T2W2: Robot Remote Control

Last week we started building the VEX IQ  "standard drive base", a four-wheeled remote-controlled robot car.  The drive base is part of more complex designs from VEX that we can build, or you can use it as a starting point to do your own thing.

Here is the step-by-step guide to putting the robot together: IQ Build Instructions   I also have B/W printed versions for each person to keep - it might be easier to pick the right part on the actual-size printouts.

Once the drive base is assembled we need to get the controller and the brain unit updated and talking to each other.  This is done by running a program from VEX on a PC which updates the firmware on all the VEX devices, so the motors and controller will all need to be connected to the computer brain when the update program is run.  I found this process to be pretty flaky and had to connect and reconnect the USB cable a bunch of times to get the PC to recognize the VEX IQ "brain".  I will help with the process in class, but I think we will need lots of patience to get everyone's robot updated.

Also, I found the battery pack with my VEX IQ kit (Dolphin) did not hold a charge well, and the light on the charger turned green right away even though the battery pack was not charged.  We will need to order some new batteries, but in the mean time everyone should start charging their battery packs first thing when class starts, and with luck we will have enough charge to run the robots by the end of class.

Running the Driver Control Program

Once your robot is together, has a battery, and has its firmware updated, and is paired with a handheld controller, you can run the built-in driver control program to drive your robot around like a remote-controlled car.  To run the program:

Robot of the Week

Each week I will find a quick video of a different robot companions, to help inspire your own creations.  This week's robot is Archimedes from Alex Glow: