Sorry, there are no official build guides for the Ping Pong VEX Triplet. We at VEX encourage students to start by following the step-by-step instructions for the VEX Protobot (old) or VEX Clawbot (new) and then moving on to designing their own robots.
A good way to engage students in creative design is to provide them with some challenge or game to compete in. I’m willing to bet that given the challenge, most students could come up with a version of the ping-pong bot better than the one we built here in the lab.
I think this statement is true IF students reach a certain level of proficiency and IF they have a certain level of giftedness. But if they’re at the bare beginning, and have “solid, not stellar” talents, they need more guidance. Some students take 3-4 years to get out of the “bare beginning”. The less intuitive ones need step-by-step instructions, and the more examples, the better.
When we first saw the Ping Pong bot in 2005, it looked very cool, and my son set out to build it, coming up frustrated after about 20 hours of trial and error. It took 3 years before we figured out that the launch mechanism was a rubber link!
Lurganbeach, we’ve been where you are, and remember what it’s like! Here is a guide (about 100 pages, so it might download slowly) with some step-by-step instructions. Although they’re simpler than the Vexlab bots, it’s something to start with, and the projects were designed with a limited part supply in mind.