Several online resources abound on the internet for helping teams build Vex robots, expand their knowledge, and engage with a wider community of robotics builders. On the bottom right corner of the Vexmen website is a list of the latest Vexforum posts. These are meant to help guide you and learn all you can about Vex robotics. Along the way, we want you to learn some good life lessons as well communicating with others.
Here are the main resources for finding help on Vex robots and programming
- Vex Forum www.vexforum.com and www.vexiqforum.com for IQ
- Vex Facebook pages and groups
- RobotC.net forums
Finding videos on YouTube are another invaluable source of inspiration. You can find some videos of previous season robots and mechanisms. Just remember to ask any other teams if you video them prior to posting your video. Some teams have pixelated out the other robots when uploading so they could show their work while protecting their opponents ideas. Several years ago, some teams were really proud of their creation so they posted it online. But when they came to World Championships, what did they see? A bolt for bolt clone of their robot – including an extra piece that did absolutely nothing. So please be careful posting things of yours and others around you.
Some of the top teams and top robot builders in the world post regularly on vexforums and it has a wealth of information to help you learn. Unfortunately, the depth of posts out there is now deeper and deeper making it more difficult to sift through. We plan on pulling out some of those old but great posts into our site over time as they have gotten deeper and deeper in the forums.
Helpful hint – use the Portal menu option to see the latest posts view over the thread view. This way you can see what is being talked about right now.
Now let’s talk about posting properly and acting like a sane, rational human being. As you grow up in this digital age, you should follow a few simple rules to make sure you are not deemed a troll. You will make mistakes along the way, but know that all digital footprints can be traced back to you. Don’t be “that guy” and know what you post not only effects you but the image of the entire club.
So here are a few simple rules when going on line and posting in these forums:
1) Be polite. No flaming, no cursing, and don’t get suckered into diatribes even if you are just trying to be funny. One person’s humor is hurtful to another person at times.
2) Be specific in questions and use pictures or code snippets when asking for help. Try and keep your subjects narrow and give your background or viewpoint for others to build upon. No one will respond to generic help me build an awesome robot requests. People showing they have tried something and are now stuck get infinitely more help than generic requests. The forums use BB Code style tags. This has special formatting using square brackets like [CODE] makes a code block. You have to end your section using an appropriate end tag like [/CODE]. Here is a BB Code reference fro you to learn how to learn this simple markup method.
3) Have a proper forum profile telling people about you. Fill in a footer, avatar, team number, and the location of Downingtown, PA even though your mailing address may be a different town, it is all relative from the other side of the country or world. We have resources for avatars and footers on the website you can use. General items in footer are awards you have won at competitions. We may have to make some smaller versions for everyone to reference.
Under “User CP” there are menu options for setting your avatar and your signature. Be sure to highlight any trophies you have won this season or previous seasons.
There are a few Vexmen logos you can use:
4) Don’t expect immediate answers, and don’t demand anything. These are active but not that active. People do not have to answer you or just may not have the answers. it is not a personal attack on you.
5) Don’t expect people to give away their robot’s “secret sauce” Similarly, don’t give away your robot’s secret sauce unless you want to be pitted against it in the future. Be respectful of other robots secret sauce – do not post their robots on line after you have been beaten the week before. Blur them out and make sure it is not anything in great detail.
6) Say thank you when someone helps you. Back to being polite. It can help continue the conversation and develop friendships from across the globe.
7) Club rule #1 still applies – Don’t do anything stupid. Which leads to the next one….
8) Be safe online in general. Never give out your full name, phone number, address, or agree to meet without your parents. This is a good online resource about staying safe online.