FedEx Innovation Challenge 2016
FIRST

 

The FedEx Innovation Challenge is a social media-based competition consisting of math and science problems, scavenger hunt activities, and more.

 

The Innovation Challenge Is Now Closed!

Thanks for taking the FedEx Innovation Challenge! The competition is closed for 2017. Check the Winners tab below to see this year’s best and brightest entries.

This year’s prize was a $5,000 grant and autographed Dean Kamen t-shirts for winning teams. Some other prizes also included RoboRIOs, LabVIEW software, MakerBot 3D printers, Samsung 360 cameras, and other tech prizes.

A special thanks to our friends at National Instruments and Qualcomm for their donations to the FedEx Innovation Challenge prizes.

 

 

  • Winners
  • Entries
  • Challenges
  • Congratulations to our St. Louis Winners

    Wow! We have never been more amazed by Innovation Challenge entries. This year there were SO many incredible videos and hilariously creative posts. Our judging team was up well beyond midnight debating the winning teams.

    Every time we were sure that we had our winners, we would open up a new set of entries from another team and the debate would begin all over again. Some teams had wonderful videos but didn’t quite have the social engagement of other teams. Other times a team had fabulous creative energy with all entries, but might have one of the calculations incorrect.

    We vetted the physics questions with several professors to make sure that we understood everything properly. Note that we have detailed explanations of our approach to the calculations in the answers section.

    Also remember that all entries were scored on accuracy, team spirit, creativity, and social media engagement.

    Several of the previous winners of the Innovation Challenge were right there in the running until the very end. We’re looking at you, Beak Squad, Team Driven, CyberSonics, 2 Bits and a Byte. So, so good! There were also a lot of first-time teams that made us laugh and smile over and over again.

    One thing is certain – Your Scientists Rock. We learned so much about the incredible impact they’ve had, making our world a better place. We know that FIRST students are following right in their footsteps!

    Blue Cheese – #FRC1086

    $5,000 grant

     
    Spartechs – #FRC834

    $5,000 grant

     
    Wildstang – #FRC111

    $5,000 grant

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

    Congratulations to our Houston Winners!

    Texas Torque #FRC1477

    $5,000 grant

     
    Viper Drive #FRC3490

    $5,000 grant

     
    Team Appreciate #FRC2468

    $5,000 grant

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

    Congratulations to our Build Season Winner

    #OMGamazing! We were TOTALLY in awe of the Innovation Challenge entries this year. There were about four times as many entries as last year, and every single post was meticulously reviewed as our judges stayed up very late this week. But they were smiling the entire time because FIRST teams rock!

    Cybersonics #FRC103

    $5,000 grant, a roboRIO controller, and LabVIEW software

     

     

     

    Note: During this year’s Build Season Innovation Challenge, it was brought to our attention that the details of the rules and regulations could be interpreted to allow a photo or video to be submitted for any of the challenges. Thus, we allowed photos or videos as entries for all four of the challenges.

  •  

    St Louis Challenges

     

    1. FedEx Drop Box

    There is one FedEx robot dropbox somewhere between America’s Center and Union Station.
    Find it and take a photo with it!

     

    Challenge:

    Take a PHOTO with the robot drop box. Don’t forget to be creative! Videos will NOT be accepted for this challenge.

    Answer: Robot dropbox was located on Locust between 10th Street and 11th Street

     


     

    2. Our Scientist Rocks

    FIRST Championships are divided into subdivisions, each named for a famous scientist (listed below.)

    FIRST Championship St. Louis:
    ARCHIMEDES (Archimedes of Syracuse)
    CARSON (Rachel Carson)
    CURIE (Madame Curie)
    DALY (Marie Daly)
    DARWIN (Charles Darwin)
    TESLA (Nikola Tesla)
    EDISON (Thomas Edison)
    OCHOA (Ellen Ochoa)

     

    Challenge:

    Create a VIDEO (25-sec MAX) that shows how a SCIENTIFIC CONTRIBUTION from your scientist has made the world a better place.

    Be creative and have fun with this one! Remember, 25-second limit. Don’t go over or you’ll risk being disqualified!

     


     

    3. Steampunk & Steampower

    The term “steampunk” originally referred to science fiction and fantasy, set in an alternate Earth’s 19th century.

    In this universe, Victorian inventors made great leaps in technological advancement with materials like iron, brass and the use of STEAM ENGINES for power.

