The Vexmen of Brandywine Robotics

Blog Post

2016 Vexmen Spring Classes Available Starting March 29 and 30

It’s the end of the regular Vexmen season so that means it’s time for the Spring educational sessions where we teach the real ins and outs of building an awesome robot.

We will be conducting this year’s classes at 205 Byers Rd to avoid scheduling conflicts with the school as it gets quite busy with concerts and rehearsals. The intermediate class will have a one week break for Vex World Championships as Chris will be traveling there.

Each class is a $100 per student fee with parent mentors wishing to stay for free. Unlike previous years we need to cap the space at 30 students per class. The good thing about being at Byers Rd is control of the usage of space. The downside is it is a limited size space.

Tuesday class starting 3/29: build techniques and basic robot programming strategies taught by Glenn McMillen. Tuesday class sign up here:

Wednesday class starting 3/30: intermediate programming techniques using virtual worlds taught by Chris Hallahan. Wednesday class sign up here:

Tuesday Build Techniques class syllabus:

This class is aimed primarily at roboteers who have completed their first season in robotics and can now appreciate the finer points of robot construction and assembly. At the end of this course, students should be able to construct a more stable and stronger robot than at the beginning of class. They will be introduced to the engineering design process and how it applies to Vex robotics (so you can have an awesome design notebook next season)

This year we will be using the build technique class in conjunction with a firefighting competition to be held on April 30th. Groups of four students will be assembled per class to give a real hands on build of a firefighting robot. We will all start with the same base but how you choose to put out the flaming candle will be up to you. Fan option will be available for an easier build.

* 3/29 Topic 1: Intro, Understanding subsystems, Developing design requirements, Engineering your base – plan firefighting robot layout
* 4/5 Topic 2: “Keep the box strong” how to make a solid base, Engineering your base part 2 – build firefighting base, plan extinguish techniques
* 4/12 Topic 3: Motors, Wheel selection, Drive trains, Engineering your base part 3
* 4/19 Topic 4: Keeping power in mind & sensors – wiring for firefighting
* 4/26 Topic 5: Planning your robot’s programming – firefighting programming & gyros

Saturday 4/30 – firefighting competition at STEM

* 5/3 Topic 6: The new game discussion, RobotC for competition
* 5/10 Topic 7: Gears and ratios, chains vs gears;
* 5/17 Topic 8: Engineering Notebooks and owning the interview.

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Wednesday Intermediate Programming Techniques class syllabus:

The Wednesday class is a bit more advanced and is going to explore programming techniques and control loops using robot c virtual worlds.

Classes will start 3/30 and run for 8 weeks with a one week break on 4/20 for Worlds travel.

This class will be taught using Robot Virtual World. Each Student should have a windows based laptop.

Robot Virtual worlds licenses will be available to purchase for $30 each.

We will have a limited number of Vexmen laptops available for student use during the class.

This class is aimed at roboteers who have some experience in robotics and Robot C who want to control their robot better. This class will use Robot C Virtual Worlds to program a virtual robot. At the end of this class roboteers will be able to program and tune control loops so their robot can stop on a dime, hold a lift at a set height using push button controls, and use various sensors to accomplish this. They will be introduced to various physics and trig for use in their autonomous programming.

Topics Below will be finalized on 3/23!

* Topic 1 – Variables, functions, tasks and structures
* Topic 2 – logging and processing data to the debug stream
* Topic 3 – programming sensors, proportional control
— break for worlds —
* Topic 4 – using encoders for distance & using ultrasonics and New Game Review
* Topic 5 – using the gyro for turns, line followers to reset position
* Topic 6 – building function libraries for reuse.
* Topic 7 – PID tuning
* Topic 8 – Programming challenge