Upcoming Events

Reminder of upcoming meetings and competitions. Please mark your calendars accordingly:

After a long season last year we have now begun our 2014-2015 season. As you scroll down the page you will notice the competition for this year. If you have not already please take the time to watch the video and look over the manual. We will be meeting every Thursday from 6:30 - 8:30 at Saint Lukes. Be prepared to share your ideas and have a plan on how to win the competition this year.

Please be sure to have your Engineering notebook with you at every meeting. You will be using this notebook to take notes on what we do at each meeting. We also recommended to bring your laptop.

If you have any ideas for the website or have any questions, concerns ....... please go to the contact page of the website or just send an email to [email protected]

We have put the challenge for this year's competition below if you want to see it.


Middle School 2014-2015 Vex Challenge

The Vex 2014-2015 challenge has been released. Please be sure to watch the video above to see how this years competition will be played. There are a lot of parts to this years challenge so please be sure to think about strategies and things we can do to win. Please also see the document attached for more information on the challenge. In the document you will find information how the competition is played and scored. 

Middle School Skyrise Manual - http://content.vexrobotics.com/docs/vex-skyrise/VEX-Skyrise-GameManual-Rev20140416.pdf


To see more information about this years challenge please go to http://www.vexrobotics.com/vex .

Vex IQ 2014-2015 Competition

The Vex 2014-2015 challenge has been released. Please be sure to watch the video above to see how this years competition will be played. There are a lot of parts to this years challenge so please be sure to think about strategies and things we can do to win. Please also see the document attached for more information on the challenge. In the document you will find information how the competition is played and scored. 

Vex IQ Game Manual - http://www.roboticseducation.org/documents/2014/04/highrise-game-manual.pdf

To see more information about this years challenge please go to http://www.roboticseducation.org/vex-iq-challenge/viq-current-game/ .

Culpeper Crash Dummies Open House Night 2013

A youthful interest in the fields of science and engineering brought about 30 youngsters out to St. Luke's School Thursday to find out if they have what it takes to become one of Culpeper Robotics' "Crash Dummies."


Dubbing themselves the Crash Dummies for the group's second competitive robotics season, the club held an open house Thursday evening to allow new students to check out the program.


Group Senior Mentor Doug Ray said students ranging in grade level from fourth through 12th turned out to St. Luke's annex building to see what robotics are all about.


The group, which began its second year last April, is part of the VEX Robotics program, which is run by the Robotics Education and Competition Association.

"We've been meeting about once a month over the summer, but things really started kicking into high gear recently with the new school year starting," Ray said. "We have about 10 core students who have been with us, and this is their second year."


The first competitions of the current season will be held in December and January, with the state competition scheduled for February.

"It is our goal to get at least one team into the world competition in Anaheim (California) in spring," he said.


The group meets at St. Luke's on Thursday evenings at 6:30 p.m. and on some Saturdays as the competitions draw closer.

Members of the club will divide into smaller groups to create robots built and programmed to solve specific challenges set up for the VEX team competitions. VEX is one of the companies that create the robotic kits for the clubs.


Last year, most Culpeper Robotics members specialized in a particular area - such as robot design, operation or programming. Ray said he wants each student to learn more about all the different aspects involved this year.


"This year we hope to have at least two high school teams, two middle school teams and at least one elementary school team," Ray said.

Ray said the team has doubled for its second year, with a lot of younger members joining.


Kids in the club are a mix of public, private and home school students who hail mainly from Culpeper, Fauquier, Orange and Spotsylvania counties.

Spencer Cline, a fifth-grade student at Emerald Hill Elementary School in Culpeper, said he liked his first experience remotely operating a VEX robot during Thursday's open house.


"I love robots and computers," Cline said. "I've always wanted to work at NASA. I'll probably come back."


Heath Ashley, a sixth-grader from Culpeper's Floyd T. Binns Middle School, said he liked the challenging aspects of robotics.

"It's pretty complex, and I like that sort of thing," Ashley said.


For more information, Culpeper Robotics can be reached at [email protected].



