Competition Connection: Driver Control
Using loops to control the Clawbot with the Controller has allowed the driver to navigate the slalom course. Practicing driving the Clawbot is a useful task which can help you prepare for one of the challenges in the VEX Robotics World Championship.
The 2019-2020 VRC (VEX Robotics Competition) game is called Tower Takeover. In this game, the teams must have their robot pick up and move certain colored cubes into goals or towers. Teams will begin with a 15 second autonomous period where the robot cannot receive any help from the driver. In this period, the robot is being challenged to score on their own side of the field without any help from the driver.
After the autonomous period, the teams then engage in a 1 minute and 45 second driver-control period where the teams manipulate their robot using a controller. Teams attempt to score as many points as they can during this period.
Being able to use and program the controller is an extremely important factor in performing well in competition.
Extend Your Learning - A Driving Skills Challenge
Have students imitate a Driving Skills Challenge by setting up an obstacle course for students to navigate around that includes six objects as obstacles. This should be more challenging than the slalom course because the objects may be different sizes and placed in a different pattern.
Score students by giving them a point for each obstacle they can navigate around without touching. Give additional points for the amount of time it took the driver to complete the course.
The course should be designed so that there is a designated start and finish location. Time is measured by starting each driver at 5 points and then deduct 1 point for every minute the driver used.
This scored game will start to get students into the mindset of a competition, and how they can be efficient and precise with their robot. Whichever student completes the course with the most amount of points, wins!
Extend Your Learning - Tower Takeover
If you have the VRC Tower Takeover - Full Field & Game Element Kit, challenge your students to begin designing how they would program their controller to move the Clawbot. Would the R1 and R2 buttons control the Claw? Would the robot drive using an Arcade Mode or Tank Drive? Direct students to the example projects in the VEXcode V5 software for inspiration.
Ask the students to write their thoughts in their engineering notebooks before engaging the students in a class discussion to share ideas.
If time allows, have the students run the Drive Program to practice moving cubes on the field.