RoboRunners posing in their booth at VEX Worlds

RoboRunners at 2016 VEX Worlds – Part One

The RoboRunners had an amazing competition season capped off by a trip to VEX worlds. The team was part of a new Guinness World Record for largest robot competition at what is considered the Olympics of robotics. What an exciting reward for their performance at the VEX IQ Michigan State Championships.

The week of robotics competition was filled with excitement. This post covers the RoboRunners arrival, the team booth, robot inspection, the driver meeting, and Skills Challenge matches. In the next post I will cover the Parade of Nations, 2017 Game Unveiling, Judging Interview, and Teamwork Challenge.

RoboRunners Arrive at VEX Worlds

On Wednesday the team arrived at the Louisville venue along with over 15,000 other students from elementary school through college. We grabbed our gear and made the first of many long walks into the center.

Vex Worlds Louisville Convention Center

Hauling gear in at VEX Worlds

It was really nice traveling to temperatures in the high eighties and sunny skies. The team stopped to take a few pictures of their arrival.

RoboRunners posing in front of a fountain

The check-in lines were already long despite arriving as early as possible!

view from above of VEX Worlds check in

waiting in line at check-in

The students entertained themselves with Rock, Paper, Scissors as we waited to check in and receive our team packets. Gino was ready to strike a pose as always.

the team playing rock, paper, scissors at check-in

so excited for robotics

RoboRunners Booth – VEX Worlds Home Base

After check-in the team made their way to the team booth location. This would become home base for the week and serve as a place to show off the season highlights, meet other teams, and exchange souvenirs.

RoboRunners team banner

sign from the kids school

The kids got to work decorating their booth with signs they had made, gifts from the school, sponsor-provided items, banners, and more.

a team member in the booth

RoboRunners having fun in their booth

The RoboRunners booth was quite a hit thanks to Cherry Republic providing some tasty treats, The National Cherry Festival providing lanyards and pins, team buttons from the school PTO/parents, and information on Northern Michigan.

Vex Worlds Robot Inspection

The inspection area for Vex Worlds was well run and inspection went smoothly. On hand were metal boxes used to measure the robots in all configurations – this was far more accurate then other events the team had attended.

robot being inspected at VEX Worlds

vex worlds inspection

After measuring the robot in it’s various configurations and making sure that the range of motion stayed within size constraints, the robot was cleared to compete in the events.

2D modeling really helped the team to ensure the robot fit within the size constraints at all times and saved the RoboRunners from having to make last minute modifications.

VEX Worlds 2016 Driver Meeting

One of the large meetings the team attended was the Driver Meeting. The RoboRunners got a view of where they would be competing and heard from some of the VEX representatives.

a VEX IQ field at VEX Worlds

driver meeting at VEX Worlds

VEX IQ has grown and the elementary teams were split into two divisions for the qualifying rounds. The RoboRunners were in the Engineering Division.

a view of the Engineering division

VEX IQ Skills Rounds

The team decided to get most of their Skills rounds done on their first day. This was a great decision so that they would not have to worry about long skills lines or squeezing rounds in between Teamwork rounds.

Programming Skills

Programming skills was where the team really shined this year and was a big part of the invitation to worlds. The team’s lead programmer, Austin, was able to do all four programming skills rounds.

another programming skills attempt

The robot’s programming did not work properly on the Championship fields (even though it worked fine in practice). My guess is that the programming fields were not level and it threw things off.

Programming skills match

In spite of the programming not working as it normally does, the team placed 23rd overall. Although Austin was disappointed, it was still a great showing!

Driver Skills

The RoboRunners also competed in all four Driver Skills rounds. All of the kids had a chance to drive and they all did very well.

one of the team's skills matches

getting ready for a skills match

The team ended up 41st overall in Driver Skills. I was very happy that the students scored near the maximum they can with their robot’s design.

a driver skills match

a big dump in the high goal

Next Update

In the next update I will cover the rest of the week’s events.

Stay tuned and check it out for pictures of the parade of nations, qualifying, and more! Check out Part Two Here.