97300J Robot in 24 Hours

After staying up until 2:30 am last night, we completed building both a mock-up of the Pitching In field and a robot to go with it. This robot can score a max of 60 points, as seen in the video below. I would love feedback and suggestions for either improvements for this robot or ideas for future robots for VEX IQ Pitching In. I am also open to questions about the robot.

Good luck to all teams this season.


I appreciate the video and reveal, but isn’t 2:30 AM a bit late for elementary/middle school teams (it’s honestly late for High School too)

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Yes, it is late to stay up, and I in no way meant it to be an obligation or a recommendation for others to do it as well. I apologize if it came across that way. What I meant to say is that I am really excited for this new game, and I enjoy building robots so much that I get so involved in it that I don’t notice the time until it is 2:30 am, and then the thought occurs to me that I should go to bed. I certainty don’t do this often, and I think this is probably the first time I’ve done it in at least 6 months. While I don’t recommend doing this, I do know that quite a few teams do this, especially on game reveal night. I do appreciate your concern, and I can assure you that I got plenty of sleep last night, and if teams end up doing this, it is also important to remember the importance of sleep.


I am thinking a dr4b to get the high hang, but you first gather as many balls as you can. Then the dr4b lifts you up for the high hang, with a flywheel launcher on the bot shootin al the balls into the high goal.


That sounds like an interesting idea. If you are trying it, I’d love to hear how it goes.


Not criticism; a question worth asking, I think: is it appropriate for a more experienced engineer to drop engineering solutions into the younger pool of engineers like this? The balancing act followed by mentors involves a lot of holding back from directly communicating the concepts we come up with for robots. One of the students I work with put it well: I help dig ideas out of them. This is generally achieved by asking them to describe why parts of the robot so far take their current form, and to explain interactions between game elements and the robot in particular circumstances. I see opportunities, and hope they’ll see them too. A lot of it is about stamina for dealing with detail. I’ll search for a way of getting them to choose to focus on a set of elements worth interrelating and exploring. Some stuff is directly taught, of course - when they first met mecanum wheels, I provided a complete treatment in the abstract and showed it all happening with wheels on a chassis. Physics and mathematics subject matter they’ve covered provides handy cues sometimes, too.
In this instance, it seems fine - you haven’t solved the whole robot problem; no launching and no high lift. So there’s engineering to do between this and a high ranking robot. And there’s an aspect of the geometry for them to realise they must take care with :). It’s good work.


Nice work Lipper family! This should be a great minimum goal for beginner teams, a simple pusher that can clear all balls and low hang. Well done!


I appreciate your concern on this topic, and it is a thought that has crossed my mind many times.

Here’s a little background on why we still do VEX IQ. Initially, we started doing VEX IQ because of COIVD, and the lockdown restrictions. We both did FRC before, and we didn’t really have any intention of continuing with VEX IQ before COVID. The reason I don’t do VEX V5 is because I don’t have the thousands of dollars to buy parts, especially electronics.

Back to your question, we are trying to be very careful with introducing solutions. Our goal is to provide lower level teams with some guidance for a competitive, easy robot to make and drive. For higher level teams our goal is to tweak some designs a little bit or maybe help introduce them to new strategies or give them a new perspective on things. Our goal is not to provide solutions by, for example finding the meta for the game and then sharing it with everyone so then the students just copy it and don’t engineer it themselves. I understand where you are coming from, and it is a well-founded argument, and I share your view of not doing the work for them, but “digging the ideas out of them” instead. Although I do plan to release more videos this season, I will keep in mind the importance of not sharing a complete solution for the game. Thank you for sharing, and good luck to your students this year.


I wish you the best walking that line! :).


I had a team use razorbill and finish top 25 in the world. The build as done by Joseph would not get that for most teams. They used it as a base design and made at least a dozen design improvements to the initial design in order to improve function and reliability.

They credited their sources and documented their observations, testing and improvements.

Finally they added hundreds of hours of practice.

This is the way.


