After I finish drooling over all the new features, I’ll probably just build an “In The Zone” robot so I can familiarize my self with the v5 as well as test out some rebuild ideas my team has brainstormed.
I’d probably spend every waking hour from the time I get it testing out its capabilities, because my team is most likely switching to it next year and we’d want to know in advance what it is we’ll be working with.
Because it’ll take time to get used to the new components, I’d like to start learning early how far I can push them so that I can make early, safe decisions on my motor distributions for next year.
Once I’ve determined the possibilities for 8 motors (as that’s most likely the limit for next year), I may build individual mechanisms (depending on the amount of motors given) for this year’s game just to see how they compare with existing motor spreads. (Theoretically, if given 8 motors, you could build a 4 motor 300rpm base, 1 motor dr4b, 1 motor 4-bar extender on top, 1 motor mogo intake, 1 motor roller/claw intake). The dr4b seems like a bit of a stretch on one motor, but that’s what testing is for. Also, from what I read these motors run on 10 watts instead of 4, so if a 2-motor dr4b works now, this shouldn’t be too difficult.
Also, if I got to beta test it, I would definitely bring it in to my school’s robotics club to let the other teams get their hands on it, as in the coming years they will most likely start implementing it in the classroom with kits (if we ever get the funds to purchase them), so that they also have an opportunity to get their hands on it a little early. Gotta give back a little, you know?
I don’t think I will be a beta tester since if I got to be a beta tester, I’d just make a 8 motor 600 RPM 60:1 gear ratio and make a flywheel then make a 8 motor 600 RPM 2:1 chassis to see how fast it is. Then I’d try to program a few things, but since I can’t program I’d just go back to messing around with the new motors. After all that, I’d show the stuff to all the people at our robotics team
I would start doing testing with it to find out what kind of gear ratios are gonna be reasonable for different subsystems of the robot. (For example, we all know that LS 1:5 or HS 1:7 are reasonable gear ratios for a 4m dr4b, ignoring that you can go higher) I would also start testing with all the new sensors, especially the vision sensor to find out what the limitations of them are, how useful are gonna be, how well will my current code libraries transfer over, etc. Since I have all my vex stuff in my basement, I should have a bit of time to work with v5 should I get selected.
I would build a chassis and mess around with the vision sensor since i believe that it will be insanely useful in future games. Maybe eventually try to make a skills bot that looks for mogos so it doesnt rely so much on hard coded tasks. I also want to play around with the 600RPM motors to see how fast i can make something. 2M chassis tests are also on the list if i get one.
I’m just assuming since beta testers will primarily be looking for problems (so they can be fixed), that they will make beta testers agree to not disclose certain things to the general public. I was a little surprised they opened this up to students because of the complicated mess it could potentially be to enter a legal agreement with a Minor. Maybe they will chose to be completely transparent, I dunno.
It all remains to be seen! I was kind of confused by the title “Beta Testing.” I thought that beta testing is normally done earlier so that any issues that the testers find can be fixed prior to large scale development. Since it is mid-January and these things are going to start shipping in May, there is no way any input from beta testers can be incorporated into the manufacturing for May deliveries. I am assuming at this point, there are thousands of V5s in a warehouse somewhere (this is all a guess on my part). Because of the timing for this, I am thinking the it is not really going to serve as beta testing. It is more to help get information out and create some hype among possible users…