College Division - Vex Worlds 2012

College VEX this year has 28 out of 47 International Teams! Let’s start a College Championship discussion this year Similar to the high school Strongest Region Thread,


  1. Try to limit to only 3 teams, use the quote box and bold to highlight teams
  2. Please don’t pick your team
  3. Pick a Country vs. Country Finals bracket

Thanks for the props! We have been working hard to raise our profile both locally and internationally, and had a great time doing it. Looking forward to the world champs to cap off a great season!

My picks (disclaimer: my picks are different to those of others from aura and they might post their own later):

See you all at Worlds! Come by our pits, we have chocolate all the way from New Zealand which you won’t be able to find in the US!

dibs on chocolate

I would agree with a Mexico vs. New Zealand finals. Though American vs. Anybody else would be even better :stuck_out_tongue: if you know what I mean.

Come to think of it, has an American team ever won the college world championship? I’m looking at KTOR on this one.

Lastly, it’s a shame that CAKE and BOTZ won’t be at worlds, as that would have definitely increased the competition level even further. It sounds like they will both go next year though.

I don’t see any huge upsets for Americans in the 2012 wolrds, but who knows! Its odd to see so many great American high school teams and not see that translate to American Universities. My understanding is that the majority of High School VEX kids do not continue VEX in college, instead they move onto other competitions or research.

The last time an American team even made the finals was Rice University vs. Massey in 2009, Elevation.

The perception from universities that VEX is a competition for high schools and is “pretty much meccano” doesn’t help. It is difficult for students to convince faculty to provide support for a team, especially when other competitions exist as well. You also need really good students with enough drive to keep a team going and convince faculty that this will happen, or otherwise they’re afraid that the team will die out in a year or two and their investment is wasted.

Until the college competition becomes technically more difficult than the high school competition, it will continue to be difficult to get more teams om board. Allowing custom electronics this year was a huge step towards that, and it will be up to the teams to demonstrate that there is additional educational value there. I’ve seen the dean of engineering of a university say “its not brain surgery” and while that quote misses the point, until that perception of “vex is easy” changes the growth of the college division will be limited.

It would be nice to be able to double-dip, and get senior project credit for a college vex competition robot.
Mech-Engs might appreciate more custom plastic or metal to design with.
Elec-Engs approve of custom electronics, and a reason to need them.

It would be great if the college design contest rules pushed college robots to look different from HS robots, and be challenging enough to count for senior projects.
Full autonmous maybe? or drive by video only?

I’d like to see some unusual college robots, but KTOR and AURA reveals look like HS robots again this year, with none of this list of features I’d brainstormed:

  • Interaction robot: dual manipulators to score in both center goals at once
    – with a spring cannon to break down the wall to disrupt opponent auton
  • Iso robot: dual/quad manipulators to score in 2 goals on 24" centers at once
    – able to cover-defend 4 goals at once, while scoring in the 20" iso goal

It would have been great to see the Giant Hand Action concept robot from Cody.

When will a well funded college team bring more than 2 robots to worlds?
one pair for qualifying, and then unveil a new pair of robots for finals?

Good joke. :smiley:

I fully agree with jgraber. Our robots look like high school robots, because there is no incentive / good reason to do anything really out of the box. The college game is probably simpler than the high school game, and if we do design/build something more complicated then we’d probably still lose to something simpler. For the record, we’ve tried arduino and other sensors, and even made progress on computer vision, but at the end of the day we had to decide that it wasn’t worth it (especially when the best sensors that we can use are humans for autonomous…).

We are making some progress in getting VEX into our curriculum - a number of universities here use VEX in their first or second year engineering papers, usually to teach design or programming rather than mechanics. We might be able to get some students completing final year projects with VEX (there certainly are a number of interesting areas to look at) and we’re lucky that we have some lecturers who support us and see the potential for the use of VEX at our university. The problem is the other universities who don’t see that potential, and instead see VEX and immediately think “That’s a toy for kids.”

We really wanted to see CAKE’s Hand of God and see if it worked, so we were also disappointed when we heard they weren’t coming. :frowning:

I will build the HOG at some point, its only partly done now. But as I read somewhere else today College VEX hasn’t taken off and thats what killed us. We couldn’t get support from our colleges. I want to make a release of what we finished and what worked soon. But I have finals and FIRST worlds to do, so it will be a bit. And hopefully we like this years game because we should be coming back next year if we do :slight_smile:

  • Andrew

(Quote snipped)

It could be argued that our 6 bar robots, look like our own 6 bar robots from Round Up. It’s not our fault high schools quite like them.

MNU bought 4 robots to worlds last year, although they did use them all during qualifications.

I don’t think the answer to making the games more challenging is to make more the standard game more mechanically difficult; you’d have to alter an element of the game seriously, like changing the autonomous stuff you can do.

Can the college people reposition their robots? Cause that would be quite ludicrously easy.

This could be a problem for getting funding next year, as we plan to start a college/university team next year at UBC (with some people at BCIT, call it UBCIT).

I would love to see college robots go more advanced, with the new ARM9 based controllers there really are no limits, I would love to see the rules loosened so ARM9’s could use WiFi to talk to each other…
While I like the idea of Driver Control I do feel that College Vex will never get the respect of most academics until its completely autonomous. :frowning:

I think one of the key reasons the AURA gets funding is running scrimmages and mentoring high school teams. I was at a meeting with the head of the Electrical and Computer Engineering Department who fund us, he had found out we had been trying to get a team started at one of the all girls schools in Auckland that to him was exactly what he wanted, he was happy really happy to keep supporting us while we were engaged in activities that would bring him more high school students.

If you can make it known that you want to promote STEM not only in your College but the wider high school community as well I think you will probably find your potential funders much more supportive.

Yep. We would rather it wasn’t this way, but those are the rules.

AURA made the decision pretty early that keeping an auton reliable for an entire minute involved making too many tradeoffs, so we’ve gone with the uninspired but more adaptable route of modular autonomous modes with human input. Next year it would be nice if the auton rules went back to how they were for previous seasons.

I don’t know if this influenced the decision to allow repositioning in College - but for Round Up, not that many College teams managed to get a significant amount done in auton and very few used any time beyond 20 seconds. I think that would have changed this year, at least for AURA, had the rules change not happened.

I’m joining this conversation late… but I 100% agree with what’s been said. Especially the part about college teams not utilizing the full 60 second autonomous. My team isn’t this year… But I agree that being able to reposition robots takes a lot away from it.

Finals haven’t been played yet, but I called it :stuck_out_tongue: TGTZ1 (Mexico) vs. AURA (NZ) final.

Go AURA! I’ve been routing for you!

AURA just lost. :frowning:

These things happens. Our boys did make it to the finals though!

Congratulations to TGTZ1 on their win.

It looked like your backwards 6-bar got caught several times on the intake.

I agree with that statement completely. I am at UC Berkeley and I was trying to start at team at the beginning of my freshman year. However, the faculty viewed the competition as very simple and not that challenging. They were looking for something that had more of an autonomous aspect. Students were also not interested because it seemed that the Cost/Challenge ratio was to expensive. Others that that college-level Vex is to similar to high school.

I was wondering how other colleges motivated students to participate and how they got funding?