Monday, September 30, 2013

Garage Sale 10/26/13


Start time: 6am (set up)
End time: 10:30am (trip to Goodwill for what's left over)

Diane and Kent's House
10492 E. Raintree Dr.
Scottsdale, AZ 85255

For the tables:
Information on Wildfires
Stuff to Sell (Cookies, Food in general, unwanted stuff, basic clutter)
Info on fundraisers (garage floors, private tax money, eating establishment)
Sponsorship form
Fundraising Bucket
Quadcopter picture
Imagined Control Screen

We will have the garage sale at the Kuhler's house

Updated Project Research

No land based robots, terrain to rocky/rough

Current location
Local/Remote viewing
Communication relay point

IR Camera: Day or night, see through smoke, see hot fires

Roles: Fire (Gatlin)
Firefighters (Logan, John, Meredith)
Lookout (Seth)
Presenter(s) (Meredith/)
Meredith: Hello, judges. My name is Meredith, and I shall be a presenter today. Our cast includes Logan, John, and myself as firefighters, Seth as a lookout, and Gatlin as our fire. (Point to actors)
Our project today was inspired by the Yarnell Hill Wildfire. A drone can fly above the fire as an artificial firefighter lookout. However, it would not replace human lookouts, who would constantly monitor drone footage streamed live to their phone or tablet. This is a proof of concept, so we have not implemented all of our planned features. One such feature, is infrared cameras that can see through smoke, will not be blinded by the fire, and can "see" day and night. The drone's sensors can also provide up-to-the minute fire locations, wind speed and direction, and heat levels. Here is Gatlin, our other presenter.

Gatlin: We also plan to have this work as a communication relay point in the event that the firefighters are stuck in a valley and their communications are blocked by the mountains. Additionally, the drone's data would not only stream to the lookout's tablet/phone, but it would also stream to the firefighter headquarters for monitoring. This allows the location and status of the firefighters to always be known.
Please enjoy the following scene, set in a time before the drone has been introduced.
SCENE: Set in a forest (get backdrop) with fire crackling throughout the scene. The firefighters are on stage left, while the fire is on stage right. The lookout is at middle stage, watching the fire through his binoculars.
Gatlin: *Slowly move in towards fire fighters**Crackle plays* BURN, BURN, BURN!
Seth: The fire is getting to close to me. I gotta move.
Logan: Got it. We'll be on our way in a minute. Stay safe.
Seth: *Exit scene, stage back left*
Gatlin: *Get even closer**Crackling* BURN, BURN, BURN
Logan: *Sees fire, hears crackle* Oh my gosh, the fire is getting too close! We can't get out in time! Pull out your fire blankets.
(All fighters pull out blankets and get on ground)
Gatlin: *Step over firefighters**Crackle reaches its loudest point*
Gatlin: *Continue moving**Crackle slowly gets softer until it vanishes completely*
John: We barely made it out alive! Good thing our fire blankets saved us this time.

Meredith: Now lets try this scene again with the drone that we have developed.
SCENE: Same forest backdrop, fire on stage left, fighters on stage right, lookout is now with firefighters. The crackle can be heard
Gatlin: *Slowly move in towards firefighters**Crackle gets louder*
Seth: *Holding iPhone controlling drone* *Through walkie-talkie* Hey guys, the fire is a half-mile away and the wind has just shifted and will blow it through your area in the next half-hour. You should move out.
Logan: Thanks. We are headed out now.
Firefighters: *All exit scene*
Gatlin: *Time lapse* *As fighters leave scene, slowly move through after them**Continue on, off set**Crackle get louder* BURN, BURN, BURN
All: *As fire exits set, come back in*
John: Wow! Without that drone, we would have been left to our
fire blankets. And everyone knows those things don't work all the time. Thank you, (insert drone name here)
Gatlin: And because of the drone, the firefighters were always a step ahead of the fire. Let's take a closer look at this drone.

