The FIRST LEGO League (FLL) Challenge is an international competition organized by FIRST for elementary and middle school students. Each year, FLL releases a Challenge based on a real-world scientific topic. Each Challenge has three parts: the Robot Game, the Project, and the Core Values.

FLL 2018

The theme of the 2018/2019 season's Challenge is INTO ORBIT. This season will transport our team into space, where we explore, challenge, and innovate in the vast expanse of space.

At NJ FLL qualifying tournament on November 17th, 2018
  • BananaBots was selected to advance to the North NJ Championship.
  • We won the Robot Programming Award.

Reserch: Growing Plants in Space

Plants offer valuable benefits to astronaunts and other space travelers. Not only they provide life-sustaining resources such as food, oxygen, purified water and protection from sun rays, plants also help humans phsychologically by reducing stress and reminding lonely space inhabitants of them home - the Earth.

However, it's challenging to grow plants without gravity and sufficient resources in space. Our solution is a microgravity plant producer. Using air pumps to compensate for the gravity, it contains 3D-printed cubes to grow plants. These planters have holes on each side that allow for a pipe to fit through. The pipe sends water to irrigate the plants, and guides excess water to a distillation system. The distilled water is brought to the main water chamber and the cycle continues. The Arduino controlled LED lighting platform we developed would ensure balanced oxygen output by the plants.

Our innovative solution provides a cost-effective way to grow plants in space. The modularized design makes it possible to mass produce, thus providing supplies to max number of plants.

Robot Design Executive Summary

Our robot is very compact and fairly simple for what it does. It can complete many missions using only three different modules, each module serving many purposes.

Our robot uses a gyro sensor and one color/light sensor. We have 18 My-Blocks, many of them use the gyro sensor. The gyro helps us make precise turns and stay straight while driving. Our color/light sensors allow our robot to detect different lines, which will give it a checkpoint to continue from. Our two color/light sensors are placed next to each other, which also allows the robot to follow a line segment and stop at the T-shaped intersection.

All of our attachments are able to do multiple runs and are robot is fast and small. This helped us get more points faster and preciser. At the end of our process, we came to find that the simplest solution is sometimes the best solution.

On the November 17th FLL qualifying tournament our excellent robot design won the Robot Programming Award!

Core Values

As a team, we show the core values in many ways. During competitions, we always congratulate others and ourselves regardless of the competition outcome. At our FLL meetings everyone has his own assignments to work on. At the end of the meeting, the entire team gets together, shares what each member accomplishes and works as team to solve diffcult problems. We show team spirit by wearing our team shirts that we designed ourselves. At the end of each day, we know that what we learn is more important than everything else.

We also highly value Gracious Professionalism. It means exercising our core values and lessons we learn here in FLL towards our teammates, peers, and elders. During practices we help each other by looking up research materials for our project and guiding junior members to control the robot correctly. At competions we share our knowledge with other participating teams and let them use our robot game field. We respect each other, stay positive and are always confident that we will win the next round.

FLL 2017

The theme of the 2017-2018 season's Challenge is Hydrodynamics. The participating teams need to learn all about water - how we find, transport, use, or dispose of it. The posters below will give you some ideas what we were working on.

BananaBots won the Project Innovation Solution Award at the FLL Hydro Dynamics NJ Qualifying Tournament on Nov. 18, 2017!

Research: Lead in Drinking Water

The drinking water in our schools go way above the safe lead level and will cause both mental and physical problems for young kids. We did a thorough research on lead effects and current solutions. Based on our findings we came up with a innovative design that will effectively filter out the lead from the drinking water. It won the Innovative Solution Award for our club.

Robot Design Executive Summary

For the robot game, we arranged the order of missions based on distances and designed the attachments based on the actual movements required to complete individual missions. We agreed on the base robot to be used for all missions so that we only need to change the attachments between runs. We also used Google Drive to share mission software among the team. The entire robot practices were an intense but exciting experience!

Core Values

Not only we worked as a team by following the FLL Core Values, we also applied these values into our daily lives out of the robotics club. We respect our parents, coaches, mentors and fellow students. We help each other to work out solutions. We honored Gracious Professionalism and Coopertition throughout the whole process. And we have tons of fun working together!