Chris Lovell (13), Jason Henry (13), Peter Deltchev (11) and Nicolas Alfonso-Vargas (10), members of the BuildBots Team, acquired the right to attend the World Finals by conquering the 2006 First Lego League (FLL) BC Provincial Championship in November (2006).
With the generous sponsorship of Canada Place Corporation and Methanex Corporation the boys represented B.C. and Canada at the world championships which saw 104 teams from 38 countries participate in a two and a half day tournament testing their robotic creations and highlighting their research projects handed out by First Lego League (FLL).
FLL is a partnership between the LEGO Group and FIRST (For Inspiration and Recognition of Science and Technology), which was founded in 1989 by inventor Dean Kamen to inspire young people’s interest and participation in science and technology.
The team had three months to design, build, program and test a Lego Mindstorms robot to explore nanotechnology. Robots had to be entirely autonomous, meaning they could not be remote controlled.
During the tournament, each team competed in challenge missions that included manipulating individual atoms, clothes that never get dirty, an elevator to outer space and cures for diseases. Students had 2.5 minutes per round to complete as many missions as possible. The BuildBots team not only completed all nine missions but had 40 seconds to spare.
The children also participated in presentations and interviews focusing on their strengths in both robot technical design and how well they worked together as a team.
An important part of the challenge included a research project in which the BuildBots team came up with a theoretical solution for curing Rheumatoid Arthritis (RA) using nano-robots. After analyzing the potential causes of Rheumatoid Arthritis and talking with nanotechnology scientists, the team determined that since a potential cause of Rheumatoid Arthritis is the lack of the DNAse II enzyme that is required for macrophages to decompose excess DNA, they would help the macrophages to eliminate excess DNA by using nano-robots that could find and break down the excess DNA.
The team had a thrilling experience at the World Finals on April 12th.
FIRST® LEGO® League (FLL) is a non-for-profit partnership between the LEGO® Group and FIRST® (For Inspiration and Recognition of Science and Technology), which was founded in 1989 by inventor Dean Kamen to inspire young people’s interest and participation in science and technology.