Sunday, September 29, 2013

Team Journal

Team Journal
September 27th
Meredith joined today! She said that her school team didn't have anything done. Oh well. Besides that, nothing much happened today. We explained our project to Meredith. We finished our rough drafts of our skit and started building attachments. I started programming. It's hard to move on that board because there is so much debris on the board! Other members, please update this with things I missed or personal opinions! Thanks!

September 29th
I had trouble today. I needed to turn my robot around but I didn't have enough space. My dad sent me on a half hour project to build an elaborate contraption, and then Kent says that I don't need it at all! What a waste of time. It was even worse because I had to copy part of John's robot and our robots weren't the same. I had to spend EVEN MORE time fixing THAT problem. My sister wants to blog too, and here's hers.

September 29th
Do you think that it's good for me to find the wrong solution that might be EVEN BETTER? Cause that's what I did! I looked at the directions for the wall, and I saw some  legos that weren't on the wall. I didn't have the piece I was looking for, so I found a longer and smoother flat piece to go in its place. After that,the wall was sturdy. When the robot didn't make it,the wall didn't do ANYTHING while the robot just flipped.

Saturday, September 28, 2013

Important: This and that

Random, yet important thoughts to consider before Monday's meeting.

Please brainstorm for team names.
Does everyone have a team T-shirt or do we need new ones?
Please remember to read this blog two to three times a week.
Please remember to post on this blog after every meeting. This is for everyone.


If you want to contact a local Emergency Manager, FLL offers help through Sherry Meyers at or visiting visit

For game rule updates, go here:
Important rule update: If the object crosses the line, even *barely, it’s “in.”  The presence or absence of the robot or a container is irrelevant.  Practical example:  If the FRONT of your robot is in RED but the cargo is at the BACK of the robot, the cargo doesn’t score.
We need to consider navigation of the board. Without a lot of useful lines available, we need to come up with a way for the robot to find its way around the board.
Let's sit down with the three robots and make sure they're still all compatible.
A useful video on making a modular base robot:

Photos from the last couple meetings

I shot more, but a lot of them were out of focus.


Monday, September 23, 2013

Rough Draft Presentation Script

This is an idea for our presentation. We have quickly drafted a script, and we might hold "auditions" no Friday.
Roles: Fire
Presenter 1: Hello judges. Our suggested project was a drone to see and warn
firefighters of approaching fire.
Presenter 2: Please watch this skit of the firefighters before the drone.
Fire: *Slowly move in towards fire fighters*
Fighters Lookout: I gotta move out!
Head Fighter: Okay. Stay safe.
Fighter Lookout: *Exit scene*
Fire: *Get even closer*
Head fighter: *Sees fire* Everyone!!! The fire is too close. Get out your blankets.
(All fighters pull out blankets and get on ground)
Fire: *Lay down on the firefighters*
Fire: *Continue moving*
Firefighter: We barely made it out alive! These fire blankets aren't very reliable.
Presenter 1: And now, the scene after the drone has been introduced.
Presenter 2: Places, please!
Fire: *Slowly move in towards fire fighters*
Lookout: *Holding iPhone controlling drone* *THrough walkie-talkie* Hey guys, the fire is a half-mile away
and the wind will blow it through that area in the next half-hour. You should move out.
Firefighter: Roger that. We're heading out now.
Firefighters: *All exit scene*
Fire: *As fighters leave scene, slowly mve through after them**Continue on, off set*
Firefighters: *As fire exits set, come back in* Wow! Without that drone, we would have been left to our
fire blankets. And everyone knows those things don't work all the time. Thank you, Desert Drone 52.
Presenters: And because of the drone, the firefighters didn't have to rely on the unreliable fire
blankets, and they all lived happily ever after.

This is a Yarnell Hill Fire scenario
We have also had the idea of a "Hunger Games" themed skit where Katniss is being closed in by a wildfire. There is also the idea to do a "Hunger Games: Catching Fire" theme, where the drone could alert the Tributes as to which section of the "Clock" is active.

