What is better, Stretch or Flex for VEX IQ Squared away?

Stretch and Flex are both robots listed on the VEX IQ website. But which one could be used to score more points?

Flex would be used to score more points, but Slick is the best choice for competitions.

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Slick can only push; not good

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If you add another small claw to the top of it, the robot will work very well on the towers.

Ok, I’ll listen to someone elses opinion

Sure. Hope someone else replies.

I agree. The platforms are usually for hooked ones or small claws(not Stretch). Clutch and Stretch are not good for any of them. Platforms are worth a lot more than the balls Clutch and Stretch pick up.

Ball in Cube - 1 point
Ball on Cube - 2 points
Cube in Corner Goal - 10 points
Cube on platform - 20 points

What do you think?

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My vote is Slick, but with an extra small claw on the top. When the cube is picked up, it will be very stable and easy to put on top of the towers.

So I would assume you think flex is better? I prefer it too.

Flex is very good, and if you add some adjustments to it like stabilizing the hooks, it will also be a good competitor for the towers.

@Game2Win and @Force: I like Slick and Flex. With the idea Game2Win found, it is very good.

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Start with Flex. It’s a better starter robot. Lose the unnecessary hook on top (that was a bit useful for Next Level).

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I think a better route/engineering process, instead of just asking what to build, would be to

  1. first clearly figure out and write down what problem you are trying to solve,
  2. then with your team brainstorm ideas,
  3. choose the idea that seems best,
  4. build and test that idea
  5. Repeat as needed.
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Exactly what we did. However the team leader is the only one who wouldn’t agree to the idea.

What are the dimensions of Flex when fully extended? Does it fit within the 11" x 19" (width x height) and 15" (height) limits at maximum extensions?

I don’t think the Vex robot build website provides any specific dimensions. When my daughter’s team built their Flex/Stretch bot from the summer camp, with the arm fully raised it was 17" in height. That is probably correct from what I recall since last season Flex was the bot of choice, and the yellow hubs were at 15" above the floor. If anyone has an actual Flex bot and can measure, please feel free to chime in.

You can start with Flex, but you will need to modify it by adding some pieces that would block the arm from going beyond the 15" limit. There are other methods, too… but I don’t know if just trying to limit it via code, as some have suggested, would pass robot inspection.

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Thanks for the information, @spaghetti_code. No, limiting the the extension via code is not enough as it also needs to be under 15" during the manual driving matches. The team that I am mentoring currently has Clutch built, and we had to physically block it’s arm from going over 15" in order to pass inspection at our school’s league and the tournament that we entered last weekend. It’s weird that the example bot doesn’t even qualify for the competition without modification.

I guess another question is: if the arm of Flex when fully raised is blocked from going over 15" in height, will Flex still be able to put the green cubes on top of the short platforms and the tall platform? If not, then it doesn’t seem like it would make sense to use Flex even as a start point.

Does anyone have any actual experience using Flex for Squared Away?

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Yes, even if you block the arm from going beyond 15" on the Flex bot, it will still be able to put the green cubes on the lower platform. If you want to get the green cube on the high platform, the arm needs to be modified. The arm on Flex is a parallel bar. It has be changed to a simple rotating arm by removing the top beam and connecting the forks to the remaining beam that is connected to the gears.

At my daughter’s school, one of the teams is using a modified Flex and it is able to put the green cubes on the low and high platforms.

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@spaghetti_code Thank you!!!

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Do you happen to have a picture of this build out?