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Detailed Look at FLL Challenge '08 Mat and Models

Update: pictures of two other models added (Power Plant and Trees). Also, someone commented that the yellow, future-looking, car might have to replace the red truck as one of the challenges. I also changed the picture of the Power Line model to show one possible position for it.

Some of the members of the FLL team I was on, Built On The Rock, have recently constsructed the models for this year's FLL challenge. It's fun to try to figure out what has to be done with each model. Below are pictures of the mat and models and some speculation on what the challenges are. The base. This year it's located at the center of the map on the south side (bottom). This is an interesting twist, since it puts the robot closer to a lot of the models when it starts. Also, as you can see in the picture, there are little colored dashes on the sides of the base. It seems they're for helping teams align their robots accurately - definitely a nice addition.This house and truck were nicely designed. The truck is not dual-locked down, so it seems like the robots will have to move it somewhere. I can't see any markings that show where, though. The house , is dual-locked down, but a "solar panel" on top is not attached to it (see picture below), so it seems like the robots will have to put the solar panel on the house. We'll probably see some interesting and unique solutions to this challenge, since there are many different ways to tackle it. This is the solar panel when it's off the house.This model pretty much has us stumped. It appears to be a future car, but we can't figure out where it's supposed to go or what the robots are supposed to do with it. It's pictured here in a parking lot... perhaps the robot has to deliver the car to it.One of the challenges with this model is clear - a lever has to be pulled to release three barrels. The other part has something to do with 8 other barrels. There's no markings on the map that show where they go, but I'm guessing they're probably the bonus objects.

The two-team challenge appears to be a model of a satellite. It looks like it might combine a race between two teams and cooperation as well. The first team to push their lever knocks down one of the solar panels, and makes a radar dish on top of the satelllite lean towards their side. When the other team presses their side, the other solar panel falls down. Mabey both teams get points if both solar panels are down, and the team whose side the radar dish points to gets a certain number of bonus points. See pictures below for demonstrations of the model being activated.

This model is titled "dam flood". The "flood" can be removed from the dam, but we aren't sure what needs to be done with it.
This is a model of some power lines. There are no marks for daul-locking or placing it, although as you can see in the picture, a section of a sidewalk lines up with the power line base perfectly, so it might go there. Since it isn't dual-locked, it seems like the robot has to move it somewhere. Judging from the theme of the challenge, the robot might have to take it away from somewhere and bring it back to base. Two models of wind-powered generators. There's no markings for their placement either, so we don't know what to do with them at this point.
This model is called a Power Plant. There doesn't seem to be anything on it that robots would manipulate (although one of the team members suggested that perhaps the robots had to knock the smokestack down :-)), so I'm guessing the robots might have to move something in the square formed by the roads around the Plant.

This model is straightforward... a train car is held at the top of a ramped track. When a lever is pushed, the car is released and runs down to the bottom of the track. There are some loose bricks in the car which can fall out when it reaches the bottom, so maybe there will be something about that in the challenge as well.

These two sets of models seem to have the same challenge, but it's hard to tell what that challenge is. Right now I'm thinking the red tower has to be removed from the "field" on the mat, or maybe just moved anywhere. Although the challenge could just as well be to remove the two non-red towers.

The pieces also included these four trees... any ideas for a challenge with these? Bonus objects?

Anyway, that's all of them - makes for a long post, doesn't it? :P


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