VEX U #7: Vroom Vroom!


Meeting Recap

Yesterday’s meeting was filled with assembly. We went through our parts, picked out some channels for a frame, and built a drive base.  Afterwards, we wired it, added the wheels, and drove it around!


Up Next

  • VEX U: We will have a meeting 6PM on 11/20 @ the ANTrepreneur Center.
  • General Meeting8PM on 11//14 @ SSL 140.

VEX U #6: We Got the Parts!

Meeting Recap

Today’s meeting was full of PARTS! Our VEX order finally arrived, and we had fun unboxing and going through various materials as a group. There were many shafts, channels, screws, and “friction-ful” mats. Afterwards, we broke into our respective groups to modify and enhance our designs after seeing the game parts – for example, the competition balls were heavier and the caps were smoother than expected.  One team even built a small prototype of their mechanism with some of the metal.

Up Next

  • VEX U: We will have a meeting 6PM on 11/13 @ the ANTrepreneur Center.
  • General Meeting8PM on 11//14 @ SSL 140.

VEX U #5: Catching a Quick Breath

Meeting Recap

This meeting occurred in the midst of midterm season, so we wanted to keep it light and playful. We surfed YouTube for videos on other VEX teams, but somehow ended up watching Hebocon and reading posts on UCI Confessions… Hopefully it was fun and a good study break for all!

Up Next

  • VEX U: We will have a meeting 6PM on 11/6 @ the ANTrepreneur Center.
  • General Meeting: 8PM on 11//7 @ SSL 140.  Micah will be hosting a workshop on Electrical Design!

Micromouse #4

This meeting we talked about motor controller design and implementation and some groups managed to start assembly. If you missed it, feel free to check out the slides!

Yep, this is a short update. Happy midterms y’all!


Hi! It’s J back with a VEX U update!

Today the teams did more brush-ups on their designs and went through another round of scrutiny.

All the teams did a great job presenting! We had two teams each on designing the mechanisms required for shooting and managing caps. They independently reviewed the design requirements laid out last meeting.


One of the proposed mechanisms for grabbers was rather “thiccc”. In this idea, the claws were in parallel, which granted the namesake.


One shooter groups was particularly creative in using snaps to show their step-by-step design.

Overall, we used the meeting as an opportunity to receive feedback and criticism from other club members about their design, so that we can implement changes in the future.

Up Next

  • VEX U: We will have a meeting 6PM on 10/30 @ the ANTrepreneur Center.
  • General Meeting8PM on 11/7 @ SSL 140. Our general meetings are now every other week. Tune in November 7th for a workshop on Electrical Design!

VEX U #3: Requirement Design

Meeting Recap

Hello all! At our third VEX U meeting, we worked in our respective groups on requirement design – outlining the details of each competition task, the time we wish to accomplish it in, and how we plan to do so.

Afterwards, each group zoned in on specific mechanisms. Two groups brainstormed ideas for shooting, two others focused on grabbing caps, and the final group worked on parking. Link to meeting slides here!

Up Next

  • VEX U: We will have a meeting 6PM on 10/23 @ the ANTrepreneur Center.
  • General Meeting: 8PM on 10/24 @ SSL 140. Our very own co-president will be speaking about drivetrains, gear ratios, and transmissions!

Micromouse #2: More Info!

:(Sorry no pictures):

Hi, it’s J, and I’m back again with a short and sweet Micromouse update!

Where My Friends At?

The main focus of this meeting was figuring out who we were going to group with, and start buying parts for our mice.

Here’s the example list of parts: Example Parts List

The real Micromouse building won’t start for another two weeks to allow enough time for the parts to come in. So that means next week’s meeting is… a social! Meet new people! Make new friends! Yay!

Here are the slides: Fall 18 #2

Until next time, Bye o’s!

P.S. Try the riddle at the end of the presentation!


