All questions and answers


Turn off the robot
13.02.2017 - 10:55 Uhr



Can the team turn off the robot before the match is finished?

If the team decides to turn off the robot, then it is an influence (R14). If the robot is not completely in the base the team will get a penalty. R14, however, allows the team to decide whether to leave the robot where it is or to return it to the base.


evaluation software
17.11.2016 - 15:37 Uhr


What it ment by the evaluation software?

To have an idea of how the evaluation sheet looks like, click here.


Blocked Refrigerator and milking automation
13.02.2017 - 11:05 Uhr


What happens if refrigerator and milking automation are blocked?

When setting up the game fields and just before the robot game starts, the organizers have to check whether the refrigerator and the milking machine are working!

M04: Refrigerator: Nevertheless, the refrigerator can be blocked so that no matter what the robot does, no (further) food rations falls out of it. Then the following is an allowed option: The referee may have the (remaining / all) food rations as a substitute with him and place them in front of the refrigerator so that the team is able to continue the mission.

M06: Milking machine: If the milk and / or manure samples are prevented from rolling (further) out of the milking machine due to a visible blockage of the milking machine, the team gets the highest score.


Challenges of this year
14.11.2016 - 15:00 Uhr


What are the challenges of this year?

This year's FLL topic 'Animal Allies' includes missions that show real challenges for animals, both in their natural habitats and in human-created environments.

To design these challenges our american partner FIRST worked together with experts in the field of rescue biology, veterinary medicine and other areas of the University of New Hampshire, the National Geographic, the Institute of Bionics, Omaha's Heny Doorly Zoo and Aquarium, the New England Aquarium Animal Care Center.

There are differing viewpoints on how humans and animals interact, such as the cessation of cows or the work of zoos and aquariums with really wild animals. All these challenges have been taken into account in the preparation of this year's topic. The Challanges itself will have a lot of space to discuss all the questions on the subject and to enter into a dialogue with each other.

Maximum Score
10.11.2016 - 16:10 Uhr


What is the maximum score that can be achieved with the robot game?

We asked our partner FRIST for the maximum number of points to be reached. The maximum number of points is not calculated by FIRST, so that this number will not discourage anyone from taking part in the competition or deterring anyone. Accordingly, the total score is not published.

Junior coach
10.11.2016 - 16:11 Uhr


Is it possible to become a junior coach with 17 years?

A team can be supervised by several coaches and / or mentors. But there is only one "official" FLL coach who registers the team and is in contact with us. He/she gets all the important information about the contest and for he/she is the person in charge during the tournament. But he/she can get support and advice from other coaches or mentors. But it is important: coaches and mentors should guide the workflow of your team, but should not proposes any solutions. They should "coach" but stay out of the substantive work of the team. We are delighted to support former team members who wants to be involved with the coach job.

Evaluations sheets
10.11.2016 - 16:11 Uhr


Where can I find the evaluation sheets?

You'll get the evaluation form by following the link By clicking on the category name for example "Robot Design" you will find the link (orange) to the respective evaluation form.

Serious chances 2016/17
10.11.2016 - 16:11 Uhr


Are there any serious chances this year compared to the last season?

Yes, there are serious chances. You'll find them in the document 'FLL
Rules and Robot Game' under paragraph 1.6.

Missing parts
10.11.2016 - 16:12 Uhr


What if parts of the challenge set are missing?

Please contact HANDS on TECHNOLOGY when parts of the set are missing. We take care about it.
OR you order the parts for free at LEGO.

Variations of the FLL Tournament Tables
10.11.2016 - 16:12 Uhr


Are the FLL tables identical at all tournaments?

Please consider while constructing and programming that there can be variations between different tournaments depending on local conditions. The variations might occure in differenciations in the character of the field borders, lightning conditions, structure/irregularties of the field mat. At many tournaments there is no opportunity to roll out the mats early enough so that they might be a little bit wavy. Place and severity of waves can vary.

Hint: There are two important construction techniques to minimize differences in illumination:

1. Avoid control systems containing something that might rub on the mat.
2. Hide light sensors from ambient light.

Questions according the local conditions at regional tournaments can be posed directly to the local organiser. Please find there contact dates on the regional websites.


No research project or missing the target of the research project
10.11.2016 - 16:13 Uhr


Are there any consequenses if a team does not prepear a research project? What will happen when a team misses the target of the research project?

A FLL team should take part in all categories of evaluation. When a team doesn't have a research project (or doesn't take part in another category of evaluation) it could not become a FLL Champion and will not be evaluated. in the particular category. All teams should act as the core values told them.

If a team fails the research project it still could be evaluated by the judges for presentation but not for 'research' and not for 'innovative solution'.


Definition of 'animal'
10.11.2016 - 16:13 Uhr


How is the definition for 'animal' for the research project?

