Non-competition Cortex

Kids learn how to do some really cool stuff by competing in Vex. It might be nice if they had a cheaper, non-competitive Cortex to use as a controller for non-competitive projects such as home use, science fairs, halloween special effects, etc. Some Arduino boards come close to doing this, but it might be nice to have something that was provided by Vex that could provide a seamless transition from building robots to doing other projects. Probably such a non-competitive Cortex would not need the radio link, for example.

Just a thought. :slight_smile:

This, or this or this with any of these (for the most part) could do just that.

This is also worth mentioning.

Admittedly with some work.

Yes, that’s why I think it’s wonderful of you to volunteer getting this to market. :slight_smile:

It’s a bit daunting for most kids/people/warm-blooded animals to face a brick of PCB-mounted components and get it up and running. That’s why I was suggesting a Cortex look-alike that would be cheaper but not as scary looking as a bare-naked Arduino, Beagleboard, etc. and use RobotC, EasyC, etc. that the kids are already used to.

All the components are out there. RobotC can work with Arduino. It seems like it just takes a little packaging to make it happen. Also what I don’t know: would there be a decent market for it? Could it be made cheap enough to entice kids to tinker and make things with their Vex-acquired know-how?

There’s always this :slight_smile:

Think of the stigma, though! That’s from kiddie-land, Plastic Romper-Room toy World. I’m sorry but there’s nothing about that that looks like it can chop off your finger or put your eye out. My kids would rather wear diapers than be seen using one of those! :smiley:

Why do you say that, it has just as much capability as an arduino or cortex, have you ever used one?

We use them at our school for our class we are learning how to program and I want to A. fall asleep B. Claw my eyes out, or C. Ditch class.:stuck_out_tongue:

No, I haven’t. I don’t know anything about Vex IQ. Except that the “older” kids swagger around so proud of themselves that they do metal instead of plastic. :rolleyes:

Yeah but… it needs to be packaged to look tough. It needs to look bulletproof or something. I can’t motivate 13 year old boys with something they know the 3rd graders are using! :smiley:

“Dude, this is robot club.”
“Origami class is two doors down!”

Just let them make some stickers to decorate it with basketball or something like that.:confused:

But you didn’t suggest a new/cheaper robotics system, you suggested a cheaper controller for use at science fairs etc. and said that the usual approach to this (ie. an arduino or beaglebone) is “too difficult”.

The cortex + battery is $280.
The VEX-IQ brain + battery is $120.

Both are programmed using ROBOTC V4

The cortex can control 10 motors, the VEX-IQ 12.

Using documentation provided by a certain crazy engineer.
VEX IQ I2C Documentation

You can build all sorts of interfaces to interesting sensors.

Seems like it fits the requirements to me.

I have one of my own and love it. Its so simple but can be used to prototype without pain in the neck screws and you can also make some pretty cool stuff just for fun.

You might be right about this. Maybe I can put some camo paint on it, velcro it to the inside of an ammo box, and fob it off as something new and dangerous. As I said earlier, I knew there were capable products available, but it’s all about the packaging. :slight_smile:

Perhaps one of these.

Or one of these…

If you want to see Stuxnet in action…

Very nice! These have more of that serious, dangerous look to them that seems so essential. :slight_smile:

I didn’t mean to bash the Vex IQ stuff, I just know what it means to some middle schoolers to be seen with the “kiddie” stuff. :o

Um, that’s not a Siemens PLC. Not that I’m advocating NI cRIO.

Here’s what FRC is using from 2015.

Have to admit I find it quite funny seeing 25kg FTC monsters being controlled by LEGO Mindstorms! At the end of the day they’re all the same internally - a micro and some I/O. Regardless of packaging the machine can still take your finger off and that’s motivating.

Personally I think both Mindstorms and IQ are gimped so far as I/O goes.

Which (on the surface) looks like a nice system. It’s Xilinx Zynq based (combo FPGA and arm processor), I think it costs upwards of $500 and that’s probably subsidized.

The words New and Dangerous can grab the attention of any 6-18 year old boy on the planet.

OOO where?