PDA

View Full Version : What NEW Vex Accessories Would You Like TO See?


Robots_R_Us
05-10-2006, 11:40 AM
What NEW Vex Accessories Would You Like TO See?

Sensors, motors, structural parts, WHAT?

Thanks for any suggestions.

RRU

CraigHickman
05-10-2006, 11:46 AM
As for motors, a high speed, low tourque motor would be helpful for rapid action, small space components.

As well as that, a slightly wider selection of wheels would be intersting.

If possible, Mecanum wheels would be very fun to play with. However, I don't know how much the cost would be to make some that small...

petek
05-10-2006, 11:50 AM
Besides a smallish higher speed motor, how about a small (7.2V <10A?) speed controller and a small breaker panel to make it easy to drain the battery - er, I mean: build shooters, etc.?

Qbranch
05-10-2006, 11:55 AM
Up the system voltage to 12v. I saw some neat little batteries close to the size of a 7.2v pack except it was 12v with 0.250" tab connectors. This was at Fry's if anyone wants to go see them.

Plus, they should publish the fact that the PWM periods on the VEX controller is the same as on the FRC controller.

The BIGGEST feature i'd like to see on the next rev of the VEX controller is a second TTL serial port so next year's FVC challenge can use the CMUcam. (hear that, FVC admin people? :D )

Thats all for now.

-Q

ChrisH
05-10-2006, 11:58 AM
As for motors, a high speed, low tourque motor would be helpful for rapid action, small space components.

As well as that, a slightly wider selection of wheels would be intersting.

If possible, Mecanum wheels would be very fun to play with. However, I don't know how much the cost would be to make some that small...

What diameter? How much would you be willing to pay?

I did some for an EduBot a couple of years ago and for a KitBot last year. I might be able to arrange something if there was sufficient demand. I'll have to check into my cost though.

David55
05-10-2006, 12:11 PM
*Gyroscope - I understand that one can be connected to the microcontroller with some custom wiring and programming, but i think it would be more convenient for the people starting with robotics to have a compatible vex gyroscope.

*Camera - I heard this could also be done with some hardware and software hacking but on a more advanced level. A compatible vex camera (CMU or any other) would really expand the autonomous capabilities of the vex robots.

*sound sensor - for sound activation, like the one in the mindstorms NXT kit.

*Wider variety of motors

*Upgraded remote control, or even some type of operator interface so more advanced users can make their own controls.

*cheaper vex pneumatics kits.

I think the vex kits are great already, but the above accessories will really give it an advantage over the other kits.

Billfred
05-10-2006, 12:22 PM
A camera would be pretty awesome, but you know what I'd like to see? An infrared remote control, like the one that you use (and can never find) on your television. You could then use the Vex system to do things you wouldn't want to whip out the big radio for, like having a robot open up a bottle of root beer* and send it down the conveyor to your couch.

Beyond that, a simple e-stop button to connect to the tether port would be kinda awesome. (The spec is already on the VexLabs site--it's just grounding two pins on the tether port.)

*Hey, you can have the thing open whatever you want--I'm just underage. ;)

billbo911
05-10-2006, 12:39 PM
I second the Gyroscope. A "Vex Gyro" would be sweet, but a generic one would be just as cool.
I would also love to see an simple square shaft to round shaft coupler that would allow an untold number of items to be connected, specifically, I am thinking of potentiometers.
I also agree that a camera would be really nice. Also, lower cost pneumatics would be nice.

Taylor
05-10-2006, 01:36 PM
I would like to see all components the same allen size. And about 14 more allen wrenches in the kit. With high school students, they can stay "found" for about 0.015 sec; the ones we can find are rounded and unusable.

EHaskins
05-10-2006, 02:04 PM
I like the idea of the gyroscope, but i have done that it's no different than on the full size FRC.

The camera is also a good idea, but all you do to run a standard camera off a vex is use a Y cable for power from one of the digital in/outs and to run a wire from the TTL level TX on the camera to VEX RX port pin closest to the RX label and a wire from the TTL RX on the camera to the VEX TX pin closest to the TX label. Once you do that you can run the camera off Kevin's camera code just follow his instructions on how to use it with the EDU bot.

also i have run Victors speed controllers, hobby servos, accelerometers, gear tooth sensors, and a number of homebrew sensors with the same software as i did on the FRC controller.

I like the idea of a 12v system instead of the 7.2v system, but you would loose the much of your compatibility with standard hobby parts.

The VEX controller already has 2 serial ports the Program port and the TX/RX pins by the inputs.

i like the idea of cheaper vex pneumatics.

I the vex controller should be upgraded to the 18f8722 from the 18f8720 that it's running now.

UnderDark
05-10-2006, 02:24 PM
My current vex wish list:
Worm Gears
Rack & Pinion Gears
Cams
IR collision dection sensors
springs (shock absorbers, stored energy, etc.)

GeorgeTheEng
05-10-2006, 02:27 PM
How about a few more and different types of gears? Bevel Gears, a Rack to use the existing gears as a rack and pinion, Worm gears, and maybe even a planetary gear set up.

Qbranch
05-10-2006, 02:29 PM
How about a few more and different types of gears? Bevel Gears, a Rack to use the existing gears as a rack and pinion, Worm gears, and maybe even a planetary gear set up.

Wow that would be awesome if you were given a crown gear and drive tape.

You know what i'm thinking... :yikes:


-Q

Lil' Lavery
05-10-2006, 03:34 PM
Definately for more, cooler gears. More sizes of spur gears, worm gear, rack and pinion, bevel, etc

mecanum wheels

More wheel sizes (including wider width wheels)

Removable/replacable/variable wheel treads (for replacing worn ones, adjusting tractions, etc)

3-axis joystick for vex controller

more powerful motors (come on, you know you want em ;) )

More sprocket sizes

Smaller shaft encoders

MrForbes
05-10-2006, 03:56 PM
I would like to see all components the same allen size.

not likely, since they would have to make custom screws, or redesign the servos and collars to use larger screws.

And about 14 more allen wrenches in the kit. With high school students, they can stay "found" for about 0.015 sec; the ones we can find are rounded and unusable.

I bought a pair of cheezy Sears Craftsman ball hex drivers, number 41660 and 41661, they seem to be a big help. Also the 41973 11/32 nutdriver comes in very handy. Using these real tools instead of those provided with the kit is a big help.

GB330033
05-10-2006, 04:13 PM
Though I've yet to use any Vex stuff at this point, I've noticed one thing. They have the Metal and Hardware kit, which is a bunch of metal and stuff to add onto the stuff in the kit, why not make a Sensor Kit, which has, say, one of each sensor?

