• 23 Jan 2016 3:44 PM | Shari (Administrator)

    Congratulations teams! You made it to FTC states in Virginia! How impressive indeed!

    So far we have 42 teams advancing to states, with 10 more being decided next Saturday at the Eastern Qualifier.

    Here are a few details regarding states. Additional information will come out two weeks before the event.

    1. Hotel contract is with LaQuinta Kings Dominion, rate $69,  in Doswell. It is located about 1 mile away from the venue :)

    La Quinta Inn & Suites Richmond - Kings Dominion 16280 International Street Doswell, VA 23047 Fax: 804-876-6901 Phone: 804-876-6900

    2. Registration link is up. If you haven't registered yet, please do so asap. If you can not make states, kindly email me asap so that I may ask the next team up on the list. Register here: http://www.virginiafirst.org/registration/event/12/Virginia-FTC-Championship

    3. Jr FLL Expo at FTC States: If you have or know of a JrFLL team that would like to join in the Expo, we are registering teams now. The JrFLL expo at states is a great event and a FTC tradition for the past 4 years. The JrFLL teams will be part of our opening  - they will march in front of the stands in a parade. Please pass on this registration link: http://www.virginiafirst.org/registration/event/13/Junior-FLL-Expo

    4. Super Regional: Virginia has 12 spots to the Eastern Super Regional. The teams advancing will have a quick turnaround to accept and pay for their spot. If you are an advancing team, I will have a registration letter for you at the state FTC event. This year the event will be held again at University of Scranton, PA on March 17-20. The advancement criteria via the game manual  is used to advance teams to the Super Regional. (no host team).

    5. Competing teams so far: 

    Central VA Team Award
    4924 Tuxedo Pandas Inspire/Winning Alliance
    4323 iCATZ Winning Alliance Captain
    7171 Shockwave Inspire 2
    9064 Nerds of the North Inspire 3
    93 Blue Cheese Jr Winning Alliance 
    10131 Rogue Robotics Inspire / Winning Alliance Captain
    7278 LibraryBots Inspire 2
    7955 Archetype Winning Alliance
    7090 First Appalachian Robotics Inspire 3
    3749 Even More Coyotes Winning Alliance
    6029 Robowiz Inspire
    8275 Tech Busters Winning Allaince captain
    8390 Nerd Herd Inspire 2
    5086 Tutu Turtles Winning Alliance
    7039 Lord of the Bricks Inspire 3
    7117 The Blockheads Inspire/Winning Alliance
    8297 Geared UP! Winning Alliance Captain
    9845 Minions Robotics Agency (MRA) - The RoboMinions Inspire 3
    8094  Techno Tigers Winning Alliance
    5378 Team Aperture Finalist Alliance Captain
    519 ED Too Inspire
    10162 PingPongs Finalist Alliance Captain
    6700 X BOTS Inspire 2
    7844 Blue Devils Winning Alliance
    194 ILITE Robotics Finalist Alliance 
    354 ILITE Robotics Host Team
    Southwest VA
    10358 Squatch Watch Winning Alliance
    10807 Mission Possible Winning Alliance
    5414 Techie Tornados Inspire 3
    965 More Coyotes Winning Alliance
    10395 Finalist Alliance Captain
    North Central
    7346 Mustachio Peanuts Winning Alliance
    6341 IBEX Inspire 3
    8750 Gryphon Bots Rockwell Collins
    7080 BACON Winning Alliance
    5401 Washable Warriors Finalist Alliance 
    4419 Pokebots Winning Alliance Captain
    8498 The Evil Purple Sox Inspire 3
    7729 Seahawk Robotics Winning Alliance
    5308 OCHS Hornets Host Team
    6481 Stafford Robotics Finalist Alliance Captain
    9935 Rebel Robotics Connect 

    6. Questions? 

    Event questions email Carol cedelman@virginiafirst.org

    Invoice questions email Mary mjordan@virginiafirst.org

    technical or programming questions? email our Matts!  mglennon@virginiafirst.or or mschubert@virginiafirst.org

    Thanks and congratulations!!

  • 20 Dec 2015 6:47 PM | Shari (Administrator)
    Congratulations to Lord of the Bricks FIRST Tech Challenge Team, who competed in the Shenandoah FIRST Tech Challenge Qualifier at UVA December 19, 2015.  They won the Control Award, were a finalist alliance team, and won the 3rd place Inspire Award slot, which secured them an invitation to the FTC State Championship!  Come by and watch them work sometimes, get more information on robotics, and show them support!

    State Championship are free and open to the public.  Put the even on your calendar, and stop in for some serious robot action!

    Saturday, February 13th @ Meadow Event Park in Doswell.  The event is all day, with the best viewing after lunch.

