Archive for the ‘New Products’ Category

AFTER THREE ACTION-PACKED DAYS, STEM CHAMPIONS ARE CROWNED AT THE 2014 VEX ROBOTICS WORLD CHAMPIONSHIP

Monday, April 28th, 2014

All Star Students from Canada, China, Mexico & the United States Emerge as World Champions of the Largest & Fastest Growing Robotics Program in the World

Last weekend, the Anaheim Convention Center was taken over by more than 15,000 participants from 27 countries, as 760 of the world’s best student-run robotics teams demonstrated their Science, Technology, Engineering, and Math (STEM) skills, going head to head with custom-built and programmed robots at the VEX Robotics World Championship, presented by the Robotics Education & Competition (REC) Foundation and the Northrop Grumman Foundation. After a long and spirited series of matches, teams from Canada, China, Mexico and the United States ultimately came out on top, taking home the coveted Winning Alliance trophies for the VEX IQ Elementary & Middle School World Championship, the VEX Robotics Competition Middle & High School World Championship, and the VEX U World Championship competitions.

“This year, we surpassed 10,000 VEX Robotics teams, hailing from over 33 countries – 760 of which qualified to attend VEX Worlds. Each of these teams pushed themselves every day as they stretched and strengthened their STEM skills and learned to work as a team,” said Jason Morrella, president of the Robotics Education and Competition (REC) Foundation. “Not only does this weekend represent the exciting culmination of their enormous effort, but it also represents just the beginning of what these students can hope to accomplish as they continue with their STEM learning. We are impressed by all they have achieved, and excited about all the great opportunities opening up for them in their futures,” concluded Morrella.

Sandra Evers-Manly, president of the Northrop Grumman Foundation, told the audience during the final ceremony, “On behalf of the Northrop Grumman Foundation, we are truly honored to serve as the presenting sponsor of this amazing competition. We are more than excited about what we have seen here. You represent our future. You represent the here and now. You are not only cool but you are making a difference for years to come.”

The global championship kicked-off on Wednesday and Thursday with initial qualification matches and skills challenges. By Friday morning, the excitement was palpable as thousands of young engineers filed into the VEX Dome to participate in the parade of nations, where students from all the teams proudly displayed their respective countries’ brilliant flags. Following the parade, it was time for the teams to jump into an afternoon full of intense back-to-back qualification matches. Legendary skateboarder Tony Hawk could be seen visiting with the teams before providing a few opening remarks later in the evening, during which he encouraged the students to stick with their passion for STEM as it will lead to a future full of career potential.

By Saturday, qualification rounds came to an end, the top performing teams went through the alliance selection process, and the division champion alliances collaborated to advance over their toughest competition yet in the finals. A dynamic light show and DJ experience added to to the atmosphere during the finals, guiding teams and spectators through the award ceremonies.

Altogether, 760 VEX teams out of more than 10,000 teams worldwide qualified to compete in one of five challenges hosted by the REC Foundation this past weekend. The competitions included: VEX IQ Challenge Elementary School World Championship (ages 8-10), VEX IQ Challenge Middle School World Championship (ages 11-14) VRC Middle School World Championship (ages 11-14), VRC High School World Championship (ages 15-18) and VEX U (ages 18+).

The 2014 VEX Robotics World Championship Alliance Winners are as follows:

  • The VEX IQ Challenge Elementary School Teamwork Champion Alliance included the Mighty Mechs from Anaheim, California and the Pixelated Piranhas from Kokomo, Indiana
  • The VEX IQ Challenge Middle School Teamwork Champion Alliance included the DiscoBots – Xray from Houston, Texas and NEXT Robokids from Richmond, British Columbia, Canada
  • The VRC Middle School World Champion Winning Alliance included three teams from China, the Branch of Beijing Chen Jinglun Middle School, the Fuzhou Shidai Middle School, and the Fuzhou Create Future Young Robot Engineer Club.
  • The VRC High School World Champion Winning Alliance included the Chingboticz Eh? from Ontario, Canada, the SPUR-FLYS from Van Nuys, California, and Lynfield College Robotics from Auckland, New Zealand.
  • The VEX U World Champion was Team UTHH1 Mecánica from Huejutla de Reyes, Mexico

