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FLL History

This page contains write ups and announcements that chronicle the activities of the Los Altos Robotics Community group and teams. Often times these items first appeared on the home page and then are moved to this page. The most recent information is at the top. Also see the FLL/Competitions and FLL/Resources pages for materials from each season.

FLL Tournament Results

  • Results from the robot game scrimmage held on October 18, 2015 can be downloaded here
  • Results from other past FLL Events may be found on the FLL Competition Results page.

 

Los Altos Robotics FIRST LEGO League 2015 Calendar

  • September 18, 2015 Scrimmage at Blach School in Los Altos
  • November 8, 2015 Judging Scrimmage at Blach School in Los Altos


2015 FLL Season Announcements

  • November 7, 2015

The Los Altos Robotics Judging Scrimmage will be held on November 8 from 1:30pm to 4:00pm at Blach School located at 1120 Covington Road,  Los Altos, CA.  The scrimmage will help teams participating in FLL this year prepare for a tournament.

Results from the robot game scrimmage held on October 18 are posted here.  Thank you to all of the teams that participated and especially the volunteers without whom such an event would not be possible.

  • October 26, 2015

The next meeting of the Los Altos Robotics Board is scheduled for Tuesday, October 27 at 7:30 to 9pm to review the October 18 robot game scrimmage and to plan for the November 15 judging scrimmage.  We will be meeting in Room 522 of Mountain View High School, 3535 Truman Ave., Mountain View. Here is a campus map.

  • September 20, 2015

The next meeting of the Los Altos Robotics Board is scheduled for Tuesday, September 22 at 7:30 to 9pm to plan for the October 18 and November 15 scrimmages.  We will be meeting in Room 522 of Mountain View High School, 3535 Truman Ave., Mountain View. Here is a campus map.

  • August 11, 2015 Biswa
    The next meeting of the Los Altos Robotics Board is scheduled for Tuesday, August 18 at 7:30 to 9pm to start the planning of the new FLL season.  Please consider joining the Los Altos Robotics board so that we can continue to put on a quality event.  It will not be possible without volunteers like you.  We will be meeting in Room 521 of Mountain View High School, 3535 Truman Ave., Mountain View. Here is a campus map.
  • May 28, 2015 Biswa
    Parents are welcome to attend an informational meeting on August 24, 7:30 to 9 pm at Room 522 of Mountain View High School
    , 3535 Truman Ave., Mountain View. Here is a campus map. Come join us to learn more about the program and to network with other parents/coaches.
  • May 8, 2015 Biswa
    The next meeting of the Los Altos Robotics Board is scheduled for Tuesday, May 12 at 7:30pm to start the planning of the new FLL season.  Please consider joining the Los Altos Robotics board so that we can continue to put on a quality event.  It will not be possible without volunteers like you.  We will be meeting in Room 522 of Mountain View High School, 3535 Truman Ave., Mountain View. Here is a campus map.

