T3W3: Contest Goalkeeper

Students who are just starting with the Vex IQ robots can follow the steps from last term to build the basic four wheeled, remote controlled robot that can be a starting point for other designs.  Last week we found instructions for a bunch of other robot designs that can be built after the "standard drive base" if you enjoy building new robots.  They can be driven using the handheld controller.  

This week we will introduce a project built with the VEX IQ system that isn't a robot at all, but could serve as the goal keeper for games using the other robots.  The game would involve driving two robots around a central playing field with a series of buttons and lights.  When a light turns on to a player's color, they have to steer the robot around the field to press the switch under the light and score a point.  Then that light goes off and another light goes on somewhere else.

There are 12 ports on the VEX brain units, so we can have six pairs of switches and lights.  That lets us arrange the switches on the outside of a hexagon made from VEX IQ girders.  We can have two lights of each color turn on at the same time, to prevent the other robot from blocking the goal and stopping the game.  

I will work on programming the VEX IQ brain for the game logic - the on-line programming environment is at https://codeiq.vex.com .  I could use some help gathering up the parts and building the game playing field - I've got a start on the hexagon shape but I haven't worked out how to mount the Brain unit or keep the whole thing from getting pushed around on the floor!

The first to programming the game is to set up the Brain controller ports.  I will put Bumper switches on the odd ports (port #1,3,5,7,9,11) and the TouchLED devices on the even ports (port #2,4,6,8,10,12) to make wiring to all sides of the hexagon easier.  The Goalkeeper program can be debugged on the Brain with everything plugged into it while the playing field is built, so they can be done in parallel.

Here is my first draft of the Goalkeeper program: goalkeeper.iqblocks .  I will have to get it working at Lowell once we connect all the Bumpers and TouchLEDs.