We are a middle school team from Washington state competing in the VEX VRC robotics competition. VEX consists of competitions for all ages, including VEX IQ for elementary school students, VRC for middle and high school students, and VEX U for university students. The VRC season begins in April of each year, when the challenge is announced. The challenge is set on a 12ft by 12ft board. Four robots play on the field in a 2-minute match in two alliances.
A match starts with a 15-second autonomous period, in which robots run a previously coded program with no interaction from the drivers. The next 1 minute and 45 seconds of the match are with driver control.
In preparation for the competition, teams build and code a robot to be driven in matches and to run an autonomous
program. Other components of the competition include: the engineering notebook, a notebook for teams to document
their design process; driving and programming skills, a 1-minute session with only one robot on the field where
teams can run either driving or programming in an attempt to score as many points as possible; and judging, in which teams are interviewed by judges and are considered for various awards.
VRC has been an amazing and enriching experience for our team. This competition and robotics in general has inspired our passion for science and technology. VRC is a unique robotics experience because there are many qualifying competitions, so teams have many chances to compete, learn, and iterate their designs. Repeatedly improving our design, programming, and documentation from the feedback we have get at competitions is how we learn as much as possible.