Blog Archives

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

VEX CAD

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

VEX LCD

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

VEX motor or drive issues?

In VRC, teams will often find that their robot operates just fine for a few minutes or matches, but after those few minutes, the motors will stop responding to driver control.  In most cases, this is either a result of

Posted in Tutorial, VEX

Learning about Mechanics

Engino Pumpjack Mechanisms are essential to robot design.  Mechanisms are used to transform forces and motion in a controlled way.  So what’s a good way for young people to learn about them?  We have recently discovered the Engino Mechanical Science

Posted in Mechanisms, NXT, Tutorial, VEX

RobotC Resources

Interested in learning RobotC?  RobotC is easy to use and versatile. You can put it on an NXT, use it in VEX, and I believe FTC too. You’ll learn a lot about programming that will help you when learning other

Posted in Arduino, NXT, ROBOTC, Tutorial, VEX

Using a Test Bed to Learn about the NXT

We do robot demonstrations to share our passion of robotics with others.  For a recent demo we created a couple of “test beds” to demonstrate some of what you can do with an NXT. Sometimes it is difficult to easily

Posted in NXT, test bed, Tutorial

Starting an FLL Team

Do you have a child (age 9-14) who might enjoy robotics? If so FIRST LEGO League might be for you!  If you can’t find a team in your area to join, I suggest that you start your own team.   You

Posted in FLL, NXT, Starting a team, Tutorial

Is Repeatability in FLL Important??

In FLL the work of getting a robot to do what you want is often difficult. It takes longer than we might first expect. We are used to seeing videos of robots that work. What we don’t see is what

Posted in FLL, NXT, testing, Tutorial

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