Los Altos Robotics FIRST LEGO League 2014 Calendar

May - Mid September 2014 National FLL Team Registration period for all teams, including all Los Altos Robotics teams.  It is best to register in early August to get your materials in time for the start of the season.  Materials includes the Field Setup kit and optionally a NXT Mindstorms or EV3 kit if your team does not already have one.  Register your team at the National FLL Team registration site.  Registration closes when they run out of team slots, this usually happens after mid-September.
Late Summer 2014 Challenge Field Setup kits (and NXT Mindstorms or EV3 kit, if ordered) begin to ship to teams registered with National FLL
August 29, 2014 WORLD CLASS Challenge announced on www.FirstLegoLeague.org web site. Most teams start practices this week.
Tue, September 2, 2014 7:30 PM Los Altos Robotics parent orientation meeting from 7:30 pm to 9:00 pm at Mountain View High School in room 522. Event sponsored by Mountain View High School 971 FRC Spartan Robotics team.  Link to campus mapEvent Flyer link.
September 15, 2014 Target date for parents to have their team formed and coaches identified.
Mid-September 2014 Team Registration closes at the national level when all of the slots are filled.
September 15, 2014 Los Altos Scrimmage sign-ups, including volunteers. Sign-ups will close on TBD or once all spots are filled. Up to 28 teams can be accommodated.  Watch the Announcements on the home page and/or the TigerBots mailing list for registration info.
Mid-September to TBD NorCal Tournament Pre-Req process is open at NorCalFLL. Teams participating in a Northern California tournament, including Los Altos, must complete this process in order to be able to register for a tournament (see next item).
TBD Tournament Registration opens (date subject to change) at NorCalFLL in which you select your 1st, 2nd and 3rd choices for a Northern California tournament. Most NorCalFLL tournaments are in the Bay Area. Teams must have completed the Pre-Req process before registering.
Sun, Oct 19, 2014 Los Altos Scrimmage at Blach School from noon to 5:00 PM. All visitors are welcome.
Sun, Oct 19, 2014 Mid-Scrimmage Coaches' Q&A will be held at the scrimmage during the afternoon break.
Sun, Nov 9, 2014 Project Share-a-thon at Oak Elementary School1501 Oak Avenue, Los Altos, CA 94024 (Tentative) from 1:30 PM to 4:30 PM. Registration for the event will be announced on the TigerBots mailing list and on the home page.
Sun, Nov 16, 2014 Los Altos Local Tournament at Blach school from 8:30 AM to 5:30 PM. Blach Intermediate School is located at 1120 Covington Rd, Los Altos, CA 94024.   All visitors are welcome.
Sometime in January to February 2014 Northern California FLL State Competition. Find out more about it and other Regional/Qualifying FLL Tournaments at the Northern California FIRST LEGO League website.

 

Los Altos Robotics FIRST LEGO League 2013 Calendar

May - Mid September 2013 National FLL Team Registration period for all teams, including all Los Altos Robotics teams.  It is best to register in early August to get your materials in time for the start of the season.  Materials includes the Field Setup kit and optionally a NXT Mindstorms or EV3 kit if your team does not already have one.  Register your team at the National FLL Team registration site.  Registration closes when they run out of team slots or September 30, 2013.
Late Summer 2013 Challenge Field Setup kits (and NXT Mindstorms or EV3 kit, if ordered) begin to ship to teams registered with National FLL
August 27, 2013, 9 AM PDT Nature's Fury Challenge announced on www.FirstLegoLeague.org web site. Most teams start practices this week.
Tue, August 27 and Tue, September 3, 2013 7:30 PM Los Altos Robotics parent orientation meetings from 7:30 pm to 9:00 pm at Mountain View High School in room 521. Event sponsored by Mountain View High School 971 FRC Spartan Robotics team.  Google Map with green markers in the student parking lot (A) and close to the front door of room 521 (B) Presentation Slides in pdf format.
September 15, 2013 Target date for parents to have their team formed and coaches identified.
Mid-September 2013 Team Registration closes at the national level when all of the slots are filled or on September 30.
September 28 to October 6 Los Altos Scrimmage sign-ups, including volunteers. Sign-ups will close on October 6 or once all spots are filled. Up to 24 teams can be accommodated.  Watch the Announcements on the home page and/or the TigerBots mailing list for registration info.
Mid-September to  October 1 NorCal Tournament Pre-Req process is open at NorCalFLL. Teams participating in a Northern California tournament, including Los Altos, must complete this process in order to be able to register for a tournament (see next item).
October 7, 2013 Tournament Registration opens (date subject to change) at NorCalFLL in which you select your 1st, 2nd and 3rd choices for a Northern California tournament. Most NorCalFLL tournaments are in the bay area. Teams must have completed the Pre-Req process before registering.
Sun, October 20, 2013 Los Altos Scrimmage at Blach School from noon to 5:00 PM. All visitors are welcome.
Sun, October 20, 2013 Mid-Scrimmage Coaches' Q&A will be held at the scrimmage during the afternoon break.
Sun, November 10, 2013 Project Share-a-thon at Oak Elementary School, 1501 Oak Avenue, Los Altos, CA 94024 from 1:30 PM to 4:30 PM. Registration for the event will be announced on the TigerBots mailing list and on the home page.
Sun, November 17, 2013 Los Altos Local Tournament at Blach school from 8:30 AM to 5:30 PM. Blach Intermediate School is located at 1120 Covington Rd, Los Altos, CA 94024.   All visitors are welcome.
Sometime in January to February 2014 Northern California FLL State Competition. Find out more about it and other Regional/Qualifying FLL Tournaments at the Northern California FIRST LEGO League website.