Tim Arnold
05-10-2006, 04:24 PM
The only thing that I can think of that has not been said (the wrenches REALLY need improvement though - the two that came with my starter kit are completely rounded off (my replacement wrenches have ball-point ends... awesome to work with and they haven't rounded yet: this (http://www.hobbico.com/tools/hcar0520.html) or this (http://www.2spi.com/catalog/tools/smtol31.shtml) style)) is rubber coated treads. While the treads do well on carpet, the performance on hard surfaces like cardboard is really sub-par. If there was some sort of rubber coating it would be perfect; I have put rubber bands around my treads to get the same sort of effect.

Keep up the great work Intellitek!

hallk
05-10-2006, 05:09 PM
More/ longer extension cables
Bigger variety of threads and belting

Kyle Love
05-10-2006, 05:29 PM
Clutches with metal sleeve inserts would be AMAZING!

Jeremiah Johnson
05-10-2006, 05:32 PM
I'd really like to see belts and pulleys. They'd be a huge help. Servos that start level with the clutch would be awesome. I don't like how they start all weird like that. More collars need to come with the kit, too. I ran out quickly and then bought the metal kit for more and ran out of those, too. So I have another package arriving tonight along with a bunch more stuff... including the Sprocket and Chain Kit I had to wait a long time for. Mecanum wheels would be awesome! I also want better instructions for using stuff... like the sensors.

miketwalker
05-10-2006, 05:38 PM
I'd like to see a nice accelerometer sensor system as well as a gyro. I think that a large group are interested in developing more self-balancing systems and better software-assisted arm movements and such.

Tim Arnold
05-10-2006, 05:47 PM
Intellitek had nothing to do with the development of the Vex Robotics system. They did create the EasyC software that comes in the programming kit, as well as some robotics curriculum, but the kit itself doesn't come from them.

Doh, I was out of it apparently, I meant to say IFI and RadioShack (but I understand they also no longer own the copyright and never really did the design work).

Regarding the wrenches, they shouldn't strip that easily in the first place (and destroying the limited number of screws while we are at it - motor mounts come to mind). Just something that we learn from trial and error I guess. With the pneumatics, I was shocked to even see them available. When I told the rest of the group I was building Ballistic Jr. (http://www.chiefdelphi.com/forums/showthread.php?t=46552) with, they said that it was "hardcore".

Thanks for the correction, and keep up the good work IFI (easyC is great software, though :))
Tim

lupjohn
05-10-2006, 06:02 PM
Intellitek had nothing to do with the development of the Vex Robotics system. They did create the EasyC software that comes in the programming kit, as well as some robotics curriculum, but the kit itself doesn't come from them.

Some things mentioned in this thread...
Better Allen Wrenches, and additional (better) fasteners can be found on this page:
http://www.vexlabs.com/vex-robotics-fasteners.shtml

Longer Extension Cables can be found on this page:
http://www.vexlabs.com/vex-robotics-electrical-parts.shtml

Individual Starter Kit Parts:
http://www.vexlabs.com/vex-robotics-starter-kit-parts.shtml

We are also looking into many new accessory parts.
As a mechanical dork, new motion components are high on my list. (i.e. bevel gears, worm gears, etc). Lots of development going on right now, hopefully we can bring out some great new additions to the official vex product line.

We are also considering some modifications to existing kits; though nothing nearly as crazy as some of the ideas we've heard.

-JV

John;
I think you did a great job in designing all of the current VEX components and I have been trying to convince my FRC team that VEX would make an ideal training tool for the Fall pre-build for the new and returning students. We get so busy during build 6 weeks that I am afraid we lose the students and parents for that matter, that aren't up to speed yet. With the RS prices reduced right now I have populated my own robotics lab with VEX stuff and am searching for more time to get building.

My one suggestion is probably not a short term possibility but I will pass it along anyway. I know the VEC controller and the "EduBot" controller are very close cousins and probably very close in internal architecture. I would like to see both updated with the 18F8720 vs the 18f8520 so that all FIRST controllers would be more compatible. I would also suggest that the VEX controller have the same number of connections as the EDUBOT. I know this is a cost issue and I will survive but this is a blue sky session.

Again thanks for your sound design work on the VEX and look forward to continued growth from your acquisition of the VEX system. More later, Larry Upjohn, FRC 692

DonRotolo
05-10-2006, 07:52 PM
Longer Extension Cables can be found on this page:
http://www.vexlabs.com/vex-robotics-electrical-parts.shtml

Individual Starter Kit Parts:
http://www.vexlabs.com/vex-robotics-starter-kit-parts.shtml

We are also looking into many new accessory parts.
JVN,
Are those extension cables with the Vex orientation tab on them, or standard (FRC-type) PWM cables? I suspect the latter. You can probably make a few cents offering a connector package with bodies, contacts and some PWM cable.

Greater selection of motors is also high on my list.

I absolutely LOVE that you're offering each starter kit item individually.

I'd like a short (1/2" or so) square shaft to 1/4" diameter shaft adapter, one I could just slip onto a shaft and use a standard coupler to hook up, say, a potentiometer.

Some of the sensor ideas discussed already might not be a great addition, since COTS stuff is trivially interfaced (except for the keyed connector body...;). Maybe FVL needs to select a few to approve for competition...

Don

Gdeaver
05-10-2006, 08:02 PM
Easy sensor addition - buy a bunch of Sharp 5' Ir distance sensors. Repackage them in a shell that has a attachment for a Vex servo. Add a cable. From my testing the Vex controller RC filter seams to deal with the noise inherent with these sensors. A little more testing maybe need to see if a cap is needed across the power terminals. Quick easy environment mapping.

The Vex encoders are good enough. However, the current package dimensions are hard to adapt to many designs. A smaller package is in order. Adding quadrature would greatly increase the cost and complicate the programming.


For arms and such a pot with the mechanical stops removed so they don't break and put them in a tough package.

Get out of the radio business. Wireless PS2 controllers are cheap 13 - 30$. Have the end user provide the PS2 controller. Preferably one of the auto channel selecting ones. This would allow 16 radios in an area to be active.
The problem is the current Vex controller doesn't have any spi hardware available. Maybe take a little pic and use it to poll the PS2 controller and then talk to the vex. The radio is a large part of the cost for the kit. Take it out and lower the cost gain a larger market.

Open up the platform. publish all specs. The more hackable the larger the market.

