Cortex Placement

So my team finished our final build for my robot before our last competition. Everything works, but we can’t find a good place to mount our cortex (on base, Mogo obstructs it, we haven’t tried it on our lift though)

Where do you guys mount your cortexes? And if possible, could you post a picture to give me a general idea of what you’re talking about?

We mount ours below the back part of our lift, on the chassis. If you don’t have space anywhere else to mount it, you could put it on the lift like you said. You’ll need battery extenders though because you do NOT want to be lifting the batteries with your lift.

You could try duct taping it the the underside of your chassis.

If you post some pics, we can help much better.

The only tape allowed is electrical for securing wires, and Teflon for pneumatics. Thus there are easy mounting holes on opposing sides of the cortex. Try screws or zip-ties?

Edited for clarity

Ah, right. Yeah, you should zip tie your cortex to the underside of your chassis, that’s the best solution. All the pros do it.

How is that legal? I was told by a RECF inspector that having the switch be reachable isn’t enough; it has to be easily reachable while the robot is active. That way you can shut it off without risking hurting yourself (as much). Not only that, but the lights are supposed to be visible. Wouldn’t attaching it to the underside of the chassis be a big problem with all of that?

It is a lot easier to tip the robot over than to put your hands into a spaghetti pile of wire management to reach the switch. As for the LEDs, it is pretty cool to have the blinking red/green/amber glow under the robot than those “extra” bots with the purple LED light strips… just saying.

I suspect I may have been the culprit inspecting robots that day - for that, I apologize…

Ya, I don’t like the spaghetti pile and pushed against it, demonstrating better techniques. That wasn’t as bad a pile as it would have been; it looked worse than it was because the wires needed some room for flexing and because there were piles of tape labels in the space. A big part of their spaghetti pile was that they were running behind and ran out of time for better wire management, which is all on them. I do appreciate the need for access. If you check the other threads, you’ll find one where I argue that while(true){} for driver control is irresponsible if you know better for the same reason the the spaghetti pile of wires is bad.

However, saying all that, I don’t see how placing the Cortex underneath and tipping the robot to get to it fits R16 better:

Their switch was hard to see but was regularly turned on and off without moving or lifting the robot; it followed this rule, though I totally agree it wasn’t easy to access and that can be a safety concern. But tipping the robot to get underneath would seem to be a direct violation of this rule.

I do blame VEX quite a bit for this, though: lights on the top of one corner, a switch on the side of another corner, the wireless card coming out the side opposite those corners, and the wire ports split between two edges of the same side with most those as well as the end with the switch. It’s a really poor layout if rule R16 is going to exist, just asking for wires or the body of the robot to block access to something. It wouldn’t be hard to do a better layout. For example, an on-off switch doesn’t need many wires, so it could easily be moved to the other end. (Yes, I know you want them close to the power input, but if only those two ports were on the same end it wouldn’t be so bad.) The LEDs require some more wiring but shouldn’t be so hard to move. But a little redesign putting the on-off switch and the LEDs on the same end you pull the wireless card out and opposite many wires would have made the Cortex so much more practical. Needing significant access to both ends and placing ports so wires have to pass by one… not so practical. I’m not saying it can’t be done, just that it looks like the designers didn’t care about rule R16 at all.

Happily, it looks like the V5 brain only needs you to have good access to a single (large) side. That makes it much easier, allowing you to run wires along the sides much better. They should also be much easier to slide in. Even with an empty Cortex I sometimes need a flashlight and an extra set of hands to plug in a 3-wire cable that’s not on an end.

Oh, I think it is you. Hi! No apologies needed. I appreciated the Q&A with the inspection for more clarity on what is being looked for. (Haven’t worked with VEX stuff for long - more past experience with Arduino.) I’m still confused about the spaghetti pile that doesn’t require the robot to be moved v. the Cortex underneath that requires the robot to be flipped, though.

My wicked sense of humor -are you at SNE HS Regional tomorrow @qcc? I should be inspecting again :frowning: - sorry!

My take about ease of access to on/off switch is safety first - should someone need to put hand in to turn off the bot, you don’t want them to get hurt. Extreme situations do happen, such as robot battery gets shorted then burns out at Worlds… you do not want someone to be helpful and accidentally get hurt (no one got hurt at Worlds from our incident!). We have seen students get hit in the face with their robot arms, a few inches down it could have cause permanent eye damage (safety glasses)…

So, when working with teams during inspections, I do try to “explain” what I am looking for - hopefully, not too long winded. With around 80 teams tomorrow we need to keep it moving!

So, flipping a bot over to turn it off could be safer than sticking a hand in a robot with a lot of stored energy (rubber bands…)

No, we won’t be. They came close to qualifying but didn’t quite make it. They did so, so much better than last year, though. And now that I have my hands on the program instead of just inheriting it, I fully expect one or two teams to qualify next year.

I totally understand, which is why I’ve stated that while(true){} is a bad way to run remote control. Unfortunately, the rules seem to go a different way in regard to this:

But I think your reasoning makes more sense. It’s just a little confusing when the rules are heading in a different direction.

And you’re great! I think my students really appreciated comments from someone other than me.

Here’s my cortex placement

Let’s be fair, who actually tries to find a place for the cortex. We’re so strapped for space that the only place to have the cortex mounted was ON THE LIFT. I agree that this isn’t the best of solutions, but hey… it works :slight_smile:

While cortex placement might not seem too important, it is good to remember that the cortex should avoid collisions at all cost. At our state tournament, a team from our school had their cortex and key on the top and outer edge of the robot. In one match, another team from our school ran into them and broke open their key. Ignoring the argument about placing the blame on design or defensive driving, no one wants their key snapped. It ruins your match and costs a decent amount of money. While not all random accidents can be avoided, it is better to try to build to diminish these risks. In addition, even tapping the cortex with loose wiring or a loose key could cause communication issues, so it should be kept extra safe when possible.

Which is exactly why we decided to place the cortex on the mini4bar. If there is any danger of it being hit, we simply lift.

On my team it’s usually an afterthought. Last year it was on the bottom of the bot, this year on drive base, one year it was on the lift.

Seems like just tucking it in any old place is working for you guys. Maybe you can leave it off altogether, and save the weight.

Ima try that sometime, I’ll let you know how it works

Wire management should be easier too.

Just to help you all out,

According to this quote, the switch does not need to be visible, but just simply accessible without moving anything of the robot. A secondary small rule is that your lights should be visible to diagnose problems if they ever occur. The second rule doesn’t seem as enforced though, but I would at least recommend to have your lights be visible when your lift is raised. If possible, then I would suggest having your lights visible all the time.