VEX League 2016

It’s back!

17 teams from schools schools across the Tees Valley with kits kindly funded by the CSI. Last year’s pilot was really successful and the feedback from schools has motivated us to make it even better this year.

The League will run from September until June and will comprise of a challenge followed by a fixture each half term. Challenges will appear on here at the beginning of each half term and the fixtures will be held at Inspire2Learn. Challenges are based on two key areas of focus: engineering as a process of creating for a purpose; programming for a purpose. The first challenge (below) is more aimed at the first focus and requires teams to refine their original ‘out of the box’ robot designs to cope with a unique challenge. As the year progresses we will shift the focus more towards the automated side of using a robot through the programming language that controls it. There will be some programming refresher training for staff in late November (dates TBC).

Challenge 1 – Fixture 20th October 3.30pm – 4.30pm

A simple race! Drive your robot to the end of the 5m track weaving in between the cones (points deducted for each cone touched), pick up the object and then drive back again weaving between the cones. Cross the line and hand the controller to your next team mate. They must then return the object to its original starting point weaving both there and back. A challenge is complete when the object has ben retrieved and restored twice and the robot is back at the starting point. This should allow four team mates to take on a leg each of the relay.

One last thing. The object is a raw egg. Engineering adaptations will need to be created to ensure that the claw doesn’t grip too tightly or loosely and that it is secure for transit (think friction!). Placing the egg carefully is also important and teams are allowed to use egg holders that sit at each end of the track. These can built, bought or whatever. Eggs cannot be handled by humans during a challenge (points deducted) and a smashed egg will also result in a reduced score. The winning team will complete the course in the fastest time with the least number of points deducted. You have several weeks to try different designs for both the robot and the egg holder. Driver practice would also help your team enormously.

Get cracking…or not….!

Challenge 2 – Fixture 8th December 3.30pm – 4.30pm

You have shown that you can all drive your robots really well and most of you were able to adapt what you had already built to accommodate carrying an egg. Well, you are going to have to go back to basics for this next challenge. You will be asked to race over a 5m course again, but this time with no slalom, just a straight course. You simply pick up a tennis ball at the start line and put it in a box at the far end. Repeat the process eight times. Really easy.

Oh just one last thing. The side of the box is 30cm high and only the robot is allowed to touch the ball. So how do you get the ball in the box (roughly A4 as a footprint)? Lift it? Throw it? Your call, but if the ball doesn’t end up in the box then  you are given a 5 second time penalty.

Good luck!

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