New team

Hi. This year, I am starting a new team from scratch with 6 other kids and 1 mentor. None of us(including our mentor and me) has any experience with VEX(although our mentor has done FLL before), I am the only student on the team with any experience with robotics(I’ve messed around with 3d printed robots), and also the only person who can program. Does anyone have any tips ?

I think the best advice is to read and understand the rules thoroughly. In addition to that, there are videos and workshops online about building, programming, engineering notebook, etc.

Read the manual entirely, everyone on the team should do that as well

Do a game analysis, find the score distribution, plans, ideas, etc

Start planning your robot based off of game analysis, then a good way to get everyone involved is to prototype designs, if it works great. If it doesn’t work, then you know you can move on to something else

Ask your mentor to join the VEX World Coaches Association on facebook. Most of the discussion there is about how to run a program (rather than how to build a robot).

Get yourself to an early season competition in your area as a visitor. Spend the day there from the doors opening to closing awards. Walk through the pits and look at the other robots. Watch what they do. Ask the teams and other mentors lots of questions.

Watch the competitions, not only for strategy and how the alliances are playing, but how the competition is run - regestering process, staging, matches, timing, pit areas, people flow, qualifiers, alliance selection, finals rounds, skills challenges. The whole enchelada.

Oh, and all through this… HAVE FUN! This is a great community. For the most part very open willing to help. It can be overwhelming, but take it piece by piece, learn, try your best.

Plenty of team resources on the VRC Team Site

Have fun! Plenty of teams will help you out at competitions!

I agree with this, except that I would build a robot (even a clawbot) and compete at that first tournament. You’ll learn a LOT more as a competitor than you will as a spectator.

I would even add some goals for yourself at that first tournament with a clawbot.

  1. score a point during autonomous
  2. Win 2 matches
  3. Talk with 5 top teams at the event about how they chose their design