5.1: Introduction

When faced with the task of designing and building a VEX robot, students (and teachers) will often immediately want to pick up their tools and materials and start building.  This may be the most active and fun way to get started, but it is not the best path.  Imagine introducing the sport of football to a group of students for the very first time.  Naturally, the tendency would be to start throwing the ball around right away, but this would not be the best approach. To truly master the game, there are a series of steps to take before beginning the actual play.

  • Learning the rules of the game. What are the objectives? What actions are allowed? What actions are prohibited?
  • Analyzing potential strategies.
  • Stretching to get into optimal shape.
  • Practice.

These steps are all crucial elements to ensure success. Building a robot to play a competitive game is no different. There are a series of steps that make up the design process that are integral to ensuring the success of the robots, while giving plenty of opportunities for students to learn and develop crucial analytical skills.