Vex AI - startup cost?

This competition looks cool. (https://www.vex.com/vex-ai) I have some novice questions:

I am not familiar with the Vex competition, and it’s not totally clear on what electronics are needed beyond the base Vex electronics - there is something called Vex Link that might just be an extra radio for each of your team’s robots and something else called Vex GPS that I can’t find the price for on the Vex storefront, plus I am guessing a camera is needed but I don’t see that either.

It looks like the main language is C++?

Checking the rules, it seems like the only motors allowed are the Vex V5 ones and maybe the older ones that are FTC-legal unless I am missing something. So it’s just 8 small Vex motors, no servos, etc?

If we were to enter a team we’d probably mainly use Vex Pro and raw materials since we already have a lot of that stuff in the shop, so I’m not interested in the Vex system parts as I am in determining the price of required electronics.

I’m basically trying to figure out what a startup price would be for one of these teams, so in anyone has insights on that please let me know. Thanks!

Well, I am not sure if the electronics are being sold yet designed for VEX AI (GPS + the other one). You will also be needing to make 2 robots as it is like VEXU. This means the necessary parts for one robot would now be 2x. In general, the robots can last with 8 motors but can probably last a match with 10 motors (as the rule is unlimited). I’ll just give you essentially everything you would need to not have that many restrictions:

(These are totals so just divide for each one individually)
2x V5 System Bundles ($1200)
2x V5 Nets (you need 2 more for the link) ($88)
8 V5 Motors (this is for 8 motors per robot as system bundle comes with 4) ($320)
VEX GPS (Not sure either location):

  Essential Total: $1608 + Vex GPS + Pro Depth Camera

Highly Recommended as well for electronics:
4 extra batteries: ($220) (These batteries die quite frequently and take a while to charge)
2 Vision Sensors: ($160) (Used like the high depth camera; just another useful sensor)
4 Battery chargers ($48)
Motor Cartridges (Truly depends so ~$12 for each but I would say get 5 blue and red cartridges per robot so 20 in total for $240)

Highly Recommended Total: $668

So with both, you are looking around $2,276 without the VEX AI And VEX GPS system.

I would estimate that the price of it would be ~$80 for the VEX GPS and the VEX AI is two parts so ~$150 (processor and camera)

 This is my estimated total: $2736

Here are a couple of links you may want to look at (necessary stuff).

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Your best bet is to post on vexforum.com, which is basically the ChiefDelphi of VEX competitions, except it’s run by VEX. Based on the reveal, it sounds like there’s going to be a specially formulated kit for AI teams, but that’s just speculation at this point, I think. They may blend some of these kit costs into registration, however that would be a change from their current model for VRC and VEX U, where all equipment costs are independent of registration costs.

Full Disclosure: I used to work for VEX, but haven’t for a long time. I am however fascinated by VEX AI.

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I really appreciate you taking the time to go through that! That at least gives a starting point for looking at funding.

Thanks - I will ask there. It does sound like something completely different than the existing games, and I am looking at it to possibly help our programmers take it to the next level. The programmers had really stepped it up a notch this year but we got cut short before they could achieve their FRC goals.

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Thank you putting together your estimate, but I feel like you’re being a little too optimistic for the prices of the VEX AI parts. The camera looks very similar to an Intel D435, and I would expect the VEX version to be at least $200 each. For the compute module, it could be base it off of something like a Raspberry Pi 4, but it would make more sense with the size and shape to be based off a Jetson Nano, so best case it will probably be $150. Based on the fan and size though, the compute module could be a Jetson TX2, which is $350 before any VEX specific costs.

Assuming a Nano based system, that would put the total to about $3136.

Would you mind linking that? I can’t seem to find any info about vex AI beyond the website

VEX-AI Game Manual

AIR5 rules out any other non v5 motors, though for those unfamiliar with v5 compared to the old vrc motors sold, v5 is a significant improvement to the 393 motors pretty much all around.