One team from each of the five divisions also received the Excellence Award, the highest honor in the VEX Robotics World Championship, given to the team with the most well-rounded VEX Robotics program. The TechnoBots from Vega Baja, Puerto Rico received the award for VEX IQ Elementary. The Reisenschein from McLean, Virginia received the award for VEX IQ Middle School. The Highlands Inter Robotics from Pearl City, Hawaii was presented with the award for VRC Middle School. The Haslett VEX Raptors MSU from East Lansing, Michigan received the award for VRC High School. The OYES Robotics from Auckland, New Zealand received the award for VEX U.

Several other technical and value-based awards were presented to teams throughout the event. Below is a list of the teams and individuals that were recognized for excelling in some of the top categories. For a complete list of award winners, including winners of the online challenges, visit http://www.robotevents.com/championship.

For those looking forward to getting a jump on next year’s robot designs, the 2014/2015 season games will be VEX Highrise (VEX IQ Challenge) and VEX Skyrise (VEX Robotics Competition).

Partners and sponsors of the 2014 VEX Robotics Competition World Championship includes Northrop Grumman Foundation, EMC, NASA, Chevron, Microchip, Texas Instruments and HEXBUG. In addition, VEX Robotics continually reaches students in the classroom through key partnerships with notable education-based organizations, Project Lead the Way (PLTW) and Technology Students Association (TSA).

About REC Foundation
The REC Foundation seeks to increase student interest and involvement in science, technology, engineering and mathematics (STEM) by engaging students in hands-on, sustainable and affordable curriculum-based robotics engineering programs across the U.S. and internationally. Its goal is to provide these programs with services, solutions, and a community that allows them to flourish in a way that fosters the technical and interpersonal skills necessary for students to succeed in the 21st Century. The REC Foundation develops partnerships with K-12 education, higher education, government, industry, and the non-profit community to achieve this work so that one day these programs become accessible to all students and all schools in all communities. For more information on REC Foundation, visit www.roboticseducation.org.

About VEX Robotics
VEX Robotics is a leading provider of educational and competitive robotics products to schools, universities and robotics teams around the world. The company’s three product lines, VEX IQ, the VEX Robotics Design System and VEXpro, are backed by 250 man years of experience supporting educational robotics programs and designed to be affordable, accessible and scalable. The company also partners with the non-profit Robotics Education & Competition Foundation to support the world’s largest and fastest growing competitive robotics program for elementary schools, middle schools, high schools and colleges around the world. The VEX IQ Challenge, the VEX Robotics Competition, and VEX U were designed to give a diverse group of students the chance to celebrate their accomplishments and share their passion for robotics with each other. In 2013-2014, over 10,100 teams from 33 countries have participated in over 750 competitions worldwide.

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Building Robots Just Got a Lot Cooler: The VEX Assembler powered by Autodesk 123D

Tuesday, August 27th, 2013

Autodesk’s  In the Fold blog discusses VEX IQ this week. Read on to learn more.

“What do you get when you combine robots with advanced 3D modeling and some really creative students? The VEX Robotics Competition! This year, Autodesk is teaming up with VEX Robotics to make the competition even better by giving students a cool new way to design, imagine and create their robots: The  VEX Assembler powered by Autodesk® 123D®.

The VEX Assembler powered by Autodesk® 123D® is a brand new, free 3D desktop design app made specifically for the VEX IQ robotics platform.  The desktop tool allows students to digitally access, assemble, share and test a library of VEX IQ mechanisms, gadgets and even entire robots!  Even better, there’s no CAD experience necessary to power up and use this app.  It is designed to introduce students to the modern principles of CAD while offering them a drag and drop environment where their creativity can go wild and hopefully inspire them to create some pretty great robots along the way.

Interested in learning more? Join us for the VEX Assembler Webcast on August 29th at 4:00 PM PT. A team from Autodesk and VEX Robotics will be walking through the features of the app and demonstrating the product in action. To register for the Webcast, click here. We hope to see you there!”

