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Robotics News

Updated Date: Monday, May 6, 2019 - 3:41pm

This year's FLL challenge is "Learning Unleashed" and the girls from Team C.A.K.E. B.A.T.T.E.R.S. created a very interactive board game called "Wheel of States." This game helps students and adults learn information on the different states of our great country. Checkout more by clicking here!

Updated Date: Wednesday, December 24, 2014 - 9:37pm

The Electric Stove Safety Switch (ESSS) project was recently submitted to the Brighthouse "Bright Idea" contest and is in the running for the Florida entry. Jessica and Jessica presented the idea to a panel of three who will descide which of the entries should go to the next level of competition. 

Updated Date: Monday, January 14, 2013 - 11:35am

Kitchen fires make up 44% of all house fires. Following are some of the reasons for the fires as reported by National Fire Protection Association:

· Unattended cooking was by far the leading contributing factor in these fires. 

· Two-thirds (67%) of home cooking fires started with the ignition of food or other cooking materials.

· Clothing was the item first ignited in less than 1% of these fires, but these incidents accounted for 16% of the cooking fire deaths.

· Ranges accounted for the largest share (58%) of home cooking fire incidents. Ovens accounted for 16%.


We interviewed two seniors and found that they had left the stove on with either no pot on it or the left the pot on so long that the water boiled out and burnt the pot.  This was one of the items we talked about in our meeting before going out to interview different Seniors.

We went to the local Home Improvement store and asked salesperson about the current safety features for electric stoves. The salesperson indicated that the only safety feature on the stove had was a light. We investigate what was under the top of the stove to see how it was put together.

We had already been researching different types of add-on safety devices available for electric stoves since we were fascinated by the idea. We found one where you had to be in the room (this used a motion sensor) or you set a timer for how long you wanted the burner to be on.  The cost of this device was $325.00 plus installation. Another device was a low temperature safety burners that controlled the temperature such that it would not get too hot and took longer to cook your food. The cost of this device was $170.00 plus installation.

These options did not address the issue if you were to stay in the kitchen and not near the stove or if you needed to sit down in another room. We discussed possible design ideas over several different meetings. We wanted to use a pressure type switch what would know when a pot was on the element.


These options did not address the issue if you were to stay in the kitchen and not near the stove or if you needed to sit down in another room. We discussed possible design ideas over several different meetings. We wanted to use a pressure type switch what would know when a pot was on the element.

We determined a switch/sensor along with a power module could be inserted into the range’s element circuit. The purpose of the switch/sensor is to insure that there was a pot on the element before the power is applied. Figure 1 is a flow chart for the Electric Stove Safety Switch Device and Figure 2 is the Electrical Diagram for the Electric Stove Safety Switch Level l.



Figure 1 shows logic flow of the safety switch

Figure 2 illustrates cross section of the drip pan with the safety switch

Figure 3 Electrical Block Diagram of the Electric Stove Safety Switch Device



We worked with engineers to the development the prototype and determined the best place to put the switch/senor was where the burner blade went through the drip bowl.

Note: this safety feature will only work with the burners that have a locking slot built into the drip pan.

We have built a concept model for the skit and used a push button type switch for our sensor. Below are pictures of our project.

The Electric Stove Safety Switch 7000 (ES3-7000) Level I could be retrofitted or added to a drip bowl for under $50.00 per burner ($20 for the power module, $10 for the switch/sensor and 4.00 for the drip bowl 2.00 for miscellaneous parts).

Level II of the ES3-7000 has a heat sensor to detect that a pot was left the stove too long and all the liquid was evaporated out. This additional sensor and warning system will let you know that the pot is getting too hot.

Through some testing we determined that the heat sensor would have to trigger at 300 degrees. The sensor would send a signal to turn off the element and turn on the warning system before a fire is started. The Electrical Block Diagram on the next page is Level II of the ES3-7000. The Level II part of the ES3-7000 would have the heat sensors in the hood vent or on the bottom of the microwave above the stove. The heat sensor would send a signal to the power module in the main part of the stove.


This idea can also be adapted to a gas stove by adding a inline electric controlled valve which would be connected to a power module.


Updated Date: Monday, January 14, 2013 - 11:00am

The Minty Matrix and Tech Chick Teams spent the afternoon sharing how to program a LEGO NXT Robot and their projects to 70 girls. The girls described their projects and the different missions for this years theme "Senior Solutions". The girls enjoyed learning about how to program the robots to move. The next program the girls wanted to make the robot's dance.

The Minty Matrix Team's project is a Electric Stove Safety Switch. The safety switch is used to insure that there is a pot present on the burner before power is applied. This will help in the reduction of  kitchen fires where our Senior's remove the pot from the stove and leave the burner on. They have also want to add a heat sensor to the hood vent to prevent the pot from getting to hot when all the liquid boils out.

