miniVEX

A lot of showcase robots demonstrate amazing construction and programming skills. I like to look in the opposite direction, and put together, simple robots. Here is my little design called miniVEX. It takes just a few minutes to build and is designed to get students with a usable base quickly so they can start to learn about programming. There are plenty of places to add attachments (sensors / claws etc) and I highly encourage students to make modifications once they get a basic feeling for how it all goes together. You can download full Building Instructions from my website (Big thanks to Philo for the LDRAW parts) and if you do use this design, please let me know as I love to see how far and wide my little robot designs go :slight_smile:

http://www.damienkee.com/home/2014/4/15/minivex-robot-design.html

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Damien, that is a very good minimalistic robot that could very easily get a student up and running with lots of time left for programming. However, if you delve further into the kits and the basic clawbot, you will find a much more robust robotic experience for the younger minds (my wife keeps saying that I am a kid at heart, so there ya go… LoL.) The aim of VEX IQ is to bring kids into the basics of using robots to develop and accomplish a task and being able to build with relative ease. I have seen some wonderful designs and ideas from kids who have just amazed and inspired my imagination. Please share more when you get to know the kit better. I perused your website and you have accomplished quite a bit. Welcome to the forum and I look forward to hearing much more!!

Thanks Timdreamer for your comments :slight_smile: I’ve been teaching educational robotics for nearly 15 years now, and like you, I am constantly amazed at the creations kids come up with. The level of imagination, ingenuity and engineering skills these kids show is often far beyond what we expect of them. This design is not aimed at those kids (they certainly don’t need that kind of help!), but rather at the teachers who are using these kits in class. Co-ordinating a class of 30+ kids can be tricky to say the least and I’ve found a lot of success with these minimalistic builds as a first step into robotics. They are quick to build, saving valuable class time which allows teachers to effectively introduce the basics. Once the kids have the basics, the sky’s the limit!!

I’m really looking forward to exploring the kit some more and investigating ways to help teachers better teach through robotics :slight_smile:

There is a lot to be said for the what if’s, like what if I’d have been able to get into this kind of genre when I was in grade school. The closest I got was to read Isaac Asimov’s book “I, Robot” and dream about being an astronaut. Glad that you’ve made it into the robotics field and like I said before I’m looking forward to your posts here.

I’m going to be building this pattern this week and putting the caster that Art posted and see how it works together. :smiley:

Thank you, Damien for sharing this.

Where is the castor Art posted? It’s the one thing I’m not happy with on my design.

Write something (optional)…
http://www.vexiqforum.com/forum/main-category/main-forum/2114-vex-iq-turntable

Damien,

I posted a bunch of sample images of turntable uses here, which includes a castor:

Regards,

  • Art

This castor was built using the turntable that comes with the foundation add on or the competition add on kits. Unfortunately you can’t purchase it separately.
http://www.vexiqforum.com/forum/main-category/main-forum/2114-vex-iq-turntable

Thanks for posting this, Art. I was having problems posting the link to the thread. The attachment wasn’t working for me. Oh, the turntable shown only comes in the foundation add on kit or the competition add on kit, it’s not sold separately.

Tim,

The VEX IQ turntables will be available this summer as a separate add-on kit. This was part of the new product announcement at VEX Worlds last week. We will be having full details about this posted soon to our website.

Regards,

  • Art

Nice :slight_smile: Unfortunately it isn’t in the Starter Kit so I don’t want to use it for my miniVEX design. Am always open to any suggestions on how to make a simple castor :slight_smile:

Thanks Art. Unfortunately I wasn’t at Worlds so I missed that announcement. I am glad that it was decided to sell those parts separately.

Art, the castor was too tall so I had to use the 2X size instead of the 2.5X. It still had the clearance so the wheel turned freely and it really worked well with Damien’s design.

Damien, I had to add some additional braces on the front and back. It didn’t seem sturdy enough for me so I added some more. Also, I am going to have to add some stand offs and additional 2X8 foundation pieces over the axles as I found that they were walking out of the motors (if you look on the website, VEX has put out some guidelines to follow to keep axles secured.) I will take some pictures of the changes I made and post here if possible. I know that my version will probably not meet the criteria you set down of making the 'bot from the starter kit so I apologize for that in advance. I can tell you right now though is that your robot is very robust and quick in response to the controller.

Timdreamer, could you point me to those guidelines? I haven’t found them yet…

Jetro, you can find these guidelines in your Starter Kit User Guide or on the Downloads and Documents page of the VEX IQ main menu. There is a movie that is posted there called Keeping Shafts Supported and in Position that will help you out as well.

OK, I’ve seen those, I thought you were referring to some additional information.

Hi Timdreamer. I also found my motors walking out over time so added the standoffs and 1x8 beams to hold them in. It adds to the part count but is necessary. We had a few dozen kids do the speed build at the World champs and they all had a lot of fun. The record was about 3 minutes by a kid who just kept coming back to improve his score :slight_smile: I’m about to do another post with the improvements soon!

VEX also announced a captured axle part which would negate the need for these extra parts so it will be interesting to see which kits they go into :slight_smile:

That kid sounds smart.