Sunday, October 28, 2012

2012 Game Revealed "Great Balls of Fire"

Great Balls of Fire
Prior Lake Robotics 2012 Middle School Vex Robotics 

Robot Rules

1.  Only Vex motors may be used on the robot for any purpose.
2.  Non-Vex pre-built mechanism of any nature are prohibited.
3.  At the beginning of all matches, maximum starting size of robot is 18” x 18” x 18” – may expand to any size after the start of any match.
4.  Only Vex wheels may be used on the robot.
5.  Team numbers must be displayed on two opposite sides of the robot with numbers at least 2” tall with 3/8” thick type face.
6. Every Robot will be required to pass a full inspection before being allowed to  compete.
7.  No sharp surfaces or edges are permitted on robot.
8.  The following types of mechanisms and components are NOT allowed: a. Those that could potentially damage Playing Field components. b. Those that could potentially damage other competing Robots. c. Hose or string that pose an unnecessary risk of entanglement. e. Those that are designed to flip other Robots.
9.  Non Vex structural building components may be used.
10.  Tape may only be used for electrical labeling or attaching team numbers.
11.  All robots require a flag holder to be installed on the robot prior to inspection. Holder must be able to accommodate a large straw as a flag post.
12.  Only one supplied Vex battery may be used on the robot as the sole power supply for all power needs.

Game Rules

1.  Each match will start with 20 Plasma Balls placed in the center of the field plus 2 preloaded per robot.
2.  Each alliance will given 4 Fire Balls to be used in the last 30 seconds of each match.
3.  Robots may pin another robot for 3 seconds and then have to back away 3 feet for 3 seconds.  Penalty = 5 pts.
4.  No intentional ramming of another robot.  Penalty = 10 pts.
5.  Scoring is done at end of autonomous period and end of game.
6.  Fire Balls may only be placed on a robot from the loading  Zone.
7.  Human contact with a robot or the field is prohibited once a match has started.  Penalty = disqualification of the team for that match.
8.   Each drive team will include one driver, up to two coaches and one human player in the loading zone.
9.   Only team members are allowed in the alliance stations. Interaction with audience members is strictly prohibited.
10.  Scores will be calculated for all periods of a match at the end of each period when all game pieces have come to rest.
11.  Strategies and mechanisms aimed solely at the destruction, damage or tipping over of an opponents robot are not in the Spirit of FIRST and are not allowed. However, this is a highly interactive game and inadvertent damage and tipping may occur. If the tipping or damage to another robot is deemed deliberate, that team will be disqualified for the match and if the action persists may be disqualified from the tournament.

Saturday, October 27, 2012

Helpful Guide for Programming VEX Robots

Andrew Kapsch, member of the KING TeC team found this guide to programming that might be helpful.

Tuesday, October 23, 2012

Message from Joel Volm on October 23, 2012

Parts can be picked up from Joel Volm’s house almost anytime or, if it is more convenient, I will bring all of the parts bins to every large group meeting.

My home phone is 952-447-1509. 

You can call me after 5pm on school days or almost any time on the weekends. 

My address is 13509 Webster Ave, Savage.

If you want to get ahold of me during the day you can use my school e-mail which is

Sunday, October 14, 2012

Twin Cities region has a good start in robotics; let's capitalize on it

The Twin Cities area has a head start to become an international robotics and automation center of excellence. A robotics ecosystem already taking form will build upon our region's expertise in effective high-tech innovation, entrepreneurship and collaboration. 

Robots are moving into our personal lives by cleaning living room floors, handling hazardous materials, parking cars and saving lives in roles from security to medicine. The world's emerging robotics industry has vast potential to benefit the quality of life for people all over the world, creating millions of high-paying jobs in the process.

Read Full Article Here:

Next Meeting: Mon, Oct 22 - Game Reveal Night, First timers build night VEX 101

Teams, your assignment is to build a functioning "square bot" for the next meeting on the 22nd. 

As a reminder, you are required to use clutches with your motors:

A square bot is a platform with four wheels that you can drive.  The manual in you kits contains all the information you need to build the bot. 

The next meeting is Monday Oct 22 7pm to 830 in the PLHS commons. 

We will spend the first 30 minutes discussing the game for this year. 

The remainder of the time will be Vex101. 

This is an opportunity for experienced teams to mentor and assist new teams with completing their square bot. 

Future meeting dates can be seen here.

See you on the 22nd. Mike Lins

Any questions contact Mike Lins at or Joel Volm at

Friday, October 5, 2012

Next Meeting for the Prior Lake Middle School Robotics Club is Thursday, 10/11/12

Registration for the 2012 Prior Lake Middle school robotics season is now available on line at

The registration form is at:

Next meeting Thursday, 6:30 PM October 11th PLHS Commons area.

Please register online before the meeting.

Two checks are required at this meeting: $135 activity fee and a separate check for $100 deposit.

Make checks payable to "Prior Lake Robotics"

We will form teams during this meeting. If you have pre-identified team members, please indicate on the registration form. Ideal team size is 4. If you do not belong to a pre-formed team, we will form new teams by grade level and cross leveling experience.

After forming teams, we will sign out kits.

The assignment is to build or attempt to build a basic square bot by the next meeting Oct 22nd.

On the 22nd we will reveal the game and conduct "vex 101" for those teams that need help completing the square bot.

Please visit the website for other meeting dates.

Any questions contact Mike Lins at or Joel Volm at