The Vexmen of Brandywine Robotics

Blog Post

Getting Ready for PA States on 2/28

We’ve come to our final local event of the year – PA State Championships.

The Vexmen have qualified 21 of our 23 teams for the event this weekend. I think this is the highest representation of any club in any of the state/region tournaments so we should be very proud of our kids. Be sure to wear your Vexmen shirts. This is our uniform after all.

The PA States will be held an Norristown High School starting at 8am Saturday morning. As there will be over 60 teams in the building between Vex high school, middle school, and Vex IQ divisions, you may want to come Friday evening to get inspected and set up.

We will have all of our new 7.2V batteries charged and ready to go for competition. As we seem to continually lose the AAA batteries, I am asking teams please pick up a pack of 12 as backup just in case.

The qualifications for worlds have changed for the high school teams but not the middle school ones. We have an extra worlds spot and eight teams will be moving on to worlds from the high school division while we still have two spots from the middle school division.

High school division qualifiers are as follows:
– Three tournament finalists
– Three tournament runners up
– Excellence Award winner
– Design Award winner

If there are any cross overs in the excellence and design award winners from the finalists the next spot will be awarded to the programming skills leader for the season in high school who has not already qualified. If two cross over, the next spot goes to the robot driving skills winner that has not qualified. Currently the programming skills leader is team 81W – Wolverine – but we have a few teams knocking on that door in practice.

The tie breaker in skills is different from what you might expect. If you score the same as another team, the next highest score you posted counts as the tie breaker. So if you only run once, you have no second run to compare and the other team would win.

Middle school division qualifiers are as follows:
– Excellence Award winner
– Design Award winner

I have a real good feeling about this one. We have had teams pretty much sweep these awards in the previous events, but teams bring their A game to states.

Once we find out how many teams are moving on to worlds, we will decide when our Spring classes will start. So in next week’s meetings, we need to start getting robots and parts back to the club for use in the classes.

We will be offering two classes this Spring – the beyond the basics class we offered last year to get better build techniques and an understanding of robotics (now that you have a year under your belt). The other class will be a Robot Virtual Worlds class where we will learn advanced control techniques and programming techniques like background tasks, proportional control, and PID control. More to come on this later..