    At the FedEx Express World Hub in Memphis, there are 42 miles of conveyor belts that do everything from moving packages onto trucks and planes, to moving equipment and parts throughout the complex.

     

    Challenge:

    Determine how much horsepower a steam engine would need to produce to move the conveyor belts (belts only, not loaded with packages), at a continuous speed of 2 miles per hour?

    Assumptions:

    • There are idlers every 5 feet and have a coefficient of friction of 0.05 between themselves and the conveyor belt.

    • The total conveyor belt length is 1 mile and its weight is 5.23lb per foot.

    • Each idler supports three feet of conveyor belt.

    Upload a PHOTO and don’t forget to show us your math! Videos will NOT be accepted for this challenge.

    (Hint: Power can be the product of Force and Velocity)

    Answer: 4.42 HP

    The following is the work for solving the Steampunk & Steam Power challenge with annotations to explain how the solution was found. Given that there was no other weight on the conveyor belt, the only force that was acting on the system was the force due to friction at each idler. The force of friction is calculated as follows:

    Once the force of friction at each idler was known, it was necessary to calculate how many idlers were needed to support the total length of the conveyor belt.

    Finally, with the number of idlers known and the force of friction at each idler known, one must now find the product of the two quantities to find the total frictional force present in the system.

    To find the power necessary to move the conveyor belt, one must multiply the velocity of the conveyor belt by the friction force.

     


     

    4. FedEx: New Heights for Innovation

    Did you know that FedEx employs approximately 4,500 pilots! Each pilot must regularly go through the FedEx Training Center for a thorough review on each of the five primary types of planes in the FedEx fleet: B-777, MD-11, A-300, B-757, and B-767. Innovation is at the core of all the training…one example being the FedEx Training Simulator:

    FedEx Flight Simulation Takes Us to New Safety Heights

    Speaking of innovation, FedEx introduced the ultra-fast, ultra-efficient Boeing 777 Freighter to the fleet in 2009. The efficient design of the plane supports FedEx’s continuing work to reduce the carbon footprint, and commitment to the environment with:

    24% better fuel economy per pound of revenue payload than the 747-400

    18% fewer emissions than the MD-11

    Advanced noise reductions on landings and takeoffs

     

    The Competitive Advantage of a 777 — for a closer look at the 777, take a look at the link above.

     

    Challenge:

    The B-777 is one of the most fuel efficient jets on the market today. One key reason for this is its unique wingtip design, which has been shown to reduce fuel consumption by 3.5%. Your job is to give that 3.5% some context.

    FedEx has 27 Boeing 777 planes in our fleet and has ordered 16 more, meaning that by 2020 we will have 43 Boeing 777 planes delivering packages between the U.S. and locations abroad.

    Make your estimate assuming all 43 planes are flying each day. Imagine each plane flies 7432 miles a day and burns 6 gallons per mile.

    Given the cost of jet fuel is $5.21 per gallon, find how much money FedEx is saving per day through the reduction in fuel use. Upload a PHOTO and don’t forget to show us your math! Videos will NOT be accepted for this challenge.

     

    Acceptable Answers*: $362,318 or $349,648
    *Note: We also accepted, plus or minus, approximately $20 for each answer.

    Due to some ambiguity in the definition of efficiency for this problem, and a subsequent round-off error, two answers* were accepted as correct solutions. To demonstrate the common confusion seen in teams’ work, we have provided a sample calculation for finding the Fuel Rate used when flying without wingtips and the resulting definition for efficiency below.

    And from this the following definition for efficiency can be derived:

    Below is our work to find the same quantity:

    This results in a different relation for the efficiency of this system:

    When comparing these two definitions for efficiency it becomes clear that more clarity was needed in the problem statement. In general efficiency is defined as follows:

    We assumed the following relations:

    This assumption allowed us to draw the conclusion that with the wingtips, a jet would have 96.5% the fuel rate of a jet without wingtips. If one used the inverse of this definition for efficiency (as shown in the first set of work) they could also draw the valid conclusion that a jet without wingtips would have a 103.5% higher fuel rate than the jets with wingtips. Though both conclusions use the given information that the wingtips provided a 3.5% increase in efficiency, when solving for the desired value a small error is introduced:

    Where FRWith= 6 gal/mi

    This difference of 0.0076 between the two answers during this step is the source of the $12,670 difference in our final solutions. Considering that the difference in our answers can be traced to an assumption which was not identified in the problem statement and that the different assumption made by the students is still valid for the situation, it is acceptable to mark their answer as correct. Consequently, this problem will have two correct answers:

    Money Saved = $362,318 and $349,648

     


     

    Houston Challenges

     

    1. FedEx Office

    There are more than 1,800 FedEx Office locations in the U.S. and Canada, and THREE of them are within a half mile of each other here at the FIRST Championship in Houston.

