Just last week, my school hosted the regular Central Robotics Scrimmages, where students compete in the VEX IQ Challenge or the VEX Robotics Competition. This year the VIQC is called Next Level and the 2 teams work together cooperatively during … Continue reading →
We know the official maximum age or grade/year level that a student can compete in VEX IQ robotics challenge from the official game manual. New Zealand students that are in year 9 when the season starts at the end of April or the beginning of May can participate and complete the season, even though they might be in year 10 when the season ends with the World Championships.
However there is no minimum age, so I bought a VEX IQ Super Kit for my grandson, when he turned 4 on Christmas Day. Over the last week my grandson and I have been building the Armbot IQ, which has highlighted some of the difficulties younger robot enthusiasts might struggle with:
Starting to build Armbot
Carrot to keep up energy levels
in the same way that primary students struggled with nuts and bolts of the VEX EDR robots, preschool children lack the strength to push the connector pins into the beams. My grandson managed to push some gears onto shafts, but that was all the strength he could muster in his little fingers
ability to follow instructions
in order to follow the instructions, one has to be able to understand the procedural documentation. My 4 year old grandson was able to
see that the green dots were the locations that connections needed to be made, and was almost able to transfer this to the physical connection.
turn the assembled parts in the same orientation as the instructional drawing
starting something new is always very exciting, but being to maintain the level of interest is quite hard for young people especially since progress is slow, and we live in an age of immediate gratification. However my grandson was able to assist with the building for periods of 30-60 minutes at a time. This meant we needed about 5 sessions to complete the Armbot IQ, and yes, I did complete a few steps without his assistance.
But at the end the main thing is to have a robot you can control. My grandson is very good with the controls and picks them up very easily.
VEX EDR Robotics is a competition, where 2 robots compete against 2 other robots in 2 minute matches. There are also skills challenges, online challenges to compete in, but generally students just have fun competing and helping other students and teams. Students in New Zealand mainly compete at high school and university level.
VEX IQ Robotics is a competition, where 2 robots work together to get the best possible score in 1 minute matches. There are also skills challenges, design challenges, STEM presentation challenges, and online challenges to compete in, but generally students just have fun competing and helping other students and teams. Students in New Zealand mainly compete when they are in years 5-9, but younger students have been very competitive too.