Alabama FLL

Building a Robot

FLL® students build autonomous LEGO® MINDSTORM® robot with premade pieces in a small team. They can then program and test their robot with an easy graphical programming environment.

Create a Project

Each year a new theme is release and FLL® teams have to create a solution for a real-world problem and prepare a presentation to give to some judges.


FLL® teams get to compete head to head with other local teams here in Alabama at a few tournaments around the state.


FLL® robotics can be very rewarding; Not only through trophies and awards, but also through knowledge and fun.


FLL® robotics can also be very rewarding and fun for the desperately needed volunteers for youth and adults.

This Year's Challenge

This year (2012-2013) the challenge is Nature's Fury™. The goals are to: "Prepare. Stay Safe. Rebuild"

What's FLL?

The FIRST® LEGO® League (also known by the acronym FLL®) is an international competition for elementary and middle school students (ages 9 - 14 in the USA and Canada, 9 - 16 elsewhere). It is arranged by the FIRST organization.

Each year the contest focuses on a different real-world topic related to the sciences. Each challenge within the competition then revolves around that theme. The robotics part of the competition revolves around designing and programming LEGO Robots to complete tasks. The students work out solutions to the various problems they are given and then meet for regional tournaments to share their knowledge, compare ideas, and display their robots.

There are four main sections of the competition. Firstly, students are interviewed by a panel of judges, measuring their teamwork. This is called the teamwork activity. Secondly, the students must demonstrate that the robot that they built is designed appropriately for the tasks given (they look for effective design, use of sensors, etc.). This is called the technical presentation. Thirdly, the students must do a research project and give a short presentation to a panel of judges on the investigative problem solving they completed. This is called the research project. Finally, the students must use the robots they designed to complete a set of tasks on a playing field. Each Team can only have three motors per robot and one robot(at a time) at the robot competition table. You are not even allowed to have a fourth motor sealed in its package in your pocket. Of the four sections of the competition, the robot performance is the only one set in stone, for time of competing. The technical is usually after one of the rounds of robot performance, with the others being fit in sufficiently large time windows.

FIRST LEGO League (FLL) teams use LEGO MINDSTORM® kits, and one of two graphical based programming languages: NXT G, the programming software that comes with the kit, or Robolab, a software language, that was originally built using, and designed to be like a real language used by professionals called Labview, to build and program small autonomous robots that traverse these LEGO playing fields and complete the given tasks. Each robot is only allowed to use up to four sensors total (which ones and how many depend on the year) and up to 3 motors.