VEX Competiton Add on Kit Contest December 2017

We’ve seen it, we’ve purchased it. Expansion kit https://www.vexrobotics.com/228-3600.html May or may not be thrilled with the items in the kit.

Your holiday challenge is to come up with a better competition upgrade kit for under $100. Has to have 2 motors. (I was going to say 4 omni wheels, but others may feel differently.) Assume the blue/gray color scheme, so there isn’t an upcharge for the colors.

Post your list here, feel free to comment on other’s lists. At Midnight 31 December I’ll declare a winner. Winner will receive the own upgrade kit, IN THE COLOR OF THEIR CHOICE, and 35 Delaware teams will also get the same kit. If you want to be a stealth winner, lists to Foster dot Schucker atsign StemRobotics dot org will work.

With the addition of long double and single pieces, the amazing connector choices, etc. I think it’s time for a revamp.

Thanks and Good Luck!!
Foster

This is what I would do for under $100. That’s a hard task!

RobotMesh-Quote-10063045.pdf (13.9 KB)

Here’s what I put together.

[TABLE=“border: 1, cellpadding: 1, width: 640”]

		**Name**
		**Part Price**
		**Quantity**
		**Total Price**
		**Part #**
	
	
		**200mm Travel Omni-Directional Wheel (2-pack)**
		9.99
		2.5
		24.98
		228-2536
	
	
		**Chain & Sprocket Kit**
		19.99
		1
		19.99
		228-2534
	
	
		**Smart Motor**
		19.99
		2
		39.98
		228-2560
	
	
		**2x Beam Long Pack**
		9.99
		1
		9.99
		228-5653
	
	
		**Standoff Foundation Add-On Pack**
		3.99
		1
		3.99
		228-3516
	
	
		 
		 
		**Total**
		*98.93*

Am I bending the rules by doing 2.5 Omni Wheel packs, which would give each team 5 Omni Wheels? My reason would be that it gives the students the right number of wheels to experiment with all the different types of drive train options, allowing them to prototype, test and learn.

I’d go this route if this is for competitive teams. Let’s you try a lot of ideas plus have an extra battery because yeah, those are useful. [LIST=1]

  • 2x Smart motor @24.98
  • 1x Extra Battery @19.99
  • 1x Omni-Wheel @ 9.99
  • 1x 24/48 tooth gear @5.99
  • 1x Tank Tread @24.99
  • 1x Chain Add-On @12.99 [/LIST] **Total: 98.93**
  • To be fair, the current kit parts have a total retail of $114.94 if they were all purchased on their own. If VEX did take these suggestions and revamped the kit, then we would still discount it the same way we do today. Foster, it is your little competition, but I suggest keeping the parts under $115 at our retail and that would equal our current kit discount and pricing.

    Ok Paul, I’m up for that, new goal is to stay under $115, to get it under $99 when it goes full retail in 2018. Lets see what people do.

    I’m liking some of the choices, battery is a good idea, we always have problems with that. I’m surprised more people have not added the Advanced Corner Connector pack at $9.99. It’s helped out on a few things so far. Lots of great minds are thinking Omni, chain, … Not a fan of the tank tread, but now that there is a little more money in the budget, I may be convinced.

    Good luck!

    With the revised $115 this is how I’d change my list: [LIST=1]

  • 2x Smart motor @24.98
  • 1x Extra Battery @19.99
  • 1x Omni-Wheel @ 9.99
  • 1x 24/48 tooth gear @5.99
  • 1x Tank Tread @24.99
  • 1x Chain Add-On @12.99
  • 1x Long Shaft Add-On @9.99
  • 1x Standoff Base Pack @5.99 [/LIST] **Total: 114.91**

    It’s hard to pass up the tank tread in my mind for several reasons… many of the most interesting accumulators of the past several years use them, in a pinch they can be used as chain, the grippers are useful nearly every season, sprockets are same as chain too, etc. etc. It’s also hard for me to put structure pieces into this set as the Foundation Kit does a good job of that.

