Here are the answers to some frequently asked questions about the State Fair Robotics Challenge:
What is the length of
time each team will have at the table?
Are we doing the same length of time as FLL?
The robot has 2 ½ minutes to complete as many task as
possible. We use the best (highest) score from one of the 3 rounds
May we use a cable that
is not from a specified kit?
Please use materials from Lego so everyone has the same material
availability in the challenge.
Why are EV3 allowed 4
motors but NXT can only use 3?
EV3 has 4 motor ports that come with the newer robot brick.
During the State Fair
Challenge, will the mat have all the task items set up? Is the mat to be cleared after each task? Will only the items necessary to complete an
individual task be placed on the mat?
All items will be on the board for you to avoid or use while
completing all other task.
Playing Field Mat Build
A comment on the
challenges, the materials needed to build the challenges are not readily
available, our team has boxes and bins of parts and do not have some of the odd
parts, particularly the plates used to support the bar for the hanger and the
up, up an away.
The coat hanger base is made from a perfect 11 hole Lego bar
by 5 bars across. So feel free to build using 11 hole bars and little black
pegs to make 5 across for the coat hanger base, sheep pen and the up, up and
away challenge. The Technics gear for the rope machine might be the hardest
element to find. I tried really hard to
make the others capable of being built multiple ways and with normal parts.
What options do we
have to make a mat for state challenge?
One great option is to use pull down blind material for a
mat. You can buy it by the foot, but may find that the precut ones in the
package are cheaper. Also, if you can locate any local FIRST (FLL, FTC ) teams
they usually have tons saved from past seasons.
What items have
Velcro to hold them down?
Quilt pieces, sheep pen, cloths rack, balloon tether, dye
vats, sewing machine and rope machine.
Task 1. Hang Up
Where do I get a
The hanger will be sent to each team as you register.
What exactly does
"take out the hanger" mean?
Can the robot start out gripping the hanger, or must it be picked up
before transporting it to the rack?
Hanger may be preloaded in base for delivery during the
challenge. Any item in base will be available to be loaded on robot as needed.
What does hanging the
coat hanger mean?
Placing hanger on the coat rack does mean hanging the hanger
on the top bar. So no for laying at the base and no to hanging on one of the
Task 2. Project Runaway Runway
Is the line for the
runway 1/2 or 3/4 electrical tape or is it duct tape?
The line is just sharpie, but be sure to darken it.
Can implements which
will be used for other challenge tasks be removed prior to beginning the timed
runway walk? Is that removal included in
the 2.5 minute time frame?
The robot has 2.5 minutes to complete as many tasks as
possible. All steps of each task is included in this time. Remember it is the
best single round but not all rounds added together.
What does Robot
Anything counts including a bow tie but it must be attached
to the robot so it will not fall off. Be creative!!!!
In Project Runaway
Runway, are the costume points scored separately? For example, if we decide not
to (or do not have time for) our robot to go on the runway, but it has a
costume on while completing the rest of the tasks, will it be scored?
The two challenges are combined so no points for outfit
unless trying to complete the runway. If your robot would fail to complete the
runway the judges may decide to score the outfit, as you have made the attempt.
Can we do other tasks
during the Operation Runway task?
While scoring for the runway, you may not leave the line to
do another item, but you may stop and complete a task from the line. Also you
can line follow to get to another task.
Task 3. Up, Up and Away
Task 4. Knot Me
Will the yarn be in
place 100 percent of the time thumb tacked to the side board? If so, it prevents a team from driving
straight down the west wall to deposit the four dyes in the corner. The only option is to go out to center of
table and then down to the vats. Your
thoughts or intentions here please for clarification.
This was more intentional as to not allow youth to follow
along the wall to color vats. The rope is actually screwed into the wall and is
permanent (judges cannot remove). You will have to go around the rope machine
and decide if you then want to use the wall or as you said follow to the far
wall and then orient the robot to the scoring containers.
