Ideas for Squared Away

Schools are about to start and across Delmarva, that means that the rest of the robot teams are starting to spin up. A number of groups have met across the summer and there have been some summer camps.

This really good article about Squared Away covers some strategy details that will give some roboteers a running start on the season.

Every year, for every competition game, VEX designs a “Hero-bot”, a design that can play the basic game. The robot for Squared Away – Clutch looks the same as past years robots. A two motor, 4 wheel drive base, backbone, 4 bar linkage arm and a claw. This year the claw faces down to make it easy to manage the cubes. This year there is a height restriction on the robots, Clutch is able to stay under the line by the use of some pegs to keep the arm from moving too high.

Both the insights from Summer Camp and Clutch should give teams a running start for the 2019-2020 season.

Qualifying Criteria 2019

The 2019-2020 season qualifying criteria is available!

VRC Qualifying Criteria 2019-2020 can be downloaded. There are some important changes. Key this year has to do with the addition of new divisions. This means that Delmarva can send 3 teams from High School (same as last year) but now can send 3 teams from Middle School. This means for both groups the Excellence Award and Tournament Winners are eligible to go to Worlds!

The VEXIQ Qualifying Criteria 2019 shows the changes from last year. There is no change in the number of slots from 3 at the Elementary School level (Excellence and Tournament Winners) and the Middle School single Excellence Award winner.

If you are part of a VEX University team this years VEX U Qualifying Criteria is a must read. Changes to parts and what you can print this year are very important.

There are other things to be aware of, so take a quick read of the documents.

Event Partners Meeting 2019

Event Partners are the people that run the events in Delmarva. The annual Event Partner meeting was held on 13 August at Polytech High School in Camden Delaware. There were 11 partners present. The meeting was run by Dan Troy our local Regional Support Manager.

Last year had some good stats on the overall VEX programs

2018-2019240,000 Roboteers
24,000 Teams
25,000 Events
60+ Countries

And we did pretty well in Delmarva

VIQ Elementary School33
VIQ Middle School9
VRC Middle School27
VRC High School35

There is the possibility of grants this year:
Trailer Grants – there are two forms of this. First is a combination of a 15′ trailer, 4 fields, 4 elements, 4 displays, 4 Raspberry Pi, cables, routers, extension cords. This will require the recipient to prove insurance coverage on the trailer and proof that they have a vehicle that can tow it.

Second trailer is just the components, event partner will need to supply the trailer (or their own transportation)

Dan will check on if there is a similar version for VEX IQ (shooting for 6 fields)

Worlds Updates
2020 World Championship will be in Louisville KY. In 2021 the championship will move to Houston TX (2021-2024)

At the 2020 Championship the number of divisions will grow by 2. This will allow ~160 more teams to go to Worlds

New updates to the Code of Conduct will state that outside activity of roboteers will be counted during judging and egregious activity (hate mail to RECF staff as an example)

Referee Training
Referee Training is available on line. RECF is mandating the Head Referee take the training and be qualified. They may suggest that for Regional events that are Worlds Qualifier that all referees be qualified. Training is simple takes 20-30 minutes to do. You will need to create a new sign on to get into the testing. (Your VEX sign on does not carry over

Tournament Manager will have a link to the qualification data base so EP’s can check on the status of the certification.

The pilot program on returning judges comments that Foster ran in the 2018-2019 season. RECF has decided to put this on the back burner for 2019-20

RECF is suggesting that all teams should be interviewed by the judges. Interviews are to be done in the pits. Notebook judging and discussions should be done in a closed room. Judged awards should be decided by judges only (not EP) after the last qualifying match.

There is a new Volunteer management system to make it easier to help track what people are doing for you.

New rubric for this season with more categories, points are now 1-5, and you don’t need to award any points. This should make scoring the teams easier. There is now a 5 point bonus for having a bound notebook.

Other topics
STEM Research project to come out on August 15. It’s not required at all IQ events, but will be at the Regional Championship. They are working on a way to collect the video submissions.

For the 2020-21 the VEXIQ field will be increased from 4’x8′ to 6’x8′. will be changing, so if you have deep links they will no longer work.

They are adding new resources for people to use. Check out their new STEM Labs portal!

Squared Away

The size of the robot IS DIFFERENT THIS YEAR. Robots are now measured from the inside the wall. If you played last years game you have the parts to make this years sizing tool follow these instructions, if not this sizing tool is for sale

If you build Clutch, if you build it incorrectly it will be too tall to play the game.

Tower Takeover
Scoring in this game is complex, and it’s recommended that you get one of the scoring apps.

Unlimited expansion! Wall Bots are now legal!!

Raspberry Pi
Support for events using Raspberry Pi’s has gotten much better. Teams in Delmarva that want to use Raspberry Pi should contact our RSM – Dan or Foster from STEM Robotics for help. Foster has 9 Raspberry Pi’s and small monitors for field displays. VEX is looking at releasing LED “Hats” to allow LED lighting around the field perimeters that is controlled by the Raspberry Pi