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Welcome to STEMRobotics!

We are a non-profit group that is bringing Science Technology Engineering and Mathematics (STEM) to students using competition robotics.

Driving the robots in Competitions is a small part of what we do. From the beginning we teach each roboteer valuable life skills like communications, planning, getting a group consensus, cooperation and negotiations. We also bring to life STEM skills in areas of electronics, mechanics, pneumatics, programming by planning, designing, building (and sometimes rebuilding), testing and driving our robots.


Current Events

Check out the full schedule of our current events.

Mentor/Coach Training: Get a Chance to Build a Robot Yourself!

We are working to arrange a place to meet. When we have that, we will begin scheduling these "Coach-the-Coach" sessions again.

Maybe you can help? Have a place that we could meet to build some robots? Any room will do.

Learn to Program Your Robot!

When we have a place to meet again, we will start programming our robots with RobotC.

When we program, we will be programming with ROBOTC and a Vex IQ controller and various motors, servos, and sensors. If you don't have a robot, maybe you can get the Robotics Academy - Robot Virtual Worlds module, and program your robot that way! Either way, you need a laptop running some version of Windows and a licensed copy of RobotC. (RobotC Virtual Worlds Support)

We will be running through the RobotC environment and programming our robots.

We will also be looking at the sample programs and going through as many as we can over the course of several Wednesdays.

You really need to set up your laptop before you come to the class. Here are the prerequisites:Setting Up Your Laptop To Program RobotC.

Here is the link to download the RobotC for Cortex and IQ to program the Vex. Please make sure that you get the latest version (Platforms: Cortex, IQ (Version 4.25 RC 1 - 09/01/2014)

Don't forget to load the Prolific Driver to use the USB-to-Serial adapter. This lets you plug in the orange programming cable to put code on the robot. There are specific versions for the Windows OS that you are running, make sure you have the right one. The drivers are found on the same page as the demo copy of RobotC.

Start Your Team!

See this set of pages on Starting Teams but really consider looking at Starting Clubs. If you are interested in VEXIQ see Starting VEXIQ Teams.

There is still grant money available for new teams! Contact Info at stemrobotics dot org for more details.

Steve's Email Blast


Steve is focusing on VEX IQ [[1]] these days. He continues to help parents and educators (and other volunteers) run VEX IQ events. If you can provide a location to hold an event, Steve will generally be available to bring at least one official VEX IQ competition field, a computer to run the software, and the knowledge to help you do the rest.

If you'd like to help our region (metro Philadelphia) have the best young robotics kids in the world, and are willing to be part of making that happen; email Steve at Steve.Rhoads at STEMRobotics dot org.

PSU Scrimmage

We had a 21 robots at the Penn State Abington VEX Clean Sweep Scrimmage, played 23 matches, saw some amazing play and ate 50 pizzas, 6 dozen cookies and 10 dozen doughnuts.

We also had an amazing team of Combat Coders help everyone at the event with their RobotC programming: Mike Long, Taylor Gore, Sadat Shaik, and Shashank Bhargava. These young men tackled every robot brought their way.

Here is a link to pictures taken at the event:


Combat Coding

Wednesday (Nov 18, 2009), we met again.

This time, Foster had the programming team working on mechanical construction with their respective teams, BUT Taylor Gore took a moment off building to demonstrate some solid Combat Coding! He programmed a holonomic drive for another team (?Team 84?). He made sure that he enabled the Y-Axis of both joysticks plus the buttons on the back of the transmitter all worked together to strafe, drive forward, rotate and back up.

Very impressive! Good job, Taylor!

Previous Combat Coding demonstrations!

Low-Cost FIELD!

Note the field in the picture above! I built that field using the Vex Robotics site instructions and PVC.

There is NO REASON for every club/team not to have a field! It was easy to put together, and the cost was nominal (at most ~ $100. I think that my costs were closer to about $75.00) The result is very lightweight, yet sturdy, and transportable! Join us at one of our throw-downs and take a look.


Looking for a location sponsor. Can you host these workshops?

We will be working through the Yolande Petersen Guides below in Resources. Our primary resource is VEX for the Technically Challenged.

See Mentor Workshop for a week by week description on what is planned.

Events: Throw-downs, Workshops and Competitions!

The Current Events list!! Don't miss the Summer of Fun 2009

Some of our past events have been:

Radcorp Summer of Fun 2007
We held a number of robot build nights and some competitions.
Summer of Fun 2008
More events and more competitions!

STEM Sites

We are setting up STEM Sites has incubators for robotics teams. Click the link to learn more.



Media:Steps_to_starting_a_VEX_robotics_program.pdf -- CMU's guide to Starting a Vex Robotics Program.

Media:VEX Robots for Beginners.pdf -- a guide to building VEX robots

Media:VEX for the Technically Challenged.pdf -- a detailed guide on building VEX robots, we use this for the Mentor's class.

Media:Robot Recipes.pdf -- a collection of cool VEX robots that you can build

Media:Clueless Coach.pdf -- timeless tips and ideas on how to be a competition robotics coach

Carnegie-Mellon's Summer Programs for Educators:

VEX Programming Information about the VEX Programming environments

The latest Cortex User's Guide, it has all of the color codes for the status lights

Mid-Atlantic VEX Partner

STEMRobotics is one of the groups that make up the VEX Partners in the Mid-Atlantic area. Teams from New Jersey, Pennsylvania, Maryland and Virgina work together sharing ideas and resources. The Mid-Atlantic VEX Partners also coordinate events and workshops.


STEMRobotics is sponsored by:

Image:Kaloke logo.gif

Kaloke Technologies is an inital sponsor of our events.


RADCorp is another of our inital sponsors.

Techentourage is a new sponsor for 2009 and 2010.

If you would like to sponsor competition robotics and getting STEM education to middle and high school students please contact us!

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