All questions and answers
What if parts of the challenge set are missing?
You can reorder any missing parts or entire packages that are missing for free from LEGO.
If you followed this link, click on “Missing Bricks” and then give the set number. The 5-digit set number can be found in the top left of the package sticker on your challenge set.
You can also easily order missing parcels from the LEGO® customer service at the following free telephone number:
0088 5346 5555
LEGO® Customer Service staff speak several languages.
At the regional tournament, which team will qualify in the Robot Game after the 3 preliminary rounds, when 2 teams have the same score in their best match?
If 2 teams have the same score in their best match in the Robot Game after the 3 preliminary rounds, the scores of the second best preliminary or – if there is also the same number of points – the third best preliminary round of both teams will be compared. The team with the higher score qualifies.
If 2 teams always score the same number of points in the 3 preliminary rounds, a play-off will be run (1 match).
What awaits me regarding the evaluation software?
Please note: The evaluation software is only available in English. So preferably you familiarize yourself with the English terms of the Robot Game, so you can follow and understand the referees what they type in their tablets at the evaluation of the match.
Does the presentation of the research project have to be presented in the respective local language?
The language at the regional tournament is based upon the respective local language (at a regional tournament in Germany, the language is German, at a regional tournament in Poland, the language is Polish). The background is that the parameters should be the same for all participants.
This applies for all evaluations, presentations, interviews with the judges and for the presentation of the regional tournament.
Are there any serious changes this year compared to the last season?
Yes, there are serious changes. You'll find them in the document “FLL_2017_18_Robot_Game_Rules_Setup_Misisons” under paragraph 1.6.
What happens with robots which are built with the aid of a construction manual?
Teams who build a robot with the aid of a construction manual must expect the robot not to be rated as the team’s own creative achievement in the category robot design.
At this point, it should also be noted that the circulating construction manuals often refer only to basic robots that meet the specific requirements of the actual season only inadequate.
So: no plagiarisms! Because what counts in the category robot design is the team’s creative achievement at programming and design!
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.
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.
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.
Where can I find the evaluation sheets?
You'll get the evaluation form by following the link http://www.first-lego-league.org/en/fll/bewertung.html. By clicking on the category name for example "Robot Design" you will find the link (orange) to the respective evaluation form.
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.
Could the sea level rise be a topic for our research project?
The potential for sea level rise is an issue of great concern for many communities. In order for this subject to be an acceptable project topic, your team should be able to relate sea level rise to a problem of the human water cycle. Please remember to focus on a human use of water.
Can our team focus on only one phase of the human water cycle?
While the definition of the human water cycle includes four phases (“find, transport, use, and dispose”), your team does NOT have to investigate all of these part of your project. You may focus on one or more parts of the human water cycle when identifying a problem and designing a solution.
Does salt water also belong to HYDRO DYNAMICSSM?
The HYDRO DYNAMICSSM project is not limited to the study of fresh water. Teams may explore a use of fresh water, brackish water or salt water. However, the problem your team selects should be a part of the human water cycle. The human water cycle is defined as, “the ways people find, transport, use, and dispose of water in order to meet a specific need or desire.” So, whatever type of water your team selects, you should be able to clearly demonstrate how the water is used to meet a human need.
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'.
Can we pick us any topic we like?
No, the topics are limited to the topics listed in the research project documents.
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.
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.
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.
Does the research project has to have a technical approach?
No, the research project does not have to contain a technical approach.
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.
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.
Is it allowed to clamp a model in a “gripper” before the (re-)start of the robot in the base, which the autonomous robot later opens to deposit the model on the field? The model cannot be lifted after clamping without anything else moving.
Yes. The jamming is not a connection to the robot (D04), because the model should “separate” itself from the robot.
Are things that the autonomous robot transports over the border wall (intentionally or unintentionally) automatically in base?
No. For transport to the base D07 applies. When a thing is transported across the border wall, R15 applies, in other words: It stays outside the base. If it bothers the technicians or referees there, it can be cleared away.
Is it allowed to use a self-programmed interpreter?
Yes – if the interpreter is programmed in one of the allowed programming languages and serves to read text files loaded on the smart stone, this is allowed.
Is it allowed to put things in the base after the (re)launch?
If after the launch (or relaunch) things are still placed in the base and the robot moves or uses them before the next relaunch, this is considered as influencing in the sense of R14.
Everything that should be used or moved must already be in the base before the (re)launch - cf. R13.
Is pneumatics allowed with FLL?