  • 21 Nov 2015 6:50 PM | Shari (Administrator)
    Congratulations to Lord of the Bricks FIRST Lego League Team, who competed at the Godwin Tournament on November 21, 2015, and took home the coveted Research Project Award!  This team also made the alternate position for State Championships.  Congratulations, Team, on a job well done!
  • 08 Dec 2014 12:29 AM | Shari (Administrator)

    Congratulations to Lord of the Bricks FTC Team 7039, who has advanced to Virginia State Championships after their FIRST tournament, which occurred Saturday, December 6, 2014 - Central Virginia Regional Tournament.  The team was selected by team 7084 Royal Dragons, along with 7037 Duck and Cover, to participate in the alliance that would go on to win the tournament.

    Lord of the Bricks was also a finalist for the Control, Rockwell Collins, and Think Awards.

  • 06 Mar 2014 10:14 AM | Shari (Administrator)

    Teams Advance at FIRST State Robotics Championship

    With team names like “The Loose Screws,” “Robo Warriors” and “Geeks in Just Their Underpants,” it was a safe bet the FIRST Tech Challenge Virginia Championship would not be your average scholastic event. True to form, the daylong robotics tournament in Richmond March 1st mixed equal parts technical ingenuity, competitive spirit and uncanny humor. Also very much in evidence: a brand of mutual respect that the FIRST program calls “gracious professionalism.”

    “These kids are amazing,” says Carol Edelman, director of programs and outreach at VirginiaFIRST, the state affiliate of the international non-profit organization dedicated to inspiring the next generation of engineers and scientists. “You see it in the pit area where teams scramble to fix or tweak their robots between qualifying rounds. When a team needs help, other teams don’t hesitate to jump in and lend a hand.”

    Team "Turtles"Team "Turtles"“Getting to go to the state championship is really big,” said Kathryn Waters, captain of “The Turtles,” team from the all-girls Chatham Hall School in Chatham, Virginia. The team came decked out in pink and blue tutus. “We wanted to show that girls in robotics can look ‘girly,’ too,” explained team member Rachel Neller.

    The popularity of the FIRST Tech Challenge program has grown rapidly in recent years. More than 130 FTC Teams participated in Virginia during the 2013-14 season.

    FIRST (For Inspiration and Recognition of Science and Technology) sponsors a series of age-appropriate robotics contests to help build a culture that celebrates kids who excel in science, technology, engineering and technology – the so-called STEM subjects.

    FTC Block PartyFTC Block PartyForty eight teams from across Virginia converged on Richmond’s Arthur Ashe Center to compete in a game called FTC Block Party, which challenged them to build remote-controlled robots to scoop up plastic blocks, raise a flag and grapple onto an overhead bar for extra points.

    At the FTC State Championship, the following teams qualified to compete in the FTCEastern Super Regional tournament in York, Pennsylvania April 3-5, 2014.

    Here are the Virginia FTC teams that qualified for the Super Regional:
    Lord of the Bricks – community based team, Mechanicsville
    Tuxedo Pandas – community based team, Christiansburg
    Techie Tornados – Richlands H.S., Richlands
    Nuts and Bolts – community based team, Centreville
    Team Impact – US STEM Foundation, Haymarket
    The Loose Screws – Western Albemarle H.S., Crozet
    Brooke Point Robotics – Brooke Point H.S., Stafford
    Robowiz – community based team, Fairfax
    ED Too – Herndon H.S., Herndon
    WWIFATM – GW Community School, Springfield
    Crazy Bot – Flint Hill School, Oakton
    ILightening Robotics – Battlefield H.S., Haymarket
    Team Aperture – Ashburn Robotics, Ashburn

    Congratulations to all!

    FIRST Tech ChallengeFIRST Tech Challenge Team "Lord of the Bricks"Team "Lord of the Bricks" Team "Tuxedo Pandas"Team "Tuxedo Pandas"

    Article by: Jim Babb, VirginiaFIRST
    Photos by:
     Bill Sigafoos, VirginiaFIRST

    Discover more stories like this at Science Matters and like us on Facebook.

  • 02 Mar 2014 8:58 PM | Shari (Administrator)
    Congratulations to our Lord of the Bricks FIRST Tech Challenge Team, who competed with Gracious Professionalism at the Virginia State Championship Robotics Competition this weekend!  They worked hard, and won the Connect Award, which qualifies them as one of only 13 teams (and the ONLY Richmond-area team) to advance to the Eastern Super-Regionals in York, PA April 3-5, 2014!  We will be representing Richmond as we compete against 72 teams from Maine through Virginia.  Congratulations, team!

    See our team driving the robot in a match video on the Richmond Times-Dispatch news article on the event!