VEX U #2: The WHAT

This meeting was dedicated to the WHAT! To make any new mechanism or competitive robot necessitates understanding the competition itself. We pored over the game manual and split into groups to brainstorm our top ideas. After an hour of in-group discussion, we regrouped to refine our final tactic. Come to the next meeting to hear more! (Slides can be found here).


Unfortunately, robotics is expensive :(. This makes us sad too, but we’ll have to charge a $40 fee to attend Vex U meetings. This will include a T-Shirt, but it’s just a reality of robotics.

No competition is complete without some analysis…


Want to help out? Like we said, robots are expensive, but we’re running a campaign on ZotFunder (UCI’s GoFundMe) to help make that less of an issue! Share it with your friends and family:!

Up Next

  • Vex U: We will meet 6PM on 10/16 @ the ANTrepreneur Center. Meetings will continue on Tuesday nights at 6.
  • General Meeting: 8PM on 10/17 @ SSL 140. We’ll be talking about working intelligently with digital teams: GitHub/Slack/GrabCAD.

Micromouse Info Session

We met with IEEE this past Tuesday (11/2) to discuss Micromouse, what it looks like, and answer some FAQs. You can view the meeting slides or just read over this quick recap:


What is it?

It’s a mouse, but its small… Actually, it looks more like the image below.

This is a beginner micromouse, but it shows off all the essential components: wheels, microcontroller, and some IR sensors. The goal is to program the mouse to go through a maze as fast as possible…



There are a bunch of potential competions we’ll be going to:

  1. IEEE socal regional at UCLA
  2. UC Riverside
  3. UCLA
  4. UCSD

The Highest Level is the APEC Micromouse Contest (Feb-April), but we likely won’t go to that one…


What you’ll learn

  • Programming Microcontrollers
  • Building Electrical Circuits
    • Design
    • Prototyping
    • Soldering
  • Implement Hardware with Software
  • Many Different Embedded/Software Concepts


  • Fall
    • form teams
    • begin learning concepts and building
    • design phase
    • build and programming
  • Winter
    • continue to learn and implement concepts
    • continue… rebuild
    • rebuild
  • Spring
    • finalize it all!


Teams & Costs

  • 2 -4 people is best
  • $30 IEEE membership (if money is an issue, talk to us and we can figure it out)
  • $20 Micromouse fee for the year (includes club t-shirt later in the season)
  • Remaining Costs
    • our own UCI competition
    • building a complete maze.



  • $100-150 split among team
  • The mouse can be up to $500 legally
  • We have a list of parts ready for you
  • Many competitions have a cash prize!


Two Groups

  • Beginning Group
    • Unfamiliar with circuits
    • unfamiliar with programming
    • easier pace
  • Advanced group
    • knows electrical circuit design
    • experienced with programming microcontrollers
    • want to build at a higher complexity level
    • prior engineering experience

Compete and work together. Advanced is not necessarily better.



That was a lot of text. We’ll get more into actually doing stuff next week, so stay tuned! In the meantime, if you have other questions feel free to ask them on the Slack!



General Assembly #1 (We’re gonna need a bigger boat…)

Holy schnikes! That’s a lotta people!


The Speaking

Speaking to the people

Thanks to Spencer, Inkiad, and Micah for being the main speakers of the day!

Here’s a quick rundown of what we talked about:

Our next workshop was decided to be working with git! Thanks for everyone there who voted.

We also have a JPL and Nuclear reaction tours lined up so that’s cool too.

Most importantly, we will be starting VEX U preparations very soon!

The speakers enjoyed the presentation too

Getting some air

Out there on the big wide knoll

After being overly cramped, we went out to get some fresh air and exercise with an icebreaker. Especially great was ULTIMATE ROCK-PAPER-SCISSORS. The person who emerged victorious was Jacob!

As a reward, he was allowed to shoot ZotBuster!

Learning how ZotBuster Zots

After, that the meeting was officially over, and some people stayed behind to ask questions about ZotBuster. It was pretty sweet.

A little after, the ANTrepreneur Center was nice enough to give us a T-Shirt to shoot and give away! Thank you so much!

Until next time, see y’all soon!