Tips and tricks for FIRST LEGO League (FLL) 2021 CARGO CONNECT Challenge

We are second year into a pandemic. There is a fourth wave in many places around the world including USA. It is still uncertain how the competition will be held, how many students will participate and how would they gather to compete. The good part is that the the new challenge is once again released. As every year we've prepared for you a quick reference that you can use as a starting point for accomplishing the missions. Solutions and review will be available after the end of the season. The goal of this page is to share ideas you could learn from and start with to develop your own solutions. If you know of other students participating in FLL, share this page with them so that we can all have a more interesting, fun and a fullfilling experience where even rookie teams achieve a lot in their first year of participation.

Approach

This year we again follow the approach of mentorship - we help with directions and questions based on experience and tutorials from previous years. As we think of more tips and tricks we plan to update the page a few more times during the season, so check for updates from time to time.

Prerequisites

To better understand the references we are making you should first move through the FIRST LEGO League Robot Game Preparation. The complete guide before proceeding to the resources below. This will make it easier for you to have a complete picture and successfully navigate the resources and help you team.

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With a subscription for all the team members, students could move together through the courses, building instructions and programs while the mentor tracks the programs and navigates them.

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Missions Inspiration and Directions

Score

If your Innovation Project Model has the following: 20

  • Made of at least two white LEGO® pieces.
  • Measures at least as long as 4 LEGO “studs” in some direction.
  • Has any part of it touching the CARGO CONNECT SM circle.

Design and bring a single Innovation Project Model of your own to the match.

Rules

FLLCasts Tip

This mission is relatively easy. It is enough for the robot to push your model to the "Cargo Connect" circle. If the mission model slips to the sides of the robot, you can make a simple attachment to keep it in place. For greater security, line following can also be used.

Here are a few pictures for possible innovation project mission models

train track is repaired

train track is repaired

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Score

If the hinged container is completely closed:

  • Partly full of contents: 20
  • Completely full of contents: 30

Unused Capacity

“Partly full” requires 1-5 content pieces to be completely inside the closed hinged container.

“Completely full” requires all 6 content pieces be completely inside the closed hinged container.

Rules

FLLCasts Tip

This is probably the easiest mission. The robot must go to the container and push it west out of the field. This way you will be able to fill it with the 6 parts required. Filling the container while the robot is in the field performing missions will save precious time.

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Score

  • If the cargo plane has been prepared for unloading so that the cargo door rests completely down, touching its black frame: 20
  • If the cargo plane has been unloaded so that the container is completely separate from the plane: 10

train track is repaired

Rules

FLLCasts Tip

In this mission, if the lever is pressed faster and held, the load will fall and detach from the aircraft and the lever will be in contact with the floor. This container can also be taken to the base. This way it won't interfere with the plane and truck from M04 and can be put in place for more points.

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Score

  • If the truck has reached its destination, completely past its blue end line, on the mat: 10
  • If the airplane has reached its destination, completely past its blue end line, on the mat: 10
  • Bonus: If both the above are true: 10

Transportation Journey Missions

Transportation Journey Complete

Rules

FLLCasts tip

In order to launch the plane and the truck so that they pass the blue lines, the levers must be lowered quickly (with a blow). They can also be pushed behind the blue lines in which case you can decide where to stop.

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Score

If the engine has been switched from diesel to electric so that the yellow bar rests all the way down/south: 20

Switch Engine

Rules

FLLCasts tip

The diesel engine can be switched into an electric engine by lifting the lever quickly (but not too quickly as the lever may reach its end position and turn back). Another option is to hit the diesel engine using a horizontal movement of the attachment and thus turn it into an electric one. The third option is to rotate the lever and wait for a split second before releasing the lever to guarantee the lever won’t bounce back to its original position.

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Score

If your robot is parked over the blue accident-avoidance line at the end of the match and the yellow panel is:

  • Not knocked down: 20
  • Knocked down: 30

Accident Avoidance Line

Accident Avoidance Score

Rules

FLLCasts tip

The robot aligns east from the mission model (and the wall if the robot has only one color sensor). Then the attachment triggers a slow pusher which slightly pushes the upper part of the orange barrier.

