The Vex Platform
The Vex Robotics systems offers students an exciting platform for learning about science, technology, engineering, art, and math (STEAM).
The small scale of the robots allows for flexibility within robot construction and easy maintenance, putting emphasis on design choices. The relatively cheap and reusable parts of the already fabricated and standardized parts reinforces that level of versatility.
In a classroom setting, Vex (and it’s smaller scale Vex IQ sibling) are the perfect tool for introducing students to robotics concepts.
2017-2018 Vex Season: In the Zone
The new Vex Robotics Competition game for 2017-2018 is In the Zone, a cone-stacking game.
In the Zone is set on a 12-foot by 12-foot field. There are a red and a blue alliance, each with two robots. Each individual robot is limited to an initial size of an 18-inch cube, which they may expand from once the game begins. The object of this game is to stack cones the highest, scoring mobile goals, and parking robots in designated areas by the end of the match. Teams compete in matches with a 15-second autonomous period followed by a 105-second driver-operated period. The alliance that has the most points at the end of the autonomous period will be granted a 10-point bonus.
Please click here to access the game manual. This year, we have two Vex teams, each lead by two experienced members who are mentoring our new members. We participated in competitions around the state of Hawaii, and won the Invent Award, Judges Award, Build Award, Innovate Award, and were Tournament Finalists twice.
We look forward for another exciting year of Vex!
2016-2017 Vex Season: Starstruck
Last year, we participated in the Pan Pacific Championship on Oahu, TMT East Hawaii Tournament at Waiakea Intermediate, the TMT Big Island Tournament at Kohala High, and the Hawaii State Championship at Keaau High. We were quarterfinalists, semifinalists, and finalists at our competitions, taking home a Teamwork Award, Build Award, and Design Award.
Vex robots can be made with aluminum pieces, up to ten motors (in some cases 12), pneumatic systems, and can include a plethora of different sensors. Robots typically compete 2 vs 2, chosen randomly for each match, on a 12 ft by 12 ft field. Robots are typically limited to being 18 in by 18 in initially but may sometimes expand during the 2 minute matches. A game will usually have a main scoring method, with different levels of scoring based on the robot’s capabilities, and a final objective to obtain additional points.
Designing and Building
With the introduction of each season comes the need for a new design. The various limitations, such as size and motor capacity, really test the capabilities of the builder as they create the various systems to achieve scoring.
These systems are simplified into a drive train for mobility, an intake for game piece manipulation, and a lift or other scoring mechanism to allow the piece to reach its goal.
In order to make a robot function, a program is required. We use software called RobotC, a variant of the C programming language, to accomplish this. While programming basics for a system can be easy, the potential for high end algorithms, such as PID, is there to challenge teams to accomplish more.
Other websites that offer information among other things: