Wednesday’s robotics club practice was full of excitement as we began to prep for the next Vex IQ session. Last week we took a look at a number of different designs and discussed various strategies for the high rise game. After thinking about it for the past week the students decided which ideas they wanted to pursue and what strategy they wanted to attempt.
Robotics Club Practice
We began practice with me showing off some of the Vex IQ robotics parts that the students had not yet seen. We then moved on to discussion time. Each team member gave their ideas. Gabe in particular was very excited and had obviously been thinking about the new robot quite a bit. It was fun to hear the enthusiasm, and eventually the team decided to try a moderately challenging design in order to spend more time learning about programming.
With the basic design decided upon, the robotics team begin devising a new drive train. They lined up pieces on the field to maximize the size of their robot and chose a starting orientation. After looking at the various wheels available and some discussion they chose to use two standard wheels along with two omni-wheels to cut down on turn scrub.
After deciding on wheels and the basic size of the wheelbase, we talked about different methods to drive the wheels. The team decided that they wanted to stick with tank style controls and came up with some neat ideas on driving the wheels. We also discussed if they wanted to focus on speed, torque, or somewhere in the middle of the spectrum. They elected to go for a design that fell in the middle.
With all of the drive train decisions made, the students got to work building. They did a great job of concentrating, though it was obvious which team members really like the engineering and buildings aspects of Vex IQ! The team managed to get a working drive train prototype built and test it before the end of practice. While the prototype is flimsy, it drives as they had hoped and each team member spent some time driving the new design. Overall it was a very productive practice!