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FIRST Vex challenge, what should we study?

  1. Jun 13, 2007 #1
    My friends and I are planning on attempting the FIRST Vex Challenge next season, and we've created a tea of about 5 people. We are all high school freshmen headed for sophmore year and I wanted to get some advice on what each of us should study over the summer to get better prepared for the competition.
     
  2. jcsd
  3. Jun 14, 2007 #2
    robotics??
     
  4. Jun 14, 2007 #3

    ranger

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    Hey, I was in the FIRST competition when I was in high school. At the time we were phasing out from using qbasic to a C microcontroller. So work on your programming skills.
    Also draw up rough ideas of what your robot should do and how to accomplish it. I remembered that we controlled movements of arms using pneumatics.

    Have your team members do specific tasks - example one for programming, two for building. Have those guys read up programming and pneumatics for example. Have one of the guys dedicate himself to controlling/operating the robot (controlling is not as easy as it sounds). He can give the programmer teaks and hints to improve the code; so he should also be familiar with the programming language that you guys will use.

    If I recall correctly, our team had one programmer and a mentor, two structural builders, one operator and one team leader thats makes sure all aspects runs in sync. We had a couple more, but I dont recall what their exact roles were.

    Good luck!
     
    Last edited: Jun 14, 2007
  5. Jun 15, 2007 #4
    Do you think we will need an "electrical engineer" role? or is it mostly mechanical/programming that we need to worry about
     
  6. Jun 15, 2007 #5

    ranger

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    Well the two "structural builders" that we had were given the title of Engineers. They both took care of the electrical side (mostly wiring) and mechanical side. It wasn't that much electrical oriented as you would think; I would say that the mechanical side [along with programming] are the most important. Well at least this was what the situation was like 3.5 - 4 yrs ago. I don't know how much has changed in terms of structure and programming languages used since then.

    But a good idea is to have a mentor. Our high school provided one from a local college. He was more programming based because the experience of switching to C programming at the time came as a shock.

    You guys have more than enough time to learn the programming language, so I would recommend that you request a mentor in the [mechanical] engineering field.

    What programming language are you guys required to use?
     
  7. Jun 15, 2007 #6
    I have no idea. We're still planning how we're going to make the competition work. If we were given the option of choosing any language, which would you recommend?
     
  8. Jun 16, 2007 #7

    ranger

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    Well, their documentation n parts states that you should have received a C programming manual. So I guess when they made the switch over to C programming when I was in the competition, it wasn't anything specific for that competition, but the plans were general.

    But if you were given a choice, I would still recommend C as qbasic won't get you far in the long run.

    But If you're really serious about this stuff man, read the documentation on the FIRST website. I found this. Its a C programming tutorial.
     
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