Blog Archives

First Experiences with Parallax Board of Education

I’m now taking an Intro to Engineering course at Virginia Western Community College.  As part of this course, students divide into teams of 3-4 and build a robot to perform in a modified ASEE robotics competition.  (I’d like to note

Posted in News, Parallax, review

Arrays in ROBOTC


I’ve seen multiple people ask how arrays work in ROBOTC, so I thought I’d write a post about arrays.  Note: I’m going to be describing several routines here that require a knowledge of loops.  Loops are, in general, something that

Posted in NXT, Robot Programming, ROBOTC, Tutorial, VEX

An easy way to install Ubuntu


Recently, I decided I wanted to try Ubuntu Linux.  However, I just wanted to try it; I didn’t want to replace my installation of Windows Vista (I have a lot of Windows-only programs).  I’m also risk-adverse, so I didn’t want

Posted in Linux, Tutorial, Ubuntu

QR Codes

QR codes have become nearly ubiquitous in recent years, and are a great way to encourage people to visit a website while out and about.  Our team has been experimenting with QR codes, so I thought I’d share how we’ve

Posted in News, QR Codes, scouting, VEX, website

Selecting Autonomous with LCD (ROBOTC)

One of the great features of the VEX LCD screen is that it can be used to select multiple autonomous modes.  However, figuring out how to do so appears to stump many programmers.  In this post, I’ll explain how to

Posted in Robot Programming, ROBOTC, Tutorial, VEX


In an older post, I reviewed the VEX LCD and provided some uses for it.  Now I will explain some of the commands to program the VEX LCD with ROBOTC. Port SetupTo tell ROBOTC which port the LCD is plugged

Posted in Robot Programming, ROBOTC, Tutorial, VEX

The Single Driver Advantage

At the last tournament I competed in, a coach of another team approached me and mentioned that he was impressed that my robot required only one driver.  Although using only one driver for your VEX robot may seem difficult, it

Posted in Gateway, Team Management, Tutorial, VEX


The VEX Robotics system requires much more time and effort to build with than LEGO Mindstorms.  Breaking parts is also much more expensive.  As such, planning what you want to build is important.  CAD software, such as Autodesk Inventor and

Posted in CAD, Design Process, software, Tutorial, VEX


What is the VEX LCD, and why should I use it?The VEX LCD is a two line text screen that can display 16 characters per line.  It also has three buttons for user input.  The LCD connects to one of

Posted in Robot Programming, ROBOTC, Tutorial, VEX

A basic control loop for VEX robots

A common task in VEX competitions is to hold an arm at a specified height. However, due to the weight of most robot arms, the programmer can’t just tell the motor power level to go to zero – the arm

Posted in Control Loops, Robot Programming, Tutorial, VEX