The Tech Chick Team's project was an special bracelet that notifies the Senior that the phone is ringing. This bracelet has several features to alert the senior.

Updated Date: Friday, December 26, 2014 - 10:10pm

This year the Minty Matrix team tackeled the "Senior's issue of leaving the stove on". It was found that 23% of house fires are from the kitchen stove.

Updated Date: Friday, December 26, 2014 - 9:35pm

We resently when to Lowe's to see if we could find any safety features for stoves since our Senior's sometimes left the stove on either with no pot or boiled the water out of the pot. After much discussion and consideration the girls decided that Stove Safety would be the project that they would tackle. 

After talking to the sales person the girls found out that the stove did not come up with any safety feature. We looked on line and found two different types of safety devices, but neither of these matched our discussions on how to make the stove safer. We looked at the different parts of the burners to complete our analysis and finalize our approach. Keep a watch out for our project.                 

Updated Date: Friday, December 26, 2014 - 9:46pm

On Monday November 12 members of the Minty Matrix Team went out in search of a Senior for the Research Project. We interviewed our coach's mom and then headed to the Titusville Senior Center. We interviewed and demonstrated out robot to the Seniors who came to get some lunch. Most of the people that we interviewed did not have any issues that they faced daily. Then we were about to leave and interviewed one last couple and we found someone who talked about an issue that they have from time to time. We asked if they would be our people for the project and the agreed. So we are now working on a solution for Sandy and Fred H. So now we have to continue the discussion and finialize our solution.

Updated Date: Tuesday, March 17, 2015 - 2:43pm

This past meeting the Minty Matrix's robot was built. This robot uses rear wheel drive and a ball for the front steering. We also added the ultrasonic sense to help us determine the  distrance the robot needs to travel. Today we also learned that we can use a linear measurement input to tell the robot how far to travel. This process was used when creating our first mission.



Here you can see the progression of the robot build. Next we need to add the light and color sensor so we can to do the medicine mission. Let us know what you think we should name the robot this year??

Updated Date: Tuesday, March 17, 2015 - 2:48pm

This year there are 14 different missions to accomplish in 2.5 minutes. One of the missions the girls have to communicate with the other team to see if they are going to attempt the mission or not. This mission required that both sides of the table to have the level be in the same position on both sides. This mission is called "Similarity". If the level is not matching then no one gets the points. The "Ball Game" is another mission that has rules that determine which team get more points. If there are no balls left in the rack then no one get points. These two missions are ment to have the teams work together as well as compete against each other. 

The "Cardio Exercise" mission is one that is repeated each time you leave base if you are up for the challenge. The "Transition" mission is meant to be the last mission of the match and is difficult in the fact that the center platform is not lock down with velcro. So you must be very careful to go up the center of the ramp or stairs.

This is a taste of the missions that will be worked by all the FLL Teams across the world. So Good Luck to all!!



Program Element: Mission
Mission Element: Bowling Pins Comments: 0
Updated Date: Saturday, December 8, 2012 - 4:18pm

Minty is enjoying the fact that she can now go bowling. She has been able to knock down at least 3 out of 6 pins. With more practice she might be able to get all the pins down, so good luck Minty!!!

Program Element: Mission
Mission Element: Dog Comments: 0
Updated Date: Sunday, October 14, 2012 - 11:12pm

Today the team spent plenty of time working on a two part mission. We were able to retrieve the dog once it was out from the launcher. The one problem that occurred is that the ultrasound sensor was not working as expected. Then the first part of the mission was worked going over to push the contraption to have the dog roll. More work is needed to get the mission to work smoothly. Stay tune for more updates.

Program Element: Mission
Mission Element: Medicine Bottles Comments: 0
Updated Date: Monday, October 8, 2012 - 9:47am

Sunday was a successful day!!! We successfully added the light and color sensors to the robot, which currently does not have a name.... Hopefully soon she will have a name. Much learning and programming was completed by Jessica. She was able to get the robot to follow the line and find the green medicine bottle. Much discussion was held about how to pickup the bottle once is was found. The next step is to get the bottle and bring it back to base. Way to go Jessica!!!!
More status is on it's way....stay tune!

Program Element: Mission
Mission Element: Video Screens Comments: 0
Updated Date: Sunday, September 23, 2012 - 9:37pm

Hurray! Hurray!!! Today one of the Minty Matrix's team member finished her first mission. She was able to build the robot and learned how to use a distance measurement to tell the robot how far to travel. It was a small struggle at first to determine where to take the measurement, after determining how many inches the robot travel in one wheel rotation and the proper place to take the measurement thing went very well. With this great break-through we will be able to measure the distance the robot needs to travel and then input the value. The robot will then determine how far it needs to go.... so simple.

