RoboRAVE NY FAQs
April 7, 2018 at Oxford Academy and Central Schools
What is RoboRAVE?
How is RoboRAVE different from other robotics competitions?
COST. As long as you follow the rules for the challenges you choose, you may use ANY software and ANY hardware to make your robot. You can even make your robot from salvaged parts if you want to. See the website for more information. The team registration fee is $0; fees have been waived in this first year of the competition thanks to an anonymous donor.
ELIGIBLE TEAM MEMBERS. Everyone from elementary-aged students (beginning at 8 years old), to middle and high school students, to adults can be in a team. Participants can come from home schools, private schools, colleges, businesses, organizations, and the community. Teams can join us from any region, state, or country.
SKILLS. No experience with robotics? No problem! Every new skill starts somewhere, and RoboRAVE is a great opportunity for learning. You are very welcome here.
LOCATION. We are centrally located in scenic Chenango County: north of Binghamton, south of Syracuse, east of Ithaca, and west of Albany.
Frequently Asked Questions
Contact Mr. Mark Muller at firstname.lastname@example.org, or 607-843-2025.
I'm interested in coaching a team. What do I do first?
- If you are not familiar with robotics, contact your school's Media Specialist about borrowing WeDo 2.0, a LEGO robotics kit from DCMO BOCES, then just start playing with it. If you're already familiar with WeDo kits, you can advance to an EV3 LEGO kit from BOCES. Plenty of kits are available through DCMO BOCES. These kits come with downloadable coding instructions you can use in the competition.
- Visit the RoboRAVE-NY website (roboraveny.org) for more, including info about team sign-ups and the available challenges.
- Through the RoboRAVE-NY website, sign up for robotics training at DCMO BOCES on January 23, 2018 or February 22, 2018. If you can't attend training but need more help, contact teacher/organizer Mark Muller at 607-843-2025.
- If you are not affiliated with a BOCES for borrowing kits, you can buy kits through Amazon, or even put something together from found parts. Remember that you aren't restricted to LEGO kits. You can use any platform including Arduino, Vex, Raspberry Pi, or anything you cobble together.
How much time does a team need to prepare, and how often should we meet?
Primary schools beginning at 3rd grade can use science class to prepare for the competition. If you school has a weekly LEGO Club or after-school program, that will work too. Preparation can be flexible. Teams can play with coding and robots up to about January, then start focusing on the challenges they want to try at the competition.
Actually, I don't know anything about robotics. Is this out of my league?
NOT AT ALL. Start somewhere -- you have company in this! Robotics look and feel like play to students of all ages, and they can step up incrementally as they master skills.
What basic robotics skills should our team have, and how can we learn those?
Take the DCMO BOCES training on January 23, 2018 of February 22, 2018 for more detail, or just work with LEGO kits which do an excellent job teaching. If you're using other platforms, that's fine too. Playing IS the teaching: notice what does and doesn't work, solve problems, try something new, begin again.
Is there a basic curriculum for team preparation?
First, just get used to programming the robots. Then, play with the tracks, watch the videos (on the website) about the challenges you choose, and definitely read the rules.
What kinds of robots must we bring to the competition?
Robot rules for each challenge appear on the website under the "Rules for 2018" tab. Notice that you can't bring a wildly expensive robot -- the limit is $1,500.
What else must we bring to the competition?
Bring your robot and a laptop with your robotics program already installed on it. Also bring extension cords and USB cords for charging your own devices. If you want a full-size track to practice on, you can order from the DCMO BOCES Print Shop. Indicate that you'd like a full-size mat: 3 ft x 5 ft.
What will be available at the competition?
Outlets for laptops, tables to work on, and mats for competition.
How much time do our teams have to get through each challenge at the competition?
There will be several runs; see the rules for each challenge for more information.
More questions about the training or competition?