Changes due to COVID-19 and school closures
The ACL VEX Robotics Club has had to make several modifications to its operations and club activities due to the closure of schools and of the ongoing COVID-19 situation that will impact the new 2020 - 2021 season. Please keep in mind all changes listed here are subject to change based on the current situation of COVID-19 and the status of schools for next year.
Due to the overwhelming uncertainties surrounding the COVID-19 crisis and its effects on schools next year as well as the 2020 - 2021 VEX Robotics EDR competition, the ACL VEX Robotics Club will be postponing its club fee until a later yet TBD. Learn more about the club fee here.
Teams will start off the 2020 - 2021 season by using collaborative virtual designing of VEX robots with Autodesk® Fusion 360™. Fusion 360™ is a 3D CAD (Computer Automated Design) software widely used in engineering and industry design, and offers online parts libraries full of VEX V5 parts as well as online syncing of projects so teams can work collaboratively together. Fusion 360™ will be available to club members through its free student license program.
The club will guide teams and consistently provide additional resources and educational materials during virtual designing so all teams will be able to collaborate on designs to their full potential. Having virtual designing will help teams create full matured designs together while being physically apart, and will help them build a better robot once they finally can be physically together.
When will the club meet?
Meetings will typically be held during lunch. Additionally, teams are free to come in during the mornings to work, or arrange their own additional meetings out-of-school such as on weekends. The ACL VEX Robotics Club will try its best to support these teams, including helping with moving the robot out of school, with planning, etc.
This may be changed due to impacts of COVID-19. The club is also currently trying to migrate towards a general trend of increased home meetings and less school meetings, due to the inefficiency with school meetings that we have observed (we have learned that the time provided at school during lunch/mornings just isn't enough, and barely allow teams to start building before having to pack up again). Changes have yet to be determined and will depend on the status of COVID-19 and schools.
Please refer to the above entry "Changes due to COVID-19 and school closures" in order to read more about our virtual designing process.
What equipment do you guys use?
All of our teams use the latest VEX V5 Competition Super Kits and use VEXcode to code. We also have access to a complete workshop for metal cutting/modifications at the Academies of Loudoun (thanks to our sponsor Mr. Thirukkurungudi). Our teams also get access to various additional parts, batteries, etc., which we purchase as necessary. Additionally, we plan to purchase a full competition field this year for the 2020 - 2021 VEX EDR Change Up competition, in order to better help our teams practice.
Do I need experience to join?
Nope! None at all! You do not need experience in coding, robotics, or anything else at all! We will teach it to you or learn it together! Just make sure to bring a willingness and dedication to learn, collaborate, and innovate.