SizzelChest330
05-11-2006, 12:33 AM
I cant believe nobody's said this...

NEW CHAIN!

Seriously. its not very reliable. too much skipping. not being able to gear for speed very well.

I really would like to see a much higher speed/smaller and more torquey motor as well

Worm gears. for sure.

I'm liking this less expensive pneumatics idea. maybe smaller cylinders as well? (2 speed trannys?)

David55
05-11-2006, 03:22 AM
Although this has nothing to do with accessories, I still feel that it is an issue.

Now that the RadioShack sale is coming to an end, I really don't think many people will go back to buying full price products from vexlabs. The sale was great and a lot of people used it to buy vex kits, and personally (and I think this applies to many others) I won't go back to paying 300$ for a starter kit and 80$ for a hardware kit.

Just my opinion...

artdutra04
05-11-2006, 09:55 AM
I cant believe nobody's said this...

NEW CHAIN!

Seriously. its not very reliable. too much skipping. not being able to gear for speed very well.

I really would like to see a much higher speed/smaller and more torquey motor as well

Worm gears. for sure.

I'm liking this less expensive pneumatics idea. maybe smaller cylinders as well? (2 speed trannys?)If used properly, the Vex chain is very reliable, plenty strong enough, and won't skip teeth on the sprockets. It all depends on how you use it. You need to have the chain properly tensioned, because if the chain is too loose it will skip, and if it is too tight it will snap. Between those two extremes the chain in the Vex kits will perform well and can lift several pounds (http://www.chiefdelphi.com/media/photos/22283) of Vex parts easily. ;)

The pneumatics kits can't really get that much smaller, as they are only 10 mm bore to start with.

And if people really want different pneumatic cylinders, why not just buy them directly from companied like Bimba (www.bimba.com) or SMC (www.smcusa.com)? Bimba sells 5/16" bore single-stroke and double-stroke cylinders for $10-20 each, with each additional inch of stroke costing $1.30.

intellec7
05-11-2006, 05:41 PM
I'd really like to see quadrature encoders, I can't imagine them adding to the cost that much, just add another photo interrupter, and have Intelitek implement the quadrature encoder the same way they did the one included in the kit, except for counting down when going in the opposite direction.
I also agree with the addition of pots, you could make your own "servo" except gear it however you want!

EricRobodox
05-12-2006, 01:18 AM
I felt that the EDU chain works a lot better than the VEX chain. maybe bring back that chain to use in the kits. Also, the drive screws need to be tougher, or the allen wrench for them needs to be better as only those screws seem to strip really freaken easily, even without torquing the screw or tightening. A nice assesory to add would be a worm gear configuration. It would be great for making an arm with a lot of weight.

SamC
05-13-2006, 03:53 PM
I also think some sort of all thread should be added so that you can splice the "beams" togather (beams) (http://www.vexlabs.com/vex-robotics-fasteners.shtml). I found i ran out of these long beam rather fast so splicing a few little ones would be a quick fix before buying a hardware kit or something else.

nonother
05-13-2006, 06:34 PM
If you mean connecting the beams together then just use the 8-32 Coupler they sell on the page you linked to.

SamC
05-13-2006, 10:57 PM
Yeah that is exactly what i meant... i didn't even know they had those...

marccenter
05-15-2006, 04:22 PM
First, small, grippy Vex wheels to replace the small, low friction wheels
would be high on my list. We participated in a non-First,
Robotics competition, Robofest 2006 - LTU, Southfield,
Michigan and were unable to use the VEX platform because
it required a small profile robot (smaller than squarebot) with
higher traction than these two, small, wheels provided.

Second, would be red, keyed analog/digital pwm extension
cables. I know Vexlabs sells extension cables, however,
we built our own IR distance sensor from Sharp GP2D12
sensor and would have preferred using the red, keyed
cables that cannot be purchased outright.

Third, Tank threads with increased friction, adapter kit.
The Robofest competition occurs on shelving unit boards
obtained locally (5/8 inch thick, three/four feet long -
costing about $10 - Meijers, Lowes, Home Depot). These
boards have thin, laminated, smooth, white coating.
Email recommended McMaster 2126T1. Will look into.

EricRobodox
05-17-2006, 11:28 PM
i got one today when building. CHANGE THE FREAKEN COLOR OF THE DRIVE SCREWS!!!!!! ahhhh. they drive me insane when i cant find the drive screws because they have been scattered with the normal screws. I think making the normal screws black like they are, and no coating on drive screws, this would help many people.

Jeremiah Johnson
05-18-2006, 12:00 AM
i got one today when building. CHANGE THE FREAKEN COLOR OF THE DRIVE SCREWS!!!!!! ahhhh. they drive me insane when i cant find the drive screws because they have been scattered with the normal screws. I think making the normal screws black like they are, and no coating on drive screws, this would help many people.

I fixed this by trying to put the screws back into the motors.

Simon Strauss
05-27-2006, 01:48 PM
I'd really like to see belts and pulleys. ...Sprocket and Chain Kit

How about a different type of chain that could run off the gears the kit comes with instead of sprockets, kind of like a timing belt but adjustable/detachable like the chain set. I'm thinking this could be done by just making regular chain links but with teeth that mesh with the gears, allowing them to function as timing pulleys as well as gears and minimizing the amount of parts people would need to a great working vex robot.

Donut
05-27-2006, 04:50 PM
How about a different type of chain that could run off the gears the kit comes with instead of sprockets, kind of like a timing belt but adjustable/detachable like the chain set. I'm thinking this could be done by just making regular chain links but with teeth that mesh with the gears, allowing them to function as timing pulleys as well as gears and minimizing the amount of parts people would need to a great working vex robot.

Adding to that, they could convert all of the current sized sprockets into gears of equivalent size for even more gearing options. Having only 4 sizes to work with does somewhat limit your options. I had a good deal of difficulty figuring out how to gear a tank tread pulley and an omni-wheel to the same speed in a reasonable amount of axles/gears, and eventually gave up on it.

Billfred
05-27-2006, 05:36 PM
Adding to that, they could convert all of the current sized sprockets into gears of equivalent size for even more gearing options. Having only 4 sizes to work with does somewhat limit your options. I had a good deal of difficulty figuring out how to gear a tank tread pulley and an omni-wheel to the same speed in a reasonable amount of axles/gears, and eventually gave up on it.
Wouldn't different gear sizes cause meshing issues without some funky hole placement?

