Robotics Program Comparison

I wanted to compare robotics programs available to high school. FRC vs FTC vs Vex. The document attached is how far I got. I would appreciate any help in filling it out more.


Just for reference: CD (and Reddit) are NOT repeat NOT official FIRST sites. (Neither is TBA, though they do pull their data straight from FIRST.)


I think that’s just a formatting deficiency here, and I’d put the discord server over the subreddit at this point. FTC’s discord is also better than their subreddit.


No, it isn’t just a formatting deficiency here.

Official FIRST resource:

NOT official FIRST resource (place with Compass Alliance etc):


idk, interpreted this as poorly divided categories at first. I’ve done the same thing on rough planning docs, leading to similar confusion.

Could be.

If it’s poorly divided categories, OK, whatever. (Even my ROUGH planning docs have the categories before the sub-points, though–might just be me.) Needs to be fixed before somebody thinks CD is official.

If it’s that someone thinks CD is official, we’ve got a long and hard discussion to have. Just going to be blunt: That first line is the ONLY official forum. The fact that CD is probably more effective over the long term doesn’t make it official…


The FTC discord is a very valuable resource that is much more helpful than CD or r/ftc. Additional suppliers that have very good parts are Gobilda and Actobotics. In addition, in some regions the engineering notebook is not required/accepted for judging, only an engineering portfolio is (15 pages max).


So a couple thing about FTC. FTC has an official forum: The $275 registration is for registering with HQ, but some regions charge to participate in their competitions. As Sohom mentioned, goBILDA and ServoCity are very prevalent suppliers. Listing VEX instead of VEXpro on the FTC side is… weird; not many people in FTC use VEX structure while VEXpro parts are relatively common, especially on custom robots. FTC requires at least 2 adult mentors but does not have a maximum number of mentors.

As far as VRC goes, I’m pretty sure is the official forum.


I don’t know if you’re interested in including more high school level programs in your comparison, but there’s also like WRO - Overview Categories - World Robot Olympiad Association

@troy_dietz @EricH Reformatted:

Is this the FTC Discord FIRST Tech Challenge?

@Sohom Do you know which regions do not require the notebook?

@abidingabi I originally listed it as just VEX because the search gives me a combination of V5, Cortex, and pro. FRC is mostly pro.

I’m not sure that is the official, given that has a QA section. (change the date for read-only)

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The reason I said I’m pretty sure is official is because on it’s support page it says to email [email protected], which makes it seem official. is the official forum for VEX Robotics. is the home for our official game Q&A’s, and the site that teams use to register for the season / sign up for competitions.

As for the other rows on that sheet…

Registration - Organizations can have multiple teams. The registration is $150 for the first team, and $100 for every additional team. This fee does not change for veteran / rookie teams.

Database - can also be added here, as it includes results from (most) past competitions.

Season - April to April (In a non-COVID year). The next season’s game is released as the end of the World Championship.

Other Resources - / / /

Team Limit - Unlimited, but we typically recommend anywhere from 2-6 students per team.

Field - 12’ x 12’


Should have been more specific here. This is the cost of season registration.

Registration for individual local events is set by the Event Partner, but usually costs anywhere from $25-$100 per team. (And you can attend as many events as you want)

State Championship registration fees vary, but usually cost a couple hundred dollars. The last non-COVID VEX Robotics World Championship cost $975 per team.

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Does VEX also have a build/competition season formatted similarly to FRC? If so, what would you say is the timeframe? I’m looking on robotevents, and the earliest competition listed was the last week of May.

There isn’t a rigid build/competition season like there is in FRC. It’s more flexible with teams choosing when they build and compete. The only rigid competition constraints are the timing of state/national championships and when teams must qualify for worlds by.


The “cost per season” metric here is misleading. Running an effective FRC team is pretty much $20k/yr minimum. I’d either put some yearly cost estimates in there, or I’d rename that row to “registration costs”.


Yes, if it is meant to be a simple overview comparison, having rough net budget numbers in the table would be helpful. Of course, that is really tough for comparison, since every team pays for things in different ways, if at all (eg rent a building vs free at school; include travel expenses vs tiny travel expenses vs charge the families).

District (varies with district):

$5,000 Registration & 2 Events

+$____ additional Events

For all districts*, a 3rd play costs $1000. This cost can be subsidized by the district for various reasons, usually to help fill up an event that needs to cross over the 24 team minimum.

DCMP’s for all districts except PNW is $4000, im not sure if you are including that?

Might be good to also include that everything registrationwise in FRC is $1000 more for rookie teams if you plan on sharing this.

*Michigan might be $500? not sure offhand

FTC this year switched from requiring teams to have an Engineering Notebook (of unlimited length) to requiring teams to submit a 15-page Engineering Portfolio. The content itself is similar, but it makes it more reasonable for judges. And then teams can/should have the notebook in the pits but it’s no longer given to judges.

This should be across all regions.

One point that should be changed.

About Full Basketball court

A full basketball court is 94’x50’
A full FRC field has been 54’x27’, or ~31% the size of a full basketball court.

These are not what I would call “about” the same.