LigerBots to Host FLL Tournament this Saturday
November 15, 2017

The LigerBots are hosting a FIRST LEGO League competition, the Newton Qualifier, on the theme of Hydro Dynamics at Newton North High School (457 Walnut St.), Saturday, November 18 from 9am -3pm. About 300 Massachusetts students in grades 4-8 will compete using LEGO robots they designed, built, and programmed to perform complex tasks. Alongside the competition there will be a maker fair with hands-on STEAM activities for all ages and opportunities to see, touch, and drive robots built by high school students! Bring your family and spend the day (free admission)!

LigerBots Assist with Newton Inspires
November 14, 2017

The LigerBots had the privilege this week of assisting with Newton Inspires, an annual gathering of Newtonites representing various fields, who share their ideas, insights, and impressions in a series of talks at Newton South High School. Team members helped event sponsor and LigerBots parent organization Newton Schools Foundation by guiding the public to their destinations around the school and did team outreach and a robot demonstration at the pre-talk supper in the cafeteria. Our thanks go to Newton Schools Foundation for this opportunity to meet many members of the public and talk about the LigerBots and FIRST.

Asa explains the 2016 robot to a Newton Inspires guest while other attendees enjoy their supper in the Newton South cafeteria
Sophia and Maggie discuss the LigerBots with a Newton Inspires attendee

While some team members were staffing Newton Inspires, others were hard at work on our new H-drive chassis, which we hope will make our robot more nimble during competitions this year by allowing sideways movement. We finished attaching wires & motors, finished writing chassis software and did our first driving test. More refining and testing is to come!

Ethan and Derek work with Coach Igor to perfect the H-Drive

All hands are now on deck to prepare for the Newton Qualifier FLL tournament the LigerBots are hosting this Saturday, November 18, from 9-3 at Newton North High School. The day will include a maker fair with hands-on activities for children, and RoboPalooza, a gathering of FRC and FTC robots for the public to look at, touch and drive. The event is free and open to the public.

LigerBots at Newton Inspires
November 10, 2017

The LigerBots will have a robot demo and outreach table in the Newton South High School cafeteria during Newton Inspires, Monday, Nov. 13., from 6-9 p.m. Team members will also help Newton Inspires guests find their way around Newton South. Newton Inspires is an evening of talks by Newtonians representing a variety of fields and interest areas. It is run by Newton Schools Foundation, the LigerBots parent organization, and is free with registration for Newton residents and open to the public.

LigerBots Visit Fowler High Precision
November 2, 2017

This week the team visited a new sponsor, Fowler High Precision, a Newton-based company that designs and sells high quality measuring instruments. The team was grateful to be given a tour of the Fowler laboratory and warehouse, and got to have a hands-on tryout of a measuring instrument that is still in development. Team members were excited to be allowed to choose Fowler micrometers, calipers and gauges to help the team construct our 2018 robot more precisely. We also left with some great Fowler swag–rulers, pens and hats. Thank you, Fowler!

Fowler Director of Product Management David E. Leboeuf showing high-precision tools to LigerBots members

This week the LigerBots also did a team-wide training session in constructing “elevator” speeches, a technique for making a very quick presentation or pitch. Team leaders explained the uses of elevator speeches when talking to judges at FRC competitions, as well as in life. Then the team broke into small groups to brainstorm and practice pitches in pairs, before coming back together and presenting speeches to the whole team. Veteran and rookie members alike gained valuable life skills that they can use in post-high school experiences.

Student executive teaching students how to give an elevator speech

LigerBots Compete in Bay State Brawl
October 23, 2017

Last Saturday the LigerBots competed in the Bay State Brawl, an off-season event where FIRST teams can play the previous year’s game. Every team member — rookie or veteran — got a chance to drive the robot. These off-season events teach team members many things, such as time management and improvisational skills, since we often have as little as two and a half minutes to repair any damage to the bot using materials that are often not ideal. We were selected by the 3rd seed team and we got the high score of the day, although sadly, we weren’t able to win the competition. We were also given the Robo-Ohana Award, which is given to the team that works together the best and makes all the team members feel accepted and included. It was truly an enjoyable experience for everyone.

Investigating a pneumatic leak
Unhooking the LigerBots robot from the “airship” after a match, after climbing a rope for extra points
Repairing robot code on the fly between matches