Donut
05-28-2006, 12:45 AM
You could do in between sizes from what they have now (for example, two 36 tooth gears have one hole between them, they could make 24 tooths so they would have no holes between them). I'm sure you could probably get these half sizes to connect to the current ones if you connect them at an angle instead of directly above or to the side of the gears.

gblake
05-28-2006, 12:52 AM
Where do I begin?....

Small Right Angle brackets (not those goofy easily-bent gussets)
Small 3-sided Corner Brackets
4", 5", 6" Axles
A way to lock a clutch, motor and axle together so that the clutch/axle won't fall out
A rack gear for creating Rack and Pinion mechanisms
A Crown gear for transfering rotation around corners
Cams for using servos and motors to move lever arms and pistons
A reel and cable/chain that can be a Winch (for torque or for speed)
A Shaft Encoder that understands direction and counts up/down accordingly
A Ratchet that can be used to apply torque in one direction, but slips almost without friction in the other
A high bandwith hard-wired connection between Vextrollers or one controller and another computer/coprocessor
An IR communication transceiver for high bandwidth comms with other Vextrollers or other computers/coprocessors
An RF communication transceiver for high bandwidth comms woth other Vextrollers or other computers/coprocessors
Individual and grouped LEDs of multiple colors that can be set on/off by using serial I/O to send command "bits"/"words"
Audio outputs
A turntable that can support substantial weight
A tailgate that can be attached at the end of a chute and raised/lowered by a servo
A swivel joint made from a captive ball pierced by a rod/axle

I'm sure more ideas will come to me shortly....

foobert
05-28-2006, 02:55 PM
Where do I begin?....

4", 5", 6" Axles - hacksaw
A way to lock a clutch, motor and axle together so that the clutch/axle won't fall out - yes that would be nice
A Shaft Encoder that understands direction and counts up/down accordingly - just had the vex encoder open the other day considering printing out an encoder disk and sticking it to the plastic disk in there already then putting in a piece of perf board with a couple of hammatsu p5587's
A high bandwith hard-wired connection between Vextrollers or one controller and another computer/coprocessor - you've got two serial ports, there must be something you can hook up
An IR communication transceiver for high bandwidth comms with other Vextrollers or other computers/coprocessors - you've got two serial ports, there must be something you can hook up
An RF communication transceiver for high bandwidth comms woth other Vextrollers or other computers/coprocessors - you've got two serial ports, there must be something you can hook up
Individual and grouped LEDs of multiple colors that can be set on/off by using serial I/O to send command "bits"/"words" - one 74hc595, 8 resistors and 8 leds
Audio outputs - piezo speaker
A swivel joint made from a captive ball pierced by a rod/axle - check out sites for radio controlled airplanes

I'm sure more ideas will come to me shortly....

SamC
05-29-2006, 12:25 PM
Has anybody found alternate gears and sprockets available for other sets that work with VEX items aswell?

gblake
05-29-2006, 10:12 PM
Foobert,

I appreciate the friendly intent of your info; but particularly for items like the high bandwidth communication, I was kind-of looking for something that didn't require a hundred or so hours of my time to research, code/build and implement robustly.

For the axles, I figure they have hacksaws at VexLabs (or in China) and I am glad to let them worry about cutting straight and about getting rid of all the burrs.

Just as soon as someone wants to put all of those items you describe into mass produced packages that I can pick up at my local Radio shack for $5-10 each; then I'll buy some.

I enjoy hacking as much as the next guy, but for the purposes of this thread, I am one of those guys who wants to hack at a higher level of abstraction than the one you imply.

Maybe if we could get together in the same room you and I could crank out something interesting; but until then I'm going to push VexLabs to do all the cutting and soldering, so that I can do the using.

Blake (still hopeful) Ross

Where do I begin?....

4", 5", 6" Axles - hacksaw
A way to lock a clutch, motor and axle together so that the clutch/axle won't fall out - yes that would be nice
A Shaft Encoder that understands direction and counts up/down accordingly - just had the vex encoder open the other day considering printing out an encoder disk and sticking it to the plastic disk in there already then putting in a piece of perf board with a couple of hammatsu p5587's
A high bandwith hard-wired connection between Vextrollers or one controller and another computer/coprocessor - you've got two serial ports, there must be something you can hook up
An IR communication transceiver for high bandwidth comms with other Vextrollers or other computers/coprocessors - you've got two serial ports, there must be something you can hook up
An RF communication transceiver for high bandwidth comms woth other Vextrollers or other computers/coprocessors - you've got two serial ports, there must be something you can hook up
Individual and grouped LEDs of multiple colors that can be set on/off by using serial I/O to send command "bits"/"words" - one 74hc595, 8 resistors and 8 leds
Audio outputs - piezo speaker
A swivel joint made from a captive ball pierced by a rod/axle - check out sites for radio controlled airplanes

I'm sure more ideas will come to me shortly....

Jeremiah Johnson
05-30-2006, 06:03 PM
I find a Dremel to be infinitely more usefull than a hacksaw. And you don't need a file most of the time to get rid of burrs.

gblake
05-30-2006, 09:35 PM
Hey Foobert!

Can we convince you to post more complete descriptions of some of your suggestions in the Homemade Parts thread of this forum? That seems like a good place for me to go looking when I am ready to do something like build the LED gizmo you distilled into a one-liner in this thread.

I think that creating a small library of that sort of design material would be a useful investment?

Blake
PS: If the library already exists somewhere, please just point me at it or put the pointer into a new (read-only) thread with a corresponding title.

Dmkaz
06-01-2006, 12:54 AM
Here are a few ideas I had..

- As someone mentioned before a way to lock the clutch to the motor and also a way to lock the shaft into the clutch

- Possibly a few different motors geared toward different applications, such as high torque low speed, low torque high speed, etc.

- Different brackets / different ways to mount motors & servos. From my expierence with the Vex kit I find the way the motor mounts kind of awkward in different applications. Different brackets that could attach to it would be helpful, or a few different holes on the motor itself for different mounting positions.

- New, Stronger Chain. I recently made a ball launcher with a 3500-4000rpm flywheel. Part of it was chain drive, key word was. When I got it up to full speed and accidently tapped the joystick backwards.. little was left of the chain =)

- As someone mentioned as well, a worm gear system for high torque applications such as arms, etc.

- Potentiometer. Yes I read you can buy one and modify it to fit your use, but I'd rather buy one I wouldn't have to rip apart.

- Keyed PWM extension cables. Readily avalible standard, but fit much nicer keyed.

