Pixel Tracker

Tuesday, December 11 , 2018, 7:20 pm | Fair 54º


Santa Barbara’s LEGOnardo Da Vincis Capture First Place at Robotics Tournament

The LEGOnardo Da Vincis, a group of six young robot enthusiasts from the Santa Barbara Homeschool Robotics Academy, competed in a FIRST Lego League robotics tournament held at Cal Lutheran University last Sunday.

The local Santa Barbara team achieved the highest score out of 26 teams participating in the event to capture the first-place robot performance award. The team’s robot, named “Mona Lisa,” also earned the LEGOnardo Da Vincis a robot design award at the competition.

At FIRST Lego League tournaments, each team is given three opportunities at the robot game table to operate their robot autonomously in a 2½-minute round.

The objective is to score as many points possible by executing the team’s distinct solution to predefined “missions.” Each team participating has designed, built, and programmed a unique robot from a LEGO Mindstorms kit. The teams typically use myriad sensors that rely on motor rotation, physical contact, reflected light or ultrasound to monitor and control the actions of their robots.

The Santa Barbara Homeschool Robotics Academy brings together kids ages 9 to 14 each year to participate in the annual FIRST Lego League challenge. The program creates an opportunity for kids to learn engineering principles, computer programming, strategic planning, problem solving, and team building in a hands-on, fun environment.

The tournaments offer an opportunity for the teams to compete, but also to share ideas on how different approaches to the robot design and programming are used to solve the mission challenges. Although the robots are all assembled from a standard LEGO Mindstorms kit, the rules allow for any piece of LEGO to be used in the robot design.

As a result, out of all the teams competing at the Cal Lutheran Tournament, no two robots looked alike, and the strategy used by each team to accomplish the missions was unique.

The team’s performance at the Cal Lutheran tournament qualified them to advance to the Los Angeles Regional Championship to be held Dec. 14-15 in Torrance.

Click here for more information on the Santa Barbara HomeSchool Robotics Academy and the LEGOnardo DaVincis.

— Craig Christenson represents the Santa Barbara Homeschool Robotics Academy.

Support Noozhawk Today

You are an important ally in our mission to deliver clear, objective, high-quality professional news reporting for Santa Barbara, Goleta and the rest of Santa Barbara County. Join the Hawks Club today to help keep Noozhawk soaring.

We offer four membership levels: $5 a month, $10 a month, $25 a month or $1 a week. Payments can be made using a credit card, Apple Pay or Google Pay, or click here for information on recurring credit-card payments and a mailing address for checks.

Thank you for your vital support.

Become a Noozhawk Supporter

First name
Last name
Select your monthly membership
Or choose an annual membership

Payment Information

Membership Subscription

You are enrolling in . Thank you for joining the Hawks Club.

Payment Method

Pay by Credit Card:

Mastercard, Visa, American Express, Discover
One click only, please!

Pay with Apple Pay or Google Pay:

Noozhawk partners with Stripe to provide secure invoicing and payments processing.
You may cancel your membership at any time by sending an email to .(JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address).

  • Ask
  • Vote
  • Investigate
  • Answer

Noozhawk Asks: What’s Your Question?

Welcome to Noozhawk Asks, a new feature in which you ask the questions, you help decide what Noozhawk investigates, and you work with us to find the answers.

Here’s how it works: You share your questions with us in the nearby box. In some cases, we may work with you to find the answers. In others, we may ask you to vote on your top choices to help us narrow the scope. And we’ll be regularly asking you for your feedback on a specific issue or topic.

We also expect to work together with the reader who asked the winning questions to find the answer together. Noozhawk’s objective is to come at questions from a place of curiosity and openness, and we believe a transparent collaboration is the key to achieve it.

The results of our investigation will be published here in this Noozhawk Asks section. Once or twice a month, we plan to do a review of what was asked and answered.

Thanks for asking!

Click Here to Get Started >

Reader Comments

Noozhawk is no longer accepting reader comments on our articles. Click here for the announcement. Readers are instead invited to submit letters to the editor by emailing them to [email protected]. Please provide your full name and community, as well as contact information for verification purposes only.