Monday, March 14, 2016

VEX IQ Middle School Worlds '16

Worlds '16 Data

Here's a bunch of data I've collected about teams attending VEX IQ Worlds Middle School division in 2016.

It should be noted that this data has come from different times in the season, from various tournaments, and also Skills events that sometimes do not host Teamwork events.  While it may provide some comparison between teams, each team's results in qualifying and in the finals depends a great deal on other teams at that event.  This table does not indicate how much a team may improve between the tournament listed, and Worlds.

This table lists the tournament from which this data was collected for each team.

The Program and Driver Skill scores are pulled from the tournament listed, or the World Ranking, whichever is greater.
"All Avg" is the average score of all qualifying matches for that team.
"Used Avg" is the average, not including scores that were dropped.
The table is sorted by "Average", which is:
(([Total Used] + [Final])/([Qualifying Matches] + 1) + [Program Skill] + [Driver Skill]) / 3

If teams don't have a score in a category, a value of zero is used.

Here is some limited Elementary data

Sunday, January 10, 2016

VEX Power

Charging Station

With a couple big projects and four VEX IQ teams, the chargers can quickly get out of control.  So, I built a charging station to keep things in line.
The back is simply a piece of wood with a handle cut into it.

The power strip is attached by screws, and the chargers are attached with 3M VHB double-sided tape.

All designed to fit into the VEX IQ storage box.

Friday, December 18, 2015

R2-IQ: On Display

Build Day 52:

R2 On Display
"The" movie is in theaters.  Today was my target day to finish.  52 days in, I can present it as complete.  But, like many projects, it will never really be complete.

I brought R2 into work to show him off.  Everyone loves him.  I've been passed in the hall many times and the normal mindless greeting of "how are you" has been replaced with "very cool".

That makes me smile.

New design for shoulder
Last night, I totally rebuilt the arm, and how it connects to the body.  I don't have any good pictures right now.  Generally, I redesigned it so the arm would split in two pieces and the upper arm would remain attached to the shoulder.  That allowed me to build a more rigid pivoting point, but still allow disassembly for transport.
R2 Standing on 2 legs
I still have a number of things I want to work on.

  1. Fill in the gaps in the head
  2. Replace the shells for the outside feet
  3. Build a shell for the third leg
  4. Motorize raising the third leg
  5. Rebuild the bottom skirt so it is lower
  6. Add more decorative stuff to the body
  7. Find out why the head-turn motor is so loud
  8. Attempt to speed up movement
  9. Fix the colors on the shoulders
  10. Add better sounds & lights (arduino) 
Even with all that, it's still good.  I think I can say I will never retire it.

While the build is "complete", this is where the journey really begins.  Right?

Wednesday, December 16, 2015

R2-IQ: Photoshoot

Build Day 50

Standing on three legs
I'm trying to take some good pictures that I can share.

I went down in the basement, turned on all the lights, and one of them proceeded to stop working.

So, the pictures are not as well-lit as I want, but it will have to do, for now.

Front View
Standing on two legs

Tall looking droid

Tuesday, December 15, 2015

R2-IQ on TV

Build Day 49

Looking good
Our visit to the Game Preserve was captured and broadcast last night.  Today, the news was loaded with stories that started, "In anticipation of the new Star Wars movie..." (someone did something)

So, I did my part.  Check out the story, which is slightly longer than the ad you must watch at the beginning.

WLFI News Story

A couple corrections:
1) The story starts by him saying "...the 45 robot...", which I think should have been "... the 45 day old robot..."
2) I said I'd been working on it for 45 days.  It was actually 48.
3) The total number of pieces is more like 4,000 than 40,000.  About 2,400 of those are pins.
4) I said I was a robotics coach.  They said I'm a teacher.  OK...

Highlights of the night:
A) Matt helping me assemble it.
B) Kurt reminding me of the items on my list (weight, part count, creation time, cost)
C) The people present expressing how cool it was
D) Seth being impressed that we got TV18 to show up.

Monday, December 14, 2015

R2-IQ at the Game Preserve

R2-IQ as it looks right now

Build Day 48

Tonight, we'll be taking R2-IQ to a local gaming store, the Game Preserve, to display.

At the same time they will be playing several Star Wars games like IMPERIAL ASSAULT SKIRMISH, X-Wing, Armada, and/or Star Wars LCG.

Stop in and check it out, or visit the GP Facebook web site.


Weight: 43lbs
Cost: $1500
Material: VEX IQ robotic construction parts
Part Count: 3,300 pieces

Friday, December 11, 2015

R2-IQ: Broken Arm

Build Day 45:

Outline of feet
My latest task was to create a shell for the feet which will go on the outside legs.

The feet themselves are not going to move (like the real R2).  The shell is going to move to keep the feet looking flat to the ground.
Standing R2-IQ
I did a full assembly of the current version.  I still need to fill-in the head and finish up the feet.  Beyond that, a few more decorative items, and it will be great.

Fallen Hero
I put it into three-leg mode, and drove it around a bit.  Turns out the new better-looking arms are not as rigid as the old ones.

One of them gave out, just below the shoulder, and the whole body crashed to the floor.
Broken leg
The only thing that was really damaged was the arm.  The whole robot came down on it.

I don't really mean it was damaged.  It came apart.  When I put it back together, it will be stronger.

We can rebuild him.  Better.  Stronger.  Faste...  well, the same speed.  (showing my age?)
Broken Pin
There was one pin in the body that was broken.  It took me about 10 minutes to snap the body back together.  Five of that was trying to figure out why two plates wouldn't go back in place, because there was a bent pin between them.

Just to be clear, this was not a part failure.  It was the result of the entire robot falling over.