Project ideas for after competitions

I am one of the co-heads of my school’s VEX team and our final competition is only around halfway through the year, so we’re looking for some things to do as a team after competitions are over. Does anyone have any ideas for projects or projects that your team has done in the past that are interesting enough to keep people coming to meetings and maybe help everyone learn more building/programming skills for next year? Thanks!

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I’ll be doing this, but make a drivetrain… without wheels or tracks.

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This is an annual thread…if you search “off season” you’ll find more ideas. Here’s some stuff we recommend to our teams:

  • Build a simple drive base, perhaps even the Clawbot (if you have the Clawbot kit) as a test platform, or use your current drive base if it works.

  • Learn to use and program the gyro. There will be a new one eventually, but it will probably work similar to the legacy one, so knowledge will probably be transferrable.

  • Learn to use a CAD package, or learn a new/different CAD package. All the leading CAD software has educational licenses (SolidWorks, OnShape, Unigraphics, Fusion, etc.)

  • Try out the GPS

  • • Learn how to use and program pneumatics.

  • • Try out various drive: mecanun, X-drive, holonomic, “kiwi” “H-drive” or any of the myriad of names that different drive systems get. Set up a criteria to make comparisons of the different drives.

  • • If you’re using block coding, learn to use text coding

  • • Learn about schedule tools, like the Gnantt chart, for next year’s notebook

  • • Learn about decision-making tools for next year’s notebook.

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We have our programmers work with a test base and create functions for use in future seasons. Build team will practice making mechanisms that might show up in future seasons. We haven’t seen tall DR4Bs be the meta since ITZ (or TP for VexU), so that would be a good thing to prototype. It feels like we’ve been making catapults for two years straight, so it’s good to brush up on the core Vex mechanisms.

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