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The Hexx Robotics Team Prepares for the Next VEX Competition With Support From MyMiniFactory
Following up on the Hexx Robotics Team’s success in last year’s competition after sponsorship from MyMiniFactory, we are supporting the young talented team again in the coming Vexx Robotics Competition. The competition values of freedom and inclusiveness align with our own, and teamwork is an essential factor for progression to the national and worldwide levels of the competition.
It’s great to see young people with such passion and talent. We are proud to be a part of their exciting venture and to support their striving for incredible goals.
The team recently started their plans for designing, building and programming the robot on Saturday 25th April. They will use this time to prepare for the regional competitions which begin in December.
We had an opportunity to catch up with Kiran and the Hexx Robotics Team about their coming participation in the 2020-2021 Vex Robotics Competition. If you have an interest in robots, engineering or programming (or all of the above); you’ll certainly find inspiration having a read of this interview from such a committed engineering accomplishment.
How long have you been designing robots for and why did you begin?
I have been interested in robotics and engineering for as long as I can remember. I started doing VEX in 2017 for some fun, and I (and my teammates) quickly became interested in doing VEX competitively. We formed our team to compete in the challenge last year.
Tell us about the Hexx Robotics Team and what it means to you
The Hexx Robotics Team means so much to me. We do VEX at least 2 hours nearly every day, and we work so hard to try and get our robot the best we can for the competition.
What can you tell us about the VEX robotics competition? How long have you participated? What’s it all about?
VEX IQ is a competition where each team has to design, construct and tweak a robot to do a certain task, such as shooting balls into a goal, or picking up cubes and putting them on platforms. We have to be really creative doing it to find an efficient way to complete the challenge while sticking to the rather harsh constraints.
2019 was our first year doing VEX as the Hexx Robotics Team and I am beyond proud of our accomplishments - we qualified through to the nationals and came 15th. This year we are hoping to get to the nationals again and maybe even the international championship!
The new challenge has come out though, and we are working hard on designing an efficient robot. Basically the challenge is that our robot (under very tight size constraints) has to drive around the field, and pick up 20cm high "risers" and stack them on top of each other in certain zones.
Where do you draw inspiration from when designing your robots?
We have to design our robot ourselves (it has to be completely original), so we can't take inspiration from anywhere. We just have to spend a lot of time designing them in our sessions.
What skills and knowledge do you hope to take away from participating in the VEX robotics competition?
We learn so much from VEX. I would say that learning to work as a team is the main thing we learn. We find VEX really stressful, so carrying on and getting on with the competition is sometimes quite challenging. We also learn so much about competition, engineering and programming through VEX as well.
What does the sponsorship from MyMiniFactory mean to you and the Hexx Robotics Team?
So much! With sponsorship from MyMiniFactory, we are able to buy more pieces to give us more freedom when building our robot. We are also able to get this season's game elements, meaning we are able to practice driving our robot, and we are able to program it.
Both these things are key to doing well in Robot Skills, which is what got us to the nationals last year where we thrived as a team. Robot Skills involve both driving the robot and autonomous (programming the robot).
Which 3D models on MyMiniFactory interest you?
I love some of the original ideas on MyMiniFactory like turning a bottle into a watering can, or a lightbulb into a vase.
What is your favorite design(s) on MyMiniFactory?
I think it's got to be Finger Basketball by Rees.
3D Designed by Rees
We also spoke with Tomo, Kiran’s teammate, who said:
I love the accessibility prints because they enable people to do things they couldn't just from one print.
I like the printed visor as well as we as a community can print them and help the NHS.
3D Designed by 3D Verkstan
What does the future hold for you after this year's competition?
This year is actually our last year of VEX IQ (which is for elementary and middle school). After this, we hope to move on to VEX EDR, which is the older version of IQ.
We want to take this opportunity to once again congratulate Kiran and the Hexx Robotics team on all that they’ve accomplished so far, and to wish them all the luck in this coming competition beginning in December.
Kiran and the Hexx Robotics Team’s ambition and drive is unrivaled and, with the support of MyMiniFactory, we hope to see them thrive once more. Follow the progress of the Hexx Robotics Team with us and show some support in the comments below!