Right, perhaps I’m leaning too simplistically on my own decision that any concept that occurs to me can only appear on the students’ robot if it’s properly decoupled from my investigation via the students realising every functional part for themselves. If I were to slip up, or if there was something beyond their current skills that might be of general interest, perhaps I should release it here. Maybe that would look similar to this release - Joseph’s execution is very elegant, but of course it would require a suitable degree of re-engineering to integrate into a competitive robot with additional scoring and recovery functions.
And teams with less ready access to a mentor or equipment should ideally be able to find appropriate support, which is going to look like Joseph’s post. Checking my privilege here.

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While I appreciate idea sharing and I will always support helping and teaching new teams, I think there is a fine line that we should not cross. I have several concerns with how some ideas were shared in the past season. First, anyone over the aged limit to participate are by definition considered an adult as per Game Manual. As such, anything that person shares must be done with the same discretion as any adult coach. Imagine how inappropriate it would be to watch a video of a 45 year old coach talking about his 24 hours build and then proceed to drive it. It iis perfectly ok for actual kids participating in the game to share their ideas or show off what they’ve accomplished but not someone who is clearly more advanced than the games was designed for. Of course, any older kid or adult would be better at solving it.

Last season, you were the first to post 274, 306 for LRT and LRS and virtually all milestones. This robbed good teams of the chance to be the first one while many other teams including top performing ones simply copied your robot and route without ever understanding how the solution was developed. The engineering process is really more important than the result. We are here to educate kids about robotics not just to provide kids with quick winning solution that they can easily copy. No adult or over aged person including myself should ever be driving and publishing solutions for kids.

The second concerning practice from last season is detail picture of robots that were freely given out. While trying to reverse engineering a competitors robot may not be an innovative as creating your own design, it is still a very though challenge and kids can learn a lot from it. But when they are provided with detailed close up pictures from all angles, they are no longer learning. They are simply copying it mindlessly in most cases. It is no different than building a Lego kit with some RC functions. They need to do very little if any experimenting or testing because this works out of the box to get high scores as per video. The same age rule also applies to build. No adult (anyone over the cut off age of VEX IQ) should build a robot and give it to a kid to copy. Designing, building a robot and developing an effective route strategy that can clear the field is a great challenge and a great reward for those who achieves that. The honour of the first person to clear the field should be left to kids actively participating in the game, not a coach, not an adult nor over aged kid. Just imagine you were competing this season and you were on the cusp of being the first to solve this year’s challenge but someone who is too old to compete beats you to the punch and publishes a video of their victory dance in clearing the field. I am bringing this up not as a criticism but a simple hope that things will be different this year so more kids can benefit from this great program. Based on what you and your brother have done, you must’ve learned a great deal from your mentors becaue you are so good. We should let other kids have that chance as well to learn and fumble on their own.


Not disagreeing with you, but it’s worth pointing out that vex releases a step by step guide to build a robot that is arguably better than this one. (No offense that was a great build for 24 hrs)


Respectfully disagree. I think Ben and Joseph are making designs accessible to students of a variety of levels and allows kids to compete and stay interested in STEM. Seeing young adults ignite children’s passion for robotics should be applauded. Caution Tape had a bot similar to Avalanche and Stephen Zhu’s August video. Noah’s team had a version of razorbill. I don’t think they felt any less of a sense of achievement when the posted a 306 as teammates in February.


I slightly less respectfully disagree. Please show me where in the Terms of Service for this forum it says that posting cool things you do with the VEX IQ system is against the rules?

I will additionally state that @FRC973 is still a student, and a VIQC alumnus at that. Former competitors in nearly all other robotics programs make RI_[D/H] videos all the time, to the issue of nobody.

If @FRC973 or anyone else was to sell design ideas, or individually benefit certain teams or competitors, then we might have a problem, but I see absolutely nothing wrong with an enthusiastic former VIQC competitor building a robot in response to the new game reveal and posting it for others to see.

