This is my first year teaching Robotics and I am feeling pretty overwhelmed. I would like to do a safety discussion and contract with students and would appreciate if someone could share if they have done a contract. Also, I am not sure how to proceed, Should I just follow the sequence as given on the VEX robotics curriculum?
We’ve never had a big issue with safety (for the most part, VEX is pretty safe) but I definitely wouldn’t discourage having a discussion about it. We have procedures for when anyone is using power tools, for example (“Safety glasses on, or get out!”), and there are certainly some people I wouldn’t trust with power tools, so I generally do the cutting for my organization. Stress that when cutting, always make a mark first, and have a plan for how you will cut a piece. Some cuts of aluminum pieces are a little more complicated. Roll up long sleeves and tie back long hair before cutting. VEX requires that you wear safety glasses while competing, so everyone should have their own but bringing a basket to tournaments would be a good idea. The only time I ever felt compelled to wear safety glasses while practicing was toward the end of last season, while I was practicing on my knees in preparation for the raised fields at Worlds and the pointy parts of my robot’s claw were way too close to my face. Use common sense in a case like that.
What about when your robot was repeatedly shooting small balls and high speeds across the room?
Like @Aponthis said, VEX is quite a safe ecosystem, but there are a few areas where it can be somewhat unsafe:
- When cutting parts, or using power tools in general. Make sure to follow all appropriate regulations for power tools
- High-Speed Game Objects or Mechanisms. This shouldn’t really be a problem this year, but in general, you should avoid getting too close to your robot whenever VEXNet is active.
- Make sure that you can easily stop your robot at any time, to prevent damage to people, game objects, parts, etc.
- Watch out for pointy bits of robots, including cut metal, claws, lifts, etc.
It should be pretty apparent to you who you can trust with power tools, etc. Use common sense, and don’t be afraid to penalize kids for violating safety concerns. Always remember <G1>
I think you’re being sarcastic. Regardless, NbN balla were unthreatening.
REC Foundation has a safety document here.
Yes safety is #1!!! Cutting parts is the prime thing we watch out for. We have moved all cutting to designated areas and require training. Watch out for other stupidity like zip ties on the fingers,rubber bands and nuts or shaft sections. The unsafe conditions can multiply quickly.
For working with parts and cutting them properly is the first safety goal. Safety glasses, making sure items are secure as not to cause issues when cutting, not crowding folks, no messing around in the cutting area, and even ear protection is all good.
I also like to reduce use of a Dremel over safer tools. A full face shield when using power cutter and especially the Dremel! I really don;t like Dremelling a fully constructed robot but understand when it is competition day and you are a hair over 18"
We use a small chop saw from Harbor Freight. It is faster and a bit more precise. We tried a big one but it just melts the metal, so the small one works best for us. I prefer this over a band saw for safety reasons too.
Face Shield for under $10
Chop Saw (not thedurable so buy year after year)