Season 2006 was our first season ever. New team, new coach, new NXT, new everything. We learned a LOT. Coach Tom Williamson had been watching the progress of FLL for years on the web, and decided it was time to form a team of his own with his son Austin and some of Austin's friends. We started with 4 members, Austin, Morgan, Jamie and Dane. Dane's father Eric soon became assistant coach and his uncle Alan became a mentor. Both Eric and Alan were at most practices and helped guide the team along the way. A few weeks after we formed Rawley joined us and our team grew to 5 members and stayed that way for the rest of the season. Eric and Alan built our table and the Williamson garage was converted to "Nano Central". To see the entire season as it happened, visit the archives of the blog.
Our Robot

Our robot took a little while to work out, having never built one, and getting used to the brand new MINDSTORMS NXT. We eventually settled on a generic platform that we could attach mission specific attachments to. This worked out great for us. By far our biggest challenge was navigation. We built two jigs to make sure our robot always started in the same exact place, but getting all the way to the other side of the table acurately never quite worked. We will definately be experimenting more with line following in the future.

We only competed at one tournament, at LEGOLAND in Carlsbad CA. We were fortunate enough to place 2nd in robot performance (not bad for a first year team!)

The team (from left) Rawley, Austin, Dane, Jamie and Morgan
Morgan and Rawley, robot operators
Our robot cart. All attachments ready.
Competing in the first round
Second place!


Our Project

Our 2006 Project was Mouth Morphers, a flavor shifting strip product. You choose what flavors you want your food morphed to and apply the strip to your toungue. There were several flavors to choose from, like Taco bell, McDonald's and Baskin Robins. We created prototype packaging and a 30 second commercial. Our presentation was based on a product development team's pitch to a board of directors. The product used two types of nano robots, one for fighting plaque, one for changing tastes. The NanoTTT (Tribot Taste Transformer) would attach itself the the tastebuds of the tounge and block unwanted tastants while swapping favorable ones. The NanoPHK (Plaque Hunter Killer) would actively hunt down and destroy the bacteria that causes plaque.

We scored well with the judges and the other teams. In fact, our prototypes were so convincing that other team members thought they were real and for some reason we were giving away samples. We came back from a short trip around LEGOLAND to find all of our prototype packages gone and children all over the pit area enjoying them.

The Mouth Morpher card

The back of the card
The Mouth Morpher pack
The box
The NanoPHK
The NanoTTT
The 30 second commercial for Mouth Morphers