That's all I can think of offhand right now, but Im sure I'll come up with more later.

gblake
06-01-2006, 01:34 AM
Here are a few ideas I had..

- Different brackets / different ways to mount motors & servos. From my expierence with the Vex kit I find the way the motor mounts kind of awkward in different applications. Different brackets that could attach to it would be helpful, or a few different holes on the motor itself for different mounting positions.
I want to STRONGLY agree with the need for servo mounts that permit mounting the servo on a support in any of the 6 orientations (3 orthogonal axes) possible for the servo . Not being able to do this is constantly (in just about every machine/bot I build) ruining othewise good solutions to design problems.

I suspect a bracket(s) and/or clamp(s) separate from the servo is the right way to do this.

Mounts that are integrated into the servo will make the servo larger than it is now; and that will mean it will fit equally poorly in all orientations.

A separate bracket, that is used only when necessary, won't get clog up your designs in situations where the current servo plus its integrated mounts is good enough.

gblake
06-02-2006, 10:05 AM
Third, Tank threads with increased friction, adapter kit.
The Robofest competition occurs on shelving unit boards
obtained locally (5/8 inch thick, three/four feet long -
costing about $10 - Meijers, Lowes, Home Depot). These
boards have thin, laminated, smooth, white coating.
Email recommended McMaster 2126T1. Will look into.

When I look up McMaster 2126T1 I find "Urethane Polyester Reinforced Core Belting 1/8" Od, Green". Is this supposed to be a replacement for the Tank Treads????

Did I misunderstand what the "email" was recommeding?

Blake

tacman1123
06-03-2006, 08:55 PM
I'd like to see an angle sensor. The shaft encoder is close, but because it doesn't report direction there's no way to tell which way the shaft is turning.

Combining an angle sensor with a motor would be great -- I believe that's what the Mindstorm NXT is going to do, so that in addition to sending a command to turn on the motor at some speed, you can also have it rotate an axle some number of degrees. And you can use the motor to measure rotation.

Tac

skibumm101
06-12-2006, 04:38 PM
New material for the Vex Tank tread. The plastic material is so slippery on most surfaces. I would love to see a rubber feet on the tank tread.

gblake
06-12-2006, 07:14 PM
New material for the Vex Tank tread. The plastic material is so slippery on most surfaces. I would love to see a rubber feet on the tank tread.

At http://www.vexlabs.com/forum/viewtopic.php?t=75 in the VexLABS fora, VexLABS gives their reasoning for using the material they chose. That doesn't mean that their crystal ball properly foresaw where the treads would see the most use by most customers; but it does explain why they chose the plastic (delrin?) that is used.

Blake
PS: EVERYONE - According to the folks who answer questions posed in the VexLABS fora, VexLABS does not monitor these Chief Delphi fora/threads. We need to devise a way to get our suggestions and requests from here and into the VexLABS fora. Is there a moderator who can become resopnsible for posting summaries on the VexLABS site?

gblake
06-12-2006, 10:26 PM
Some of us keep an eye on these forums... ;)

I'm (of course) following this thread with GREAT interest. What people need to realize, is that just because you want something, doesn't mean it is a Vex good product. We can't make every single niche part, but I do hope we get to provide some exciting new components and kits in the near future.

JV

OK - That is good. I was a bit suspicious that the answer I got at this URL http://www.vexlabs.com/forum/viewtopic.php?t=813 might have been the official party-line pravda rather than what was really happening behind the scenes.

Thanks John! You have renewed my desire to continue making suggestions here.

Blake

gblake
07-16-2006, 11:41 AM
What NEW Vex Accessories Would You Like TO See?

Sensors, motors, structural parts, WHAT?

Thanks for any suggestions.

RRU
Longer sticks of the metal parts (like a 6' or 3' length of 1x2 C-Channel or a 3' length of the 5xN flat plates) so that the cost per inch that teams experience is lowered. Of course hacksaws and files or grinders/polishers would be needed by teams and hobbyists to cut these sticks into useable lengths with smooth ends.

A 1x5x35 C-hannel that had the same perforation pattern as the 1x2x35 C-Channel (so that the 1x5's weight would be lower).

James Hudak
07-20-2006, 01:09 AM
In no particular order:

1) Shaft encoders that have quadrature outputs, which provides a way to know which direction the shaft is turning.

2) Screw-drive components like several lengths of screws and a easy to install block that will be pushed/pulled with the turning screw. It should also have an ability to slip if the block is stuck.

3) Gender-changers for using standard RC servos. It could just be a short, male to male adapter wire, or even a simple set of 3 pins that fit the RC servo's connector.

4) Vex output compatible Relay control module. It should have a LED on it to verify that its on. Just screw terminals would be fine for hookup. This would be good for high-current devices that can't be driven with the Vex controller or electrical system.

5) Wireless modules for PC to Vex control, debug and programming as well as Vex robot to Vex robot. Vex cluster bots will need this for sure, and the PC wireless would save a lot of time, and wear and tear on the wiring. It could be a proprietary module and protocol, or it could be something like bluetooth, or even infrared.

6) General-Purpose voltage measurement module with filter and pre-amp. This could be a small module that can take voltage measurements from any item, even if it's not within the controller's range of 0-5V. Just a couple of pots on it could set the desired low and high thresholds. If the input signal is very low-level, then a preamp could amplify it so the Vex controller could measure the device with maximum resolution and accuracy. A simple noise filter would not hurt either.

7) Robot kill switch for run-aways and debugging without servos moving. This could be a emergency stop button that locks into the "off" mode when pressed. It could look just like those red e-stop buttons found in industrial systems. This switch could also be used to disable the servos when the robot is on the bench.

8) Locking toggle or slide switches. These would just be on/off switches that lock into one state or the other. These could be used for debug, and for any program function checking for a digital input.

9) Longer screws in standard parts. Sometimes the long screws are too short for the application, that also includes the extra long ones in the track kit. About 50% longer should be enough.

10) Some kind of photo sensor for a variety of applications. It could be used as a photo-interrupter for making encoders and making non-contact limit switches. Perhaps a matching transmitter would work with the existing photo cell sensor. A infrared transmitter / receiver pair would work well too.

Noggin
07-31-2006, 09:46 AM
I would like to see some motors/servos with double shafts (front/back) and common mount points like hitec/futaba/etc. along with new brackets so we could do lynxmotion/robo-one type appendages.

thegathering
07-31-2006, 10:29 AM
The C language instead of Easy C standard would be nice. :p We'll have to teach the youngins how to code and then not apply it otherwise.