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Score

  • If the container is no longer touching the cargo ship’s east deck: 20
  • If the container is completely east of the cargo ship’s east deck: 10

Unload Cargo Ship

Rules

FLLCasts tip

You can push the crane with an attachment that protrudes far enough so that when the robot stops at the base (rails) of the mission model, the crane is pushed to the end of the rail.

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Score

  • If the food package is separated from your helicopter: 20
  • If the food package is separated from the other field’s helicopter and is completely in your field’s CARGO CONNECTSM circle: 10
  • If both teams have separated their food packages from their field’s helicopters: 10

Air Drop

Rules

FLLCasts tip

You can push the crane with an attachment that protrudes far enough so that when the robot stops at the base (rails) of the mission model, the crane is pushed to the end of the rail.

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Score

  • If the train track is repaired so that it rests completely down/west: 20
  • If the train has reached its destination, latched at the end of the tracks: 20
  • train track is repaired

    train has reached its destination

    Rules

FLLCasts Tip

The easiest way to solve this mission is to complete it by going to the field twice. The first time the robot should have an attachment with a hook to pull / 'push at an angle' the upright rail so that it falls into place. The second time the robot should have an attachment that pushes the rear wagon (through an axle or beam protruding to the left of the robot) until the train stops at the end of the rails where the train is going to be locked. This attachment can be part of the attachment that solves M10.

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Score

If the containers have been sorted so that the light orange container is the only container remaining completely in the blue sorting area box: 20

Sorting Area

Score

These containers may also be used in other missions.

Rules

FLLCasts tip

In every run M10 has randomly arranged containers always oriented in the same way, one per corridor. The difference is in the slot and the color of the container in the respective corridor. The configuration is known before the start of each run. In this mission you should easily rearrange the fork of the attachment in the base while the robot is on the field. For example, the attachment can have 3 slots for axles. In two of them you place long axles to pierce the blue and green containers. The attachment then picks them up and the robot returns to the base. This attachment may also have a part protruding to the left side of the robot. In this case the robot should maneuver so that it can solve M09 as well.

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Score

If the package has been delivered to its destination so that it is on the doorstep:

  • Partly: 20
  • Completely: 30

0 points

0 points

The package does not score if it is touching any equipment at the end of the match.

Rules

FLLCasts tip

It is desirable to complete this mission before M12, as the turbine blade reduces the ability to maneuver around the mission model. This mission should have a plugin that puts things on various places. You can even control the attachment by a trigger activated by the platform where you have to leave the package (passive attachment).

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Score

  • If the turbine blade is touching only the blue holder and:
    • The mat: 20
    • Nothing else: 30
  • If the chicken statue is upright with its base in its circle:
    • Partly: 5
    • Completely: 10

Large Delivery

chicken statue

Rules

FLLCasts tip

This is probably the most difficult mission as it requires very precise positioning and avoiding obstacles, i.e. it is desirable not to touch the chicken statue. The attachment can be self-positioned. This reduces the positioning error of the robot. You can use a passive or an active attachment to place the turbin blade on the holder. Perhaps the passive attachment is easier to build. If the attachment is active, the robot should carry the turbin blade high to pass over the chicken statue.

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Score

  • If both trucks are latched together completely outside of home: 10 points
  • If the trucks are outside the base but not connected, this condition is not met.

  • If a truck is latched to the bridge: 10 points
  • This mission is successful even if the trucks are not connected to each other.

  • If the trucks are connected to each other and one of them is connected to the bridge: 10 points

FullPoints

Rules

FLLCasts tip

A guide attachment can be used to place the truck in the base. Use this truck as a pusher to push the truck in the field to the bridge lock. So in the end, the trucks and the bridge will be attached.

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Score

If the bridge deck(s) have been lowered and rest on their center support: 10 each

Number of bridges lowered and resting on their center support:

  • If none of the bridge decks have been lowered: 0
  • If one bridge deck have been lowered and rests on the center support: 10
  • If both bridge decks have been lowered and rest on the center support: 20

Bridge

Rules

FLLCasts tip

This is a mission that can easily be accomplished in many ways. One way is to use a beam with elastic connection on one side of the robot. The robot moves straight to close the first bascule of the bridge. Then the robot passes the other bascule of the bridge, twisting the beam. When the beam passes the bascule, it will return to its initial position. The robot then goes back and closes the bascule.

