When you started vex or if you are currently starting vex, as a beginner what aspects did you find/are you finding the hardest ? i.e. programming resources, designing robot.
For me, the hardest part was designing a quality robot (i.e. a robot which contained all the elements necessary to perform its best in a small amount of space). Building is much easier than taking the time to design beforehand, but laying out your thoughts will help greatly. Looking back, I didn’t do a great job using build quality during my first season, so I’d recommend the Hardware Page of the BLRS Wiki.
Programming for robotics is not difficult at all. If you’re totally new, just look up (whatever language you’re using) API, and you’ll be fine.
I would say build quality, maximizing all teammates contributions, and utilizing the resources at hand. I don’t think we took advantage of the numerous resources out there (vf, discord servers, etc) and really limited ourselves to our own trial and error. When you talk to people outside of your team or org, it makes everything a lot easier.
The hardest thing for me in VRC was knowing what to do next. Sometimes I didn’t know how to start on something or even what to start on, and that delayed a whole ton of projects (which I paid for with my sanity later).
#1 piece of advice: Have a plan. Have a list of things to do, and maybe even have a schedule. This will keep people on task, and you’ll always know what next to work on!
For me when I started in VIQC it was keeping the notebook updated. Sometimes I would remember to write in there other times I would forget and wouldn’t remember what went on in the practice. I also have terrible handwriting, so it didn’t look the best. When jumped to VRC it became programming that was the hardest. Up until then I had only coded in blocks, I used Modkit for VIQC, so moving to coding in text was hard for me. But what made it worse was that’s when all the v5 stuff had just came for Turning Point and that’s all that my team was using, so I ended up using Vex coding Studio at the time, also I didn’t know that there was an api reference until a year later. Luckly, I had someone who helped me along the way, but at times he was just as lost as I was.
I would recommend using the Api reference for figuring out what the commands do or just use what is built into Vexcode Pro if that’s what you use. Also if you are the person who keeps track of the notebook, I would recommend writing a little note to yourself to remember what happened in the practice or write in there the day of.
For us it was not build quality, although that has improved over the years, it was finding a good design. For example, in turning point, at first we had a double flywheel design. After building three different flywheel robots, we decided to switch things up and then we created an actually decent robot for a middle school team. Also, when we were first starting out we were not utilizing our time during practice that well. That has also improved over the years, and it is to a point now where people will get straight to work and not just mess around. Also, when you are first starting out it is nice to have resources to work with. That is why vex does provide building instructions for new teams if you have to resort to that. Some other great resources are:
- Vex Forum - If you have a question, people will most likely answer it.
- YouTube - Kepler Electronics is a great channel for beginners!
- Alliances - Some alliances are really good for beginners because more experienced teams can interact with less experienced teams.
I felt like I was being bossed around by my teammates when I was I. 7th grade, while my teammates were a year older than me.
being able to find time to practice (especially now that everything is shut down) thankfully we haven’t bought anything too expensive for this year because we are starting up a high school vrc team. I have so many ideas but cannot do anything yet