Starting off with building

Hey guys,

I have a quick question for everyone.

I have been doing VEX for two years now, and I get the basic “getting started” element of building.

But, my question is, what is the best section of the robot to start with this year?

Drive?
Intake?
Launcher?
Lift?

Thanks

In my opinion, I would start with the base. If your start with your other components of the bot, until you have a base that you can drive around, you don’t really have done any progress. Not only that, your base is the most important part considering it will be the reason that you are able to compete. Also finishing the base, so you have a basic layout allow you to make your other components fit better on the base, and also make them more modular, so that it can be fixed very easily. Hope this helps

You should build your launcher first, so that you can get a sense of how heavy your robot will be and you can get the highest gearing possible on your drive.

I’d prototype the launcher separately, since that’s the part that will score you big-time points, but when building the robot itself, I would start with the base.

I’d CAD the whole thing first. But otherwise do the base, so you can everything based on the most important thing.

Although the launcher is important, in this year’s game, a base by itself can do a lot, whereas a launcher by itself cannot.

That doesn’t mean you should only aim for a base.

It depends on your design. For example, my team is prototyping launchers before building anything else so the most effective base could depend on the catapult we are choosing. If you already have a launcher and base in mind, it might be easier to start building the base and then mount the launcher on it.

I would start with prototypes of each system and figure out what works, then CAD the whole robot and build it in systems separately. This is especially useful with larger teams because you basically build 3 separate robots and put them together. The CAD drawing makes sure everything fits together if you follow it.

We always trart with drive but I’m starting to think you may want to start with the main scoring device of the bot. This would be because it will have the most time being complete and be finished for testing. Its easier in my opinion to design a drive around a system than a system around a drive.

In naval architecture, it’s called the design spiral: design the chassis, see if the game system fits, adjust the chassis, adjust the game system, test, redesign, retest. At the end you end up a compromise that best fits your goals with the mechanism you can successfully build with the parts you have. There is no “best section” to start with, because you have to make them all work within the rules without violating any significant laws of physics. See http://www.neely-chaulk.com/narciki/Design_spiral for a nice discussion of where I get this from.

So we can only violate the insignificant ones? Thanks for the tip! XD
I tend to start with the drive base simply because that gives you a nice basic structure to start with and attach things to.

Start with the end effector (whatever interacts directly with the game objects) and work down.

I always start with the launcher/intake/lift because it often determines the way the chassis is put together. (and I’d far rather be speed building a chassis the night before than an entire catapult, lift, etc. :slight_smile: )

I always start with the system that’s most prone to error/most variables. Most of the time, that means the intake systems.

This year, this meant the drivetrains