And to your point about “robbing good teams [sic] of the chance to be the first”. Miss me with that elitist nonsense. Someone posting their accomplishments and providing resources to raise the floor for teams in no way shape or form diminishes the accomplishments of others.


No disagreement that it is a great build in 24 hours. They are great at what they do.
It’s just unfortuante that it was a solution built and driven by adults. Below is the defnition of an adult in the game manual for this year’s VEX IQ. They are clearly by VEX defnition an adult and not an active team. I’m not sure the rules for FRC and how liberal they are but the rules for VEX IQ regrding adult involvment is clearly stated in G2 (see below). If you disagree with the meaning of G2, you should post it in the offical Q&A for clarification when it opens.



What portion of G2 do you feel is being contravened here? All the examples in G2 are about interactions between students and adults within a particular team. If Ben and Joseph built this robot and then handed it off to the students on a VIQC team they were mentoring, who then used it in competition, then of course that would be a violation of G2. But that’s not at all what they did here.

There is a big gulf and a lot of engineering effort between watching a short video of a robot and actually having that robot built in front of you – arguably more than assembling the current season’s “hero bot” from printed instructions. I don’t see how the existence of this build compromises the student-centered nature of VIQC any more than the existence of the hero bot plans, which is to say, I don’t think it does.


I’m pretty sure every year there is always a handful of kids who do the 24 hour challenge to build a robot out of their love for robotics and the new game release. Good for them if that’s what they choose, pretty sure they have parents who approve of them doing this.

They are kids, not adults here people. Once they cross adulthood at 18, then they will have to balance the line of posting videos anymore. I’m pretty sure I didn’t see any step-by-step build instructions so good for them for sharing their ideas. Lots of people on this forum share their ideas. People get inspiration from other people. This is called innovation. I’m sure lots of people were inspired and also learned from watching their videos.

Oh yeah, you still have to be able to drive the robot too. :microphone::v:


I think it’s important that we step back a bit to what happened in the season that just past. You are right the solution he posted here would not make much of an impact either way. Hero bots and solutions like these really only help entry level teams who I definitely agree could use all the help they can get. What we are trying to prevent from repeating is what happened last season where detail close up shots of robots were provided to anyone who emailed him (see example below). There really isn’t much left out . He even provides the robotc code for it and obviously the routes that he drives for all different score levels even up to clearing the field for LRT and LRS. In fact, he was the first one to publically reach all key milestones including clearing the field. This where our concern lies. It’s not about simple solutions built to help new teams. it’s providing advanced solutions that solves the games completely in sufficent detail that no guess work, testing, or development is really needed. It’s an essentially turn key soution that he provides. And if that is ok then is it ok if I pulled together a team of engineers tomorrow and develop an incredible solution, publish it on Youtube and offer to provide detail images and codes and routes so you can be one of the top teams in the world to clear the field and all free of charge. Is it ok too that one of the coaches on this forum go out tomorrow post a drive that he/she came up with and then actually proceed to drives it himself/herself. Is that ok too? Would that be considered a violation of G2? You could argue that it doesn’t technically violate it but does it violate the very essence of what G2 is tring to promote, to prevent adults from providing easy solutions to kids so we can enrich their learning experience. I am all for helping entry level teams get started. 100%. But for the intermediate and advananced teams, it would be great if advanced solutions were not developed in vaccuum by adults then freely distributed in sufficient detail that anyone can easilly replicated. I strongly believe that would ruin their learning experience. And please don’t get me wrong, if Ben and Joseph were both still of age and competing, everything they did last year would be perfectly acceptable because they would not be considered as adults and they are simply sharing at their own level. That would actually be highly encouraged. However, they are no longer at the IQ level.

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My idea right now is a mix of a flywheel from NBN, a ball sorter that disperses them evenly between 4 channels like the contraption from this video (It’s a Wintergatan video about accuracy), and a conveyor shaped like most change up bots.
The robot would store up to 20 balls then high hang and discharge everything into the high goal in the last 10 seconds.