New VEX IQ model "Clutch" released for Squared Away

I just happened to look this morning and saw that VEX released their new IQ design for Squared Away “Clutch”: Clutch

I have been looking for an easy design for new teams to start with, and I know others have as well.

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I think it’s been mentioned in other places, but it bears repeating: If you grab a cube from the top, as that design seems to be good for, you will not be able to stack a green cube on the highest platform. The highest platform is a little over 9" and the top of a cube is 7". That’s 16". Now the claw mechanism is above that 16" height when it is placing the cube. The rules limit the robot to never going above 15". Unless there is some technique for rotating that I don’t see.

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remember, “clutch” is a trainer…a good, but not great, robot, intended to play the game OK, but not at an expert level. It’s a good place for new teams to start. Veteran teams who want to score well in teamwork competition would do well to consider a design that works well with a partner who is using the trainer bot.

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We ran an IQ camp this week and had a few of the kids build Clutch, what a mistake.

For kids that are new to robotics, building a kit-bot from instructions is usually a good way to get started. It’s not too hard, they learn some good building techniques, and can quickly chalk up an accomplishment. None of the above for Clutch.

After building a Clawbot or Flex, the kids could keep what they built, make some changes and end up with a decent robot; even good enough to bring their first competition. The one criticism that I heard about Flex was that it was too good. There were still Flex look-alikes at championship events. Perhaps Clutch is a reaction to that criticism and was intentionally designed to be bad? If so, they took it too far. :slight_smile:

Anyway, I would not recommend giving this design to new kids. They will end up frustrated, disappointed and will have to start over.

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