UTD Clinics – FLL Programming

2017-10-21 @ 9:00am - 4:00pm, University of Texas at Dallas / SEEC

The clinic is FULL — registration has closed.  Please consider attending the FCA clinic or Benbrook clinic on Oct 14 instead.

This clinic is for coaches/mentors and up to TWO (2) team members.
Cost:  Free, but currently full and registration has closed.

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.  This year we are also offering a “master sequencer programming clinic” for advanced teams.

UTD’s Coaches Clinics are free of charge, but we ask that you pre-register for the event (clinic full, registration closed) 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.

Master Sequencer Program clinic

This clinic is for advanced programmers that are interested in developing a “master sequencer” program for quickly selecting mission runs while in Base.  A master sequencer organizes the programming so that the Robot automatically advances from one mission program to the next without having to look them up in the EV3’s Program Menu.  FLL #27 “Republic of Pi” has successfully used master sequencers in each of its competition seasons to greatly improve Robot Game performance.

This is an advanced programming clinic; attendees are expected to already be familiar with the basics of Mindstorms programming.  In this clinic we will introduce and be using loops, switch blocks, variables, display blocks, character strings, and more.

 

For more information about these clinics, please contact Patrick Michaud at pmichaud@pobox.com .

UTD FLL Coaches Training Workshop

2017-09-12 @ 9:00am - 2017-09-13 @ 4:00pm, University of Texas at Dallas / SEEC

Presentation Slides:
Session 1 – Intro and Robot Build
Session 2 – Beginning Programming
Session 3a – Strategy, Chassis, Attachments
Session 3b / 4 – Intermediate Programming


 

This clinic is for coaches/mentors (adults) ONLY.
Cost:  $30/session, register at UTD Marketplace

Calling all FIRST LEGO League coaches, mentors, and educators! Come brush up on your knowledge & skills during the summer break and hear proven tips for improving team performance.

UT-Dallas is once again offering summer training workshops for coaches and teachers where attendees get hands-on experience building and programming LEGO Mindstorms EV3 robots.  Sessions are facilitated by Dr. Patrick Michaud, renowned FIRST coach with several world-ranked teams.

Workshops will consist of four half-day sessions on September 12-13; each session will cost $30 (thus $120 to attend all four sessions).  UTD will provide the robot materials, computers, and software to be used during the sessions.  (Lunch is not provided, but there are many on-campus options for lunch, and we have refrigerator/microwave for those who wish to bring lunch.)

Space is limited and registration is required — registrations will generally be taken on a first-come first-served basis.

Specific session topics for the FLL workshops include:

September 12 (9a-12n): Intro to FLL and Robot Build
– Introduction to FLL and season overview
– LEGO Mindstorms components
– Basic robot building concepts
– Assemble and test prototype robot

September 12 (1p-4p): Beginning FLL Programming
– Introduce Mindstorms EV3 software
– Robot navigation concepts
– Sensors for detecting lines, borders, colors
– Creating “My Blocks”

September 13 (9a-12n): Chassis, Attachments, Programming
– Review common game challenges
– Intermediate robot building principles
– Techniques for more competitive robots
– Common attachment types and features
– Intermediate programming: My Blocks, loop and sensor blocks, gyro-based navigation

September 13 (1p-4p): Programming and Tournament Prep
– Programming: line following, testing
– Tournament overview
– Tips for improving success in Core Values, Project, and Robot Design judging

To sign up for these workshops, please visit the UTD FIRST Robotics storefront at https://ezpay.utdallas.edu/C20239_ustores/web/store_main.jsp?STOREID=135, then select one of the available “FLL Coaches Training Workshops”.  Again, space is limited and registration will be generally first-come first-served.

For more information regarding the workshops, please email <patrick.michaud@utdallas.edu>.  We look forward to seeing you at the workshops!

UTD Clinic – Chassis Building and Attachments

2017-09-23 @ 9:00am - 12:00pm, University of Texas at Dallas / SEEC

Presentation slides:
Chassis and Attachments Clinic (PDF)


 

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


On September 23 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: The clinic will be held starting at 9am in the Cecil Auditorium in Hoblitzelle Hall (HH 2.402) on the UT-Dallas campus – see attached map. The closest parking to the Cecil Auditorium is in Lot H and Parking Structure 4 (PS4). You can use this Parking Permit to park in any of the GOLD (yellow) or GREEN spaces in these two lots.

The easiest way to get to these lots is to enter from Waterview Parkway on the west side of campus using either Frank Johnson or Franklyn Jenifer drives.

For more information about the event, please contact Patrick Michaud at pmichaud@pobox.com .

UTD FTC Coaches Training Workshop

2017-09-19 @ 9:00am - 2017-09-20 @ 4:30pm, University of Texas at Dallas / SEEC

Presentation slides:
Part 1 – Intro to FTC and robot build
Tomahawk build instructions


 

This clinic is intended for coaches/mentors (adults) ONLY.
Cost:  $30/session, register at UTD Marketplace

Calling all FIRST Tech Challenge coaches, mentors, and educators! Come brush up on your knowledge & skills and hear proven tips for improving team performance.

UT-Dallas is offering a 2-day training workshop for coaches and teachers where attendees get hands-on experience building and programming FIRST Tech Challenge Robots, including the new REV Robotics Expansion Hub controller and sensors.  Sessions are facilitated by Dr. Patrick Michaud, renowned FIRST coach with several world-ranked teams.

