Sunday, January 29, 2017

Girl Scouts and Robots: Meet the Pink Programming Pandas

We are the Pink Programming Pandas. Our team members are Jordyn, Anna, Ally, Julianne, Haley, Mira, and Gracie. We go to two different schools and are in four different Girl Scout troops from Girl Scouts of Eastern Missouri.

Our robot, Pandabot, has three large motors, two color sensors, and one touch sensor. Our team was very successful with Pandabot this season—we worked hard and it paid off. At the Eastern Missouri FIRST LEGO League (FLL) qualifying tournament, we won the Robot Performance Award (192 points!) and the Champion’s Award, and at the championship itself, we won the Mechanical Design Award. Our team is most proud that we got an award at the state championship for the second year in a row. Of 12 awards given out, we got one! Next season will be our last year with FLL. We have decided to move on to the next stage, FIRST Tech Challenge (FTC) a year early.

One challenge we faced—and overcame—this season was designing a robot capable of performing many tasks, such as climbing a wall. Initially our robot was too heavy to climb the “Biomimicry Wall” at the competitions, but one of our mentors helped us realize that we had many design options. We eventually designed a claw with two hooks for the front of Pandabot and two supporters on the back to take weight off it. At the competitions, Pandabot impressed the referees and other teams by consistently climbing and hanging onto the wall.

We have many joyful memories to look back on as our team moves forward to the next challenge. We are proud to be the Pink Programming Pandas!