After extensive discussion with many of the top tier VEXU programs, it became obvious that there is a gap in the ability to share knowledge among VRC and VEXU programs. The existing infrastructure that VEX has put out has been a fantastic resource for teams interested in getting into the field of robotics, but the introduction of VAIC has increased opportunities for both High School and University students to experiment with more advanced robotics techniques.
The current VEX V5 resources are at this link.
During this discussion there were three plans put in place: the creation of a central knowledge base for VEX specific information (spearheaded by Purdue Sigbots), and the recording of a video series that would teach many concepts related to VRC and FRC with initial emphasis on VAIC applicable topics (currently managed by Team HAIL at UMich).
HAIL’s video series is poised to start the recording phase soon. An updated link will be posted soon.
The final plan was more ambitious, having a Question and Answer platform that would be able to empower students to go above and beyond with their understanding of engineering. To do this, a panel of university students with experience and high level understanding in specific topics was assembled in order to answer any questions that may arise in a student’s journey for knowledge. To properly engage with our audience a Discord platform was created with the hope to move to a separate website or forum entirely in the future.
What is the goal of this?
With VAIC becoming a great experiment for all levels of the competition, it is incredibly helpful for teams that do not have the prerequisite background and experience to get involved with assistance from the highest level of university students who have all participated in the VEX Robotics Competition in both VEXU and VRC. Furthermore, we seek to centralize the wealth of information between generations of robotics students in one location.
This was the biggest question to the third part of our operation. The use of the messaging platform Discord in the current phase of the project is one that did not come without debate. Because of the problems and culture surrounding the platform, it has been decided that increased moderation protocols and a strict rules system be developed to prevent unwanted and off topic conversation. The main reason for the decision was our target age range for Wiki contributors, with discord being used extensively by High School and University students. To follow through with our goal of empowering students, having the discussion readily accessible was required. This is still an interim plan, we as a team are working on an individualized platform for our needs.
The VEX community is one that is better together, we believe that the increased sharing of knowledge that is accessible to every team will bring about better robots and, most importantly, better engineers.
The VEX Advanced Wisdom Project Team and our affiliated teams:
Original VEX Forum Post: https://www.vexforum.com/t/vex-advanced-wisdom-project/81832