Greg Needel
07-31-2006, 10:38 AM
The C language instead of Easy C standard would be nice. :p We'll have to teach the youngins how to code and then not apply it otherwise.


You can use any c compilier with the ifi loader and just use regular c. Easy c is not required even though it comes in the box.

Eric Jensen
08-07-2006, 09:40 AM
My principal gripe with the Radio Shack sensors so far is that they are too wide-angled. I can't get useful performance from the light sensor or the line follower without a very tight sunshade. (LEGO uses a relative pinhole on its light sensor. VEX covers half the sky.) The ultrasonic sensor can detect an inch wide post at a reasonable distance, but it can't seem to detect a foot wide hole at more than about a foot of distance. The beam is too wide.

The VEX "line follower kit" uses infrared. LEGO uses visible light. VEX is harder to use because infrared reflectivity does not match visible light reflectivity, so picking line colors is a bit counterintuitive, and explaining it to the spectators even harder.

It would be nice to package two sensors in the "optical shaft encoder" so that I could detect direction of rotation. (So I can carefully bolt the two sensors in the kit together with a 2 degree skew, but that's iffy. Can't we do as well as the X axis on my mouseball?)

How about an analog angle sensor? A wide angle LED and sensor looking at a printed card should be able to report something like sine and cosine of rotation angle pretty cheaply.

swe9
08-11-2006, 06:08 PM
I started with Mindstorms and there are a few things about the Vex that are inferior. 1) No start/stop button, the Vex will happily run off the table just because a new program was downloaded. 2) No way to maintain multiple programs on the Vex controller. This is *very* handy. 3) No LCD interface built into the controller. (I built the Palm Vex project at HobbyVex.org for just this purpose.) 4) The missing bevel gears etc mentioned earlier prevent a straightforward translation of many Mindstorms robots into Vex. 5) Screws and Nuts are very useful, but it would be wonderful to have some kind of quick connect/disconnect especially in hard-to-reach places. Imagine just snapping it all together in just a few minutes... 6) The kit doesn't come in a box that is very useful for holding all the parts while working on projects. 7) Only 1 starter project is provided with the kit, almost nothing is available elsewhere. 8) Although Vex interoperates with Erector Set/Meccano very well, the Lego parts are just not very compatible. It would be cool if there were some adapter parts that helped secure Lego parts to the Vex :-) Once a couple beams are attached you should be able to do anything.

Don't take this wrong, the Vex is great and has many advantages over Mindstorms (also mentioned previously in other threads.) Fixes to the things I mentioned above would simply make it unbeatable.

artdutra04
08-11-2006, 09:20 PM
I started with Mindstorms and there are a few things about the Vex that are inferior... [middle parts of post duplicated below]

Don't take this wrong, the Vex is great and has many advantages over Mindstorms (also mentioned previously in other threads.) Fixes to the things I mentioned above would simply make it unbeatable.Comparing LEGO to Vex is like comparing apples to oranges. Sure, they're both fruit, and they will both satisfy your hunger, but their flavor is different. Whereas LEGO is a out-of-the-box, plug-and-play, toy-like robot kit aimed at kids, Vex is a much more advanced platform and vehicle for inspiration, innovation, and creativity. Many of the "problems" you outlined can be solved with a little creative thinking. ;)

1. No start/stop button, the Vex will happily run off the table just because a new program was downloaded.This one is easy to fix, and there are two ways to do it. The first is to use one of the Vex bumper switches on your robot, and program the robot to start/stop if the bumper is pushed.

The second method, which does not use any hardware, takes advantage of the SetPWM() versus SetMotor() function in EasyC. While the SetMotor() command will work regardless of whether the transmitter is on or off, the SetPWM() command will only work if the transmitter is on. So if you use SetPWM() to program your autonomous robot, and you turn the controller off, the robot will stop moving. (Although the code will continue to run.)

2. No way to maintain multiple programs on the Vex controller. This is *very* handy.This is not impossible either. If you purchase a multiple position switch (http://www.allproducts.com/manufacture97/switches/product1.jpg) and you wire a different resister onto each switch output, and then wire all of these back into a single analog input port, you can use programming to determine which position the switch is in by the value being returned on the analog input port. By using these different values, you can switch between different "sub-programs".

3. No LCD interface built into the controller. (I built the Palm Vex project at HobbyVex.org for just this purpose.)Your PalmPilot solution is a perfect example of the purpose of Vex. Vex is not a plug-and-play toy robot kit (like Mindstorms); rather it is a vehicle for the consumer to experiment and design and create their own solutions to "obstacles" that may arise. After all, innovating is quite fun. :p

4. The missing bevel gears etc mentioned earlier prevent a straightforward translation of many Mindstorms robots into Vex.Why should oneself be limited to just using Vex gears for hobby Vex robots? That being said, any 24-pitch gear, regardless of whether it is a "Vex gear" or not will mesh with each other. If you search technology-educator supply catalogs, such as Pitsco-USA (http://catalog.pitsco.com), for 24-pitch gears, you should be able to find plastic worm, bevel, and rack gears with 1/8" diameter shaft holes. These will work with Vex.

5. Screws and Nuts are very useful, but it would be wonderful to have some kind of quick connect/disconnect especially in hard-to-reach places. Imagine just snapping it all together in just a few minutes...Every 9 holes on a LEGO-technic beam will line up perfectly with every 6 holes on a Vex plate.

6. The kit doesn't come in a box that is very useful for holding all the parts while working on projects.Home Depot sells nice storage boxes for less than $10 that work really well for holding Vex parts.

http://img480.imageshack.us/img480/8528/toolbox5rb.jpg

7. Only 1 starter project is provided with the kit, almost nothing is available elsewhere. http://www.vexlabs.com has all that and a bag of chips when it comes to Vex. (They are the official supplier of Vex parts now that Innovation FIRST owns Vex.) ;-)

8. Although Vex interoperates with Erector Set/Meccano very well, the Lego parts are just not very compatible. It would be cool if there were some adapter parts that helped secure Lego parts to the Vex :-) Once a couple beams are attached you should be able to do anything.I'm sorry, but I beg to differ. Vex gears will mesh perfectly with LEGO gears, and LEGO beams do line up with Vex holes. And you can get an RCX to comminucate with the Vex controller. Ah, the posibilities... ;-)
http://img133.imageshack.us/img133/2265/vexlegohybrid3mr8.jpg
http://img95.imageshack.us/img95/1914/vexlegohybridsy2.jpg

Robots_R_Us
08-12-2006, 10:48 AM
Comparing LEGO to Vex is like comparing apples to oranges. Sure, they're both fruit, and they will both satisfy your hunger, but their flavor is different. Whereas LEGO is a out-of-the-box, plug-and-play, toy-like robot kit aimed at kids, Vex is a much more advanced platform and vehicle for inspiration, innovation, and creativity. Many of the "problems" you outlined can be solved with a little creative thinking. ;)

This one is easy to fix, and there are two ways to do it. The first is to use one of the Vex bumper switches on your robot, and program the robot to start/stop if the bumper is pushed.

