NEOREP

The Northeast Ohio Robotics Education Program (NEOREP) is a regional robotics education program founded in 1998 to allow students from northeast Ohio and western Pennsylvania the opportunity to experience authentic/experiential/inquiry-based/constructivist/project-based learning. NEOREP was created by a consortium of engineering technology programs that joined together to inspire and motivate students toward studies and careers in STEM by providing a sports-like technology contest. A team of students from each school is assisted by a teacher-coach to build an autonomous programmable LEGO® robot to perform defined tasks. The competition is divided into five categories or events: technical journal, oral presentation, vehicle inspection, Game 1, and Game 2. The overall robotics education program is aligned to the Ohio Common Core Standards in English/Language Arts, Mathematics, Science, Social Studies, and Technology. More information about the Northeast Ohio Robotic Education program can be found on their website here.

Teams will design a robot that is capable of completing two of the three following tasks:

  • Game 1: In Disguise (MS only)
    • From start line, the robot will follow a line (any line) to the end.
    • The start/finish lines are the circles at the bottom of the game board: one is the "start area" and the other is the "end area". The robot should start from inside one circle and stop inside the other. Teams will determine which circle will be the start area but the opposite circle must be the finish area.
    • At the end, the robot must change shape in some way (to disguise itself). It can be anything that makes it look different. Example: Change color or lighting. Add, move, or shed a part, etc. As always, the more creative, the better. The “disguise” can be non-LEGO®
    • You will be judged based on time, and creativity of the “disguise.” Creativity is determined at the discretion of the judges. They may look at what changed, how it changed, and how much differently the robot looks after the change, for example. They may also take into consideration other visual or audio effects.
    • Four minute time limit. Fastest time wins.
  • Game 2: Three Different Houses (MS & HS)
    • There are three Japanese houses on the game board. From the start line, the robot will travel into each of the houses. Teams will determine order of entry.
    • The start/finish lines are the circles at the bottom of the game board: one is the "start box" and the other is the "end box". The robot should start from inside one circle and stop inside the other. Teams will determine which circle will be the start area but the opposite circle must be the finish area.
    • You will be judged based on time, number of houses successfully occupied.
    • There’s no limit on the number of times the robot can enter a house (points added for each occupation), but it must enter each house at least once.
    • The robot has entered the house completely when the robot is fully inside the footprint of the structure of the house. If the robot is both inside and outside of the footprint, it has only partially entered the house.
    • Points are lost for each house not occupied.
    • There is no requirement to follow lines. Start from one circle, accomplish the objectives, and finish in the other circle.
    • Time limit for this game is 4 minutes.
  • Game 3: Rescue a Captured Family (HS only)
    • On the game board, a LEGO® cube representing “a family” will be randomly placed in one of the 3 houses by the judges at the start of the game. Each team will provide their own LEGO® cube which will represent the “family.” There is no requirement to follow lines. Start from one circle, accomplish the objectives, and finish in the other circle.
    • The robot must find the LEGO® cube and “escort the family” back to the start line.
    • The start/finish lines are the circles at the bottom of the game board: one is the "start box" and the other is the "end box". The robot should start from inside one circle and stop inside the other. Teams will determine which will be the start and finish circles. Whichever circle is chosen as the start area, the opposite circle must be the finish area.
    • Score will be based on time, if the robot finds the object, and brings the object back to the start circle.
    • Time limit for this game is 4 minutes.

The 2018 NEOREP High School competition was titled Mission to Mars. Teams had to design a robot that would navigate through a maze built on a 4'x8' sheet of plywood and complete Games 2 (Stake Your Claim) & 3 (Defend Your Post). In Game 2, robots would start in the Start Zone pre-loaded with their flag. The teams would have to autonomously navigate to the other side of the table and deposit the flag completely within the white space of the Mars Landing Zone. The robots have to then pick up a "rock" from the MLZ and transport it to the Mars Lab Zone. In Game 3, robots would start in the Start Zone pre-loaded with their flag as well as six ping pong balls. The teams would have to autonomously navigate to the other side of the table and deposit the flag completely within the white space of the Mars Landing Zone. The robot then has to travel back to the target zone and launch the ping pong balls through the 12" hoop on the opposite side of the table. Both games require the robots to display total time taken and distance traveled upon completion. This year's competition was unique in the sense that we had two HS teams competing at the competition!

The 2018 NEOREP middle school competition was titled Mission to Mars. Teams had to design a robot that would navigate through a maze built on a 4'x8' sheet of plywood and complete Games 1 (Mars Landing) & Games 2 (Stake Your Claim). In Game 1, robots begin in the Start Zone and travel through the course and come to a stop completely within the white space of the Mars Landing Zone. In Game 2, robots would start in the Start Zone pre-loaded with their flag. The teams would have to autonomously navigate to the other side of the table and deposit the flag completely within the white space of the Mars Landing Zone. The robots have to then pick up a "rock" from the MLZ and transport it to the Mars Lab Zone. Both games require the robots to display total time taken and distance traveled upon completion.

