suggestions for a newbie

i joined my school’s robotics class a couple weeks ago and i understand it amazingly. i have decided though to buy my self a set of vex parts the best one i can find are the classroom bundles (but it adds $200 for the curriculum) and the pltw sets (which are at least $1000) i am very fond of all four of those choices but open to anything. any suggestions?

I’d say pretty much everything is good… Motors are always good, pnuematics offer great options, but my best recommendation would be to think about what you want to do. If you are looking to build a robot, design it. Then buy the parts.

i actually just found one of those red vexplorer sets, brand new also. is that a good investment at about $100

Welcome to the forum, and the competition.

This forum is amazing for learning stuff, so keep on being active here and you’ll learn heaps.

Robotics is amazing, but expensive - don’t let you put this off, it’s a very rewarding field to get into.

One thing that our team (AURA) did to reduce the costs and get some really good parts is simply buy the best parts immediately (counter intuitive I know). From experience in other teams we had found that cheaper parts (ie steel) are nice, but when you want to upgrade (you will want to upgrade in time) to aluminium you end up paying twice and having a very heavy box of metal (steel) that you hardly ever use. OTOH, if you don’t want to compete with your own parts, then steel is obviously a cheap way to get a bigger robot. Also, you don’t feel as bad cutting steel because you didn’t pay as much for it. While this strategy meant that we didn’t get pneumatics for a while, it did mean that we had the best parts available as far as robot essentials go.

team AURA… isn’t that in New Zealand? and thats understandable but im not really looking to compete on my own

That’s right.

No problem, most of my points still should help you out.

Another thing I just thought of, if you want to programme your own robot (I’m assuming you probably will at some point, autonomous is one of the really fun parts of robotics) then both of the main programming choices have trial software that is fully featured, so you can try before you buy.


sweet, thanks

I would advise steel for you first year (that’s what we did). Also, if you design your robot beforehand (either on paper or 3D software) it can save you money and time in the long run. And I would try to learn Robot C for programming but that’s up to you.