SERVO 09.2013 47
VEX Robotics Design System –
It was a simple job to fabricate both
types of robots using parts from the
VEX Robotics Design System.
This is due to the simplicity and
customization that the system offers.
It was quite easy to assemble the
square base with the numerous
available building parts. Standard
size parts were used.
The omniwheel robot was not so
simple. It required 45 degree angles
and custom length beams. The system is
designed for cutting beams to a smaller size.
However, using the standard steel parts,
this can take some time with a hacksaw.
Fortunately, many of the VEX parts are
also available in aluminum which is a lot easier
to cut. Aluminum was used for the omniwheel
You’d have to trim and bend the stock
parts to create the 45 degree angles required
for the omniwheel robot. It was more fun to
design custom ABS plastic connectors
instead; once designed, they were easily cut
on a laser cutter. They’re the black plastic
parts in the photo.
Once built, the frame is very rigid
and almost indestructible. The
drawback is that it requires lots of
nuts and bolts which are time-consuming to tighten, and often
seem to be in cramped corners where
it’s difficult to manipulate the
The Inter face
Omniwheel robots can use the same joystick control as the one for mecanum
wheels. The same software also works with omniwheels.