tehkubix wrote:I'll admit that I learned a lot more about robotics and electronics in general from EV than I ever did with RR, but since I use the same controller for both, I was planning on programming my RR to do some things I thought were crazy difficult before. I think the two events went really well with each other, even with different rules and stuff, what you learned from one you could apply to the other as well.
Ramble was always more about the mechanical side of thing than it was about electronics. When you built your robot this year, how many changes did you make to the design or hardware? How many changes did you make to the software or wiring? Most of the electronics used in Ramble bots were either super simple and completely transparent—à la switches in a control box wired up open loop to motors—or too complicated to build on your own and had to be bought and used as black boxes—like radio components, servos, Vex controllers, etc.
Besides, EV is a robotics event, like none other has ever been. It's autonomous, programmable electronics are allowed, and sensors can be used to detect conditions. It also requires you to build and adjust a vehicle base with a high degree of precision and care. On the whole, I think the balance between the software side and the hardware side is better in EV than in RR.
I'm generalizing a lot here, of course. Obviously, there were exceptions like WrightStuffMonster's bot, which used BasicATOM or something for the automated balloon arm sticky pads, and EVs that used wingnut brakes. However, using a microcontroller on a Ramble bot has always been difficult and expensive since you couldn't send digital data onboard from your controller. Likewise, low-tech EVs with mechanically-activated brakes didn't cost much less (see this post for an example of how much this "microcontroller voodoo" costed
) and were less competitive.