2018 LaBrae MS RoboVikes

2017 High School NEOREP Competition - Penguin Bot Race

The theme of the 2017 NEOREP High School competition was "Penguin Bot Race". Teams had to design a robot that would navigate a Le Mans-style course, following a line through some hairpin turns as well as travelling through a maze on the table. Both games were scored by travelling through as quickly as possible. Additionally, teams had to create a technical journal, documenting the process of creating the robot solution, write a research section on the science and math involved in car races, and make a five-minute presentation to a panel of judges.

LaBrae High School MKIII

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2017 Middle School NEOREP Competition - Penguin Bot Race

The theme of the 2017 NEOREP Middle School competition was "Penguin Bot Race". Teams had to design a robot that would travel two laps around a NASCAR-styled oval track as well as navigate a Le Mans-style course, following a line through some hairpin turns. Both games were scored by travelling through as quickly as possible. Additionally, teams had to create a technical journal, documenting the process of creating the robot solution, write a research section on the science and math involved in car races, and make a five-minute presentation to a panel of judges.

LaBrae Middle School Alpha-1

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MKIII

Options/Features

The MK III was specifically designed for top performance at the 2017 NEOREP competition. It utilizes two large EV3 servo motors and five Lego-brand sensors (three color, one gyro, and one ultrasonic). The chassis design is loosely based off of the Lego driving base model, which places the motors side by side and under the EV3 brick. The robot has a “hood” that lifts and gives access to the gyro and light sensors. The light sensors are arranged so that the black line lies between the two outermost ones. They are programmed to measure the reflected light intensity, only seeing black and white. The middle sensor is programmed to register the red circle at the end of the course and stop the robot. The gyro sensor is tucked between the motors for two reasons: 1) it doesn’t need a direct line of site to measure anything like distance or color, and 2) it maximizes the use of what would otherwise be wasted space under the robot. Between Game 2 and 3, the robot has to “go through the pits” for a slight modification; the color sensor that is plugged into port 1 is unplugged and replaced with the gyro sensor. The use of the Lego Technic Ball Caster Wheels (Lego part # 992185) allow for the robot to be bi-directional. The robot travels with the red hood facing forward for Game 2 and for Game 3 forward travel goes with the ultrasonic sensor with the Viking helmet facing forward. This bi-directional approach to designing our robot not only makes our team stand out amongst the crowd, but essentially combines two separate robots into a single chassis design.

Alpha-1

Options/Features

ALPHA-1 was specifically designed for top performance at the 2017 NEOREP competition. It utilizes two large EV3 servo motors and four Lego-brand color sensors. The chassis design is loosely based off of the Lego driving base model, which places the motors side by side and under the EV3 brick. The light sensors are arranged so that the black lines from Games 1&2 lie between the front sensors. They are programmed to measure the reflected light intensity, which will determine if the robot is on black or white. There is also another sensor in the middle of the robot behind the front three, which is utilized to find the red circle at the end of Game 2 and stop the robot. It’s positioned between the two drive motors. On the front of our robot is a windscreen shield, which is designed to push air up and over the car and the rear wheels are Lego Technic Ball Caster Wheels (Lego part # 992185), allowing the robot to make intricate turns with ease.

2016 High School NEOREP Competition - Rube Goldberg Design

This year's competition was different from what we've seen before. NEOREP 2016 incorporated more of the science, engineering, and math in STEM by building a Rube Goldberg Device. Our robot would drive up and over a ramp located in one corner of a 4'x8' sheet of plywood. As it passed the fulcrum, the robot would drive over a light switch turning on a light on the opposite corner of the table. Our job was to turn off the light using a minimum of 4 energy transfers.

The robot rolls over the light switch and turns on the light. After turning on the light, it drives forward and (A) pushes the 1st class lever that is hooked up to the linkage system and raises the platform holding the tennis ball up. The ball rolls down the inclined plane and strikes the end of another 1st class lever (B), which pulls out the trap door (C), releasing the ball bearings down the spiral tubing (D). The ball bearings collect in the cup (E), and once filled moves the stopper in front of the magnetic levitation train. The maglev train travels down the inclined plane and passes in front of the ultrasonic sensor (G) which activates the scissor lift (H), raising the platform with the tennis ball up, which then rolls down the last inclined plane, hits the switch, and turns off the light. A video of our competition can be found here.

2016 Middle School NEOREP Competition - Rube Goldberg Design

This year's competition was different from what we've seen before. NEOREP 2016 incorporated more of the science, engineering, and math in STEM by building a Rube Goldberg Device. Our robot would drive up and over a ramp located in one corner of a 4'x8' sheet of plywood. As it passed the fulcrum, the robot would drive over a light switch turning on a light on the opposite corner of the table. Our job was to turn off the light using a minimum of 2 energy transfers.

The robot rolls over the light switch and turns on the light. After turning on the light, it drives forward and (A) activates the ultrasonic sensor which (B) rotates the two motors pulling the strings and releasing marbles (C) down the inclined planes. The marbles go through the plinko board (D) and collect in a cup attached to a 1st class lever (E) which sends a ball down (F) the three inclined planes. The ball hits a door (G) which activates an ultrasonic sensor causing the motors to raise the RoboVikes flags (H), tripping another ultrasonic sensor that pulls (I) the ramp holding up the running race car (J) which drives forward and hits the button, turning off the light. A video of our competition can be found here.