 

Los Altos Robotics FIRST LEGO League 2012 Calendar

May - Mid September 2012 National FLL Team Registration period for all teams, including all Los Altos Robotics teams.  It is best to register in early August to get your materials in time for the start of the season.  Materials includes the Field Setup kit and optionally a NXT Mindstorms kit if your team does not already have one.  Register your team at the National FLL Team registration site.  Registration closes when they run out of team slots or September 30, 2012.
Late Summer 2012 Challenge Field Setup kits (and NXT Mindstorms kit, if ordered) begin to ship to teams registered with National FLL
August 28, 2012, 9 AM PDT Senior Solutions Challenge announced on www.FirstLegoLeague.org web site. Most teams start practices this week.
Tue, September 4, 2012 7:30 PM Los Altos Robotics parent orientation meeting from 7:30 pm to 9:00 pm at Mountain View High School in room 112. Event sponsored by Mountain View High School 971 FRC Spartan Robotics team.  Presentation Slides in pdf format.
September 15, 2012 Target date for parents to have their team formed and coaches identified.
Mid September 2012 Team Registration closes at the national level when all of the slots are filled or on September 30.
September 14 to 30, 2012 Los Altos Scrimmage sign-ups, including volunteers. Sign-ups will close once all spots are filled. Up to 24 teams can be accommodated.  Register here with Los Altos Robotics for the Scrimmage.
September 14 to October 2, 2012 NorCal Tournament Pre-Req process is open at NorCalFLL. Teams participating in a Northern California tournament, including Los Altos, must complete this process by October 2nd in order to be able to register for a tournament (see next item).
October 5, 2012 Tournament Registration opens (date subject to change) at NorCalFLL in which you select your 1st, 2nd and 3rd choices for a Northern California tournament. Most NorCalFLL tournaments are in the bay area. Teams must have completed the Pre-Req process before registering.
Sun, October 21, 2012 Los Altos Scrimmage at Blach School from noon to 5:00 PM. All visitors are welcome.
Sun, October 21, 2012 Mid-Scrimmage Coaches' Q&A will be held at the scrimmage during the afternoon break.
Sun, November 11, 2012 Project Share-a-thon at Oak Elementary School, 1501 Oak Avenue, Los Altos, CA 94024 from 1:45 PM to 4:30 PM. Registration for the event will be announced on the TigerBots mailing list on Oct. 28.
Sun, November 18, 2012 Los Altos Local Tournament at Blach school from 8:30 AM to 5:30 PM. Blach Intermediate School is located at 1120 Covington Rd, Los Altos, CA 94024.   All visitors are welcome.
Sometime in late November 2011 to January, 2012 Northern California FLL State Competition. Find out more about it and other Regional/Qualifying FLL Tournaments at the Northern California FIRST LEGO League website.