To read more about the VEX Assembler powered by Autodesk 123D, click here to be taken directly to the blog post.

VEX ROBOTICS EXPANDS INTO ELEMENTARY WITH LAUNCH OF VEX IQ

Tuesday, April 30th, 2013

Technologically Advanced, Tool-less System will Transform STEM Education for Younger Ages

VEX Robotics, Inc., announced today the launch of VEX IQ, a robotics platform designed to transform STEM learning for young students and their teachers. Students as young as six can jump right in and snap robots together using this intuitive, tool-less platform while educators can utilize the free VEX IQ Curriculum to help teach them valuable lessons and skills that are needed in today’s changing world.

“The VEX IQ platform is truly a revolution for STEM education at younger ages,” said Paul Copioli, president of VEX Robotics. “We’ve taken our years of experience in educational robotics and created a simple, powerful and flexible platform for students and teachers alike.”

The VEX IQ system was designed to be simple and easy for students to use. Structural pieces snap together and come apart without tools, allowing for quick build times and easy modifications. A variety of gears, wheels and other accessories allows for complete customization of VEX IQ projects and mobile robots.

The Robot Brain takes high-end, powerful technology and simplifies it for educational use while keeping a high ceiling. Up to 12 Smart Port devices can be connected to the Robot Brain, which can then be controlled by built-in programs or programmed via a computer and compatible software program. In addition to using pre-programmed instructions, VEX IQ robots can be controlled by drivers using the Controller.

Free graphical programming software, powered by Modkit, allows for custom robot commands, sensor interaction and more and is included in every VEX IQ Kit. ROBOTC for VEX IQ, created by Carnegie Mellon Robotics Academy, allows robot programming in C. The VEX Assembler powered by Autodesk 123D adapts the power of Autodesk’s advanced 3D modeling tools, giving students the ability to assemble and test VEX IQ mechanisms and robots virtually.

VEX IQ Starter Kits are priced at $249.99 The VEX IQ Super Kit is $299.99. Kits are available for pre-order now and will begin shipping in June.

In addition to transforming STEM education in the classroom, VEX IQ will be used in the VEX IQ Challenge presented by the Robotics Education & Competition Foundation, an extracurricular STEM program for elementary and middle school students (ages eight to14). The power of the VEX IQ system combined with the REC Foundation’s years of experience inspiring students through robotics competitions is giving younger students more affordable access to the inspiration, excitement and learning that comes from participating in a STEM challenge.

For more information on VEX IQ, visit www.vexrobotics.com

For more information on the VEX IQ Challenge, visit RobotEvents.com

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VEX Robotics Relaunches VEXpro Product Line with over 120 New & Improved Products

Wednesday, December 5th, 2012

Competitive robotics teams to benefit from more options at a lower price

GREENVILLE, TEXAS (December 5, 2012) — VEX Robotics, Inc., announced today a full restructuring of its VEXpro product line with product updates and new releases, giving high-end competitive roboticists superior performance at a lower price. The release includes over 120 new products, including DC motors, gearboxes and wheels.

“We are extremely excited about the re-launch of our VEXpro product line,” said Paul Copioli, president of VEX Robotics. “Competitive robotics teams that build large-scale robots can now do more for significantly less cost.”

Highlights of the VEXpro line include – VEXpro Ball Shifters that utilize a ball lock shifting method accomplished with a lightweight and compact pancake pneumatic cylinder that is included, VersaPlanetary gearboxes that allow for multitudes of gear ratio options and motor choices without requiring a custom pinion gear, and the VersaHub system that ensures precise alignment of wheels and sprockets with the high quality nature of all VEXpro gears and sprockets.

“Competitive robotics enthusiasts will be highly impressed by all of the subtle details in these new products,” said John V-Neun, director of product development for VEX Robotics. “We designed the new VEXpro products to be easily integrated into almost any application, with no frustration or workarounds required.”

The updates to the VEXpro product line launch just in time for the 2013 FIRST Robotics Competition season, of which VEX Robotics and parent company Innovation First International are proud supporters. The companies donate products to the competition’s kit of parts and provide support and mentors to competition teams.