The Challenge defines an animal as “any member of the scientific animal kingdom (besides humans) that is currently alive today.” Depending on where you live, you may have learned about either five or six kingdoms used in biology to classify all life on earth. Wherever you are in the world, you must choose an animal from Animalia (the animal kingdom). Living things from the following kingdoms would NOT be considered “animals” for ANIMAL ALLIESSM: Plantae, Fungi, Protista, Archaea/Archaeabacteria, Bacteria/ Eubacteria, or Monera. You can refer to biology sites like this one for definitions of each kingdom: six_kingdoms/. 

Animal at tournament
10.11.2016 - 16:14 Uhr


Is ist allowed to bring an animal to the tournament?

The ANIMAL ALLIESSM Challenge asks you to learn about the ways that people and animals interact. We do NOT require teams to interact directly with any animal during this research. Any team that chooses to work with live animals should do so ONLY under the supervision of a trained adult professional. If your team chooses to work with an animal, we strongly recommend that you do NOT bring this animal to any FIRST® LEGO® League event. Your event may have an official policy on this subject – check before you attend.

Definition of interact
10.11.2016 - 16:14 Uhr


What is meant by 'person und animal interact' with each other? 

The Project asks each team to “pick a situation when people and animals interact.” The person does not need to physically touch the animal, but the person must clearly affect the animal or the animal must clearly affect the person to be an appropriate interaction for ANIMAL ALLIESSM. For example, if a person puts food in a bowl, and the animal eats the food, then the person has affected the animal.

10.11.2016 - 16:14 Uhr


Can we pick us any topic we like?

No, the topics are limited to the topics listed in the research project documents.

Material for judges
10.11.2016 - 16:14 Uhr


Do we have to prepare some written material or our presentation in written form for the judges?

No, you don´t have to produce a written material for the judges. Important is the presentation and its content you perform for the judges.

Analyse problem and present results
14.11.2016 - 13:35 Uhr


What includes the presentation?

Each team should show on which way they found the specific problem. Show how you researched and came to a soulution for the problem you chose. It is not enough to present only the result.

Duration of Research Presentation
10.11.2016 - 16:15 Uhr


How much time do we have for the presentation of our research results at a FLL Tournament?

At a FLL Tournament you have 5 minutes time (actual presentation time, not set up time) to present your results to the jury. The manner of presentation is up to you - you can create a role play, use Powerpoint and so on. Give your presentation live - you may use media equipment (if available) but only to enhance the live presentation.

The technical approach of the research project
10.11.2016 - 16:23 Uhr


Does the research project has to have a technical approach?

No, the research project does not have to contain a technical approach.

10.11.2016 - 16:27 Uhr


Shall we name our sources? Do the sources have to be part of the presentation or is it sufficient to show them at the end of the presentation?

Yes, a good presentation shows at the latest at the end all the sources the team had worked with during their research project. The sources should also be part of the 5 minutes presentation. 

Obligation to publish
10.11.2016 - 16:27 Uhr


Are we obliged to publish the results ahead of our presentation on the tournament day?

Each team is obliged to publish the results ahead of the tournament. This can happen in several ways: presentation in front of parents, students, teachers or the interviewed experts, write an article or make a website or blog etc. The team should show the form of publishing within their presentation e.g. by a photo.


Rule R10 - handling by referee
19.01.2017 - 14:51 Uhr


In rule 10 is described that the team may not influence anything on the palying field outside Base. Does this apply to referees also or may he/she e.g. hold the bionic wall for our robot to hang on it more easily?

Yes, this applies to referees also! He/she may not influence mission models so it is easier for you or your robot to solve the mission.

Rule R14 and rule R15 'transporting any object'
11.11.2016 - 12:39 Uhr


Does the definition of 'transported models/objects' in R14 and R15 also include the attachments which are not firmly attached to the robot?

Yes, this also includes the non-fixed attachments to the robot.



What is meant by 'transporting any object' under rule R14 and rule R15?

For the word 'transporting' here, you would have to refer to our definition of 'transporting' which is:

D10 - TRANSPORTING - If the robot is in contact with something for the obvious purpose of taking it, changing its location, or releasing it, the robot is “transporting” it.

Then, you have to check the definition of robot, because that is another defined word:

D04 - ROBOT - Your “robot” is your LEGO MINDSTORMS controller and all the rquipment you’ve combined with it by hand which is not intended to separate from it, except by hand.

So a transported object would be anything, not part of the robot (see definition) that your robot is in contact with for the purpose of taking it, changing its location, or releasing it.

Storage chanced in 2016/2017
10.11.2016 - 16:28 Uhr


How is the storage defined in 2016/2017?

The general definition of storage has been changed in 2016/2017. You'll find a detailed description in the document under R12.


D06: Areas between field and table
10.11.2016 - 16:29 Uhr


D06: Does the area between the north of the playing field and the table belong to the playing field?