The second method, which does not use any hardware, takes advantage of the SetPWM() versus SetMotor() function in EasyC. While the SetMotor() command will work regardless of whether the transmitter is on or off, the SetPWM() command will only work if the transmitter is on. So if you use SetPWM() to program your autonomous robot, and you turn the controller off, the robot will stop moving. (Although the code will continue to run.)

This is not impossible either. If you purchase a multiple position switch (http://www.allproducts.com/manufacture97/switches/product1.jpg) and you wire a different resister onto each switch output, and then wire all of these back into a single analog input port, you can use programming to determine which position the switch is in by the value being returned on the analog input port. By using these different values, you can switch between different "sub-programs".

Your PalmPilot solution is a perfect example of the purpose of Vex. Vex is not a plug-and-play toy robot kit (like Mindstorms); rather it is a vehicle for the consumer to experiment and design and create their own solutions to "obstacles" that may arise. After all, innovating is quite fun. :p

Why should oneself be limited to just using Vex gears for hobby Vex robots? That being said, any 24-pitch gear, regardless of whether it is a "Vex gear" or not will mesh with each other. If you search technology-educator supply catalogs, such as Pitsco-USA (http://catalog.pitsco.com), for 24-pitch gears, you should be able to find plastic worm, bevel, and rack gears with 1/8" diameter shaft holes. These will work with Vex.

Every 9 holes on a LEGO-technic beam will line up perfectly with every 6 holes on a Vex plate.

Home Depot sells nice storage boxes for less than $10 that work really well for holding Vex parts.

http://img480.imageshack.us/img480/8528/toolbox5rb.jpg

http://www.vexlabs.com has all that and a bag of chips when it comes to Vex. (They are the official supplier of Vex parts now that Innovation FIRST owns Vex.) ;-)

I'm sorry, but I beg to differ. Vex gears will mesh perfectly with LEGO gears, and LEGO beams do line up with Vex holes. And you can get an RCX to comminucate with the Vex controller. Ah, the posibilities... ;-)
http://img133.imageshack.us/img133/2265/vexlegohybrid3mr8.jpg
http://img95.imageshack.us/img95/1914/vexlegohybridsy2.jpg

Very nice response...thanks.

What do you think about the new Mindstorms system? How will that integrate into the Vex system? How about the new Mindstorms sensors? Controller?

RRU

Robots_R_Us
08-12-2006, 11:33 AM
[QUOTE=artdutra04]And you can get an RCX to comminucate with the Vex controller. Ah, the posibilities... ;-)
QUOTE]

Care to expand on this subject?

Thanks

RRU

swe9
08-13-2006, 12:00 AM
Lots of good stuff in your reply. Thanks for a thoughtful response. Here is some clarification of my intention:

...Whereas LEGO is a out-of-the-box, plug-and-play, toy-like robot kit aimed at kids, Vex is a much more advanced platform...

An underlying point of my post is that being "advanced" need not be equated to being "hard". The things I noted would make the Vex much easier to use out of the box. They would not reduce it to the status of a toy any more than it already is.

Building the Palm Vex solution was interesting to me because I like that kind of thing, but by itself it is not a robot of any sort. I consider that project to be infrastructure that did not directly advance the building of any individual robot.

Thanks for the pointers to suppliers for various parts. I have been accumulating these as I come across them for future use. What I was hoping to see as a result of my post was more variety of gears in the starter set or at least the gear pack. The point is to make it simple to translate other robots into the Vex format.

Every 9 holes on a LEGO-technic beam will line up perfectly with every 6 holes on a Vex plate.

True. I should have been more precise. When I was trying to do this I needed to get something shorter than 9 Lego/6 Vex together. It can sort of be done at 2 Vex, but not exactly and not elegantly. Connecting such short beams seems to require specialized parts.

Home Depot sells nice storage boxes for less than $10 that work really well for holding Vex parts.

True. There is also the Zag/Stanley 14325 sold through Lowes which allows you to pull the bins out for use. The Zag also comes in double depth which is handy for the larger parts. What I was after was that the packaging of the starter kit could have been made more useful so that $10 wouldn't have been as necessary.

http://www.vexlabs.com has all that and a bag of chips when it comes to Vex.

Does that include building instructions somewhere? I've seen a lot of pictures, but what I want to see is more building instructions akin to the square bot. Being able to choose among a significant set of building instructions gives the new user a nice way to ease into the experience. Code examples to match the building instructions helps people see how things are connected and gives them ideas to work forward from.

I created HobbyVex because I want to see more people using the Vex. Solving some of the infrastructure stuff in a general way makes the platform more valuable and easier to use overall. The suggestions I made were intended to help Vex spread into the more novice end of the market without sacrificing anything at the more advanced end.

Perhaps there is a philisophical divide between us. I would happily have re-used an existing solution rather than create the Palm Vex solution if I had been able to find one. Given that, I would have concentrated my efforts in other areas of innovation rather than duplicating an existing solution.

To me, innovation means going where nobody else has already been. Sweating over artificial barriers isn't satisfying. Knocking down those barriers so others don't sweat over them *is* satisfying.

skimoose
08-13-2006, 07:07 AM
Does that include building instructions somewhere? I've seen a lot of pictures, but what I want to see is more building instructions akin to the square bot. Being able to choose among a significant set of building instructions gives the new user a nice way to ease into the experience. Code examples to match the building instructions helps people see how things are connected and gives them ideas to work forward from.

I created HobbyVex because I want to see more people using the Vex. Solving some of the infrastructure stuff in a general way makes the platform more valuable and easier to use overall. The suggestions I made were intended to help Vex spread into the more novice end of the market without sacrificing anything at the more advanced end.

Perhaps there is a philisophical divide between us. I would happily have re-used an existing solution rather than create the Palm Vex solution if I had been able to find one. Given that, I would have concentrated my efforts in other areas of innovation rather than duplicating an existing solution.