    Congratulations, also, to our Jr Lord of The Bricks members on their grand showing at the FIRST Tech Challenge Virginia State Championship Jr FLL Expo, and for taking home an award for "Thinking Outside of the Box" for building a teleporter to help you escape from your home during a natural disaster(...you know you want one)!
  • 23 Jan 2014 8:03 PM | Shari (Administrator)
    Event Newsletter: January 2014

    Lord of the Bricks has a lot going on these next couple of months.  FTC is going to the State Championships; Jr. FLL is wrapping up their season with an Expo event, and FLL is hitting outreach hard in the off-season!

    FIRST and Robo Cop
    FLL & FTC

    We love science!

    FLL, Jr. FLL & FTC

    FTC Championships...  Yeah!

    FTC, FLL & Jr. FLL.


    FRC Regional Competition

    FTC, FLL & Jr. FLL.

    MDA MuscleWalk
    FTC, FLL & Jr. FLL

    Super Regionals
        We're going to the movies!!

    Regal Cinemas is holding a promo event for the upcoming PG-13 remake of Robo Cop, and they have invited FIRST along!  We will bring our robots, and our presentation board/information.  FLL kids will need to do a build for the outreach, since their robots are no longer together (sorry!).  Saturdays are still open for you guys, since those of you with siblings on the other teams will already be here.  Let me know who is interested.  Potential new teammates are invited to join for the experience. 

    The event will be held on a WednesdayFriday andSaturday.  We will likely attend Saturday, February 15 at the Regal Cinema IMAX on Hull Street sometime between noon and 9pm.

    We're going to a Science Fair!

    Kersey Creek Elementary School in Mechanicsville (Atlee) is holding their annual Science Fair, and we've been invited.  68 kids are submitting their work, and the results of the judging will be revealed on Tuesday, February 25 at 6pm.  We will be performing demos, and possibly using the FTC robot's arm abilities to pick raffle winners.       

    We're going to the Championships!

    Our FTC team has worked hard, racking up awards along the way!  They are going to the 48-team State Championships on March 1 as the Southwest Virginia Regional Qualifier Think Award Winner.  Come wish them luck as they compete alongside the best of the best (the top winners from each qualifier) in their effort to make it on to Super Regionals in April.

    Jr. FLL has also been working (and playing) hard, and will have their chance to show off their work in the Jr. FLL Expo!  This event will take place in conjunction with the FTC State Championships between 10am - 1pm.

    FLL teams are also invited to demo their robots and display boards during the FTC event.  We'll bring our robot, and join in on the fun!  Times for this portion are TBD.  Team members let me know if you are coming.       

    We're hanging with the Big Bots!

    These 120 pound bots will be competing in the Arial Assist Challenge March 20-22nd at the VCU Siegel Center.  The Friday event is open to the public.  FLL, Jr. FLL & FTC teams will be invited to sow off their work.  There are also volunteer opportunities for FTC team members, and all adults!  Let me know who is coming along.

    We're playing for a cause!

    The Central Virginia MuscleWalk will take place at the Flying Squirrel's diamond on March 30 from 1-4pm.  We will have exhibition space for FLL Jr. FLL & FTC.  Our robots have also formed a "walk" team.  Team and community members can sign up to join our team or donate on our walk page.  Our robots will play for money; so donate now to see how many blocks our FTC bot can pick up!

    We're shooting for the moon!

    The year, FIRST has introduced a new Super Regional Competition.  Teams will compete at their various FTC State Championships for one of 72 seats at their respective FTC Super Regionals.  Winners at this event can move on to World Competitions in April in St. Louis, MO.  The Eastern Super Regionals will be held at the Your Expo Center in York, PAApril 3-5.

    Copyright © 2012 Lord of the Bricks. All rights reserved.
    Contact email: lordofthebricksrobotics@gmail.com
    Facebook   Twitter
  • 13 Jan 2014 9:33 AM | Shari (Administrator)

    Lord of the Bricks FTC Team 7039 is headed to State Championships! 

    The team competed this past weekend on Saturday, January 11 at the Southwest Virginia FTC Regional Qualifier at Southwest Virginia Community College.  The five-member team competed consistently well, advancing in 6th place out of 24 teams into the semi-final rounds. 