Yes, this area belongs to the playing field. You'll find more details here. Please ask the regional partner for information, too.

'Totally in'
10.11.2016 - 16:29 Uhr


When is an object totally 'in' a target area?

The diagrams in rule D7 define 'completly in' for the Base but apply for any other target area.

Rules readable
10.11.2016 - 16:29 Uhr


What are the rules for FLL and where can we find them?

With the challenge release at the end of August (30.08.2016) there will be all FLL Rules available online

If you want to be successful in the FLL Robot Game it´s extremly important for everyone to read the challenge documents in detail: Rules, Missions, Field Setup & Playing Field (which are together in one document this year), Questions & Answers. THE TEAMS, READING EVERYTHING have fewer questions, have less work, have fewer surprises at the tournament, score higher and have more fun.

Playing Field & Missions

Mission M01: Shark transport
15.12.2016 - 16:32 Uhr


Can the tank be shifted for the transport of the shark so that the shark is then transported 'above', lying on the tank?

No, the shark must be in the tank and lie balanced on the black rubber ground, if a team wants to get the points for this mission.



Is it allowed to touch the shark by hand while the model is standing in the Base?

Yes, it is allowed to handle the shark and the tank by hand before every launch to adjust the shark on the black rubber area and/or to put it on the robot 

The constraint "nothing (includes also the robot) is ever allowed to touch the shark except the tank" is expired. This statement applies only to all areas outside the base.


Mission M02: service dog
15.12.2016 - 16:40 Uhr


Does the robot have to drive through ALL barriers? Who is allowed to move the warning fence?

Yes, the robot must travel between ALL barriers, coming from the west. The warning fence could only be moved by the robot while passing. In order for the team to get the points for this mission, the robot must have completely crossed the warning fence.


Mission M03: Animal conservation
11.01.2017 - 15:55 Uhr



When does an animal model count as 'changed'?

Once the respective animal model has been rotated across the gap that is created when the two game tables are assembled, it counts as on the other side of the playing field. The teams receive the points.



How many animal-models can be transported at the same time per rotation of the animal conservation model?

Only one animal-model can be changed at the same time per team and per turn. If it's the model with the frogs, of course the yellow and the blue frog could only be changed together at the same time per team and per turn.



On one animal-model are two frogs. How will they count in the evaluation?

There is a yellow and a blue frog on one animal-model. If the teams change this animal-model, they get the corresponding points for EVERY identical-looking animal pair.


Who is allowed to put an anmial from the
 Base to the tray before the match will start? Who is allowed to take this animal down and to put the next animal on the model during the match?

Before the match, the team has to ask the Referee to place their chosen animal on the tray of the conservation model.  If a team decides to take a different animal than the reindeer, the referee puts the reindeer on the free space animal area on the playing field.

During the match, the robot has to take the animal off the tray and has to do any loading.


If the border from the table is to high, it's not possible to place the animal conservation model correctly. What can I do?

With the help of 2x6 LEGO pieces with the number 300826 (the type of piece is important, not the colour) and dual lock it is possible to increase the animal conservation model.

1. Stick two of the mentioned LEGO pieces together. You'll get 'ONE large' LEGO piece out of it. This one is just as wide as the stand of the conservation model. 

2. Stick three of these 'large' LEGO pieces horizontal together with Dual Lock. 

3. Use Dual Lock also for sticking the LEGO pieces at the mat and at the animal conservation model.


Is it allowed to push the animal down by hand after chancing it with the tray from one field to the other? 


No, that's not allowed. Rule R16 says that it's not allowed to negatively affect the other team except as described in a mission. If you push the animal from the tray on the side of the other team it could influence their game. And after the match started only the robot can interact with the animal.

Mission M04: Feeding
15.12.2016 - 16:55 Uhr


Who is allowed to do the food rations in the refrigerator?

Before each launch, the referee is the only person who is allowed to place the feed rations in random order in the refrigerator.



What happens if the refrigerator is blocked?

If the refrigerator is blocked so that no (further) food rations can be falling out of it, the referee can do the following: He/She can have the (remaining/all) food rations for example in his/her pocket and place them in front of the refrigerator so that a team is able to continue the mission.



Will a team get points when multiple coloured food rations are in one animal area?

No, a team only gets the points, when just one coloured food ration is in the animal area. A team would score zero points if more than one colored food ration is in an animal area. If the food rations do not match, you would not score for either of them!


Can a team get the 10 points, when for example one "red" food ration is in and another food ration is partly in the animal area? 

Compared to D07 only the one 'complety in' would socre. The one beeing 'partly in' would not score. But the team will get the 'benefit of the doubt'.


Mission M05 Biomimicry
24.11.2016 - 12:49 Uhr


How does it cound, when the white gecko is carried by the robot hanging on the wall and is not hanging directly on the wall itself?

