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Unread 05-01-2012, 10:15 AM
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Re: [FTC]: FTC Expands the kit of parts option for next season

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Originally Posted by team F.T.C 4240 View Post
The metal looked like 1/32 inch to me (note it is held together with plastic pegs like lego), but its almost identical to VEX, I've used VEX and it does not preform well when there is contact involved, my team and I made that VEX bot as robust as we could and it took a great deal more work to get it competition ready, mostly because the kit it self is so flimsy. Say you take a VEX bot to the FTC world competition and it get rammed into a wall by a 52 lb robot (like ours this year), don't you think something would break? All I'm saying is the new matrix kit is less robust then Tetrix but has some cool pieces that could be useful on a FTC bot, although I wouldn't use it to build a FTC robot. As for your FRC robot, you wouldn't use 1/16 inch for the base of your robot, it would be used to more less to plate the robot.
1/32 is way to thin to be what it was. VEX is also plenty strong even as Aluminum. Its made from the same material 1/16 5052 AL sheet bent on a CNC break. I don't see any well engineered robots falling to pieces on the field in VEX. As for the 52 pound robot thing. VEX robots are normally much lighter (at least the ultra efficient ones) However that being said there were some 60 pound wallbots at worlds this year. Its a trade off really. One thing I will say is that I wont deisgn with Matrix unless they make the right kinds of strutcutral parts, parts like Long C channel for instance. I don't trust the L brackets all to much for the main structure of a drive train those are "flimsy"
It also seems to me that their shafts are different sizes than Tetrix, which means I hope to god they make shaft couplers. Thats one thing that Tetrix even needs to make. But Tetrix and Matrix both have their major and subtle differences. Tetrix not needing nearly as much work as Matrix to make a robust robot. But Matrix I have a feeling will make things smaller. Overall next year shall be fun.

- Andrew

P.S. 67 Team H.O.T. did a 1/16 inch sheet metal drive train this year. Almost made it to Einstien. 1/16 is plenty strong, if done correctly.
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Unread 05-01-2012, 11:29 AM
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Re: [FTC]: FTC Expands the kit of parts option for next season

I think these parts are going to be used for the more intricate systems on FTC bots. Tetrix will be used more for chassis, and the heavy-duty stuff. And think about it. Why would FTC use these parts if it weren't because of next years game? Perhaps there are going to be more precise manuevers we have to perform that Tetrix can't handle.
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Unread 05-02-2012, 10:58 AM
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Re: [FTC]: FTC Expands the kit of parts option for next season

We spent some time at the booth talking with the Matrix people. Their system is based on 9V not 12V so even though the parts might integrate mechanically (Matrix is based on an 8mm grid while tetrix is based on a 32mm grid) the electrical components would likely require a separate set of wiring for power.

I was told that the 9v motors are slightly less powerful than the tetrix 12V motors we are currently using. They also have built in encoders. I would be interested in seeing what options we have to connect multiple motors in parallel on a single circuit and control them with a single shaft encoder the way we do with our tetrix motors.
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Unread 05-06-2012, 01:13 AM
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Re: [FTC]: FTC Expands the kit of parts option for next season

Can someone put me to speed here please.

Lego Education and Tetrix are no longer working with each other (or so I heard), so Matrix will be replacing Tetrix?
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Unread 05-06-2012, 01:51 PM
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Re: [FTC]: FTC Expands the kit of parts option for next season

No Matrix is simply an addition to the FTC competition legal parts. As far as I have heard. Mainly will be used by international teams at first and then slowly introduced to the state side competition.

Thats what I have heard.

- Andrew
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Unread 09-06-2012, 10:32 AM
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Re: [FTC]: FTC Expands the kit of parts option for next season

I had not compared the Tetrix and Matrix metal gauge until this morning when I had been asked to measure after casual observations and assumptions and posting in another thread here on CD.

I've got both in house and have used them both now for summer robotics camps with no real issues. Big difference is in the angle beam and not much difference IMHO for the flats and corner connectors (1/64 or 0.015625)

Angle
Tetrix 0.12500 (1/8)
Matrix 0.06250 (1/16)
Flat Plate
Tetrix 0.078125 (5/64)
Matrix 0.06250 (1/16)
Corner Connector
Tetrix 0.078125 (5/64)
Matrix 0.06250 (1/16)
U-Channel
Tetrix 0.078125 (5/64)

The beauty of the expanded FTC raw materials list is that one can purchase aluminum stock in a couple of sizes if you really need what one kit has verses the other.
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Unread 09-06-2012, 10:34 AM
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Re: [FTC]: FTC Expands the kit of parts option for next season

Quote:
Originally Posted by CougarRobot View Post
I was told that the 9v motors are slightly less powerful than the tetrix 12V motors we are currently using. They also have built in encoders. I would be interested in seeing what options we have to connect multiple motors in parallel on a single circuit and control them with a single shaft encoder the way we do with our tetrix motors.
The servo motor controller that we used in our summer camp has a single connection for the motor that includes the encoder so not possible to connect more than a single motor per channel. Really cleans up wiring but may need to find/build motor extension cables.
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Unread 09-06-2012, 07:20 PM
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Re: [FTC]: FTC Expands the kit of parts option for next season

Quote:
Originally Posted by team F.T.C 4240 View Post
... I've used VEX and it does not preform well when there is contact involved, my team and I made that VEX bot as robust as we could and it took a great deal more work to get it competition ready, mostly because the kit it self is so flimsy. Say you take a VEX bot to the FTC world competition and it get rammed into a wall by a 52 lb robot (like ours this year), don't you think something would break?
You must be joking.

