Lockheed Martin Engineering Exploring Program, Explorer Post 1010
Botball 2008 Robotics Project

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 Appin Robotics

Here we go again, our eighth Botball season. We have registered three teams for the 2008 competition. We have lots of kids interested, lots of resources, and lots of experience.  Let's see what we can learn this year.


We are registered as Team 08-0092, Team 08-0093 and Team 08-0196. We have over 40 teenagers participating this year from 12 different high schools. We have received support from four great sponsors --  KISS Institute for Practical Robotics, IEEE Foundation (Institute for Electrical and Electronic Engineering), IBM Community Grants, and of course, Lockheed Martin for their facilities and volunteers.


We worked on the Botball Research and Design Challenge. For this year’s challenge, we needed to do some work towards the Google Lunar X PRIZE.  There is a good description of the challenge at Space News. Only Team 08-0092 submitted a report. It included some interesting robot experiments.

One topic that is important in all our development efforts is "Over or Around?". We did some research on this topic.

This year we are working with the iRobot Create. We began in January to understand the coding for navigation around the preliminary competition table.


The workshop was held March 15-16 at the University of Maryland, Computer Science Building.  This is where we learned more about robotics and got the competition detail for this year. We picked up our kits at the workshop. We sent six teens and three adults each day.


After the workshop, we got into serious development.  We met every Wednesday (6-9pm) and every Saturday (10am-1pm).  We will have a status meeting at 7:30pm on Wednesdays and 11:00am on Saturdays. It required a fair amount of commitment from each participant -- 100 hours over 7 weeks.

We kept a journal on our development activities.  The journal was an important source for the documentation products which were posted on the Botball team sites.

We also had a discussion group set up on botball.freeforums.org.  Try it -- you'll like it.

Here was our schedule:


The regional competition was at the University of Maryland, Ritchie Coliseum, on Saturday May 3, 2008.  It was an all day event and the teams did great!

Global Conference

The Global Conference on Educational Robotics was held on July 8-11, 2008 in Norman, Oklahoma. We sent two teams (Team 92, Team 93) and a Beyond Botball team.  Six teens and three adults traveled to Norman, but many other members helped prepare for the event. Next year, this event will be held in Leesburg, Virginia.

Following the conference, we conducted some feedback sessions.  We added the lessons to our conference web page.  We also sent a note to KIPR on recommendations for 2009.

Copyright 2008 Lockheed Martin Exploring Program
August 25, 2008