    It is a tough call on not having more omni-wheels but you mentioned 35 teams would be getting this… unless they all are doing H-Drive there is more educational value in passing it up to have the variety in gearing, mechanisms, etc. for experimentation. It was also a tough call on not putting linear sliders in, but competitively I have seen more teams use long axles and you can never have too many stand-offs :slight_smile:

  • Added the 24 and 48 Tooth Gears to give the students more opportunity to experiment with gear ratios. The Long Shaft add-on pack also gives them some additional sizes that allows them to experiment more on placement of their motors, gears and wheels.

    [TABLE=“border: 1, cellpadding: 1, width: 640”]

    		**Name**
    		**Part Price**
    		**Quantity**
    		**Total Price**
    		**Part #**
    	
    	
    		**200mm Travel Omni-Directional Wheel (2-pack)**
    		9.99
    		2.5
    		24.98
    		228-2536
    	
    	
    		**Chain & Sprocket Kit**
    		19.99
    		1
    		19.99
    		228-2534
    	
    	
    		**Smart Motor**
    		19.99
    		2
    		39.98
    		228-2560
    	
    	
    		**2x Beam Long Pack**
    		9.99
    		1
    		9.99
    		228-5653
    	
    	
    		**Standoff Foundation Add-On Pack**
    		3.99
    		1
    		3.99
    		228-3516
    	
    	
    		**24 & 48 Tooth Gear Pack**
    		5.99
    		1
    		5.99
    		228-4127
    	
    	
    		**Long Shaft Add-On Pack**
    		9.99
    		1
    		9.99
    		228-4420
    	
    	
    		 
    		 
    		**Total**
    		114.91
    

    No complaints on having 5 omni wheels, cool. :wink:

    @Quarkmine, we seem to have different prices for the Smart Motors. I think they’re $19.99 each.

    This is what I have noticed with my teams building competition robots:

    1. Chain is crucial. I think every robot that we have has chain somewhere. Most have chain drives, but they all use chain.
    2. Tread seems to be robot specific (one of our robots this year has COPIOUS amounts of tread, probably well over nine feet of it. But, none of the others have any tread at all).
    3. Omni wheels are crucial. 4 are nice. 2 are necessary.
    4. Long axles are a must. I think every robot we produce has at least one axle going all the way across the robot.
    5. 2x20s are our most used piece. It would be nice to purchase them separately, but the new long beam kit helps. We could also use pieces longer than 2 x 20 (hint, hint VEX).
    6. We now have 18 batteries for our 4 competitive teams, so it would be nice to have an additional battery.
    7. The advanced corner connector kit is nice, but, too pricey for the value that it adds, in this competition.
    8. I also am trying to not duplicate items out of the foundation kit. (The foundation kit does come with 4 2 x 20’s, but that’s not enough. Also, the long kit comes with 2 x 18s, YEAH!)

    So, with the additional price increase, I think I would add a battery, but that would necessitate taking off the large plate add-on. So, I now have:

    1. Omni-Wheel Kit: 9.99
    2. VEX IQ Motors @ 19.99 Each: 39.98
    3. Long-Shaft Add-On Pack: 9.99
    4. VEX IQ Chain & Sprocket Kit: 19.99
    5. VEX IQ 2x Long Beam Kit: 9.99
    6. VEX IQ Robot Battery: 19.99
      Total: 109.93

    Oh you’re right. I better revise to: [LIST=1]

  • 2x Smart motor @39.98
  • 1x Extra Battery @19.99
  • 1x Omni-Wheel @ 9.99
  • 1x 24/48 tooth gear @5.99
  • 1x Tank Tread @24.99
  • 1x Chain Add-On @12.99 [/LIST] **Total: 113.93**

    Spend the extra dollar on a sharpie to write their team number and the year the battery was placed in service on the battery.

  • That is a great idea. I put all the team names on the battery pack, never thought to put the year on it!!!

    I’ve had conversations with other builders around “Two motors vs One Motor, One Battery” People seem to be leading with 5 motors are good for this years game (2 Drive, 2 on the X(n)Bar Linkage one on the claw). Some of the China sorterbots I’ve watched only seem to have 5 motors also. Do most of you end up using 6 motors?