Drive down to Northern Virginia to chat with me, or ask some of the many Maryland groups using Vex parts to show you how to build a sturdy Vex bot. There is absolutely no doubt that the kit's structural parts work just fine.

The thousands of teams that use Vex equipment successfully in VRC, in Best, and for other purposes, are prima facie evidence that your assertion is just plain wrong.

I have personally used both Tetrix and Vex parts and have a pretty good grasp of their major similarities and differences.

As for the assertion that a 52Lb bot (made from anything) might damage a bot made out of Vex structural materials. Well DUH. A 52 Lb bot hitting a 15 Lb Tetrix bot hard is also likely to damage the 15 Lb Tetrix bot. Similarly, a very large car smashing into a very small car will probably inflict more damage than it suffers. Also, an M1 tank hitting a car would destroy the car and probably not suffer any damage at all. However, that's not the point, and neither your example, nor these I dreamed up are evidence that supports your thesis.

Blake

PS: I'm glad to see that FIRST is expanding the parts teams can easily incorporate into FTC bots.
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Unread 09-06-2012, 07:22 PM
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Re: [FTC]: FTC Expands the kit of parts option for next season

Quote:
Originally Posted by team F.T.C 4240 View Post
So now we get to also use VEX?!?!? Just kidding, but this platform is very similar to the VEX platform. It looks inexpensive, it has plastic gears (not a big fan, unless to want to build a light weight flying robot), all the metal parts look very much like VEX, as in if you wanted to alter it then you could just bend it, unlike the C-channel or really any of the Tetrix building materials. It looks more user friendly like VEX, but unlike Tetrix it does not look robust in any way what so ever, which means the first time you get rammed into a wall or pushed across the field, the robot would fall apart or get damaged. It doesn't look all bad though, because they have some pretty cool pieces like the belt drive, which looks like it could come in handy. My guess is most teams that have done FTC for a couple years will mostly use Tetrix with a few of the cool pieces of Matrix, but probably wouldn't use it for anything that needs to be robust. That's just my thoughts on the new Matrix kit.
Sigh - See my other post on this subject of obviously incorrect assertions about the strength of the Vex structural parts.

There is plenty of opportunity in the N. VA and MD region for motivated students or mentors to particpate inspirational robotics competion programs (or 4H's vendor-neutral non-competitive program) that use parts made by Vex, Tetrix and other suppliers. And all interested parties should be encouraged to look at all of the options and find the one that best suits their situation.

There should not be sniping and bad-mouthing by participants in any of the programs. Instead there should be support, encouragement, and COOPERTITION (with an extra emphasis on the cooperation half of that ethos).

I have crunched some numbers on the student population in the region, and can assure you that because Robotics/STEM participation in the area is soooo far below what almost anyone would want, anyone who wastes precious time bad-mouthing any program or product that might be a source of inspiration for additional students, doesn't "Get it."

I think I can quote some FIRST luminaries who have spoken out on the subject, if you don't take my word for it.

Blake
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Unread 09-11-2012, 12:42 PM
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Re: [FTC]: FTC Expands the kit of parts option for next season

Do Matrix products exist?

Their website -- http://matrixrobotics.com/products/ -- has very little information about what's going on or what will be available.

Our FTC teams compete in December, so if the product isn't available to us right now, we won't use it at all; I just want to make sure I'm not missing anything.
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Unread 09-11-2012, 02:37 PM
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Re: [FTC]: FTC Expands the kit of parts option for next season

Quote:
Originally Posted by Madison View Post
Do Matrix products exist?

Their website -- http://matrixrobotics.com/products/ -- has very little information about what's going on or what will be available.

Our FTC teams compete in December, so if the product isn't available to us right now, we won't use it at all; I just want to make sure I'm not missing anything.
I haven't seen anything yet either, and I think that if they don't get moving fairly quickly they are going to miss out on alot of sales.

I can only imagine the amount of calls the sales department are getting

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Unread 09-11-2012, 10:45 PM
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Re: [FTC]: FTC Expands the kit of parts option for next season

Quote:
Originally Posted by Madison View Post
Do Matrix products exist?

Their website -- http://matrixrobotics.com/products/ -- has very little information about what's going on or what will be available.

Our FTC teams compete in December, so if the product isn't available to us right now, we won't use it at all; I just want to make sure I'm not missing anything.
I'm told that Matrix will not be available at all in North America until next FTC season.
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Unread 09-12-2012, 09:35 AM
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Re: [FTC]: FTC Expands the kit of parts option for next season

Matrix needs to, at the very least, update their website so people know that stuff is happening.
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Unread 09-17-2012, 03:00 PM
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Re: [FTC]: FTC Expands the kit of parts option for next season

Quote:
Originally Posted by team F.T.C 4240 View Post
The metal looked like 1/32 inch to me.
From the photos it looks more like 3/32 to me (more than 1/16 but less than 1/8)

TETRIX metal is more than 1/16" maybe 2mm since it is a metric system.

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