VEX Robotics Team Progress!

Working in their underground bunker at CoLabs, the VEX Robotics Team shows off the toothy grin of their newly designed chassis. The realization that the long-arm catapult would be too long has them redesigning the chassis to accommodate a more compact lifter/thrower. Go team!



Our Sponsor Panel is Complete!

Michael, our graphic designer, designed the sponsor panel, and left room for the robot name, which, we took suggestions on before voting on it. Some of the suggested names included “Woody”, “Woody Flowers”, “Stack Overflow”, and “Fire Hazard”.

After going through several rounds of voting,  “Stack Overflow” won by one vote, and the name “Woody” received second place.

The sponsors included on the panel are (in no specific order):  FRC, City High School, NASA, SolidWorks, Cathode Corner, TMM, GrabCad, CoLab Workspace, VEX, Helen & Marvin Meistrich, Xerocraft, the Donald Pitt Family Foundation,  Coke, and Will I am.

Pictures of the sponsor panel:

The Sponsor Panel being Lasercut
The Sponsor Panel being Lasercut

It took about 90 minutes to lasercut the panel!

The completed sponsor panel
The completed sponsor panel

Thingy Thingy Thingy

Kevin and Ben have been working on a claw (so cleverly named thingy thingy thingy) to quickly grab the cans from the center step and the prototype is looking pretty good. When not extended the claw takes up little space but has quite a bit of a reach, allowing us to grab the cans from a distance.thingy thingy thingy Our goal is to quickly drive up, pull the can onto our side, and then stack it later on in the match. Hopefully we’ll be able to grab the cans before the other teams do.

2015 Drivetrain

Our 2015 Practice Robot Drivetrain


Our 2015 practice robot chassis wood and CAD render.

-All laser-cut .25″ plywood.
-27.5″ x 36″ footprint
-2.25″ ground clearance, 2.5″ chassis height
-Angled wheel modules contain an omni wheel each and can be removed with six screws.
-Includes our elevator-tilting gearbox and a cutout for the elevator
-Mounting holes for complete 2015 control system.
-Everything in top picture weighs 9.7 lbs

Build Season: Week One

Grabby prototype week 1

At the end of week one, our build is starting to take shape. With the design all but finalized, work on the code and prototype mechanisms can continue at full speed.

The robot prototyping continues as our design for a can grabber begins to take shape. The added friction from the wheels show here lets us more reliably pick up the bins, and the rotating join will allow the robot to flip the can over and achieve as high of a stack as possible.

The rest of the build is coming along nicely. The electronics board and basic drive code is finished, resulting in a successful test of the laser cut plywood drivetrain design we build during the offseason, and the rest of the field elements such as the tote chute are nearly complete.

Day 34: Practice robot WORKING!

Today we got the practice robot outside and driving around on the dock. An hour or so into the meeting the hardware work was done for the day.

The hardware people make the catapault work by adding some sort of surgical tubing.
The hardware people make the catapault work by adding some sort of surgical tubing.

After the hardware team was done with work, we spent the rest of the meeting getting the code to work. We double and triple checked that the wiring in the code was the same as on the robot and took it outside.

The hardware team helps debug the robot and find the unplugged wires.
The hardware team helps debug the robot and find the unplugged wires.

We decided to stay after the end of the meeting, and make the practice robot work as early as possible. The intake worked well, but the catapult needed some adjusting.

Sean works on balancing the catapult while everyone watches.
Sean works on balancing the catapult while everyone watches.

Then, of course, everything broke.

Day 20 (Great success? Nah it was a normal day)


Hey y’all,

Today we did a lot of improvements on the robot, mainly feeder-wise and CAD wise. The feeder sub-team added some rollers on the side of the feeder so that the ball enter more smoothly. The programmers worked on certain tasks together to allow for future functions that the robot will do. Alex (Utzinger) was ever so kind as to produce some renders of the CAD model that Cal has been working on! Alia’s montage of what we did today will also be posted below!

Robot bellypan
Robot bellypan
Catapult and bellypan
Catapult and bellypan
The whole robot
The whole robot (minus the intake)

Alia's montage
Alia’s montage

Day 16: (re)Launch

Today, the team focused on refining and recreating different aspects of the robot including the launching mechanism, the code, and the wiring. We installed the new launcher which utilizes surgical tubing and a winch, and added a backboard to keep the robot and ball more steady. We also worked on designing the competition robots’ belly pan.

Despite some difficulties (including a robot attack on our dear mentor, Gary) we were able to have many successful launches. Some videos chronicling these launches can be found below:


2. Success!

3. BEST launch (13.5 feet high and 33.5 feet far)