Starting a Vex U team?

Hi everyone,
I attend the University of Toledo, and Live in Michigan. A few friends and I are interested in starting a VEX U team under the University’s name. What challenges can we expect to face? What tools should we purchase? Are there any guides for starting a new VEX U team?

@shelbymihow : let’s talk! We have a UT student on our MCCC team, and I’ve been talking to another UT student recently. Although were taking a couple weeks off before we get started, we meet Tuesdays and Thursdays at 7:00 p.m. in W-164 at Monroe County Community College. Get together, decide on a time to visit, and I’ll try and get at least our U-team Captain. Do you have a faculty adviser (it would help, but it’s not required)?

Glad to hear that you’re interested in VEX U! The hardest part for most VEX U teams starting out is definitely acquiring funding. While VEX is very affordable compared to other robotics programs, obtaining funding through a university can be difficult. I would recommend reaching out to large, established organizations at your university like IEEE or ACM in hopes of becoming a sub-organization within their club and its associated funding. Purdue’s VEX U program operates as a Special Interest Group (SIG) of our ACM chapter, and we receive a lot of our funding through them. Additionally, the STEM departments at your school might have some room in their budgets to help fund the team, and they’re also a very good resource for trying to get classroom/lab space on campus to work out of.

As for buying new parts, threads like this one: https://vexforum.com/t/what-would-you-buy-to-start-a-new-vrc-team/21741/1 on the forums are a very good place to start. Don’t go with any of the pre-assembled kits, buy the parts that you need individually.

And if you’re looking for competitions to attend nearby, Purdue has been hosting tournaments for years and our tournaments are historically the largest in the midwest (so more qualifying spots to worlds!). Let me know if you’re interested and look for our events on RobotEvents sometime this fall.

Best of luck!

We do not have a faculty advisor as of right now, thought UT does require one to form an official organization. It’s great to know there are other teams in our area! Luckily, we both graduated from an FRC team, so the whole aspect of competitive robotics is soemthing we are familiar with. I will talk to her and get back to you on a day we can meet up there.
Thanks!

I’m in the same position as you right now, trying to start up a VexU team at the University I will be attending.

I would definitely first research the schools engineering and STEM department and try to find a supporting professor. Another good thing to have would be a spreadsheet showing the budget you would need in order to compete.