Some people from VEX IQ are coming to my robotics team. (8th graders -----> 9th graders). Does anyone have any tips for the transition? I don’t really know the transition, cause i started with EDR, but anything is helpful !
Anything on programming, building and design?
Must use bearings with two screws to support everything!
Except screws. Only use bearings for shafts.
We have new students build the clawbot trainer which gives a good introduction to the typical building practice. We keep a complete trainer set separate from the regular team inventory so new students aren’t having to hunt for missing parts or anything.
Motivate the upcoming freshmen to do some research on their own. The first month I was ever in robotics I was constantly watching vex robot reveals and worlds matches from previous years. This helped to become one of the best builders in my club and prepared our team for great success.
Doubled up bearings on either side of a piece of metal in some cases.
For EDR, are you on Cortex or V5? Coming from IQ to Cortex is going to feel like a big step backwards in many ways. Especially the wiring and certain aspects of programming.
If they are proficient builders and designers in IQ, then they’ll want to pick up where they left off and skip all the simple stuff, but that doesn’t usually work out well. They may want to start by designing their own H-drive, but have them build the clawbot from instructions instead.
Connecting beams in IQ is much easier than in EDR. In IQ you have so many different types of corner connectors. Not having all those connecting options changes the robot design.
This is generally not good. The little nubs on the bearing will cause them to never be aligned properly and cause more friction than help anything.
Unless it is a screw joint
What about screw joints?
Two things for them to learn is the 1x1parts in VIQ are much more sturdier so that may not be a goto building piece, and they can cut any 2x part to be the right length.
One thing for you to learn is all the cool connectors in VIQ and how to make similar joints in VRC. You might want to premake some samples of both to use as a training aide.
There is no C-Channel in VIQ, so that’s a new part to show them, it solves about 1/2 of the connector issues above.
It’s a pretty easy transition, since they are used to building on the same 1/2" pattern.
both. we have both systems available but we’re prob gonna use v5/
anything on competitions? differnces there?
VEXIQ is two teams on the same team working together in a 4*8’ area. VRC is two teams working together against two teams working together in a space 3 times the size. So VEXIQ robots don’t know about other robots playing defense against them. And three years of them hearing "VEXIQ is not battle bots gets crushed. So one of the transitions is understanding a strategy that has defenders.
The match times in VRC are twice as long and there is no “driver swap at 30 second” that is the hallmark of creating teams that can drive together like VEXIQ.
Use Collars!! Do NOT use the slide on ones. Also Always make sure everything is tight it can become loose and fall off in a match unnoticed before the match starts.
modkit ----> pros, VCS?
The future of VCS is uncertain. The C++ variant of VCS will be replaced by VEXCode. Not sure what will happen to VCS Modkit.
I plan on using RobotMesh Blockly for our 6th graders in Vex IQ, as well as our 7th graders in VRC.
Build Beginner Tips if you’re coming from IQ:
- The IQ Collars are legal, and they’re quite good.
- Don’t put collars on both sides of an axle joint, put one on the inside and screw the outer c channel to the inner c channel somehow.
- Learn about screw joints in order to make low friction lifts.
Competition Beginner Tips:
- VRC is (most often) single driver, with maybe a second driver to do secondary tasks in case the main driver has run out of buttons. The coach plays a very important role in this regard.
- Scouting is very important, even if you are not a high seed. Figure out who’s good and make yourself seem pickable.
Programming Beginner Tips:
- Have autons!! Don’t go to a tournament without autons ready. Leave ~a week or two before the competition to work purely on autons; they will increase your winrate drastically, regardless of the extra robot tuning that week before comp might give you.
- If you didn’t use PID in Vex IQ, learn about it now. In VRC, PID is one of the most basic tools a programmer has. There is inbuilt PID in the v5 smart motors, but it will not do quite perfectly 100% of the time.
- Learn programming early, even before you build a full robot. Build a test drive, understand VEXCode/PROS/RMS and prepare for a real robot. It will smoothen your process greatly.
P.S. If you know anyone who’s proficient in C++, it’ll be very, very helpful with all of these programming systems; RMS is the only one that offers non-C++ variants, but PROS has better libraries (such as okapilib) available. The VEXCode API is identical to VCS’s API, so if you like built in event-based programming (similar to modkit??), that’ll probably be your option.
hmm ok does blockly have the same capabilities as other languages?
RobotMesh Blockly is fairly powerful, especially for a graphical language. If you are used to Modkit for IQ, you will find it slightly more advanced. You can do almost everything that you can do with C++. However, if you are writing a large program then using a graphical language may be cumbersome.
RobotMesh also has the built in mimic feature, which allows you to build a virtual robot in a CAD like environment and test your code on it.
I plan on having a series of lessons for 6th and 7th graders using Blockly. If anyone knows C++ syntax (or C, or Java) then they can use RobotMesh C++, but I find that younger students spend more time working out syntax issues when the use a text language. They just don’t have the patience for that yet.