Hey guys! Did you miss us? We are up and ready for this years season. There are five of us this year, Grace, Jack, Will Henry, Joseph and Isabelle. We started this season in August and have been having a lot of crazy fun! We have a few invention ideas, are working on our robot and our core values are on target. most of the time......... But that aside, qualifier's are in eight weeks and we are super pumped! But it's almost time for practice so I gotta go. Bye!
Exciting news! We've been invited to appear on Fox & Friends tomorrow morning! We'll be telling the hosts about FLL, the FIRST World Festival, Senior Solutions and our invention the E-Z Inflatable!
If you are interested in following our progress with the E-Z Inflatable, or potentially purchasing it when commercially available, please visit our brand new product web site and fill out a contact form. Thank you for your support!
First Robotics Challenge is basically FLL for teenagers and/or high schoolers. Same basic idea anyway. Like us, the teams get a challenge every season, This year it was launching frisbees into different goals to score points. Their robots are very expensive, they can cost up to $20,000 because they use real metal and wires planned and perfected. While we were there we got to meet the FTC state champions, who also were in FLL before they joined the FTC league.
The FRC teams get really into the competition. It seems they enjoy it very much. While I was there I saw many people dressed up like figures from video games, movies, TV shows, etc. It is very obvious they get very into the whole competition and enjoy that too.
FTC is the league somewhat between the FLL and FRC. FTC are smaller and less expensive robots that can be controlled with console gaming controllers. during the competition there are around four robots on the “field” at once. This year, their challenge was to get rings stationed around the field to a center rack. The higher they got the rings on the rack, the more points they would get.
Recently we met up with Gregory Scott Smith, an intellectual property attorney. And he described what a patent and what it helps with.
What a patent does is it protects your invention and anything that you claim that you made. There are different types of patents depending on what you want it to protect. Types of patents include: utility, design, and plant.
If you get caught using the same idea in the smallest thing such as packaging you could get sued by the real inventor/inventors. Or not get "your invention" patented. We also learned that Trademarks can only protect Slogans, logos, and pictures.
And after learning all about patents we decided to get a provisional patent which will allow us to have one year of protection until we decide to apply for a regular patent.
Mr. Smith agreed to help us with filing for the provisional patent after we wrote our invention description and he agreed to help us with the full patent application later on. The best part is he said he would donate his time for free!
On 2/23/2013, we held a digital video conference with BrightStar Care, a national, in-home senior care company. We were asking for funds for the improvement of the EZ Inflatable invention of ours and getting us to St. Louis where the FLL World Festival is to be held. In return, they are our sponsor and get their logo on our shirts, table, etc.
BrightStar Care is based in Chicago, Illinois and the people we held the call with were very happy to meet all of us. During our conversation, we told them about our invention, The EZ Inflatable. We also shared about our robot Charlie and his creative attachments. Next the call shifted to an explanation of the awards we earned throughout this season. We won 4 awards and a 1st Place Award at Georgia Tech, the place of the FLL Georgia State-Championship competition.
The hardest part of the call was presenting the financial needs. It seemed to be over almost as soon as it started. At the end of the call BrightStar agreed to provide funds to aid our product and our transportation to St. Louis, Missouri! When they said yes to our proposal to be a corporate sponsor, the room was going CRAZY!!! The room cooled down, and we all shouted “Thank You!” and we heard in reply “No Problem!”
Most of us have never been much farther west than Alabama, so St. Louis will be a big treat. The competition in Missouri will be held from April 24th to the 27th. This year was lots of fun, but also had tons of hard-work and effort put into it. The EZ Inflatable is being developed into a next generation prototype, which will be presented in full detail at the St. Louis World Festival. See you there!!!