     

    Challenge:

    Find the one that has the robot outside, and take a PHOTO with it.
    Remember to be creative! Videos will NOT be accepted for this challenge.

    Answer: The robot at the FedEx office was located on the 2nd floor of the George R. Brown Convention Center.

     


     

    2. Our Scientist Rocks

    FIRST Championships are divided into subdivisions, each named for a famous scientist (listed below.)

    FIRST Championship Houston:
    CARVER (George Washington Carver)
    GALILEO (Galileo Galilei)
    HOPPER (Grace Hopper)
    NEWTON (Isaac Newton)
    ROEBLING (Emily Roebling)
    TURING (Alan Turing)
    JEMISON (Mae Jemison)
    FRANKLIN (Benjamin Franklin)

     

    Challenge:

    Create a VIDEO(25-sec MAX) that shows how a SCIENTIFIC CONTRIBUTION fromyour scientist has made the world a better place.

    Be creative and have fun with this one! Remember, 25-second limit. Don’t go overor you’ll risk being disqualified!
    Find us on Twitter and Instagram

     


     

    3. The Science of Color

    Our modern understanding of light and color began with Sir Isaac Newton (1642-1726) and a series of experiments that he published in 1672. He was the first to understand the rainbow — he refracted clear white light with a prism, resolving it into seven visible colors: red, orange, yellow, green, blue, indigo and violet.

    By scientifically establishing our visible spectrum, Newton laid the path for others to experiment with light and color, and led to breakthroughs in optics, physics, chemistry, perception and the study of color in nature.

     

    Challenge:

    Solve the following equation for two colors.
       • Your answers will deliver TWO NUMBERS.
       • Both numbers correspond with a wavelength in nanometers.

    Solve the following equation to find the wavelengths of the two colors
    5×2 _ 5150x + 1281000 = 0

    Upload a PHOTO to show us how you found the solution AND show us the two colors. Videos will NOT be accepted for this challenge, so be creative!
    Find us on Twitter and Instagram

    Answer: Wavelength of Purple is 420 nm and Orange is 610 nm

     


     

    4. Raising A Robot

    The term “steampunk” originally referred to science fiction and fantasy, set in an alternate Earth’s 19th century.

    In this universe, Victorian inventors made great leaps in technological advancement with materials like iron, brass and the use of STEAM ENGINES for power.

    Before the competition can begin, FIRST Robotics needs some help unloading the robots off the FedEx trucks. What better way to put steam power to the test!

     

    Challenge:

    Imagine that before the actual competition begins, all robots must be unloaded from the FedEx truck. The unloading mechanism is a system of two pistons which move each robot from the bed of the truck to the ground.

    Assuming an average weight of 300 lbs. for the robot and that the first piston needsto push the robot 10 feet from the starting position of the piston, and the second piston needs to lower the robot 5 feet from its starting position.

    How much total work is done moving the robot crate from inside the truck to the ground? Please provide your answer in Foot-Pounds.

    Given:
       • The coefficient of friction between the truck bed and the robot box is .2
       • Calculate the work done on or done by the robot crate
       • Be careful with your sign notation, work may be flowing into and out of the system

    Upload a PHOTO and don’t forget to show us your math! Videos will NOT be accepted for this challenge.

    Answer: Total Work = 900 lb*ft or -900 lb*ft

    For this challenge a common error was finding the correct magnitude for the answer but with the wrong sign. The correct answer for this problem was a positive 900 lb*ft.

    We believe teams used a sign convention for work based off the direction of motion of the crate, assuming the positive x-direction is to the right and the positive y-direction is up. This sign convention, though often used in physics for forces and velocities, is inappropriate for the application of work because there exists a governing sign convention as follows:

    •    Work done by the system (i.e. the first piston pushing the crate) is given a negative sign (-)
    •    Work done on the system (i.e. the crate compressing the second piston) is given a positive sign (+)

    If teams followed the correct sign convention laid out above, they would get the same answer we have in the solution. Upon looking back at said solution, we realize now we did not include this sign convention in the same words. That said, we accepted -900 lb*ft. and 900 lb*ft.