Your First Ever Robot Built

I wanted to make a thread that people could post there first ever robot built or first competition robot ever built. New teams will be able to hopefully get motivation from this seeing how some of the really good teams started out and give a good laugh to the rest of us.


Please don’t post if your first robot was a senior built robot.

If the video is long, please put a time stamp.

Help this this thread to have a good turn out.


Ill start.:rolleyes: we built this in less than a week

974x First Ever Vex Robot 2011 Gateway

we then built this
compared to the last robot i built

Sack Attack was when our team was formed. I haven’t watched our SA videos in forever and this made me laugh so hard! :smiley: It’s crazy how much we’ve done in just 3 years!
This video was a driver skills run:

We don’t have a video of our first ever robot, so I’ll explain it.

Our first season was Toss Up (We were 7865). We didn’t know what to make, so we decided on a high hanging robot that uses rack and pinions for lifting up. We were happy with it, although we didn’t have a field to actually test hanging :rolleyes:. Then, that night, our robot broke down, so we had to fix it. We made an intake and an arm to lift it. However, the arm was all metal, and the two motors had no power to lift it up. We just programmed some buttons to spin the intake and went to the competition. We had a great time there, and managed to go to the finals by pure luck (as a slightly advanced push bot) :D.

Our school’s very first 9185 team (Toss Up) had many problems with their build at their first competition, and they took “The Rhino” to it. It was basically a two motor drive and a metal bar sticking out at a 45 degree angle. They got 6th in qualifications.

Vex is a fun activity to take part in and everyone improves their skills if they keep doing it :slight_smile:


It played defense

Not really first toss up bot I made but first for 351a. It’s the bot on red side in the front. Our front didnt deploy right, then the bot got stuck on a big ball and one of spinners didn’t work, then one bot we went against got stuck on us and his alliance got stuck on him. 24z saved us that time.

My first robot was basically a giant squarebot with double tank tread intakes on the front to pick up rings. We never even tested it because it fell over as soon as it was complete. :stuck_out_tongue:

The second robot was built mostly by Jonathan/Fido488 the night before the competition. It placed dead last and was unable to score. However, it did manage to move in our last match! We got it working a few days later. This is the robot that most fits the thread since it was our first one to compete.

At our first competition, we were surprised to be sharing a pit table with team 44, Green Egg Robotics, the world champions from the year before. We took inspiration from their design and managed to qualify for worlds and make it to the division quarterfinals.

It was a staggering amount of progress for a new team, especially after our incredibly frustrating first tournament. I considered giving up, but I’m glad I didn’t.


At the start of the school year we built the claw bot, but I don’t consider this to be my first robot ever built.

Skyrise is my first year of VRC, so my first attempt at building a robot was a scissor lift. It was horrible as my fellow mates put no effort into researching other lifts.

In this video you will see it. We were on the blue team and partnered up with one of our other teams, 3921B. The robot only had a claw intake at the time of this video. We eventually gave up on it and went with a 6 bar lift which wasn’t too good either.

I have learned a lot this year from our senior members, such as Martin Ma and others, and hope to do an outstanding job during the Nothing But Net season.

My first season was toss up.

Our robot is in the back.
We rebuilt it several times after wards and it was 2nd in the Opportunity division after qualifications at worlds with more SPs than #1. Sadly there were very few teams to pick and the 8192/3 teams we picked weren’t the best.

The picture doesn’t work.

[ATTACH]9371[/ATTACH] Team 889’s from my first year in 2010 with round up. To be honest that robot wasn’t really built by me but some parts were. I originally was trying to build a 4bar lift with a claw on the end. Being I just got out of the FLL team I had little idea of how to work with vex. I didn’t understand how you could use a 4bar and the claw stay straight the whole way up. The drive I made was very poor as the gears would slip out of place and I couldn’t figure out why. So eventually one of the members who made this wasn’t going to be able to go to the competition so he gave me the robot he had and let me finish what I thought would work. Which was a 2 stage linear lift with a claw that just cleared the top of the scoring post. We ended up winning judges award but being my first year, I learned so much. And the following years, the robot quality and game strategy improved. Now being my last year on the team I’m striving to make the best robot yet with the team and hopefully make it to worlds.

Our first bot was during Sack Attack

Our lift was made out of linear slides :smiley:

My first season was toss up last year none of my team had any experience so we didn’t have such a great robot it was a pushbot with two linear slides at about a 45 degree angle to knock down the large ball we originally had a system to get the buckey balls into the tubes but our back wasn’t built very well and snapped in half when it was extended.

A nice trip down memory lane… My first VEX year (also my first robotics year) was Round Up. We made robots for training week, but I don’t have any pictures of that one. I do have a picture 687Z’s first competition robot that year. It had a two-stage elevator using tank tread (yes, tank tread) with a neat but terribly ineffective semi-passive manipulator.

Because the elevator was rigged poorly, any gearing faster than a 7:1 caused the treads to snap. Using zipties as a high-resistance hinge, we could intake by just dropping the cage over tubes. To outtake, we had servo-driven levers which could only release one tube at a time. The levers didn’t always exert enough force to release the tubes and more often than not messed up the alignment of the rest of the stack.
It’s funny to think of all the things I would’ve done differently… :stuck_out_tongue:

It’s at points like this that I feel old.

My first robot was built as a 10 year old. it had 2 DC motors for the drive base and 2 to do an arm and claw. It was tethered using two of the old style phone cables (red, yellow, black, green) one pair for each motor, the cables were twisted together. The controller was a collection of double pole double throw switches wired to send forward/reverse voltages to the motors.

My dad worked at the power company so gears came from the meters.

Everything else was wood / erector set

It predates YouTube, but I’m happy to send you a stone tablet :rolleyes:

Not sure if this quite counts as it wasn’t meant for competition, but here’s my first experience with vex. Fun programming.

Not the first one I ever built, but this little guy was made about 15 years ago.

It used a Z180 based micro board from (the now defunct) Z-World engineering and an Altera CPLD for (presumably, I forget now) the motor pwm control. Everything was hand wired, all programming in C.

Hey is that an IEEE micromouse robot?!? I built one of them with the Z180 in the late 70’s. The Z180 was a very cool chip, it had a ton of counters that could be used to create pulse trains for the HBridge motor controllers. I knew a Zilog guy so I got a demo board for cheap.

I had a ton of experience with Z80’s and CPM assembly so it made sense to use this chip. It was a long drag of code-compile-burn to EPROM-test-fail-repeat.

Ahh the good old days…

Now get off my lawn.

Well this is a bit of fun to jump into the past :stuck_out_tongue: When I originally started VEX during gateway, we kinda had overambitious designs and went along with a robot that extended to 40" with an inner-elevator tread style intake. It was fun but ended up being too heavy / slow so we gave up and went with something smaller…

Here are a few pics:


My first ever robot… ah the days of Gateway. Here is my first robot. Being a brand new team member then I decided to go with the wallbot strategy and I must say that was a ton of fun.