Another way is to have a long static beam protruding in front of the robot. First, the robot moves to the outer side of the bridge, reaching one of the open bascules. Second, while turning in place, it closes the bascule and continues to the other bascule. Third, the robot reaches the outer side of the open bascule, turns in place and closes it down.

The last option is to use a motor-powered attachment with two gears and two axles attached to the gears. When the attachment motor rotates, the two axles come together in front of the robot closing both bascules at the same time.

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Score

If there are containers on and touching only the:

  • Platooning Trucks: 10 each (Max 20 points)
  • Train: 20 each (Max 40 points)
  • Cargo Ship’s West Deck: 30 each (Max 60 points)

Load Cargo Trucks

Load Cargo Other

Note:

A maximum of two containers can score per form of transportation.
Containers can touch each other or have contents.
Containers can touch the gray ends of the cargo ship’s west deck.
Containers on Platooning Trucks must be completely outside of home.

Rules

FLLCasts tip

You can accomplish this mission by using an active attachment (grabber) which holds the containers. When the robot reaches the mission model, the grabber opens and releases the respective container. The more difficult way to solve the mission is to use passive attachments which are activated by touching the base of the mission models and thus release the containers.

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Score

You earn points for the number of containers delivered to circles, the total number of circles that you delivered containers to, and if you deliver the right container to the right circle.

in any circle:

  • If there are containers partly in any circle: 5 each
  • If there are containers completely in any circle: 10 each
  • If the blue (not hinged) container is completely in the blue circle: 20 added
  • If the lime green container is completely in the lime green circle: 20 added
  • If there are any circles with at least one container completely in them: 10 each circle

Cargo Connect

Rules

FLLCasts tip

A little trick can be used here. The three gray containers (four, if the robot also takes the container from the airplane) can be placed in the circle next to the airplane. This way the robot will deliver all gray containers in one short forward motion. The blue containers (one is from M03) in the blue circle and the green container in the green circle must be retrieved separately. If the two blue containers are in the blue circle, this is 20 points for each. Gray containers are desirable to be used in M15 - it is more difficult and wins more points.

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Score

If the number of precision tokens left on the field is:

  • 1: 10
  • 2: 15
  • 3: 25
  • 4: 35
  • 5: 50
  • 6: 50

You can lose one precision token without it affecting your score. Use it strategically and be sure you understand R5 , R12 , R15 , R16 , and R19 .

    R5 - The six red disc models. They are worth free points when the match starts but can be removed by the referee one at a time until they are gone.

    R12 - Home is part of the field:

    • Home has no ceiling.
    • Home is your space for handling and storing allowable things whenever you like.
    • It is also the place for handling and preparing the robot before and between launches.
    • After any launch, the robot needs to return completely into home if you want to handle it without losing a precision token.
    • The robot can leave home only from the launch area, but it can return to any part of home.
    • Do not interact with things outside home except by rules R15 and R19 . Anything the robot affects or moves completely outside home stays as is unless the robot changes it.
      • Exception 1: If something comes out of home by accident, grab it quickly so it does not upset the field.
      • Exception 2: If equipment breaks off the robot unintentionally, you can pick it up as needed.
    • You cannot strategically send or extend anything even partly out of home except by launching the robot.

    R15 - When you interact with a launched robot or any object touching it.

    • You can interrupt the robot any time for any reason, but be sure to study rules R16 and R19 .
    • The best time and place to interrupt the robot is when it is completely in home ( R12 ).
    • Do not use the exact “perfect timing” of an interruption (your eyes doing the work of a timer or sensor) as a strategy to produce a new scoring result or advantage. Missions benefiting will score zero.
    • Do not send or drop things to hit or land on the robot.

    R16 - To interrupt the robot, stop it and carry it home if it is not there.

    • If it was completely in home: No problem.
    • If it was not completely in home: Lose a precision token.

    R19 - If former cargo is stranded outside home. If it is completely outside, it stays as is. If it is partly outside, you must take it into home and lose a precision token.

    • The cargo needs to come to rest before this can be decided.
    • If stranded cargo being taken into home by hand includes a mission model, the referee takes the mission model.

Rules

FLLCasts tip

Use sensors. Build a robot that can consistently perform missions.

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