I was looking at some older posts just because I was curious and found this one. I realized that its probably pretty hard for people that are new to VEX to find information and advice if they don’t know where to look. So I wanted to create this thread to bring attention to some good sources information, and also to create a place on this forum where lots of advice and information is gathered together to make it easy to access.
I will start off by listing a few places with useful information for people getting started in robotics.
101 Things I wish I’d Known… This is compilation of 101 tips from people. Made by VRC and the REC Foundation.
Unofficial Vex Discord (I’m not sure if I can link it here, but look it up and you should find a link on reddit.) I’ve gotten lots of help there, and they have channels specifically for software and hardware.
Youtube is also a good source of inspiration. Many teams post videos of matches or robot reveals which can help you when creating strategies or design ideas.
And here is some advice of my own. In the thread I linked earlier there was a post by @RoboTurtleLord . In his post he said,
With Vex there are no instructions for anything other than the original clawbot and that is part of the way Vex works. You have to make your own “instructions”. By seeing other peoples ideas, and an understanding of how the mechanism works it is very easy to come up with your own based on your own needs and wants.
I think this is very true, but I want to explain how you can “make your own instructions”. You do this through documentation which is exactly what an engineering notebook is for. As you are designing and building your robot, and it’s code you should take time to document your designs, the design process, problems you came across while building and programming, and how you fixed or worked around those problems. You should document it in detail by taking pictures, creating sketches and blueprints, describing how parts of your robot work, and why they are a part of your robot.
My engineering notebook is something I’ve neglected far too much throughout my time in the VEX program, and it’s definitely come back to bite me on several occasions. Basically what I’m trying to say is spend time filling out your engineering notebook and do it well because that time spent will definitely help you in finding success in robotics.
If anyone else has tips or advice to help people get started in robotics then feel free to post it here.