It was a very exciting night with robotics club practice resuming after a short layoff. The team was excited to get back together and explore some new ideas. This season we will begin to look at programming. It will be challenging but I think the team can handle it! Right now it looks as though I will be coaching a smaller team this season, but the kids who have already signed up are very eager.
Robotics Club Practice
Our practice begin with an enthusiastic “hi” and the kids were very eager to get started. I had worked on an interesting holonomic robot over our break and the students wanted to begin the practice taking a look at my robot. The large holonomic robot has a very different design then anything they had seen as well as a different strategy. As I showed it off I could see the kids were getting lots of new ideas.
The next thing we took a look at was a robot that Austin had worked on over the break. The robot he built included all of the Vex IQ robot sensors and was able to run the Autopilot program. The whole team thought it was neat that the robot was able to sense objects and move in a lawnmower fashion.
After looking at the two new robots, we took a look at some online videos to see what some of the other teams around the world were doing. Most of the videos feature middle school kids. Even so, our team liked all of the different ideas people from around the world are using to build Vex IQ robots and compete in the high rise game. Seeing so many concepts really got the wheels turning among the students.
The next thing we began to look at was programming. I showed the team the RobotC IDE and began to go over some programming concepts. We took a look at setting up motors and sensors as well as some sample code I had put together. We took a look at both the text based and the graphical versions of the IDE. This is definitely going to be a challenging concept for me to coach but I look really forward to seeing how far the kids come by the end of the spring session.
After taking a look at programming I had the team begin to sketch ideas for their new robot. We discussed their ideas and began to get some idea of what direction they wanted to take the team now. I am hoping that we can begin building their new robot in the next practice or two and look forward to seeing what they come up with. I am so happy that the parents of our team have technical backgrounds and engineering ideas!
The final thing the team did was have some fun driving the robots. Driving a holonomic robot is very different then the tank drive they are used to but they all begin to get the hang of it. I think they enjoyed driving Austin’s tank style robot more!