NXT Object Trapper

The following is a post and video made in early 2013, about a robotic project in middle school science class. The post is very long and detailed, and the video provides a more concise summary.

“We spent an entire month building our first robot, which we took apart. Then we spent two days building a completely-from-scratch robot that would go on to win the championship.
I was partnered with Woods, and we teamed up with Graham, John and Becker. (John left our group after 2 weeks.) We decided to use treads in our first model. Our first model was slow, yet strong, like a turtle, so that was what we named it. It took us the first two weeks to program with Bluetooth and build our basic chassis, and we spent another two weeks perfecting the design. After two painful battles with Jack, Zeke, and McKinley’s group and Jonathan, Rion, and Ian’s group, we decided to rip apart our robot with only two days before the race.
We weren’t even ready to race in our first race against Brian. Our robot was half-built. We lost and were sent over to the loser’s bracket, which gave us the one day we needed to finish our robot. We shut out our first two opponents, John and Tyler, and made it to the boys’ semis. We beat Charlie on a buzzer-beater to make it to the championship, against Jonathan. We won the boys bracket by beating Gooch’s team by 500 or so points.

The top two boys teams, my group and Gooch, Rion, and Ian’s group, faced the top two girls teams. Both boys teams won by a large margin. The championship became a rematch of the boys bracket championship.

The first round, with normal scoring, was four minutes long. Gooch and I (our team’s drivers) both went for the chess pieces, worth 450. Neither of us could get it, so we started fighting for Gumby, worth 500. It was a full 2.5 minutes before my team managed to secure Gumby. After that, Gooch had no more time to go and get any objects. Our group also collected a yellow hexagon before time was up. That made the score 750 to 0, my team.

The second round had a twist. It was one minute long, and the only objects on the floor were 6 or 7 red trapezoids, worth -500, and Gumby, 1000. This gave Gooch, Rion and Ian a chance to catch up, pass us, and beat us.

Open a new tab and go to bdavidgiants10.blogspot.com. The video you see on my entrance page is the final round. See what we did? Our robot has gotten Gumby in every match ever since we beat John. This time, we made the smart choice by leaving Gumby behind and pushing two red trapezoids into the opposing team’s box. The final score was 750 to -1000, my team. We had won first place in the grade.

I have trouble believing what my group has accomplished together. I don’t know which is more amazing: the machine, the program that makes it go, or how my group made the two of them. This has been my favorite project all year in any class, and not just because my group won. It was exciting; it got me thinking; and I had fun. Thanks so much to the other people in my group for being such great partners. I hope we are together for a project again.