Protobot problems

I recently attended a elementary school competition and noticed everyone built protobots this is not a problem but the construction on the bots were here are some of the flaws it has

  1. the standoffs on the side keeping the wheels on comes loose really quick and the gears and wheels prevent them from being tightened
    2.the arm comes apart at the base
    3.the micro controller is hard to reach in terms of the on/off switch

i acted as the repair man for all teams and it got to the point where i could completely fix the bots problems in about 3 minutes but the elementary school students were clueless as to why it all of a sudden stopped working or what to do to fix it

problem 1 caused the wheels to loosen and the robot to sag and wheels to fall off

problem 2 caused the 12 tooth gear to no longer be in alignment with the 84 tooth gear

and problem 3 just posed for an inconvenience for everyone

i have found fixes for the problems and if you (vex) are interested i would like to help redesign the protobot to withstand the beating a competition inflicts on it

How about posting your solutions to the community at large? I’m sure all would be grateful to you.

Just use longer angle and it’s pretty much smooth sailing. High load on standoffs without locking hardware makes them loosen.

i wanted to see if vex was interested before i try to cad everything and i don’t think you even need longer angles just tuck the chassis rails in to the existing angles

my teammates and i were also discussing this a while back
how come all the “kits” that have step-by-step to simple robots that had poor structure to them (the outside wheel rail being attached by only two standoffs)
i think that if they changed up the robot, while keeping it just as simple, will have more influence over the education it teaches (such as structure, or gear ratios)
just my 2 cents

Unless it’s VEX’s idea to have kids learn better practices when the instruction-built robots fail…? Haha just a thought. :stuck_out_tongue:

I agree and we were actually thinking about working on an idea like this, as well. (build a better Protobot)


i agree i redesign may be the best option and maybe it should include the claw not roller intake, or maybe just offer a better kit to compete with the protobot kit. it would be really cool if vex offered a challenge to build a bot (that costs about the same as the protobot) and whose ever team dose it best (the one either vex or the vex community chooses) gets qualification for worlds or a gift certificate to the vex store

it would have to be built on autodesk

and it could help promote the new hardware vex offers along with autodesks software

i think it would be a good idea

I like the Protobot, because parts of it aren’t perfect. It encourages new builders to think about how they could improve it.

its true but im talking about 10 year olds they dont know how to build yet and giving them an instruction set for a reliable robot that will stay together during competition would be nice

and when they “graduate” from the protobot and start to create their OWN robots, they use the same principle as the protobot (using two standoffs as a main structure)
maybe that is the better way to learn (by experience and mistakes)
but it may help first generation teams (no experiences mentor) if their “base experience” (protobot) was more educative…

but if vex supplies a better design the teams could become more in tune to building in a more robust fashion and the teams who are going to benefit most from the design flaws usually build something different anyway or work to improve the design to more efficient manipulators they usually assume the chassis and arm are fine until the competition where they fall apart

There’s also the issue of respect. Unless the instructions say explicitly, “This robot is deliberately designed with obvious flaws – we challenge you to find and improve on them,” when students find flaws in the design, they are tempted to think, “This company doesn’t know how to design a good robot. How could it be a good robotics system?”

well obviously the “step-by step” booklet robot isn’t going to be some insane machine
i don’t think the “respect” will be too much of an issue until they try to build their own robot with the structure basics of the protobot. that’s when the trouble begins :confused:

why not… we as in the robotics community should get a alternative to the design and post it on the forum for the beginners to learn from using the pieces in the protobot kit

im thinking of designing a new version using what the kit currently contains on autodesk or a robot that costs the same and is built better if anyone wants to do the same, i would love the competition and having options in building a robot is always a good thing

Sounds like a good exercise.
Your idea of constraints (“what the kit currently contains”) is slightly different than the last similar discussion which was something like “same total price of parts”.

Definately, a robot that could be built out of the exact same kit would be advantageous. The student can take the same kit and make a different robot… Most students will have the parts available (not funds).

sweet, lets see if we can get this “official” with “TBA” prizes :stuck_out_tongue:
if not, we can still have fun “unofficially” :wink:

agreed but im suggesting a prize should be a protobot kit (just saying)