To me, innovation means going where nobody else has already been. Sweating over artificial barriers isn't satisfying. Knocking down those barriers so others don't sweat over them *is* satisfying.

Currently, I don't know of any step by step instructions for building different robots with vex. It's much easier with LEGO for two reasons: 1 LEGO parts come in discreet sizes and aren't normally modified when building robots. 2 LEGO has software which can graphically create building sequences. Hopefully, as the Vex and CD communities create more CAD files of vex components, we'll be able to lay out step by step instructions for building different robots.

For sample code check here at CD or vexforum.com. vexforum has a thread specifically for sample code. If you want to see sample code, you should just post a request for sample code to address something you want to see. Most people aren't going to randomly post entire code files, but we'd be more than happy to show you sample code for something like - using an ultrasonic sensor to follow a wall, or find the closest object, etc. :)

I don't think there's a philosophical divide between us. We FIRSTers are happy to take advantage of solutions presented by others. We don't try to reinvent the wheel either, but many of us like to try to find a way to do something better. I think the biggest difference between the Mindstorm and Vex communities currently is that Mindstormers have always had a source of sample material right from LEGO. Vex doesn't currently have that resource, so we users try to share what we can, when we can. Often it just means asking in the right places. :D

swe9
08-15-2006, 04:25 PM
Currently, I don't know of any step by step instructions for building different robots with vex...

That was my experience also. That's why I have been building up a set of LDRAW parts for Vex. The first bundle is now available at HobbyVex CAD (http://hobbyvex.org/CAD/index.htm) along with a preliminary version of the first robot model and instructions on HobbyVex Robots (http://hobbyvex.org/Robots/index.htm)

The HobbyVex CAD project is based completely on the FREE tools from the LDRAW.org package. Given that people are intermingling Vex and Lego, using the LDRAW tools has a singular advantage that all the Lego parts are already defined. The tools in the LDRAW.org package include a simple way to produce rough building instruction images and also a more complex way to produce professional quality building instructions.

I hope the Vex community will be interested in producing building instructions for the many robots already out there. I'm willing to help where I can; right now I'm working on getting the rest of the parts library converted over.

P.S. I'm still very new in the CD forums, is there a best place to post this info as an announcement?

skimoose
08-16-2006, 05:32 PM
That was my experience also. That's why I have been building up a set of LDRAW parts for Vex. The first bundle is now available at HobbyVex CAD (http://hobbyvex.org/CAD/index.htm) along with a preliminary version of the first robot model and instructions on HobbyVex Robots (http://hobbyvex.org/Robots/index.htm)

The HobbyVex CAD project is based completely on the FREE tools from the LDRAW.org package. Given that people are intermingling Vex and Lego, using the LDRAW tools has a singular advantage that all the Lego parts are already defined. The tools in the LDRAW.org package include a simple way to produce rough building instruction images and also a more complex way to produce professional quality building instructions.

I hope the Vex community will be interested in producing building instructions for the many robots already out there. I'm willing to help where I can; right now I'm working on getting the rest of the parts library converted over.

P.S. I'm still very new in the CD forums, is there a best place to post this info as an announcement?

This sounds like a great project. There are a lot of young hobbyists out there who just don't know where to go after building a squarebot. This should help stir their imaginations.

I would post announcements in the main Vex thread. If the moderators think it should reside in another thread, they'll move it.

Welcome to CD. :)

ManicMechanic
08-18-2006, 07:33 PM
Perhaps there is a philisophical divide between us. I would happily have re-used an existing solution rather than create the Palm Vex solution if I had been able to find one. Given that, I would have concentrated my efforts in other areas of innovation rather than duplicating an existing solution.

I can empathize in that I have felt a huge gap, not so much in philosophy, but in mastery. I have been on both sides of the mastery gap. With Lego Mindstorms, from Day 1, I always had the sense that I had the ability to learn more, and that continued learning wasn't beyond me. I felt that I could figure out how to solve most challenges, though not always efficiently. With Vex, I have consistently felt, "I don't know how to make this work, and I don't know how to learn how to make this work." In addition, I've had a hard time finding information that will assist in my general understanding of the system, let alone a specific problem.

While Mindstorms and Vex are different in many ways, I believe the promoters of Vex can use certain aspects the Lego packaging and tutorials to make Vex more user friendly. For example, the basic Vex kit comes with only one model, the Squarebot, and doesn't include programming. The old $200 RIS kit came with programming and had building instructions and code for 3 very unique models, including a line follower. For $50, the Ultimate Builder's set could be purchased, with parts, building instructions, and code for 6 additional models, including a rack climber, a table sweeper, and a drawing robot. That's a lot of "wow" for very little money.

The robots on vexlabs.com also have "wow" appeal, but the 2-3 photographs for each model aren't quite enough to go on. My son started several and successfully built portions but got stuck on every model 1) because the view of important gearing & attachments was blocked by plates or not shown from the angles given and 2) we didn't have all the pieces needed and didn't know that until he had already started. While step-by-step CAD models are nice, digital photos taken at say 6 - 10 intermediate points are probably sufficient. One way to do this is to disassemble a working model, showing close-ups of important sub-modules along the way. Each model should also have a list of parts, at very least a list of kits ("This model requires the starter kit, 2 tank tread kits, and the metal and hardware kit"), but even better, a list of the individual components.

I've been told, "Just be creative and design your own robots." We've tried that, and there's nothing exciting about designs that don't work or don't work well. Better to follow in the footsteps of the masters first, then be creative when you have a solid foundation in the basics. Figuring out where to acquire that solid foundation has been difficult.

While I realize that Vex lacks tutorials because it is relatively new at 16 months, Mindstorm NXT was only released 2 months ago, and there are at least a dozen websites with tutorials and learning tools on this system (check out this list of links here:http://www.fll-freak.com/nxt/nxt_index.htm). Understandably, Mindstorms community is much larger than the Vex community, most likely accounting for the lag in resources.


To me, innovation means going where nobody else has already been. Sweating over artificial barriers isn't satisfying. Knocking down those barriers so others don't sweat over them *is* satisfying.

Amen to that! It's my hope that the gap will at least narrow, if not actually close. I've attemped to do that with "Vex for the Technically Challenged" (final version soon to be released), but I lack the engineering ability to make a serious dent. The resources I see the greatest need for are:

1) a volume like "Building Robots with Lego Mindstorms", by Mario & Giuliu Ferrari, but for Vex and
2) a constructopedia of building projects witn "wow" that with come with instructions, a required parts list, and necessary computer code.

Any takers?