Club Engineer News - September 2014
In this edition
- New series. Write Your Own Windows Screen Saver
- Robocup Rescue 2014 Victorian State Competition Wrap Up
- Club Engineer Tee-Shirts
- Wanted to Buy
- And more...
New Series: Write Your Own Windows Screen Saver
We are very excited by our new series "Write your own windows screen saver" that is available as face to face lessons now, and as free, online lessons sometime soon. Here is a video describing the project students complete. This project is ideal for students transitioning from a graphical programming tool like Lego Mindstoms to test based programming and is being offered as part of our September - October school holiday program.
Robocup Rescue 2014 Victorian State Competition Wrap Up
Club Engineer worked intensively with three students: Harry who entered TM0343 in Open Rescue, as well as Matthew (YA MAMA) and Andrew (Macindroid) who both competed in Senior Rescue.
Andrew’s robot, Macindroid was runner up in the University of Melbourne Department of Engineering Dean’s Award for Engineering Excellence. This prize was judged by the university’s engineering students who conducted the competitor interviews. Tragically for Macindroid, during the interview process, a data-wire in the code was bumped with the computer mouse and broken. Macindroid performed faultlessly, in the early five rounds of the competition, but after the broken data-wire incident, was left turning in circles for the quarter final. Macindroid did not make it through the quarter final, but will be back next year stronger than ever.
Matt’s robot, YA MAMA performed strongly throughout the competition but did not have quite enough grip on the ground to come down the see-saw under control. This left YA MAMA unable to get past the Water Tower and finishing in second place in the Grand Final. The winner of Senior Rescue was from Box Hill High School and was both beautifully engineered, and well programmed.
Harry and TM0343 competed in Open Rescue where the main challenge is to build a robot that can both pick up the can and place it on the evacuation platform. TM0343 used a design based on a fork-lift truck and performed well. The programming necessary to reliably find, then pick up the can, and find the evacuation platform and place the can is complex and TM0353 came close to completing the full challenge. TM0343 was the only entry in Open Rescue this year, and will be back next year with the hope there will be more entries in Open to compete against.
The magnificent Wilson Hall at The University of Melbourne
Andrew's Macindroid, runner up in the Dean's Award for
Harry making adjusting the calibration settings on TM0343.
Harry and TM0353 competing.
Winner of 2014 Victorian State Competition, beautifully
Matthew with YA MAMA (runner up) and the winner from
Club Engineer Tee-Shirts
Our first batch of Club Engineer Tee-Shirts have arrived and look very smart.
We have some spares in various sizes and they are available to buy for $40 each so contact us if you would like one.
Wanted to Buy
Club Engineer is working with several school on tight budgets and with more bright young engineers than they have Lego kits available.
The Lego Mindstorms NXT kit has been superseded by the EV3 so if you are upgrading, or have out-grown your NXT, we can find it a loving home. Please contact us if you would like to sell, or better still, donate an old NXT kit.
Finally, I would like to leave you with this video of the London Array, arguably the most widely known UK offshore wind farm. Its sheer scale and proximity to Greater London mean it’s often referred to by politicians and in the press.
Its 175 turbines are capable of generating enough energy to power nearly half a million UK homes and reduce harmful CO2 emissions by more than 900,000 tonnes a year. So it’s making a big difference to the environment as well as helping provide a reliable electricity supply to south east England.
The largest operational offshore wind farm in the world, London Array was opened by Prime Minister David Cameron in July 2013.
This documentary by Roger Melly describes some of the challenges in it's construction.
Click here to view.