    All of the robots that might kids have built have six motors. This year, we have several that have four on the drive base, for speed and strength. But, we stress that they should use all six motors.

    If you hadn’t made 2 motors a requirement I would have probably lost one of them on my submission. Whether or not you need 6 is based on design, some of the iterations I’ve seen this year have had 4, 5, and 6 with some of the most effective only using 4.

    While FLL and IQ are two different animals, FLL robots often do many movements with less motors still.

    More motors is not always better.

    If you hadn’t made 2 motors a requirement I would have probably lost one of them on my submission.

    That was part of the discussion last week, are there two motors needed. Most of the teams in our area use 5, I’m working on a robot today that has 5 - drive left, drive right, shoulder, wrist, gripper. Most of the effective ones I’ve seen have 5: running an H drive base with three, a shoulder and a claw. But I can see where having access to the 6th motor is better.

    Both Quarkmine and daddycrusader jumped on the extra battery bandwagon, so teams had a spare. So it makes sense to have a spare motor in the kit.

    It’s all about trade offs. Next year’s game will be perfect for 4 wheel Holonomic drives an boom now you need 6 motors. :slight_smile:

    So choosing ended up being much harder than I thought. You all had great lists and compelling reasons for your choices. Thanks to everyone that took the time / effort to participate

    At the end I decided against the extra battery. If I can get teams to 1) turn the robot off and 2) put the battery in the charger, one battery should work. I am pretty impressed at Daddycrusader’s teams having an average of 4 battery packs per team.

    The biggest difference in the current Competition Kit and was people proposed is is the Wheel Add On Kit was never mentioned. So that gives $19.99 to mess around with. I opted to add the long shaft kits (9.99) and the long 2x Beam kits ($9.99) for the reason’s mentioned above.

    In a more perfect world it would be nice to get the 24/48 tooth gear pack added, since they are very popular this year. I’ll most likely end up buying a few more packs and putting them across the teams.

    I’m going to declare a tie between Quarkmine who never wavered from the must have tank treads, and gbr who was big (and first) on the 2x and long shaft proposals, and for trying to get 3 omni wheels in the kit (nice out of the box thinking). If you two can personal message me with a list of $50 worth of VEX parts you need, I’ll get them shipped to you.

    Thanks and a nod to Paul C. Given that the Competition Add On kit has been around for awhile, you guys did a great job of choosing the original parts set.

    Thanks everyone!

    Thanks Foster,

    When we played around with kit formulations back before VEX IQ even had a name, we thought the different wheel sizes would be more beneficial to teams. Given that many of the other beam packs didn’t even exist then and we had the Foundation Add-On Kit we figured the competition add-on was great for about 85% of the teams. We will definitely look at re-formulating this kit in the future, but one thing we will never waiver on is the 2 motors. we believe this kit needs to be able to get a team that may have only bought the Super Kit up to the maximum allowable motors in VIQC.

    It’s more about the story. “What do I buy next?” gets asked very often. We say, “competition add-on”, then “foundation add-on”

    What would be an interesting little exercise would be to get formulation suggestions for the Foundation Add-on replacement (don’t know when we would do that). I feel like we missed the boat on that one a bit, especially with the new beams and such.

    Anyway, thanks Foster for doing this. It was educational for me.

    Aww shucks I suppose that means we will never get 8 motors allowed (would really like to see kids get to play with holonomic drives before they hit defense in VRC but the trade-off for it right now seems prohibitive.) Will H-Drives continue to be the dominant force in years to come… we will see!

    Hello . . .
    Such an interesting forum! We are a newer team and are building our skills. Last year, we fundraised for the add on kit. The omni wheels are a wonderful addition. I was wondering if someone could direct me to resources for using the chain and sprocket. We would like to incorporate them into our design this year. Our robot is working well, but we know the chain would be a valuable addition. Any assistance very much appreciated!

    Sincerely, Enzo