The Vexmen of Brandywine Robotics

Category Archives: Robot Design

Soft gripping robots mimicking elephants

There was a piece on CBS Sunday Morning show this week showing some new innovations in robot design.

CBS Sunday Morning story about soft gripping robots

In the video they explain how you can not get too close to industrial robots as you might get whacked. Some ways around this are to make cages in which the robots operate but that makes maintenance a bit tough.

Another innovation to solve this is to put a sensor cover over the entire robot. When the sensor detects there is something unusual nearby it stops. That could lead to false positives and robots stopping for little disturbances or worse not stopping in time and whacking someone.

So this German company Festo has mimicked…


Vexmen Parts Ordering Process

Well it is another build season and we all seem to not have the parts we need when we need them. Please look through the parts bins and ensure we do not already have the part you are looking for. We do have quite a few items in stock.

However we will not always have what you are looking for in the parts bins. We will need to order those parts for you, and here is where we need your help the most. Please look up the parts at Vex website and [strong]reference the part number to make ordering easier[/strong] and ensuring we order the correct parts. Some items have similar names! Filled out spreadsheets…


Toss Up Strategies – Getting Over the Bump

This year, the Vex game Toss Up presents a new challenge we have not seen – a 2 inch high bump. That may not seem like much, but when you put your 4″ wheels on a c-channel or frame rail, the rail will cause you to get stuck on the bump. You will be turtled! We now have a field kit set up as Oscar Way so no more guessing!

One team, 5757 of Virginia, has been experimenting with a few drive designs that show how they react with the bump and showing them on You Tube. You can see all the videos here.
Team 5757 Videos

Tank drive – can actually get stuck sideways

Mechanums – can strafe…


Vexmen Gateway World Championships Reveal

The time is approaching fast, and it’s time to formally reveal the Vexmen robots attending World Championships. The Vexmen are for the first time sending two robots to the high school division, and this year we are sending five robots to the middle school division.

Come see our pits this year and talk with a roboteer to get a Vexmen bracelet. This should help you remember our teams in choosing an alliance partner! There are 5 Vexmen teams in the Middle School area pits as team 80 letters and 2 in the High School area as team 81 letters.

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High School Division Robots
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81A – Apocalypse
– Excellence Award at Haverford Hootenanny
– Rear Omnis at 45…


Exploring the New Vex Mecanum Wheels

Have you seen the new Mecanum wheels from Vex? They are a bit different from the normal Vex Omniwheels in that they are on 45 degree offset angles. So this way you can scrap that four wheel base and switch to a holonomic drive with a change of the wheels (as long as you are in four wheel drive that is).

Supposedly you get a bit better getting pushed-around protection with these wheels than normal omni wheels but i am not entirely convinced without seeing them in action myself.
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Think of the mecanum wheels as high performance tires like you’d find on a Corvette or a Ferrari. If you were to look at some high performance tires…