Starting a new Vex IQ club and our director is looking for a basic supply list just to get us started (not competing yet) for the school year. We’ll probably be able to only get one robot. But is there anything else you can suggest as far as parts or components? We don’t know much about Vex IQ so it’s all a learning process for the kids and the coaches.
The first question to ask is, how many students are you talking about? In another post, I think you said 20. I would never have 20 kids with only one robot. We try to run 3-4 kids max to a robot. 2 is even better. With more kids than 4, kids don’t have things to do, so they invent things to do. The second question is, what is your purpose? If you’re not going to competition, then just a super kit would work. I would recommend competing. The competitions are fun, and they are accessible to all levels. The clawbot can score in this year’s game, and with a few modifications, it can be much more effective. To prepare competition bots, the competition add-on kit is a must. It has the chain and the tread for intakes. It also has two more motors and two omni directional wheels. I would order a few more omni-directional wheels (one of our competition bots this year has 7 omni-directional wheels). The other must is the long axle add-on. It allows the students much more flexibility in supplying power to where ever they need it. The VEX IQ Competition table and game to play are also fun. I’m sure there’s stuff I’m missing, but that’s my quick response.
So we do about 3 roboters per robot, so 20 roboters would be about 6 kits. I agree with daddycrusader, if you are competeting, then the Competion Add on is the way to go. Assuming 6 teams then I’d get 3 of the competition add ons, 1 of the foundation add on and a few of the long axle kits.
You can get started with just the $300 super kit. The other add-on kits are not required, but if you’ve got the budget then you will want them. You could start with a Super Kit, and then buy more parts as the team progresses and their designs become more complex. Having your own game field is also a benefit, but you can get by without it.
For team sizes, if you are moving from another robotics program, where large teams are the norm, then you might want to start with larger Vex IQ teams. After going to a couple competitions I think you will see the benefits of smaller team sizes.
I would also recommend getting interested parents involved. Many will not agree with this approach, but it works for us. One coach for ten students will be difficult to manage, and there will be many parents that would love to help. Also remember to invite the parents and extended families to the competitions. Not only will they enjoy it, but someone that attends may ask if they can make a donation, or sponsor a team.
Thanks everyone. We are just a new startup club, so this year is to help the kids learn RobotC (as well as us coaches!) and learn the basics behind building the robots. Next year we plan to start completing.
If you are wanting to focus on RobotC but don’t have the budget for one super kit per 2-3 kids, another option is Robot Virtual Worlds. A lot of students really enjoy it and it allows you to focus on programming. This of course assumes you have computers.