2011 FLL Season Information

Announcements

  • February 16, 2012:  The Silicon Valley FLL Championship tournament on Saturday 2/18 has been moved to Del Mar High School, 1224 Del Mar Ave, San Jose, CA 95128.
  • January 16, 2012: The Silicon Valley FLL Championship tournament has been confirmed for Saturday 2/18 at Independence High School in San Jose.
  • January 11, 2012: The Silicon Valley FLL Championship tournament has been postponed from its original date of Jan 14, 2012.  They are targeting 2/18 or 2/4 as the new date.  I also added addresses to the list of tournaments in the December 21 announcement.  Michael
  • December 21, 2011: There are three FLL Championship tournaments in January.  Going to a tournament is a lot of fun and youth can learn more about what it means to be on an FLL team.  If you go, I suggest visiting the pit area and practice tables to get a closer view of the robots and how the teams score points with them.
    • Feb 18: Silicon Valley Championship at Del Mar High School, 1224 Del Mar Ave, San Jose, CA 95128 (Postponed from Jan 14 and location changed on Feb 16!)
    • Jan 22, 2012: East Bay Championship at Newark Memorial High School at 39375 Cedar Boulevard, Newark
    • Jan 28, 2012: Peninsula Championship at Sequoia High School at 1201 Brewster Ave, Redwood City
    • More information is at http://www.norcalfll.org/
  • November 18, 2011: The tournament was great.  Thanks to the participants and volunteers that made it happen.  Results and awards are available for this and past tournaments on the FLL Competitions page.
  • Sun, Nov 13, 2011:  Los Altos FLL Tournament. Download the tournament guide here.
  • 1:00 pm - Opening ceremony
  • 1:30 - 4:15 Robot challenge (16 teams make 3 attempts each at the Food Factor challenge)
  • 4:30 - 4:45 FRC high school teams 114 (Los Altos) and 971 (Mountain View) demo the "big bots"
  • 4:45 - 5:00 FLL "show & tell" demos from select teams
  • 5:00 - 5:45 Awards and closing ceremony
  • September 9, 2011: Here are the slides from the September 6 Parent Orientation meeting.  Thanks to Mike Murray for a great presentation and the Mountain View High School Spartan Robotics team for hosting this meeting.
  • August 2011 Announcement Flyer: The Los Altos Robotics 2011 First LEGO League Flyer (PowerPoint version) advertises the availability of the FLL program to children in Los Altos and Los Altos Hills. It has all of the key dates and events for the 2011 season.  Feel free to distribute it to anyone you think might benefit from seeing it, such as potential team members and coaches.
  • New 2011! What is FIRST video featuring Dean Kamen, Founder of FLL and i.am.FIRST: Science is Rock and Roll featuring will.i.am of the Black Eyed Peas

 

 


Updated August 19, 2011:

Events for 2011 Los Altos FLL season are:  

The Los Altos Robotics tournament is an official FLL qualifier tournament for Northern California (NorCal). To get involved you will need to organize your own team and register with Los Altos Robotics, NorCal FLL and the USFLL organization. Then you can sign up your team for tournament events.

For registration information to Los Altos Robotics, please visit the Participating in Los Altos Robotics FLL page first and then email MichaelnullLosAltosRobotics.Org or call Michael Schuh at (650) 965-8037 if you still have questions.  The Participating in Los Altos Robotics FLL page also has the "I Need a Team List" that you can use to find a team for your child.

For registration information with NorCal FLL, please visit www.norcalfll.org. For registration information with US FLL, please visit gofll.usfll.org.

2009 FLL Season Information

 

Updated Jan 17, 2010 :   Northern California State Tournament Update

WOW!! This was an exciting weekend at NorCalFLL! The robots at this tournament were really impressive and a lot of teams seem to benefit from the extra regional tournament level this year. Mission strategies and attachments for some of these bots were very advanced and polished. I can imagine the judging sessions were pretty impressive as well. The Norcal state tournaments have always been exciting, but this smaller tournament with 48 high level teams was more fun to watch and a little less hectic than the 64 team events of prior years. I heard that judging and everything went much smoother this year. I felt in general that teams and event volunteers looked like they were focused, organized, and having a lot of fun.