Yes – please note the points R01 and R06 in the Robot Game document.
Is it allowed to use LEGO® DUPLO®?
Yes, it’s allowed to use LEGO® DUPLO® at FLL as equipment (D03/R01).
Update of rule R14 "Interruption"
If you interrupt the robot while it’s transporting something that came from Base during the most recent launch, you may keep that thing.
In this case, you would be able to bring the thing back with you to Base along with the robot!
Is it allowed to dismount the loop from the broken yellow pipe (M01) to reuse it another way?
No, please keep the proprieties, R11: “You are not allowed to take mission models apart, even temporarily.”
Is the ceiling of the Base valid for every start?
The change under 1.6 for 2017/18 says “Maximum equipment height UPON LAUNCH is now limited. (R13)”
At R13 launch and re-launch are regulated – the ceiling of the Base (12 inches/30.5 cm) holds for every launch – that means: Also for relaunches during the Robot Game.
This new rule is only formulated for starts, so for returns to the Base holds rule D07 (2nd item “no ceiling”).
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.
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.
What are the rules for FLL and where can we find them?
With the challenge release at the end of August (29.08.2017) 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
In the rules on the FLL web site are photos of the slingshot showing the hole in the yellow button “lengthwise” while it is “cross” in the building instructions. What is correct?
So, as shown in the building instructions, it is correct. So “cross”.
How has M06 “Water treatment” to be placed?
Please take care that the toilet is placed so that both marks on the mat for the “foot” of the toilet match with the knobs of the “toilet foot”.
As a consequence, the axis lies not exactly over its mark.
What shall I do if M06 “Water treatment” binds?
If the model binds a little, please try the following: Connect the axis again newly/slightly rotated. It might be helpful, too, to compress a little the two vertical grey braces, which lay a little more apart (the 2nd and the 3rd from the right) and to pull apart a very little the 1st and the 2nd braces from the right so that the gears behind can run freely. It is also good not to pull the white tank up to the stop.
Make sure the brown couplings in the back of the model are not being compressed by other LEGO® elements. This would cause many of the surrounding gears to not move as freely as they should.
What happens, if Mission Model M02 “Flow” doesn’t work because of the height of the border wall?
- The model won’t be rebuilt. That means the valve(s) (the yellow levers) of the model are always at the same height.
- When in doubt, the referee puts the big water (as it lies in the model) in the middle (or as near as possible, respectively) of the mark of the water collection target on the mat.
Does it matter how the flower is raised?
In the description of M13 it isn’t defined how the flower should rise. The evaluation happens at the end of the match: If the Big Water in the brown pot is the only thing holding up the flower, then the team gets the points.
Is it permitted to use an own, self-brought loop to fulfill M10 or M11?
No, it is not permitted to use an own, self-brought loop. The explanation for this you will find in the rules under R06 and R11.
How will M14 be evaluated – by topview or by contact with the mat?
M14 is evaluated by contact with the mat – please read the Missions carefully: Option 1: “... it has contact with the mat and that contact is partly in the water well target”, Option 2: “... it has contact with the mat and that contact is completely in the water well target.”
Does the gap between the target on the mat and the border wall also belong to the target?
Yes, the gap between target and border wall also belongs to the target, respectively. So the target is theoretical “extended” to the border wall.
Will it meet the requirements of “M07 – Fountain” if only the uppermost part of the fountain is raised?
No, for this mission it matters that at the end of the match the middle layer rises some obvious height.
Does the robot return to the Base after each mission?
No, the robot can return to the Base as often as you want. He does not have to do this after every mission. It can also combine several missions. This saves time.
What happens if the “big water”, which we placed on the other team's field with the help of the pump system's valve(s), is moved by the other team and used for the fulfillment of tasks. The referee could not see this “big water” at the end of the match.
For the evaluation of task M02 “Flow”, it is crucial that by turning on the valve (s) of the pumping system a “large water” is transported to the playing field of the other team. So it counts the action itself, not what is visible at the end of the match.
If you are wondering what a Slingshot might be: This gadget really exists! Just look for it in the internet and learn more about this machine …
To which model and which task do the white and orange 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.
What are the dimensions of the border walls from a Playing Table used during a FLL tournament?
When and how will the missions for the 2017/18 challenge „HYDRO DYNAMICSSM“ be published?
The publishing date for the challenge is every year in late August/early September. In 2017 the kickoff for the challenge will be Aug 29th. The missions for „HYDRO DYNAMICSSM“ will be published online.