Incredibots Represent Ohio in First Lego League Championship

2013 02 The Incredibots State Championship Team Photo Congratulations! Incredibots will represent Ohio in the First Lego League Championship in Germany! http://ow.ly/iboOZ #STEM #FLL

The Incredibots are Gahanna’s first and only robotics team for participants ages 9 – 14 years old.  This team participates in the FIRST LEGO League (FLL), a program specifically designed to get children excited about science and technology. The team has been together for six years, however, two of the 5 team members are actually new to the team this season.

After qualifying at the regional and district levels, The Incredibots competed in the State of Ohio’s First Lego League (FLL) Championship in Dayton on February 9-10, 2013.  They came home with 3 special awards (1st place Research Presentation, 1st place Overall Robot Performance Winner, 1st place Robot Alliance Round) AND qualified to advance to the 2013 Open European Championship in Paderborn, Germany on May 7-10, 2013.  The team will not only be representing Ohio, but will also be representing the

incredibots1United States as they compete with their peers from 35 countries.  This is Ohio’s first ever invitation to participate in the European Championship.

Each year, the teams are challenged to find an innovative solution to real world problems.  This year, the challenge is called Senior Solutions. The challenge was to improve the quality of life for seniors by helping them continue to be independent, engaged, and connected in their communities. The FLL Challenge has 3 parts – the Robot Game, the Project, and the Core Values. The Robot Game and Project are what teams do, and the Core Values guide teams through the experience.

Seniors filled out a needs assessment and the results indicated that many felt that the key to remaining independent had to do with being able to care for their own basic and recreational needs. Many also mentioned various types of tremors that interfere or have the potential to interfere with their ability to do so. Based on this information,

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the Incredibots set out to design a glove to help minimize the effects of hand tremors. They consulted with researchers and physicians at The Prosthetics Dept. at the VA Hospital, Battelle, the Scare Factory (to make their prototype), the CyLab from the Mobility Research Center at Carnegie Mellon, etc…  Below is the abstract that briefly describes their solution— The Incredi-hand.

Abstract

Extend your hand out. Do you see the tiny movements of your hand? Now, magnify that movement by 20x. What you are seeing is the average tremor of a person with severe hand tremors. Our goal is to solve the problem of hand tremors by creating a device that reduces the amplitude of tremors so that people with tremors can do normal everyday activities like

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eating, drinking, writing, and texting. Over 14% of senior citizens and about 66% of military veterans experience hand tremors. For our solution, we developed a device that actively cancels out hand tremors like an image stabilizing camera or noise canceling headset. The device uses an accelerometer mounted on a glove that measures amplitude and frequency in real time. Then, an equal and opposite force is applied to cancel out the tremors using mini servo motors attached to nylon threads that put tension on the fingers.

Content and Pictures provided by Lori Baker

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