Task 5. Say it’s not Sew
Task 6. The Natural
Will the fiber parts be
randomly placed inside the zone or do they have specific locations and what are
they made of?
You will find measurements
for each task here and pictures
of what materials here.
What is the size of
the fiber parts? We were debating on if
it’s small or the larger ones.
Under task element
pictures The Natural will show a great picture. Measures 1-1/8 inch hub
Are we counting linen
as a natural fiber or not?
Had some debate on that one as well. Natural fabrics such as
wool, cotton, silk, and linen are made from animal coats, cotton-plant seed
pods, fibers from silkworms, and flax (fiber from the stalk of a plant),
respectively. Synthetic fabrics such as nylon, spandex, rayon, polyester, and
acrylic are man-made.
Task 7. Pattern
How is the Quilt task
Piece must be ¾ the way into the spot to score. Yes, Quilt
may be delivered standing to score.
What are the quilt
squares made of, their size and are the 5 on the field fastened to the mat?
The pictures on this
link have measurements. Yes, the 5 on the field are fastened.
Task 8. Sheepish
"sheep" in your webinar. Since
the word sheep can be both singular and plural, does the task require moving 1
or 2 sheep? 1 after the other? Or, 2
You will receive one sheep to deliver to its pen. Only one
Task 9. Crochet Ricochet
Of what material is
the line constructed? What is the exact
diameter and length of the line? This is just cloths line from the hardware
store. Complete directions available
here for that and point A and B on the board
Crochet hooks differ
widely by brand and size. Which exact
size hook (letter & number) by which manufacturer is utilized? Or, can teams select and bring their own
Please bring the one your team uses for practice or feel
free to use the one that we provide that day. Your team can choose the size and
material of the hook.
What do you mean our
robot will hang during the Crochet Ricochet task?
During this task, the robot must be mostly or completely
supported by the rope. This could mean that the robot would hang off the rope
and travel with the crochet needle. Or the robot might stay in base and have a
tethered arm take the needle out on the rope. Or maybe hang from the rope with
a wheel moving the robot along the mat. The important part is that most of the
robot is supported on the rope. The robot design should not be a vehicle with
some attachment touching the rope as the robot drove out and back.
On the zip line, with
the robot fully in base, can a team place an appendage onto the tight rope or
must that happen after the robot program is started an thus it occurs under
Being that you are in base, you can hang the appendage and
start the program to send it out.
Can the robot start
attached to the line? Or must there be
an extension mechanism which lifts the bot onto the line?
Your robot may stay in base and send an extension along the
line or hang on the zipline and either run the zipline or send an attachment
along the line.
Are we allowed to use
a longer cable, so an arm can go across while the robot is still in base? The
cord is a mindstorm cable, but it is not for a specific kit.
As long as itis a LEGO mindstorm cable you are set. We just
try to keep Lego products for all to have the same availability in the challenge
In the attached photo
a group has designed a robot that is on the wire. But it breaks the vertical plane of home base
at its initial spot. This is not legal -
The decision is based on that the pole had to be placed in a
way for teams to place the robots and parts in Base without obstructing the
youth. With that the judges will be allowing the robot to start against the
pole but may overhang the vertical plane in starting out within reason. (may not
hang out more than 12” that should give teams some room to work). I want this challenge to be more fun and like
how that design looks and the thought the youth used in building the robot.
Can you hold the
robot on the rope?
In base you are allowed to touch the robot so if you hold
the robot touching the string and have a tethered crochet needle go out that
would be no penalty. Now if the robot leaves base via hanging, you will have to
not be touching the robot outside of base.
Once back in base,
must an appendage remove itself from the line or is being on the line ok
provided that the location of the appendage is within the air space of the
Once again being in base gives you that airspace or vertical
plane that you can touch the appendage/attachment without penalty to unhook.
Task 10. To Dye For
Please keep the questions coming!!