This would count, because the wall is still the object supporting the geckos weight. Although the gecko is held by the Robot, the Robot is held by the Wall, so in turn, they are both being held by the Wall.



Is it allowed to hang the white gecko on the green gecko? Is it allowed to hang the white gecko on the side of the wall on the black feets? 

​Definitely! Two scoring objects can be in contact with each other! Please study the contrains and evaluation of this mission in detail.


It could be that the robot is to massive for hanging on the wall and the wall felt over. Can the teams get the points even whe​n​ the robot will hang just a few seconds on the wall before the wall falls down?

R17 would apply here if they were to separate the Dual Lock of break a mission model. The robot is not judged on the amount of time they spend on the wall, just that visibly at the end of the match, they are hanging! If a team were to be hanging at the end of the match, and then they were to fall off after, that would still count, because it was visible at the end of the match! 




Mission M06: Milking Automation
24.11.2016 - 12:48 Uhr


What hanppens if hte milking maschine is blocked?

If the milk and/ or manure samples are prevented from rolling (further) out of the milking automation due to a visible blockage of the milking automation, the team gets the highest score and no penalties.

Mission M09: Training and Research
11.01.2017 - 12:17 Uhr


When will a team get the 5 points per manure sample?

A team will always receive the 5 points if it 'only' transport ONE manure sample at a time into the training and research station. Considering to rule "D10 - Transport", the robot must therefore trigger each transport of each manure sample indivudually so that a team can receive the points. A team does not get points if it transports MORE than one manure sample at a time.


Correction points mission M09/option 3: How many points will a team get per manure piece in the training & research area at the end of the match?

OPTION 3: The manure samples are completely in the training & research area.
Points: 5 per piece and NOT 15 per piece (our mistake!) 

Mission M11: Prosthesis
11.11.2016 - 09:21 Uhr


What do they mean with: "the prothesis is fitted to the pet AND not held by the referee?" 

There are a few cases in which a ref could get ahold of the pet. The answer can be found "between" R14 and R15.

R14 refers to INTERUPPTING your robot, in which case, if robot is interrupted transporting an object not completely in Base, the ref now keeps that object no matter what.

R15 refers to STRANDED objects, in which case, stranded objects partly in Base are always given to the ref, out of play.

If you were to do one of the actions stated above, and the ref is holding the pet, then you would not receive the points for fitting the Prosthesis to the pet.

Mission M14: Milk on the ramp
11.11.2016 - 09:22 Uhr


In the Robot Game Video for 'Animal Allies' it is said "nothing else supported or touched the ramp". Is the robot never allowed to touch the ramp?

During the match the robot or something else is allowed to touch/support the ramp. At the end of the match nothing is allowed to touch/support the ramp (except the milk) to get the higher point value for this mission.


Mission M15: Manure
11.11.2016 - 14:08 Uhr


Can this mission also be fulfilled without mission M09?

Yes, M15 can be seen as a separate mission. A team can theoretically bring all the manure sampels to the 'Training & Research Area'. Then the team won't get the points for M09 but it gets the points of M15. Have a look the 'end of the match' in M15.



Change of mission text "end of the match":

Original: All 12 manure samples are completely in the training and research area.
Change: All 7 manure samples are completely in the training and research area.

Pleace notice our answers to mission M09 and penalties refering to manure samples, too. 

We've also updated the challange document and the website.

11.11.2016 - 09:25 Uhr


Does the referee put the remaining, not given penalties (manure samples) to the training and resaerch area after the match?

No, the referee keeps them and they are out of play, if they aren't used as penalties. The not given manure samples (penalties) can't be used for mission M09 and M15. 

Border walls
11.11.2016 - 09:26 Uhr


What are the dimensions of the border walls from a Playing Table used during a FLL tournament?

The measurements are published on our website under There you'll find assembly instructions for new tables with border dimensions of 8 cm high and 4 cm wide. The border dimensions of 10 cm high and 5 cm wide are the measurements of the "old tables".
Please note: Some tournaments use new and some use old tables. Please contact the FLL Regional Partner of your chosen tournament to request the measurements of their tables.  
Additional LEGO pieces in the challenge sets
11.11.2016 - 09:26 Uhr


To which model and which task do the white and yellow LEGO pieces you've got with the challenge set belong to?

The white 'coach' pieces you'll get with the challenge sets are an accessory for the coach. They can be used as a reference to be a coach during a challange. The orange tool you'll get simplify the separating one Lego piece from another.


Publishing of challenge missions
11.11.2016 - 09:27 Uhr


When and how will the missions for the 2016 challenge "Animal Allies" be published?

The publishing date for the challenge is every year in late August/early September. In 2016 the kickoff for the challenge will be Aug 30th. The missions for "Animal Allies" will be published online.