I'm not sure this has been done before, but the Flying Geeks achieved what had previously always seemed impossible - a perfect score of 400 at the US FIRST LEGO League Robotics competition. They beat out the Mindstorms Mayhem team - previous winner for the past three years. In response, the Mindstorms Mayhem team graciously posted this tribute to the Flying Geeks.

Even if you are not into Robots, or LEGOs or the like, you've got to watch this amazing video of the Flying Geeks as they achieve a perfect score in the New Hampshire Semifinals. (Wait or right-click to download, it's a large file)

Keep in mind that these kids are given a complex challenge with 9 missions to accomplish in 2 1/2 minutes. The robot they build must do this anonymously. (Attachments are allowed if the robot returns to base.) Any error in positioning along the will often accumulate causing the robot to lose track of its location on the field. The Flying Geeks managed to track their location and perform with precision by using line following to calibrate their bearings at each section of the field. At the end of the match, you will see their robot go and reach over into their opponent's field to complete their mission for a perfect score of 400.

Wow! I get goose bumps just watching this. having coached FLL teams for the past 5 years I understand the work involved and the critical thinking skills needed to accomplish such a feat. Our team, the LEGO Mountaineers achieved some high scores in December, but nothing like this.

I realize that few young people read my blog -- well perhaps those young at heart -- but you have to understand that this is an incredible accomplishment. If you have a young child and you want to give them a boost in critical thinking skills, consider the FIRST LEGO League. If you have older kids, consider the FIRST Robotics program, perhaps consider becoming a mentor. This is a wonderful program to teach young people about productivity in motion.

If you would like to see what our team is up to, visit our blog.

Congratulations, Flying Geeks!


Source: MindstormsMayhem

Update: Here's a link to the Flying Geeks Web Site

Discussion/Comments (11):

Congratulations Flying Geeks, a perfect score of 400!!!

that is an incredible machine will anyone post how it was built? I do not think the kids came up with these items... having worked on the same competition in NY. that is some high speed programing! and mechanics...

Posted at 3/23/2007 2:54:46 PM by chess turk


re: Congratulations Flying Geeks, a perfect score of 400!!!

Chess,

That is some amazing programming and engineering, indeed. I think the big AhHa for our team was seeing that it could be done with an unconventional approach (e.g. leaving an arm behind, picking up a new arm, small agile robot, and frequent recalibrations via touch switch and line-following.)

We are going to try to duplicate the robot and strategy - just to see if we can do it.

Eric

Posted at 3/23/2007 3:10:39 PM by Eric Mack


Congratulations Flying Geeks, a perfect score of 400!!!

Hello,

I just found your blog and would like to thank you for the post.

I'm the head coach for the Flying Geeks.

To answer Chess, not only did the kids come up will all the ideas, the best ones were developed by a 5th grader.

The Flying Geeks teach classes each year to area rookie coaches and my kids are all required to take the same classes just to be on the team. They actually end up teaching some of the classes themselves.

Our school is just getting a website up for us (hopefully today). Over the next few weeks, we will be adding more videos. We've almost completed a set of videos that explain the programming techniques that were used, but we have been a little distracted over the last week - we were just invited to attend the European Open Championship in Bodoe, Norway. So, we are dusting off the robots to get ready for that.

That brings up a point. We actually had 4 different robots that could all score the perfect score - using the same program.

We are a very open team, if anyone wants more info on how/what we did, feel free to contact me.

Randy Bohannan

Posted at 3/27/2007 1:16:00 PM by Randy Bohannan


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Posted at 3/29/2007 4:42:14 AM by Naresh Bhagat


re: Congratulations Flying Geeks, a perfect score of 400!!!

Thank you, Randy for the update. Please DO post the link to your web site when you have it operational. Your team is an inspiration and we hope to model after what your team has accomplished. -Eric

Posted at 4/3/2007 11:27:49 AM by Eric Mack


Links to Flying Geeks web site & Movies

Hello Eric,

It was just turned on this week.

www.nashuachristianacademy.org/LegoLeague.html

There are some links that are still slow or not working, we'll keep working on it.

one of the things we are trying to get working is the 16M file. In this video, you can see our last three table runs (starting right after the first 400 run). The first run on the video is a 358 match where the molecular motor mission fails because the atom hit the model and bounced out. The next two runs are both 400's.

In the final 400 run, the other team had already accomplished their 1/2 of the elevator mission so we do indeed finish in 1:39 with a perfect score.

thanks,

Randy

Posted at 4/3/2007 1:35:54 PM by Randy


Congratulations Flying Geeks, a perfect score of 400!!!

i know the flying geeks from my school congrats to kelsey, johnathon, john k, jayson and the rest of the team, im proud of you all!!!

Posted at 5/21/2007 3:17:36 PM by Cara Jane


It took amlost a year, but the Mountaineers have achived a perfect 400 score

{ Link }

Posted at 1/24/2008 5:03:28 PM by Eric Mack


Congratulations Flying Geeks, a perfect score of 400!!!

Hi,

Some people reading this may not believe me, but I was on this team, the Flying Geeks that year. I designed the contraption that reached across the table and triggered the elevator, the attachment on the back of the robot that dropped the ball into the bone, and helped design part of the thing used for the truck.

At states we scored 1st place performance, and robot design. Our coach also got the Coach/Mentor Award. Although we didn't go to Atlanta, we were invited tp the OEC Championship in Bodo, Norway, and tied for 7th place there.

I would encourage everyone to join this wonderful program, you probabbly won't go a foreign country, but the expeience is great nonetheless.

GEEKS CAN FLY!!!!!

Posted at 5/8/2009 7:54:39 PM by Joseph Cameron



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