3.5: The Can Cleanup Challenge

The following challenge gives students the opportunity to test their robot and use the full range of its functionality. To perform this challenge you will need the following:

  • A completed VEX Clawbot
  • 14 empty cans (or similarly sized plastic bottles)
  • A container to act as a goal, approximately 2” wide x 2” long x 1” high
  • Approximately 12’x12’ of open space

To perform this challenge you will need to complete the following steps.

  1. In the center of your open space, create a large pyramid using 14 cans.
    1. Make a square base of 9 cans.
    2. On top of this base, place a second level of 4 cans, approximately centred on the base of 9 cans.
    3. On top of the second level, place a single can, approximately centered.
  2. Place the empty container approximately 8’ away from the cans.
  3. Place the Clawbot next to the empty container.
  4. Using the VEXnet Joystick to control the robot, try to place as many cans as possible into the goal in a period of two minutes.
  5. Repeat the challenge to see if it is possible to increase the number of cans scored.
  6. If there are multiple robots in the class, try playing this challenge as a head to head game. Add a second goal, and have the two robots race to see which is able to score the most cans in a two minute time period.

Custom Programming Options

The VEX Cortex Microcontroller is pre-programmed with Default Code that provides a simple way to get started without writing and downloading code. This was already seen earlier in this unit with the Clawbot. Simple modifications to these configurations can be made by the use of jumpers, which activate different portions of the default code. However, more complex robot configurations and behavior are possible through programming. To perform this advanced programming, it is necessary to use Programming Software. Each software option enables users to write custom programs for any VEX robot and to then download them onto a VEX Microcontroller. For more options, please visit: www.vexrobotics.com/products/programming