For information about VEXpro, visit www.vexpro.com

About VEX Robotics, Inc.
VEX Robotics, Inc., a wholly owned subsidiary of Innovation First International, is a leading provider of educational and competitive robotics products to middle schools, high schools, colleges and robotics teams around the world. The VEX Robotics Design System, winner of the 2006 Best of Innovations Award at CES, was built from the ground up and designed to be an affordable, accessible and scalable platform used to teach science, technology, engineering and math education worldwide. The VEXpro product line, designed for large scale competitive robots, gives robotics enthusiasts superior performance for less cost. The company has over 250 man years of experience supporting educational robotics programs and extensive engineering resources on two continents dedicated to the VEX Robotics platform. For more information on VEX Robotics, visit www.vexrobotics.com.

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VEX Power Accessories to Transition to Nickel-Metal Hydride (NiMH) based Batteries

Tuesday, May 4th, 2010

The VEX Robotics Design System is beginning a transition to Nickel-Metal Hydride (NiMH) based batteries for its Power subsytem. With this transition comes the addition of (3) new products: the smaller 2000 mAh 7.2V NiMH battery, the standard size 3000 mAh 7.2V NiMH battery and the VEX Smart Charger.

2000 mAh 7.2V NiMH Battery3000 mAh 7.2V NiMH Battery

VEX Smart Charger

The new 2000 mAh 7.2V NiMH battery (above top left) has the same capacity as the 7.2V NiCad battery in a much smaller form factor. The new 3000 mAh 7.2V NiMH battery (above top right) offers 50% more capacity in the same form factor as the previous model 7.2V NiCad battery.

The transition to NiMH based products from the current Nickel Cadmium (NiCad) ones is necessary for several reasons. NiMH batteries consistently outperform NiCad batteries, as they deliver more power, last longer and can be put through more charge cycles.

In addition to the performance enhancements offered by the NiMH batteries, the fact that they have no Cadmium added is good news for the environment. Cadmium is a toxic heavy metal and can cause substantial pollution when disposed of improperly.

The VEX Smart Charger (above bottom center), with (4) different regional power cord options, is capable of charging ALL VEX rechargeable power packs (7.2V and 9.6V, NiCad and NiMH). The charger features dual charge rates and an automatic shutoff.

The new NiMH batteries must be charged on the VEX Smart Charger. DO NOT use the VEX Fast Charger to charge NiMH batteries.

Follow these Smart Charger settings for each battery:

Fast or Safe Setting:
7.2V, 3000 MAh NiMH (standard)
7.2V, 2000 MAh NiCad (old model)

Safe Setting Only:
7.2V, 2000 MAh NiMH (small)
9.6V, 960 MAh NiCad (transmitter)

7.2V NiCad batteries will be discontinued as soon as our current stock is depleted. There are no plans to discontinue the 9.6V NiCad Transmitter battery in the near future.

The VEX Power Pack and Fast Battery Charger have both been discontinued.

Any VEX branded 7.2V battery (NiMH or NiCad) will be legal for use on robots in the VEX Robotics Competition.

The new batteries will be available on VEXrobotics.com in the coming weeks.

The VEX Robotics Team

Getting the bugs out of personal robots

Tuesday, May 27th, 2008

Innovation First’s toy bugs pack a mighty computing wallop of light sensors and infrared motion-control equipment.

Read the full article here.

Innovation First, Inc. and Charmed Labs Collaborate to Create New VEX Microcontroller Based on Qwerk Technology

Thursday, April 17th, 2008

GREENVILLE, TX- April 17, 2008

In an ongoing effort to promote greater interest in science, technology, engineering and math (STEM) in schools across the globe, Innovation First, Inc. (IFI), a leader in educational and competition robotics products, will team with Charmed Labs to be the exclusive licensee and producer of the Qwerk Robot Controller. Further, Innovation First will enhance the Qwerk controller to be fully compatible with the company’s popular VEX Educational Robotics platform. The newly branded Qwerk-based VEX controller will complement the current VEX microcontroller and offer enhanced features desired by post-secondary schools and educators.

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