Saturday, September 21, 2013

New York Times article on fires

Hi team,

This article may help you out on your research:

Friday, September 20, 2013

order of mindstorms tasks

1 plane
2 tsunami
3 supply truck
4 ambulance
5 yellow zone
6 base
7 get water and grain
8 pets
9 person
10 house
11 generator
12 red zone
13 ???


Resources for research project provided by FLL

Posted on Google docs is a list of website resources and contacts regarding the research portion of the competition.  It might be worth emailing or calling these places.

Check out Google Docs if you haven't already.

Tuesday, September 17, 2013

Communication with Scottsdale Fire Department

***Email correspondence with the Scottsdale Fire Department*** as of 9/17/13.

HI, Diane.
I did receive the request. I have submitted it to two of our chiefs to see how we can staff this request.  I should be able to let you know by the beginning of next week if not sooner.


From: Diane Kuhler []
Sent: Tuesday, September 17, 2013 3:17 PM
Subject: help?!

Hello Lori,
Can you confirm that you received a request for a special event from Diane Kuhler.  I just sent it.

I represent this really amazing robotics club of Middle School children.  They are very excited about an opportunity to meet with some firefighters!  The form said 30 days advance notice but if there is a time earlier, please know we’ll take it!!!  We meet every Monday and Friday 530-730pm to work on a robotics competition. 

The children are studying:  How to reduce the negative impact of wildfires by using modern day robotics or robotics not yet developed. 

Is there anyone at your organization that has experience with wildfires that would find it in their heart to help these amazing children?!  The competition is mid-November.  Yikes we need to prepare! 

If it takes too much time to schedule an event, we are willing and able to do: a phone interview, blogging/email, video conference…whatever is easiest!

Thank you!
Diane and Kent Kuhler


Monday, September 16, 2013

Today: 9/16/13

We focused on our base bot after discussing our opportunities and ideas for the project. We have decided on a very simple base design for the robot, and after installing the rechargeable battery packs, we have been working on our issues.


Please comment your ideas for our final presentation.


How can we raise money to buy a quadcopter?

  • Bake sale (Everyone)
  • Sponsors
  • Garage sale (Logan/Gatlin, John)
  • AZ Private Tax Credit Donations.  (Costs nothing for most people to do.  Must donate to the organization and person of our choice to receive credit for the club.)  This is a dollar for dollar tax credit on state taxes already due.
  • Purchase a quality garage floor coating from our reputable partner company and a portion gets donated to the club.  Must mention that DCRobotics referred them for us to get a portion.
  • Arrange with an eating establishment to give back a portion of sales in exchange for having customers/supporters eat there (Yogurtology, Which Wich, NYPD, Pita Jungle, Rita's Ice)[Logan/Gatlin]
  • Friends/family sponsorship form (Mrs. Kuhler)

Logan's Questions for the Firefighters

Have any of you actually fought a wildfire?
What are some ways that you think we could help prevent wildfires?
If we did this, how useful would it be in a wildfire? In a domestic fire? In search and rescue?

Monday, September 9, 2013

Our Suggested Project

We have suggested to create a drone to avoid disasters such as the Yarnell Hill Wildfire disaster the recently occurred.

Quadcopter Drone

  • Wind Sensor
  • Oxygen Sensor
  • Downward facing Camera
  • Portable Weather Station
  • Infrared Camera
Fire Shelters
  • Foam canisters to inject in blanket
  • insta-inflate
Volcano Corks

Any other ideas?

Welcome to DCR

Desert Community Robotics is a local STEM-based club that focuses on Robots and other scientific endeavors. As part of the First Lego League, we currently have a team focusing on this year's competition, Nature's Fury. Nature's Fury is a Lego Robot Competition that focuses on natural disasters and how to survive them and rebuild.