Workshops will consist of four half-day sessions on September 19 and 20.  Each session will cost $30 (thus $120 to attend all four sessions).  UTD will provide the robot materials, computers, and software to be used during the workshops.  (Lunch is not provided, but there are many on-campus options for lunch, and we have refrigerator/microwave for those who wish to bring lunch.)

Space is limited and registration is required — registrations will generally be taken on a first-come first-served basis.

September 19 (9a-12n): Intro to FTC and robot construction
– Introduction to FTC and season overview
– Basic components of the TETRIX robotics kit
– Key robot mechanical principles
– Hands-on build of a simple competition robot

September 19 (1p-4:30p): Beginning Programming for FTC
– Introduction to control system components (REV Robotics)
– Android Studio / FTC application environment
– Basic gamepad programming for navigation
– Arm and servo programming
– Touch sensors

September 20 (9a-12n): Intermediate programming and competition prep
– FTC competition: robot game, awards
– Engineering notebooks
– Other building systems, materials, and tools
– Autonomous mode programming
– Motor encoders

September 20 (1p-4:30p): Programming and building for success
– Basic game, robot design, and alliance strategies
– (Un)Successful robot designs and devices
– Principles of leverage, gears, center of gravity
– Color sensing
– Gyro/IMU sensors
– Driver automation

To sign up for these workshops, please visit the UTD FIRST Robotics storefront at https://ezpay.utdallas.edu/C20239_ustores/web/store_main.jsp?STOREID=135, then
select one of the available “FTC Coaches Training Workshops”.  Again, space is limited and registration will be generally first-come first-served.

For more information regarding the workshops, please email <patrick.michaud@utdallas.edu>.  We look forward to seeing you at the workshops!

FTC Clinic – game analysis and robot design

2017-09-16 @ 1:30pm - 4:00pm, Benbrook Public Library

This clinic is open for coaches, mentors, and team members.
Cost:  Free, but pre-registration is required:  https://goo.gl/forms/faNlWrZlHwvh5Bph2

The purpose of this clinic is to introduce robot design building concepts and share details and ideas about the 2017 “Relic Recovery” season, including game rules, platform changes, and more.  The full agenda for the clinic is still being worked out, but it’s an excellent opportunity to network with other teams and get some specific advice on preparing for the competition season.

Please pre-register for the clinic and to be certain to receive the latest updates and details on this clinic event.

For more information, contact Patrick at patrick.michaud@utdallas.edu .

 

FTC 2017 Season Kickoff and Workshop (Fort Worth)

2017-09-09 @ 9:30am - 12:30pm, Diamond Hill-Jarvis High School

Kickoff registration: https://goo.gl/forms/RGDHggsDKDTdAnzM2

This season the North Texas Region will be holding an official Kickoff and Workshop event on September 9th from 9:30am to 12:30pm at Diamond Hill-Jarvis High School in Fort Worth.  The purpose of the kickoff is meet other teams and provide an overview of the FTC 2017-2018 “Relic Recovery” season for North Texas.  The kickoff event is free of charge, but because space for the event may be limited, we’re asking coaches/teams to pre-register for the event .

Overview: Doors will open at 9:00am.  The kickoff will begin at 9:30am with a review and overview of the upcoming FTC season, including tournament structure, league play, and robot tips. At 11:00 CDT (12:00 EDT) we will watch the official game reveal video and unveil a full, official field setup complete with game elements. This will give teams an opportunity to see, feel, and touch the game to get a head start on the season. After the field reveal we will then provide an review of the rules in Game Manual Part II and answer any initial questions teams have about the upcoming challenge and how to get started.

Location and Parking: The kickoff will be held in the gymnasium of Diamond Hill-Jarvis High School in Fort Worth.  Map and directions are below.

Agenda/Topics:  League play and qualifying tournament details; common robot building systems; REV Robotics control platform overview; updates, upgrades, and changes from previous seasons; resources for new teams; grants; game reveal; review of 2017 game scoring and rules; practice fields and scrimmages; questions and answers.

Again, please pre-register for the event so we can keep track of space requirements.

If you have any further questions, please contact Patrick Michaud at <patrick.michaud@utdallas.edu>.

Thank you, and we look forward to seeing you at the kickoff and throughout the upcoming season!

FLL 2017 Kickoff / Team Dynamics Clinic (Benbrook)

2017-09-16 @ 10:00am - 12:30pm, Benbrook Public Library

 

This event is intended for coaches and mentors only.  Please pre-register for the event.

FLL Coaches Clinic Slides

Presented by the Perot Museum and Benbrook Public Library in Benbrook, Texas.   This kickoff provides an introduction for coaches to the FLL® season followed by an informative clinic and discussion on team dynamics and what to expect as a coach or mentor.

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 the 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.

NTX Tournament of Robots

2017-10-07 - 2017-10-08, Williams High School

ntxtor-2017Cost: 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 North 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!

FLL 2017 Kickoff / Team Dynamics Clinic (FCA)

2017-09-16 @ 1:00pm - 5:00pm, Fellowship Christian Academy

 

This event is intended for coaches and mentors only.  Please pre-register for the event.

Presented by the Perot Museum and Fellowship Christian Academy   This kickoff provides an introduction for coaches to the FLL® season followed by an informative clinic and discussion on team dynamics and what to expect as a coach or mentor.

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 (one at UTD and one at FCA).  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.