You may also view this article at  - http://www.dailyprogress.com/starexponent/news/local_news/domo-arigoto-mr-roboto/article_6d11ee58-2da5-11e3-942b-0019bb30f31a.html

ECPI University team up for workshop


Culpeper Robotics and ECPI University in Manassas teamed up on Saturday, June 15 and provided a Mechanical Engineering workshop for Culpeper Robotics’ team members. ECPI Mechatronics faculty member Dr. Reza Jafari’s provided training on static and dynamic concepts as it relates to mechanical engineering. He demonstrated the practical use of math in determining gear ratios, increasing speed and/or torque, calculating force, work, power, etc.


“Students learn better when classroom skills are intertwined with real-life application,” says Dr. Jafari. “Culpeper Robotics provides both the encouragement and advantages of understanding how math and physics concepts can be incorporated into functioning machines capable of completing required tasks.”


Almost 20 team members and their parents enjoyed a free lunch and learned many valuable educational tools in preparation for the newest VEX Robotics season. This year’s challenge is called “Toss Up” and will require students to design a robot with a variety of skills to meet the complexity of the challenges.

ECPI University has specialized in student-centered technology, business, criminal justice, health science, and culinary education for 47 years. They offer degrees in numerous areas, including Computer Information Systems, Mechatronics, Electronics Engineering Technology, Network Security, Nursing and other Health Sciences. Culpeper Robotics is proud to have them as a supporter of its growing program.


In addition, Culpeper Robotics is pleased to announce that its new permanent “home" will be located at St. Luke’s School’s pavilion. Through the generous donation and support of St. Luke’s School, Culpeper Robotics will be able to offer many new opportunities to its team members.


Middle to high school students from any school background are welcome to join the Culpeper Robotics team at no cost. If you have a child that is interested in any of the STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering, or Math) subjects, then this is the program for you! Please contact Gates Bierhuizen at 540-829-0806 or email culpeperrobotics.com for more information. The new season has begun and its going to be a good one.




The Robots are coming

Next weekend in Northern Virginia, about 20 young robotics enthusiasts will have the chance to see how their technical skills stack up against those of other young area robot designers.

On Jan. 19 at Potomac School in McLean, local club Culpeper Robotics will break out two motorized metallic mechanisms in a VEX Robotics Competition. The event will be the second competition of the academic year for the group.

Doug Ray, an adult mentor for the club, said the group's members hail from throughout the Culpeper region and include teens who are from public and private schools, as well as a few home-schoolers.

The group meets Thursday evenings at 6:30 p.m. at St. Luke's Lutheran Church, with additional sessions on Saturday as needed. This is Culpeper Robotics second year of competition, Ray said.

"Everybody on the team has a certain job they do," Ray said. "From programming to designing to building - each kid kind of brings a different piece to the team."

Ray said VEX is a national enrichment program promoting skills in science and technology. It's a year-round program which begins in April and culminates the following winter with a series of competitions.

Culpeper Robotics is scheduled to compete in four events this winter, Ray said.   

At Potomac School next weekend, the group will split into three or four different driving teams that will compete during the day-long competition, Ray said.

The challenge for this year's contests is "Sack Attack," in which the team designs a robot which can pick up, carry and place sacks in elevated troughs on a a game track for points.

During the competitions, the teams can also remove their competitiors' sacks from the troughs for additional points, Ray said.

"Each competition is two minutes and begins with a 15-second autonomous period, which means there's no driver. It's just the program running the robot," Ray said. "The rest of the time, the members of the driving team work together to operate the robot and complete the tasks."

The Culpeper group faired well during its first outing in Manassas in December, reaching the semi-finals in a competition which included about 60 teams.

Ray said the group has since decided to design and build a second robot for the Potomac competition.

Team Captain Gates Bierhuizen said the robots are mainly made from metal braces and plastic gears.

"These are fairly simple designs," Bierhuizen said.

Bierhuizen, a senior at Eastern View High School, said he has been active with robotics groups for three or four years now.

"This challenges me beyond what school does," he said. "I think it's really very important - nothing like this is offered in school - and where are all the jobs these days? They're in technology."

Following next weekend's event, Culpeper Robotics is scheduled to compete at a VEX Regional Competition at Liberty University in Lynchburg before wrapping up the current season with a final event in March, Ray said.

Ray said the team is always looking for sponsors to help offset the cost of the program.

"It costs us about $2,500 for the year," Ray said. "The kits for the robots are about $1,000 each."

Anyone interested in sponsoring or joining Culpeper Robotics can contact Adult Coordinator Jennifer Bierhuizen at (540) 829-0806.  

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