The Vex team is a sub-division of Open Robotics using parts from the Vex Robotics system. We take on junior team members who may not have the prior experience to jump right into building a whole robot from scratch. We aim to empower students to make things, showing them how to use the modular Vex parts to design, build and program a robot from start to finish. Afterwards, the next group of students can use the very same parts to build another, completely different robot.
Our current project is to make an automatic, target tracking, tennis ball launcher. The launcher uses a high speed rotating wheel to accelerate the balls, which are loaded into the robot and then fired remotely. The launcher itself is mounted on a driving platform to both move and rotate for aiming. Visual targeting will be accomplished by the camera module of a Raspberry Pi computer, which does the image processing and interfaces with the Vex Cortex microcontroller to control the motors. We aim to have this robot completed by the end of the 2015 winter semester, or in a total of 6 months.