The competition in robot performance this year was very close with the top 20 teams posting in excess of 330 points. The early robot performance leader was Antipodes , a strong team of 3 middle school girls from Pacifica. Their bot was rock solid smooth and the mission solutions were very creative and efficient. They posted a 380 and 400 for their first 2 scores with 2 more attempts still to go!!

Los Altos Geed Squad and We Ate The Mat, who both had impressive pneumatic robot arm attachments, had some early robot issues and posted max scores of 330 and 315 after 2 rounds, both sitting outside the top 10. Advanced attachments can be high scorers, but often require more adjustments than something simpler.

The competitions got more interesting after lunch starting with Geek Squad posting a 400 to jump to 2nd place behind Antipodes. Geek Squad left for judging and while they were away, Antipodes posted 2 360's for their last 2 scores - an amazing show of consistency. We Ate The Mat appeared to be posting a good score on round 3 when a loop flipped off the bot just before getting back to base. This cost 30 points since this eliminated the bonus loops too and they posted a 335 on the run.

In the final round, We Ate The Mat was sitting in 18th place with a 335 and only one more chance remaining to post a score. Confidence in the bot was being severely tested. However, most of the hard things had been working so they stayed calm, carefully went through their checklist, and then posted a 400 to jump to second place behind Antipodes and just ahead of Geek Squad. The creators of FLL made a smart choice of using high score rather than average score to decide the robot performance competition - not only does it promote higher risk designs, but it keeps these competitions exciting to the last minute since there is always a chance to get that one big run.

Los Altos Geek Squad, not to be deterred, was one of the last teams up for the day and calmly posted an amazing second perfect score of the day, two 400's in a row, to jump past both WATM and Antipodes to 1st place overall in robot performance. They edged out Antipodes by a mere 20 points in both teams 2nd highest score of the day.

However, the story in robot performance was not just about these 3 teams. There were at least 10 teams who appeared to have the ability to get a perfect score and it seemed every time I looked at the big screens, at least one of the bots was doing something amazing. One of my favorites was the one that climbed up and jump off the edge of the bridge - reliably!!

In the Awards Ceremony, Los Altos Geek Squad, Antipodes, and We Ate The Mat finished 1-2-3 in Robot Performance Awards. We Ate The Mat placed 2nd in the Overall Champions Award, the first Los Altos team to place in the Champions category at state since the Lego Legends in 2006. Los Altos Geek Squad placed 1st in the prestigious Robot Design category and also won 3 of the new "kids choice" awards for their impressive robot designs and attachments. The overall Champions winner was Legonauts, a strong 7 member team from Folsom, and the outstanding Antipodes team from Pacifica finished 3rd in the Champions Award Category.

We Ate The Mat (Steven, Brian, Toby, and Jeremy) and Los Altos Geek Squad (Kevin, Clarence, and Spencer)

Here are some excellent team videos and web sites for these teams: Los Altos Geek Squad  and We Ate The Mat ,

Other Los Altos area teams at state were Sapphire Force, who won a kids choice award for their pit signs, and Smart Navigators , who had an excellent rookie team competition. Complete results for Northern California FLL Championship are posted at NorcalFLL Web Site.  The National web site is at: US FIRST . Congratulations to all of the Los Altos teams who competed in the Regional Qualifiers including: Fortune Cookies, LEGO Lightning, and Bionic Brother, won 1st place in the Robot Design Category at the Regional. In addition, thank you to all teams that participated this year in the 2009 Los Altos Qualifier.

Remember that in FLL, what you learn is more important that what you win . Reminding yourself of this helps you stay calm when the intensity of the competition starts to build.

Updated Oct 12, 2009 :   Los Altos Robotics events for 2009 FLL season are over:

  • Scrimmage, Sun, Oct 25, 2009
  • Official Qualifier Tournament, Sat, Nov 21, 2009

The scrimmage is our local early event to let kids run the robots at an early stage and see what's really working. The Tournament is an official FLL qualifier tournament as described at US FIRST .

