-15 @ 9:00am - 12:00pm, Bethesda Christian School


This event is intended for coaches and mentors only.  Register at https://goo.gl/forms/TmVNs7z7g5tFco9n1 .

Come and celebrate Into Orbit season with local FLL teams.
We are thrilled to have the new Perot FLL Manager, Kelly Goodner. She will be going over some basics of FLL information and north Texas qualifiers.
In addition, we will have Joe Varnell (area head ref), James Brodnick (experienced FLL event judge), and Jay Jordan (experience FLL coach and trainer) to cover tips and tricks in building, programming, organizing team, and judging. There will be time to share contact information and your team events with other teams. Please park on the north side of the building and enter under the cover.

For parking and event location details, see https://groups.google.com/d/msg/northtexasfll/tsliw1gcZiA/OW7zjHm4BgAJ .

The kickoff event is free of charge, but we ask that participants pre-register for the event so that we can communicate event details directly and have an estimate of attendance size.

What are the Kickoffs?

  • These are introductory meetings/presentations where we go over many things you’ll need to know about participating in FLL this season.
  • Generally there are at least two Kickoff sessions each season.  Each coach/mentor only needs to go to one, and it doesn’t matter which one.  Rookie and veteran coaches are welcome at both events.
  • These are HIGHLY RECOMMENDED, especially for new coaches/mentors.
  • We will go over exactly how the events and competitions run (rules, policies, what to expect), and there will be Robot Game tables and fields set up with experts there to explain the Robot Game missions and rules.
  • It’s a great opportunity to meet the North Texas FLL community, get your questions answered in person, and figure out exactly what will be happening for us this season.


For more information about the event, please contact Kelly Goodner at <Kelly.Goodner@perotmuseum.org> .

LEGO Foundation Grant – application deadline

2018-08-31 @ 8:00am - 5:00pm

The LEGO Foundation Grant has opened if you have not ordered your Challenge Kit and Robot yet.

Deadline to apply: August 31st, 2018

LEGO Foundation Info:

The LEGO Foundation Grants are available if you have not paid your registration or ordered your robot yet.

1st year, “Rookie” Team Grant

EV3 Robot

Challenge Set (Field Setup Kit)


Shipping & Handling

LEGO Foundation grants are for rookie teams and the requirements are:

  • Commit to three years of being a team.

  • Participate in official events (Qualifiers and Championship if they advance)

  • Participate in training sessions, Kickoffs, and scrimmages

  • Contribute stories and photos to the LEGO Foundation grant Facebook page and other sharing opportunities as requested by FIRST and the LEGO Foundation periodically throughout the season (more details on this will come once the teams are established and the season officially begins

  • Coach must be proactive in staying abreast of everything they have to do as a coach and do everything in a timely manner (respond to requests for information, register for competitions, etc)

  • Team must be in need of an EV3 robot and not be receiving one from a school, district, etc.

The LF grants are in the form of products only, so the rookie teams that receive them will have to be registered through FIRST in order to be eligible.

To apply please send the following information to fll@perotmuseum.org with the subject line, “LEGO Foundation Grant Application”:

  • Team Name and Number (if number is available)

  • Coach Name and Email

  • Description of Need – Why does your team need a grant? Why is funding not coming from anywhere else?

  • Letter(s) of Recommendation (at least one letter and can be from anyone)

Kelly Goodner

FIRST LEGO League Manager

Perot Museum of Nature and Science

P 214.756.5853 | fll@perotmuseum.org

2018 FLYSET FTC Workshop

2018-09-03 @ 9:00am - 4:00pm, Schimelpfenig Middle School

FLYSET(@flyset_org) and FTC team #8565 (@Technicobts) are co-hosting 2018 FLYSET FTC workshop with FTC team 12900 Schim Robotics.

Date: 09/03/2018
Time: 9:00am – 4:00pm
Location: Plano ISD, Schimelpfenig Middle School, 2400 Maumelle Dr., Plano, TX 75023

During the summer, the following FTC teams have been working on the joint Summer FTC Chassis Study project. We will present the chassis study results at the workshop (details of the summer project can be found at: http://flyset.org/mentoring/summer-chassis-study-project/ )

FTC team 8565: Technicbots (Plano Community team)
FTC team 6832: Iron Reign (Dallas ISD team)
FTC team 3734: Imperial Robotics (Dallas ISD team)
FTC team 8114: Lewisville HS(Lewisville ISD team)
FTC team 12764: RoboVik (Mesquite ISD team)
FTC team 12900: Schim Robotics (Plano ISD team)

In addition, we are planning the following sessions:

Lessons Learnt from last season: call for more speakers from veteran and rookie teams
Rookie team coach panel discussion: 12764 and 12900 coaches (both rookie teams from last season) will lead the panel discussion, call for more panelists
CAD topics: PTC Creo Tutorials; PTC Creo and Autodesk app;
Chassis test demo and show case

Along with sharing the chassis study results, we have the following topics planned to be touched during sessions too:

Direct drive vs geared/chained drive
VEX versaplanetary gear box usage
Expansion Hub mounting position and API
software compensation for the differences between motors
Macanum wheel chassis control logic
Comparison of Tetrix Tornado, REV Robotics HEX motor and AndyMark NeveRest motors
Comparison of Motors impact on going straight
Custom chassis build tips/tricks

We will have product giveaway from Actobotics and REV Robotics (more vendor support to come) for the participating teams and completed Tetrix chassis (from the chassis study project) giveaway for the rookie team panel discussion participants (which will give you a heads start to work on attachments while part of the team is still trying to learn to build a chassis).

Please register your team at this link:

2018 FLYSET FTC Workshop Registration