Category: Coach’s Corner (page 2 of 8)

(1/8″ Braided Nylon Rope)

Robots are allowed to use an unlimited amount of 1/8″ braided nylon rope. My team has made great use of this material in our last 2 robots, saving weight and opening up our design possibilities.

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The Nuts & Bolts of Nuts & Bolts

Nylock or keps nuts: Which is better? Here’s a guest post by Renegade Robotics dad David Beaver on the science of nuts & bolts, and what it means for building a durable competition robot.

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Initialize (easyC) &
Pre-Autonomous (RobotC)

The Pre-autonomous / Initialize part of your competition template can be used for handy stuff, including sensor calibration and autonomous code selection.

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VEX Sensors: Accelerometer

The VEX accelerometer component’s usefulness in competition seems to be limited to a tilt sensor or an unexpected-stop sensor. Using it for position calculation involves double-integration, which introduces noise.

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VEX Sensors: Light Sensor

The VEX light sensor does not see a lot of use in competitive robotics. This analog sensor returns a numerical value that corresponds to the amount of ambient light detected.

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Extension Wires & Motor Controllers

Motor controllers need to be plugged in close to the cortex, and 2-wire extensions should be used to reach motors far away. You can use 3-wire extension cables in place of 2-wire extensions if needed.

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The RobotC Datalog

RobotC’s datalog functionality allows you to see your program’s numerical data in complete detail, captured as your program is running. You can scroll through every iteration of a function and see the value of variables at each step. Plus one-click download to CSV and one-click customizable graphs. I love it.

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Power Expander: 2 Batteries Are Better than One! (Updated)

Did you know you’re allowed to use 2 batteries on your VEX competition robot? Learn more to improve your robot’s performance!

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Zip-Tie Those Motors

Here’s a tip from the experienced teams: remove all the screws from your robot’s motors, and instead hold it all together with a large zip tie. This method allows super-fast swapping out of motors and gears, and allows quick access to cool down your motors in between matches.

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Idler Gears and Inserts

High-strength gears come with 2 kinds of inserts: metal ones with a square hole in the center, and plastic ones with a round hole. Read on to learn where and why you want to use those green inserts.

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