What now?

So I just finished my VEX season… and I really have no idea what to do next. Should I start getting ideas for maybe next years game assuming that there aren’t any goals higher than 30 in. Please give me suggestions I am so bored now.:eek:

What do you mean “you finished your VEX season”? There are still competitions going on. And no-one is ever done with their robot, it can already be improved. If you don’t want to work on this year’s game anymore, you can always practice building more complicated mechanisms with VEX. Maybe get better at programming, learn a different programming language. There is no reason to ever be bored with VEX.

I suggest that you experiment with difficult concepts that you may not have built before, such as a scissor lift or chain and slider lift, or you can attempt to recreate a Green egg robot or specific aspects of a green egg robot (Like the pop out holonomic wheels). Otherwise you could guess what next years game will be (It is extremely likely that it will include triangles) and design a new intake to get a head start. Otherwise try other ways of improving your skills, finding more efficient ways of doing things, or try making something for fun that does something slightly useful like a robot that can fetch some chips for you.

Where did you get this from? It sounds like speculation to me.

Well I meant pyramids/cones and I was just thinking that this years would have something using triangles since the online design challenges were based on pyramids/cones

People said the same thing about the game after Round Up, and for pretty much the same reasons. I think they might have said the same thing about the game after Clean Sweep, but I wasn’t there to see it. In my experience, online communities that speculate about future releases tend to talk themselves into expecting one or two particular things just because those things have been a subject of speculation so often.

In our case, for some reason people have decided that tetrahedral game objects are likely despite the fact that there has been no indication of that (to my knowledge) from the people who decide these things.

My two cents are that tetrahedrons are less likely than other shapes because a) they would be difficult to pick up, meaning the game’s basic gameplay would be less accessible to new teams and b) they would be difficult to pick up by the top, encouraging teams to pick them up by pushing something underneath which could pretty quickly damage field tiles.

Moving on, if there are no other competitions you’re planning to enter, how about building something like a shifting gearbox? Or improving your autonomous programming, going for accuracy?
Autonomous is one thing that teams in general don’t put enough work into - those few seconds give you a chance to set up a real advantage for yourself.

I agree. Most teams continue to tweak the mechanics of the robot up to competition day, so autonomous programming never gets its due. If your robot was in decent working condition and you haven’t taken it apart yet, improving autonomous (and your programming skills for next year) is something you can do now that there isn’t usually time for during build season. If you have already taken it apart, try building a better robot using designs from the forum and then try programming that.

Yes! And you don’t even need a competition robot (for this year or next year) to experiment with that. Make a square bot with line followers, a gyro, accelerometer, ultrasonic sensor, limit switches, a potentiometer, optical shaft quad encoders, or whatever sensor you want to learn about, then program it!
Try using Line followers and making a PID controller to follow a white line.
Try using the quad encoders to get your robot to go for x feet.
Try using the gyro to get your robot to turn exactly 360 degrees.
Try using a potentiometer to select between making your robot drive forward or drive backward.
There are a many many possibilities with VEX!

I think you might use past Online Challenge Game Animation “challenge objects” to predict future Online Challenges, but there is pretty much no discussion between the VRC game designers and the Online Challenge designers.

I do have a couple of ideas for the new Game Animation challenge objects, though. I wonder if VEX robots can work underwater?

I don’t know about underwater, but at Michigan State University they experimented with amphibious VEX robots. They used polycarbonate in the bottom surfaces and cut the rims off of 5" VEX wheels so that the plastic spokes formed paddles.

I would suggest trying out more complicated mechanisms that could give your robot a generic competitive advantage next year, such as a fast lift or a gear-shifting wheel base. You should also practice making good autonomous programs.

Once the new game is unveiled in April, design and build new mechanisms specifically for that game, such as your intake. If you’ve already got a good wheel base before the game is unveiled, you can focus more on your lift and intake.

Well guys thanks for all the ideas and I am going to answer some things:

magicode: In Hawaii where I am there aren’t anymore competitions and I really don’t want to travel to California just for a competition. (Our funds are running out). We actually went and learned how to use RobotC and learned how to program our robot using RobotC.:slight_smile:

FirePhoenix: We actually did all the things you said we should do. Thanks. It was really helpful.:slight_smile:

Simmions 2.0: Most of the things you suggest we can’t afford. We don’t have line, gyro, and quad encoders. My team is a middle school team who have me as a mentor who just started 2 years ago when the team first started.:frowning:

Rick TYler: We already made around 5 different robots based on previous years and other games.:slight_smile:

@Rick TYler I thought of an awesome game using PVC pipes and a large steel pyramid structure mounted on top of the entire field. I don’t think pipes or cylinders have been used as a game object so far. Do you think you could make PVC pipes one of the objects for the game animation? They are pretty cheap and strong to mass manufacture if it actually became a game object (all IFI would have to do is to paint the PVC pipes blue or red). I was thinking of having holes (or posts like those in round up but smaller) on the pyramid where teams would have to insert the PVC pipes into in order to score. There would be around 4 levels to score (each 10in. higher than the one before it) on the pyramid with increasing points for each level (5,10,15, 20) with a super bonus at the top of the pyramid. The bad thing is that the pyramid would probably be more than 40 inches tall but that makes it more challenging. And of course some much lower goals for less experienced teams to score on.

@1148 Glad I could help. :slight_smile: Oh and I didn’t know you were a middle school team. Go beat those high schoolers next year!

An underwater vex competition? That would be a waste of a lot of water if each regional competition used around 100 gallons of water per field and then at worlds with 25 fields…

@FirePhoenix: My school has a really hard time just affording the field so the pyramid idea may or may not be possible for my team. Also thanks for the encouragement. This year we almost qualified beating over 20 high school teams. Sadly lost in the finals due to accidental flipping. :frowning:

A couple of ideas…

  1. Make an x holonomic robot controlled of the accelerometers in the Cortex Joystick

  2. Build a protobot then improve it as much as you can! At the beginning of this season, we were building protobots and as we were building them had loads of fun (or at least I did) rebuilding the structure to how we prefered it/making some improvements. Maybe make it so it can strafe??? Make it as epic as you can!