Los Altos events are open to the public and admissions is free. Events are lots of fun for spectators. If a child may want to participate in the future, they can stop by the event for an hour to see what it is like. If you are already a participant at another venue, please do not video robots. If you would like to help run the FLL tournaments, please email or call at the contact information listed below. Participation is great fun and great way to give back to the community.

The Los Altos area parent meeting was on Thursday Sep 10, 2009. There is no Los Altos coaches training scheduled for this year though there is web-based training provided by NorcalFLL.  Good luck and have fun.

Sep 15, 2009 (Updated Sept 24):   PowerPoint Slides (pdf version) from the Sept 10 parent meeting. Thank you Michael Murray.

2008 FLL Season Information


2008 FLL Season Information

Jan 25, 2009:   Results are in for the 2008 NCaFLL State Tournament that was held at Newark High School on Jan 24, 2009. Congratulations to all of the Los Altos teams who participated and a big thank you goes out to all the organizers and volunteers that made it happen. Overall, the Los Altos teams did a great job demonstrating teamwork and gracious professionalism.

Etamilc and Lego Lords were selected for several awards. Etamilc won the performance award with a high score of 370 and took second place in the prestigious robot design award. Etamilc's 370 was an outstanding score for the difficult Climate Connections challenge and they were honored to have a large group of robot enthusiast watching them after posting a 350 on their first run. The Lego Lords became the first Los Altos team to win in the overall research project award catagory at the state tournament with their innovative Climate Connections solution. Research project is one of the most competitive categories at state and the award announcer pointed out the difficulty in selecting award winners from the large number of high quality presentations.

UPDATE for FLL 2007: The 2007 NCaFLL state robotics tournament Sat, Jan 12th, 2008 was in Fremont. The Technostuds won an award for the alliance round. Chaotic Contraptions and Full Throttle A Corp placed in the top 20 in scoring, a great result in a very competitive tournament.

The 2007 Los Altos FLL tournament (7th annual) was Sunday, Dec 2, 2007 at Blach School with 26 teams. Click here for results for Los Altos qualifier tournament. . Click here for the event schedule and click here for the 2007 one-page flyer and click here for the 2007 Tournament Announcements .

2006Congratulations to the LEGO Legends for solving the NanoQuest challenge and taking the 1st place Champion's Award at the 2006 NCaFLL state tournament. There is a writeup in the Los Altos Town Crier. In addition, the Dogbots won the Alliance Award and the Bionic Builders were selected the best rookie team.

The Lego Legends also represented NCaFLL at the 2006 FIRST Robotics World Festival . The top teams from FLL, VEX, and High School challenges were honored to meet the president at the White House. The irony is that "meeting the president" was mentioned by one of the teams in our 2004 Los Altos FLL Video (above); however, at that time, it was a rumor that wasn't true - now it is true. Gee, you can build robots and learn how to predict the future too!

Results for the local 2006 Los Altos Robotics FIRST LEGO League tournament are available here. FLL includes both a robotics challenge AND a research project challenge. The first video below is an example of an excellent presentation from Small is Beautiful , the North Los Altos 1st place team.

The second video is the 2006 NCaFLL award presentation including the Lego Legends receiving 1st place performance and later the overall championship award. The fun of robotics is the journey. Getting an award for all your hard work is also exciting, but even if you don't get an award, you still have a great time building robots with your friends.

Results and team pictures are available here for the 2005 Northern California FLL State Competition. See the full writeup in the Los Altos Town Crier .

Watch this video of the amazing No Limits robot from the TigerBots when they won the 2004 NCaFLL state tournament. This is NOT an example of a typical FLL robot that we would use for teaching a new team. In fact is probably one of the more complex FLL robots ever created. However, it is great fun to watch.

The video on the right are other amazing No Limits robots from the 2004 FIRST Robotics World Festival that same year. The variety of robots here is impressive. These are all done with the older RCX Lego Mindstorm robotics kits (the yellow brick):

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