Simple Build

One thing I’m passionate about is quick and easy builds. While it is great to have some amazing creations to look up to, it is nice to have a simple base that is quick and easy to build. This is great in a classroom situation as well, allowing kids to get on to the programming more quickly. This base can be made with a single starter kit and has plenty of mounting points for sensors etc as needed.

I’m not a big fan of the 4 wheel skid-steering as it makes autonomous motion a little more unpredictable so I designed a simple castor wheel.

Would love any feedback :slight_smile:




Simple and effective… but I guess that the castor wheel doesn’t behave very well when going backwards?

I was building something similar, but using the omni-wheel as a castor… just realised the omni-wheel is not in the base kit :frowning:

The castor isn’t great, mainly because the axle bushing keep working their way up. I designed it with enough room to swivel all the way around so it can go backwards. I’ve rotated the brain 90 degrees and set it back a little to help with the balance, but it added 6 more pieces! :slight_smile:

Nice simple build. I too wanted a castor. I came with a different solution myself albeit it is a little more complicated. I would love for there to be a “castor” part that takes the standard wheels so you can build something akin to ZTR lawnmower. With the skid steering it is impossible to build autonomous operation as you can never predict when the skid will happen. I like your simple castor design.

Got it… Didn’t understood the way it was built because my screen was too dark!

Having Omni Wheels on the front of the basic build reduces the skid in turning so that the robot is very responsive but still has traction going forward. Too bad that IQ doesn’t have the Mechanum (sp) wheels that are available in the regular VEX robotics. However, having a castor is something that I hadn’t thought of. Great idea!!

Hey guys/girls! I need some advice. I am a novice to all of this and want to ask a few questions. What do I need to get started? What comes in a starter kit? How much does it cost? I assume that I also have to purchase software? This is not for a teaching situation; I just want to learn the technology. I have been a programmer early in my career, Cobol, SAS, Fortran, 4GL, HTML, etc and want to learn robotics. How/where do I start?


First of all, welcome to the world of robotics. The people at VEX are really great and have quick service. Right now the kits for the most part are out of stock. I am sure that they are waiting on a shipment any day now. I started with the Starter Kit w/ Controller and added a Competition Kit and several small Kits to supplement what I have. The Starter Kit either with the Sensor package or the Control package are what you will need to get you started, they run around $250. You can get the Super Kit that has both Controller and Sensors for around $300. I would recommend a Competition kit for additional options for around $150, that will give you not only more parts, but extras like more sensors and a pair of Omni Wheels. For a complete listing of kits and parts Click on the Home button and then click on the VEX IQ tab and finally click on the Products tab. RobotC is the software that is designed for VEX Cortex and VEX IQ.


Thank you so much Tim! Do I build everything from the ground up? The reason I ask is because I’m not a builder, I’m a programmer. If building is required is it because everyones robot is different? Are all the add ons used to provide more things that the robot can do? It sounds like fun!

Yes, the kits allow you to build a robot from the ground up. The kits have an instruction manual for the basic clawbot and gives step by step instructions. In addition, all the structural parts snap together very easily for countless possibilities. You can either program the brain with Modkit or RobotC v.4 programs. The brain comes with a basic run program so that you can use the remote control to drive the robot yourself or you can write your own program and download it from the computer to the brain via the supplied cord. They also have sensors that you can use to give your robot capabilities to interact with it’s environment. Geez, I’m beginning to sound like a salesperson for VEX… LoL. :stuck_out_tongue:


This type of orbot kit is a very common “toy” for programmers. If you’re wanting to play with robotics, this is one of your best entry points.


Thanks Tim. I can’t wait to get started!

Thanks Steve! It sounds lik it is an erector set with a brain!