Newbie with another couple questions

Hello Again

First let me thank all the previous posters. Your input has been greatly appreciated. After looking over all the comments I have decided to go VEX for a hobby set.

  1. First where to buy it from?
    Obviously Vex robotics seems like the obvious answer however I ran across http://www.idesignsol.com/ which seems to sell at 15% less. Is there any drawback to using them?

  2. Operating system compatibility. We have PC laptops (Vista & Windows 7 with the vista to be upgraded to windows 8 as it comes out)and a (XP I think) server at home as well as iphones, ipads, a new mac book air etc. Also we run dual N networks which have a shared drive on the server. Will the software be pc or apple and will the network work for the USB senders?

  3. One fellow commented on how the new ARM processor might be a good option. Am I correct in understanding that there are no ways to manually control robots built with these (there wouldn’t even by virtual manual controls on say an ipad2)? They are only controlled by programming? They would however be accessible over the internet while a cortex model would not (envisioning remote driven via camera in the later future)?

  4. It looks like RobotC and EasyC both have trial periods. I am going to let my wife try both to see which she likes better. Decent idea?

  5. So I believe so far I have decided to go for

  6. 1 Lab kit with cortex (pending the answer on Q2 above)

  7. 1 Advanced sensor kit (looks like a programmer’s dream kit)

  8. 1 Programming kit (required for the sensor kit programming)

  9. 1 Winch and pully kit (just looks fun)

  10. 1 Claw kit (again looks “handy”)

  11. 1 Set of 2 Omni wheels (for turning)

  12. 1 393 motor (for a little extra oomph)

  13. Software to be ordered after trial period

Is there anything else required that I am missing? Also is there other packages that might be a whole lot of fun that isn’t included or mgiht be a good substitute for the above items?

which seems to sell at 15% less. Is there any drawback to using them?

All I can say is that they are on the official reseller list. [

There is always going to be more to add but, perhaps as you are spending so much already, I would add another 7.2V battery so you can keep enjoying everything.

](“http://www.vexrobotics.com/vex-resellers#or”)

VEX sensors are integrated into the programming for both EasyC and ROBOTC, and the’re specially made to mesh with the hardware. They also cost lots of money. If you have the time and programming skill (I assume that since this is a hobby project and your wife is a software developer, you do) it would be much cheaper to buy sensors from other places and use them instead. For example, the VEX light senor sells for $20 on the VEX website. I’ve gotten just as good if not better results with a simple photocell. You will probably find better and cheaper sensors if you look outside of VEX, but then you have to code for them yourself and make them fit with the hardware.

Probably 2 393 motors are better than just 1.
That way you can have a balanced R/L wheel drive, rather than just a stronger arm.
What did you want to do with a robot you build?
Stairclimber?, fetch you a drink?, Fully Autonomous VRCC entry?
http://xkcd.com/665/ (prudence)

If the your programmer is familiar with Eclipse, and linux based SDK,
or whatever VEXpro uses for SW, your programmer might be happier with that than RobotC or EasyC.

:smiley: A virtual high five to you sir. By the way, the probe would love a firmware upgrade, but it’s so poorly documented that the witch wouldn’t know how to code it.

I’m thinking wheeled drink fetcher to start then slowly adding more complexity. Also while I will enjoy the manual controls I’m pretty certain my wife will most be interested in the autonomous control. Eventually getting to a tracked autonomous stair climber/descender would be great but that will take some doing. The pneumatics also look fun for later projects.

I was actually pondering 2 motors as well and the 2nd battery makes good sense as well. Thank-you for the suggestions and keep them coming.

One other item. I don’t really see any hinges in the bundle I am getting. Are they useful instead of getting a bigger base (ie a trailer configuration).

Post some pictures of your robots when your done with them as some of us have never used VEX for recreational robots it’d be cool to see what you guys come up with.

Non-Vex:

A large fishing tackle box
A hacksaw
A small flat bladed screwdriver 1/8"
A Dermal tool with a fiberglass cut off bit