Robotics Club Idea?

Hello fellow members of the VEX forum, I ask your opinion.

Our robotics club idea had the idea to have ALL of our teams make a basic kitbot in 2 days, and have a competition. The problem I see is that we only have 2 work days a week, which means that we will lose 2 weeks of precious time on robots that could barely get halfway at most competitions. Another problem is that the lower a team ranks, the longer they have to wait to design and build a robot.

So I ask, is this a good idea?

Hey @artsy.andrew! Is there a good reason for the teams to build a clawbot and compete? Is this a training grounds for newer teams? If not, you’re right, it doesn’t seem like a good idea.

I think that this is a good exercise for new teams, but I definitely think that not allowing teams to use the time they have to try to make the best robot they can is not a great idea.

The best thing to do would announce to all teams that you’re having a scrimmage on X date, that they need to be prepared for. This way, you allow teams to build, or at least start the design that they want, without taking away vital building time.

I disagree somewhat. The scrimmage should be optional, because if the teams are trying to get a robot done in time for the scrimmage, they might take shortcuts and have worse quality/optimization for the actual competition.

My opinion is that teaching the new students about robotics should be done by getting them ready for competition. You can teach them the basics of designing, building, programming, and driving by walking them through the process of making a standard four motor drivetrain first, then they can go off on their own and build the rest for competition at their own pace. If the whole club does game analysis the first few days, then the new guys can probably join in, then get help working on a drivetrain while the experienced guys get started earlier.

This is really good advice. The way most people learn is by actually building a robot, not by building a watered down clawbot from instructions. However, building a clawbot can still be useful for teams that have never laid hands on anything mechanical before (legos or k’nex as kids goes a long way). It really depends on the experience and dedication of the newer people.