Tips and tricks from FLL 2018/19 Pro Preview

This is a short list with good practices and useful tricks that competitors in FLL can use.

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  • #1215
  • 27 May 2019

The "Master Run"


First let's start with the "Master Run". "Master Run" as it's called usually is a program that contains all the runs that the team have. Why we need this program ? If you have 5 runs, with 5 programs you have to select the programs one by one, on every run. But when you run a program it changes the order of the programs on the brick screen. Also you have to look at the brick screen, find your program an run it. This is ok, if you practice at home, or just want to test what your robot do. But when you are on a competition it's a time that you doesn't have, so you have to make a smart move. In this case the smart move is the "Master Run" - a program that combines all your runs. There are different ways to run your programs, without need to search and look at the screen. One of them is to assign every to the buttons on the brick. One button - one program - one run. Other interesting tactic is to use colors and a color sensor. If your attachments are in different colors you can use it as a sign to the robot. Then the "Master Run" will decide which run to start depending on the color of the attachment.

Spacers

For the competitors every second is verry important for the run. When you have to start the first run it's easy because you have enough time to position,align and prepare your robot. But when you have to align it when the timer counts and the adrenalin is high, it's verry possible, to place the robot in some wrong direction. When you position the robot every degree is important.
Best teams are using Spacers. Spacer is a construction that is tightly aligned to the wall and the robot is aligned to it. This constuction makes a fixed space between the robot and the field wall. With the spacer the competitior can place the robot on the same position every time. It helps to save time and increace the accurecy in the start of the run.
 

Rotation in the base

Another tricky part is the robot move. Basically the run starts and finishes in the base. Then you have to pick your robot and place it for the next run. And when the robot is back in the base with the front side, you have to pick it up, rotate it and place it back. Competitors,verry often make mistakes when they have to do this operations. And it's verry possible to damage their robot - move tyre from the wheel, brake some importatnt part from the robot, etc.
Good idea to prevent this is to make some additional move at the end of the program. When the robot gets back in the base and button is pressed. the robot can just turn around. This movement gives the competitors more time to change the attachments and prepare the spacer for the robot.

Aligning

Align as often as you can! Usually when the robot is on the run, there are more than one missions that are solved in this run. Verry often the robot makes mistakes on the last mission. That's because of the accumulated error from the previous missions. When the robot is moving on the field it's highly possible to interract with some model or some parts dropped in the previous run, that changes it's direction. Because all of this things, one of the most important things when solving missions is to "know where excatly the robot is on the field". What this means ? There are a few things that can help you to know where robot is. If you use them you could prevent most of the unwanted errors from the "things on the field".

On first place there is a field, with walls and models. Yes! Use the walls, the walls are things on which you can align and to be sure that your robot is looking in the right direction. The only problem is that the walls are four and they are in the borders. Some models are in the middle of the field.

The other thing on which you can align is the model of the mission. It's not very high rated by the referees but actually it's verry efective way to be aligned to the angle that you want. Usually the aligning is made in the base of the model, but it's also possible to be made on a higher level.

Every year the topic of the competition is different, so every year the mat for the robot game is different, but on every mat, every year there are black lines.Use them! They are surrounded by white areas and usually they are placed near the models of the missions. You can align on them and make your mission clearly.

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