Program Element: Project
Updated Date: Sunday, September 23, 2012 - 5:50pm

The FIRST LEGO League (FLL) competition is now in session for the 2012-2013 year. This year's research project is all about our Seniors... hence this year's theme is "Senior Solution". The girls first need to find one or more seniors to be their partners in the research project. Once they have picked their senior they must interview this person(s) to determine issues they face everyday. After compiling the list research is needed to determine all the existing solutions for the issue and see which one they can improve. Pick the one project and implement the solution. After the solution has been completed, they must spread the word by presenting their solution to as many seniors as they can find. So be watching out for the "Minty Matrix" team!!!

Updated Date: Sunday, September 23, 2012 - 5:55pm

Yes!! The Minty Matrix Team is on the map. We have entered our project in the  FLL Global Innovation Award competition with our amazing "Ultimate Faucet". This faucet will change hand washing station all over the world. The major function of the faucet is to insure that you take the proper amount of time to wash your hands. The water, soap and disinfectant dispersed by a controller. Below is a proto-type we made using a LEGO Mindstorm brick, LEGO pieces,  valves and special attachment blocks. To make our proto-type portable we used bottles for the liquid. While the competition is not only based on the number of votes the team receives. We would like to see support for our project grow, so if your like our idea please take the time to vote each day for our project. You are allow one vote per day from now until March 1, 2012. You can vote using the following link: also you can learn a little more about our project at:

We thank you for taking the time to learn about our project and voting for us.

Thank-you The Minty Matrix Team                                                                                  


Updated Date: Sunday, September 23, 2012 - 5:58pm


The Matrix Faucet is now complete and ready for the general public's views. The cool thing about the Matrix Faucet is that it saves water as well as ensures the customer washes their hands the proper amount of time. The Minty Matrix Team found that there was an issue with the automatic faucets where they grew bacteria at the faucet opening because there was not enough water flow to insure cleanliness. So the Minty Matrix Team added the dispensing of a disinfectant at the end of the hand washing cycle. So the key to the hand washing is the faucet will do the following:



  1. Turn on the water to allow the customer to wet their hands (just a few seconds)
  2. Turn on the soap
  3. Wait 40 seconds (this is the time for the hand scrubbing)
  4. Turn on the water to allow the rinsing of the hands
  5. Turn on the disinfectant to clean the faucet

The faucet flow control was developed using small valves and piping and LEGO mindstorm motors, gear trains to turn the valve and a mindstorm brick. The brick was programmed the opening and closing of the values for the water, soap and disinfectant. The key element is to have the faucet turn on when the 40 second time is up insuring proper hand washing.

Updated Date: Friday, December 26, 2014 - 10:03pm

The FLL season has started and the team is well on their way. We have selected our team name "Minty Matrix", project element "Tomato", subject matter "A Surprise" to correct and programming for the missions is under construction.

The team is still looking for a few new members to keep things running smoothly. We have two robot missions completed with three under constructions. It looks like we have many more decsions to make to finish all the missions for the maximum points. We will be reporting more in the near future


Updated Date: Sunday, September 23, 2012 - 6:36pm

The truck is hauling the fresh food from the market. You must first get this element and bring it to Base so that the additional food can be obtained before heading to the table. Currently the combine mission must be completed before the truck is pull to base. This is to add points. The first thought was to hook the truck and drag-it, but while working the combine mission the truck was moved leading us to move the truck more so you can line up the robot to go out and nags the truck. One issue is that the truck can flip over because our lifting motor goes to far.

Program Element: Mission
Updated Date: Sunday, September 23, 2012 - 6:39pm

The combine mission has gone through several different iterations. The attachment created first only took in account getting the corn. This in itself was frustrating because sometimes the corn stuck in the combine. So now Minty will push the combine and collect the corn in a basket in front of her. She will at the same time pushing the combine will knock the pesticide off the ring to obtain some more points. After the part is finished Minty will precede back to base while pushing the truck inline for the next mission. We must get at least one piece of corn into base.

Program Element: Mission
Updated Date: Sunday, September 23, 2012 - 9:07pm

The food from the truck should go on the table plus the items in base.

Program Element: Mission
Updated Date: Sunday, September 23, 2012 - 9:12pm

The cooking timer must be moved from the start point and stopped in the red zone. This mission has been started but there has been some issues getting Minty the robot to move around the timer device. The team has found an attachment they think might work, but more work is needed to accomplish the task. Stay tune for further updates. 

Program Element: Project
Updated Date: Sunday, September 23, 2012 - 9:13pm

The Tomato.

where did come from and where is it going and how did it get there? These are all the questions that need to be answered to determine where and how the contamination ended up on the Tomatoes. Investigator Minty found out that the Tomatoes was located in the "Bennae's Family Garden" and by the time the tomato was in the house it was full of contamination. So how did the contamination get there? ... Was it from the rain, air or did the carrier's hands place it there? It could be all three, so let's take one of them and clean it up. Since it is very hard to control the contaminate in the air or rain... so let's concentrate on the carrier.... That's all for now more to come as the research continues...