Vex is in the air

It’s January. Spring is in the air. And we all know what that means – a new FIRST robotics season!

We at Vex team #40 are still getting our act together, but soon, like a phoenix (Or maybe a FireFox), we will rise from the ashes, our strength renewed, our numbers doubled, and our purpose the same: build lots of cool little robots whilst spreading randomness and nerdy jargon.

If you have no idea what I’m talking about, heres Vex in a nutshell.

RadioShack sells Vex kits. These kits contain everything you need to build a basic robot. Every year, there is a big competition. Hundreds of teams build mostly-breadbox-sized robots to compete in a sporting-event-like-game. It’s loads of fun. If you haven’t seen one of these things before, you need to. If you can’t find a Vex event, try finding a Lego League playoff or a FIRST Robotics Challenge tournament. Seriously, these things are a blast, even as a spectator.

The highlights this year, for me at least, include:

  • The C programming module! Seriously, it’s about time.
  • Small(er) robots. This year, the smaller, more efficient robots have an advantage. Good thing, this means we’ll have no shortage of leftover parts. Also, I think any driver will agree with me: A small, zippy ‘bot is much more fun to maneuver then a tank. 😉
  • Bigger teams. More of my ingenious friends can help. More people == more ideas & randomness.

Now, if you’ll pardon me, I have some brainstorming to do.

Update: Woah, check it out. Photos of our last robot got linked to on Slashdot!
Shot 1 (View 1)
Shot 2 (View 2)
Shot 3 (Ball grabbing arms open)
Shot 4 (Adjusting the team number. Bonus: incudes the top of my head!)

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