    They were a finalist for the PTC Design Award, which "recognizes design elements of the robot which are both functional and asthetic. successful robots have innovative design aspects; however, the PTC Design Award is presented to teams that incorporate industrial design elements into their solution. These design elements could simplify the robot’s appearance by giving it a clean look, be decorative in nature, or otherwise express the creativity of the team. The winning design should not compromise the practical operation of the robots but complement its purpose. This award is sponsored by Parametric Technology Corporation (PTC), developers of the CAD tools, Creo and Mathcad. PTC gives licenses to the FTC student teams for these software products to help them with their designs. Use of these tools is not required to be eligible, however, teams that use them in their design are given extra consideration for this award." -USFirstg.org

    The team took home the trophy as the recipient of the Think Award.  "This judged award is given to the team that best reflects the “journey” the team took as they experienced the engineering design process during the build season.  The engineering section of the notebook is the key reference for judges to help identify the most deserving team. The team’s engineering notebook should focus on the design and build stage of the team’s robot. Journal entries of interest to judges for this award will include those describing the underlying science and mathematics of the robot design and game strategies, the designs, re-designs, successes, and those ‘interesting moments’ when things weren’t going as planned. A team is not a candidate for this award if they have not completed the Engineering Section of the Engineering Notebook." -USFirstg.org

    The rookie team has previously competed in the Central Virginia Qualifier, placing 7th place out of 24 teams, and in the Northern Virginia Qualifier, where they were a finalist for the Connect Award, and won the Finalist Alliance Award as one of the last two alliances standing.  Great job, Team!

  • 17 Dec 2013 8:47 PM | Shari (Administrator)

    Posted on: 7:31 pm, December 17, 2013, by 


    NEW YORK (CNNMoney) undefined The robot invasion is finally here undefined in corporate America, anyway.

    Google and Amazon are grabbing robot-related headlines, while Microsoft and several other Big Tech companies are building robots in their labs.

    Why? Robots are destined to be cash cows.

    “There’s a trillion-dollar industry that’s staring everyone in the face,” said David Bourne, a principal research scientist at Carnegie Mellon’s The Robotics Institute.

    Big Tech is on the precipice of breaking the robotics industry wide open, according to Bourne. If we compare the robotic industry to the computing boom, Bourne believes we’re still in 1980. It’s not quite 1984, when the Macintosh made computers mainstream, but robotics breakthroughs are quickly heading in that direction.

    Amazon set tongues wagging earlier this month after announcing the concept of “Amazon Prime Air,” which would use unmanned drones to deliver items to customers within 30 minutes.

    Just last week Google bought Boston Dynamics, a company that works closely with the U.S. military and is known for making fast, animal-like robots. It’s just one of the eight robotics firms Google has quietly snapped up in the past six months, as part of a larger robotics push helmed by former Android chief Andy Rubin. And Google’s most famous robotics project is its driverless car initiative.

    Robots are truly beginning to make their way into big business: from manufacturing and agriculture to telecommuting bots, surgical machines and wildfire-fighting drones. And experts say there are dozens of other robotics projects that we haven’t heard of yet.

    “I guarantee everybody is looking very closely at [using robots], but they’re not necessarily advertising their plans yet,” said Mike Davin, editor of the trade publication The Business of Robotics. “In one or two years, though, there will be so much to add to the corporate robotics story.”

    Corporate America is investing so heavily in robots because they’re cheap and perform functions humans can’t or don’t want to do. If search-and -escue bots prove they can save thousands of lives each year, you can bet they will become a big business.

    “On the most basic level, the appeal is obvious: robots work for 30 cents a day, 24/7, with no lunch breaks,” said Tom Green, editor-in-chief of The Robotics Business Review. “You can turn out the lights and they’ll still work, and ‘ask’ them to do tasks that would be impossible for humans.”

    Robots have done those types of difficult or humanly-impossible tasks for decades with big manufacturers like automakers, but experts say a confluence of factors has now pushed robots into new sectors.

    The clearest reason: The technology is finally sophisticated undefined and affordable undefined enough for companies to consider adding robotics in a relatively simple and cost-effective manner.

    “These days you can pop an iPhone in a robot’s head, and it’s more powerful than what we had 30 years ago,” said Bourne, who says he became the first-ever robotics professor in 1979.

    Davin attributes that shift to the last decade’s innovations in consumer electronics. We carry powerful cameras, chips and sensors right in our smartphones, and “the fact that this kind of tech is available on a mass scale for consumers makes it possible to innovate more easily on a corporate robotics scale, too.”

    What’s more, robots now take all sorts of forms. Many people own Roomba vacuum cleaning robots, and some robots are literally working side-by-side with humans.

    “In the old days of industrial automation, robots were huge machines in cages,” Davin said. “They were dangerous to be around, and people were told to stay away.”

    Compare that with robots like “Baxter,” a manufacturing bot from Boston-based Rethink Robotics. Retailers including toymaker K’Nex put the $22,000 machine to work in a warehouses alongside human staffers, who can program “him” manually. Baxter even has a screen for a face, making him look almost … cuddly.

    “There’s a reason that they add a cute face to him undefined his eyes are meant to indicate to people which way he’s headed, for example,” Davin said. “This kind of thing adds to the idea of robots and people being able to work together.”

    So get ready: Your new coworker might be a robot.

    ™ & © 2013 Cable News Network, Inc., a Time Warner Company. All rights reserved.


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