VEX Programming Kit Available On-Line

The VEX Programming Kit is finally available for purchase on Radio Shack’s web site. :smiley:

Also available is the line tracking kit.

Our team received the Vex Programming Kit by UPS today from Radio Shack, and have not yet gone beyond installing it. We are excited about being able to go beyond remote control, and start coding autonomous robots using the new sensors that are pending release.

The licensing agreement seems to be very restrictive - the software needs to be registered and activated, and is keyed to the configuration of the PC. Shades of Windows XP - it states that major system reconfigurations (like the network card) will disable the installation. We swap NICs on our laptop for wired ethernet vs. WIFI access, so this will be a pain for us.

There is a complicated procedure involving transferring the license to another computer to get around this, or dealing with intelitek support (quoted at up to several days). Could this be the licensing issue that delayed release of the product? I expect that this will decrease the exposure of each individual team member to the programming environment as well, at $100 per seat, not per team or per kit.

My kit arrived Thursday but I have not had any time to work with it till tonight. The interface is nice and installation was easy. Pretty straightforward, but so far I am little disappointed. It is very easy to get a program running but you cannot edit the C section of the code created by the flow chart objects. You can add your own lines of C-code, but very clumsily.I could not get the 4 wheel single joystick drive code to work even following their example. The instruction sheets that come with the kit are minimal. I found myself visiting the help files alot, wishing for a well written manual. One nice feature is the “online” mode where you can control the robot from an interface on the PC, while your are tethered. I think Easy C will be great for beginners but will a little restrictive to experienced programmers. I am glad that it is here, and I know it will just be a matter of time till I can discover the ins and outs of Easy C.

Hey guys…
The C is not directly editable in this version of the software. Future releases may inclulude that function from what I understand.

Don’t forget that you can still use MPLab and line code just like full size FRC. EasyC will be a good tool to teach students new to C how its done.

As for the restrictive licensing, remember there have previously been some sad cases of infriging on the generousity of software vendor’s intellectual property available through FIRST. I believe, in most cases, last year’s issues with MPLab were not intended to take advantage of Microchip’s generousity, but you know the saying “once bitten, twice shy”…

Please be responsible with sponsor’s generousity to FIRST or everything could change for the worse! :ahh:

This may surprise some of you, but intelitek is trying to make money (oh my goodness!) with easyC. You should be able to install the software with a thirty day trial license, and of course the one licence they give you can be installed on a computer, and transferred if necessary.

Indeed, easyC is not meant for experienced programers who are trying to do unbeliebable things with the Vex kits. It is meant as a learning tool for the people Vex is target at; new, inexperienced kids that are interested in science/robotics/engineering etc, and to allow people to quickly make programs.

It is not a surprise to me that they are trying to make money, but this is being marketed in the educational community which does not have much money. Also the difficulty lies in instructing a team of kids with one computer. If I install this on a PC I don’t want to lug it to a competition, and I do not have the resources to obtain a laptop for my team or myself. I am not saying it should have an unlimited number of installs, but more than one would make things easier in an instructional setting.

I know that it is targeted at the new programmer and I think that the steps people must go through to create their program will develop good programming techniques. I am just slightly disappointed that you cannot directly edit the C, it seemed like that Easy C would allow that feature. I thought it would be like Front Page, for example, where you can drop in web page elements and then edit the HTML.

Overall I am very happy to have the Easy C and programming module. Lastly there is no need for the sarcasm in your reply. People should feel free to post their opinions and questions without being mocked.