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Traversing a Grand Challenge with the VEX Cortex

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The Grand Challenge is a staff designed course which is not revealed to participants until the day of the competition. Before the competition, participants are provided with a list of conditions and situations to prepare their robots for.

On the day of the competition, the participant’s programming knowledge and preparation are put to the test as they work to traverse the course in a limited amount of time. The robot that makes the most progress without stalling out or deviating from the course wins!

In this iteration of the Grand Challenge, the Cortex-based robot must:

  • Navigate an obstructed path using feedback from the Shaft Encoders and Ultrasonic Rangefinder
  • Track an incomplete line up and down a ramp using feedback from the Line Tracking sensors
  • (Optional) Pick up the yellow ball and take it to the finish zone for extra points
  • Respond to remote-control commands only in the final zone
  • Avoid hitting obstacles in it’s path, walls on the field, and falling from the ramp

Check out this cool video of the robot completing the course.

To accomplish it’s task, the Cortex-based robot is equipped with:

  • Two driving motors, each with a Shaft Encoder
  • An Omni-wheel acting as a rear-caster wheel
  • Three Line Tracking Sensors
  • An Ultrasonic Rangefinder
  • Remote Control over VEXnet

Instructions for building this robot can be found here.

If you’d like ideas for creating your own Grand Challenge, check out this document for some inspiration.

Note: All materials are part of the VEX Cortex Video Trainer. Check it Out!

Written by Jesse Flot

November 3rd, 2010 at 10:40 am

Updated ROBOTC Support for VEX Competitions

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competition templateAre you part of a team that competes in VEX Robotics Competitions? If so, we’ve just released updated support documents that will help guarantee your success when you get to the field:

  • Firmware Inspection using ROBOTC
  • Firmware Inspection using the IFI Loader
  • Testing Robots using the 75 MHz Crystals
  • Testing Robots using the VEXnet Upgrade
  • Using the ROBOTC Competition Templates
  • Complete ROBOTC Software Inspection Guide (11 MB)

If you’re not part of the VEX Robotics Competitions, get involved! You can find out more information through the CMU Robotics Academy and VEX Robotics.

As always, you can also find support on the ROBOTC.net support pages and forums, too.

Written by Jesse Flot

February 22nd, 2010 at 11:23 am