Buying practice elements

What elements of the Starstruck competition would you suggest a new team purchase, in order to practice for such competition? We plan on building the arena. I will buy the stars and the cubes and maybe the metal wall, which divides the arena. Other than this, what other items do we need?

Thank you.

You can build the perimeter and central wall out of substitute parts (like plywood), but the floor should be regulation foam tiles (not the cheap, thinner ones from Wal-Mart): VEX Competition Field Tile Kit.

You can get or build almost everything yourself besides the cube and stars. The foam tiles aren’t necessary but they could affect the speed of the robot, so keep that in mind if you are making an autonomous.

I hope your team has a successful VEX Career!

I don’t often post disagreements here, but you cannot know how your robot will drive unless you test on the same surface as you will be competing on. I’ve talked to tens of teams in the last 11 years whose robots worked on the tile or short carpeting of their classroom, but will barely turn on foam. Just saying…

I haven’t personally encounter that issue but it might be because I only have had experience with Omni-wheels on my robot. The normal wheels may have a lot of friction on the foam which prevents the robot from turning. It would probably be good then to get a couple of official tiles to test the robot on, then.

Is the VEXNet competition switch a necessity for the competitions?

For competitions yes, for practice no.

Field control (essentailly the competition switch) is provided at competitions, so no. It’s mostly just for practicing autonomous routines.

Build the whole thing out of the cheapest wood you can find. I used pine planks 1 foot by 12 feet (4) and 36 feet of 1" by 2" cut up to make the fence. 60" to make two 30" long 2.25" diameter pvc pipes for the poles and bought foam tiles wholesale for less than half the price. Purchased everything at Home Depot in one day.

Total Cost = about $200
Savings = a few thousand dollars

Only the stars and cubes should be bought from VEX, or you xan try your hand at making an elephants’ toothpaste star.

It would be a good idea to have a section of PVC in the corner too, to practice hangings.

If I may add an idea for a cheap field, follow this link https://content.vexrobotics.com/docs/vex-robotics-competition-field/low-cost-perimeter-rev-c.20090427.pdf, there it will have a cheap field build out of pvc pipes which my team just finished today. It costs around 100 dollars and is super durable, yet portable. Plus, if you only want to practice on it, you can adjust it from a full field to half of the field and use the far wall as a pseudo center wall to knock off or throw the stars over.