Where to start? rookie team needs help

First and foremost my team has never built a robot other than basic STAMP activities, but we decided to give this a go, but we are unsure which parts to buy/ what is essential? any guidance please?

First off how much is your budget for parts?

the parts that I think you will find essential are things you may already have, I would say the main things are a gear kit, metal (mostly the narrow C-Channel) motors, and wheels.

Knowing your budget would help, but the Classroom/Competition Kits would be my first place to look for parts that I would need and if you have most of what’s in there already then just buy it separately. Also try to do your research on popular designs and mechanisms in Vex (Hint: no lifts :)). Researching and getting up to date on the meta is something I really wish I had done before my first competition season.

Some things you will for sure need for this year is:

*]393 motors (or 296 if that’s correct)
*]shaft collars
*]wheels (for moving and shooting of the balls)
*]gears, and/or sprocket + chain
*]vex cortex microcontroller
*]motor controllers
*]conveyor inserts for intaking (depending on your design)
*]battery expander (if needed)
*]9v back up batteries are required for competition, so u need that too
*]vex joystick controllers (I’m not sure if that’s the actual name)
*]vex keys if you don’t already have them
*]license plates for competition
*]safety goggles for competition & construction of your robot

I assume that you meant you are competing in ‘Nothing But Net’. If not, some of the things I put on the list will not be needed. There are many other accessories such as sensors and pneumatics, but it all depends on your budget.

This is an important assumption. Are you planning to compete in the official Vex Robotics Competition game (Nothing But Net), or are you building Vex robots for classroom learning or other purposes? The parts you need will depend heavily on your purpose.

As they mentioned above, it really all depends on your budget. I am going to put what you may need but you may have some of it already.

If you are competing in the Nothing But Net comp, you will first need to register your team/robot[s]. This is done at http://www.robotevents.com/. There you also register for the league/competitions you wish to partake in. When you register your team, you are given a number and license plates.

Next you will need to get the logic part of your robot. This is the VEX micro controller and programing software. The following link has the keys, controller, cortex, USB A-A cable, and a 9V battery holder/cable. http://www.vexrobotics.com/vex/products/accessories/logic/276-1604.html. After this you will need a programing software. The two most popular are Robot C for VEX http://www.vexrobotics.com/vex/products/accessories/logic/robotc-cortex-vexiq.html and EasyC V4 (currently out of stock).

Now you need a battery to power your robot http://www.vexrobotics.com/vex/products/accessories/power/276-1491.html and a charger http://www.vexrobotics.com/vex/products/accessories/power/smart-charger-v2.html

Next you will want the game equipment. This is the link to the NBN game equipment menu http://www.vexrobotics.com/vex/products/competition-products/vrc-products/. You can buy the full field and all that come with it, my team will only buy the balls and probably a single goal.

This is where it all depends one your goals and budget, the structure and sensors. I would probably start with the booster kit.http://www.vexrobotics.com/276-2232.html It has just about every thing you could possibly need for a single robot. Then you will need to buy wheels and motors. This is the link to the motion menu of VEX http://www.vexrobotics.com/vex/products/accessories/motion. Then you can get what sensors you wish. http://www.vexrobotics.com/vex/products/accessories/sensors

When considering what to buy, take into mind your robot goals and experience levels. I also recommend doing research on the forum to see the most popular designs. YouTube is also a very helpful resource.

Good Luck on your first year - Shaan Heugly, Student Leader of Lemoore Middle College HS Robotics 6419A-E

we are able to spend a good amount tbh id put budget at $1800

we all know programming in C very well, but we have no experience with gear ratios, types of motors (other than servos) and I havent seen a “meta” made for nothing but net other than a flywheel

I have never used a servo, but we do own them. I don’t think you’d need them for a competition robot. You will for sure need a few 393 motors, and some replacement kits for them.

well I meant we have no experience with which motors are good the only type we have ever used it servos.

^ and get good at programming. A consistent, high-scoring auton is crucial and requires no money or parts. In addition, make use of objects around the field, such as a wall or the bar below the goal to help lock you into place rather than relying on the program. Last year, by and large, the teams with low autonomous programs, even if they had good robots/designs/drivers, ended up falling on their faces to the teams that had better programs. (The exception was Singapore in middle school at worlds.) And this year, even though auton will probably not quite be as central, it will still be essential to a good robot. Good luck!

How is it that you guys are funding yalls teams?

Sponsors, and parents!

County yearly funds & laser engraver fundraisers, along with some other things I believe. Hopefully we will gain a few sponsors this year!

would 1500 be enough if we have literally 0 parts as of now?

You can get by with it, but to be honest, you will end up spending more for a decently competitive robot. For $1500, you won’t be able to get a field (because a full field would cost more than $1500), and you won’t be able to have any aluminum, pneumatics, or a decent amount of spare parts. If you are just looking to build a robot and go to a few competitions, you should be able to do it. Take a look at some of these posts: