students working on a vex robot

Vex EDR 2015 Season Week 4

Robotics club took things up a notch this week with writing their first RobotC code, great improvements in competition, new parts, and much more focused practice sessions.

During last weeks events, league competition made some concessions for new robotics clubs. However, this week teams were expected to pass inspections and have competition code loaded on their robots.

Robotics Club League

This week’s league competition was a lot of fun to watch. Things ran more smoothly then last week, and I entrusted all teams to be 100% responsible for being on the robotics field and with the correct color identification plates on their robot.

I am happy to report that none of the teams missed a single match!

All of the teams had made some modifications to their robots. These modifications seemed to work well as all of the teams showed improvements in scoring.

One of the teams (5794D) got paired up with a very strong high school team and as a result spent much of the match in 1st place. It was nice to see the students get a taste of being in the lead.

Students hard at work documenting new ideas and trying to add them to the competition robots
Students hard at work documenting new ideas and trying to add them to the competition robots

The biggest change made to the robots was that competition code was running on all of the team’s robots. Each team was able to write code in time that handled all of the driving for their robots.

I can’t wait to see the teams tackle tasks during the autonomous portion of the matches!

Robotics Club Practice

Robotics club practice began with our typical open forum for discussing the last match. The students were all much more excited; making some progress feels good.

I let the students know how happy I was with how well they did in the two main tasks I had wanted them to work on – self-management of their teams and programming.

Once the discussion portion of practice was done, leadership for each team was rotated. Here are this week’s team leaders.

  • 5794A – Whitman S.
  • 5794B – John K.
  • 5794C – Isaac C.
  • 5794D – Anthony R.
One of the robotics teams thinking out some design modifications
One of the robotics teams thinking out some design modifications

With new team leaders assigned, I had some new things for the robotics club students to work with. First, Isaac C’s Mom was kind enough to bring in hand-crafted engineering notebooks for each team, a number of school supplies we desperately needed, and a nice hard copy of the rule book. A big thanks to Becky C!

The other thing I had for the students were some new parts. To say the students were excited would be an understatement as they all crowded in as I explained the new parts we had.

Once the “unveiling” was done, I assigned the robotics club with deciding what they wanted to do by next week’s competition. All of the teams hunkered down to work on new designs utilizing the new parts. It was fun to watch them work through this; I helped with managing their time and making sure they came up with ideas they could actually complete in time.

Robotics Club Fund Raising

A big thanks to Valeri D. for working hard on fund raising for the robotics club. Valeri is the Mom of one of the robotics club students, and has taken it upon herself to setup a T-Shirt fundraiser.

Donations have been coming in from private individuals as well as local businesses. A huge thanks to all of Valeri’s efforts and to all of our donors. You are really helping to get a brand new program going!