VEX Virtual Worlds, and some Game-Changing Robotics Technology!

Hey Everyone!

Everyone here at VEX and the RECF know how much you miss competitive robotics. Tomorrow, VEX and the RECF hope to try and fill the gap we’re all missing in our lives right now.

Tune in to catch the closest thing to robot action we can provide!

We are also going to be taking advantage of this time to release what we think is going to be Game-Changing Technology in the Competitive Robotics world. We’re incredibly excited, and hope you will be too!

Please see the post below (copied from by Dan Mantz, CEO of the RECF, for more information on tomorrow’s event!

Edit: Thanks @CalTran & @Brandon_Martus for the posts below! This is going to be streamed on the VEX YouTube Channel at 2020-04-25T15:00:00Z!


(For those also wondering like I was, the event is evidently going to be streamed via the VEX Robotics YouTube channel.)


Starts at 10am CDT.


Seems exciting.

Is it RFID?


Nah. I’m guessing it’s gonna be informed consent forms.

Its obviously on mecanum swerve

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or a compliant swerve


VEX has announced a new AI robotics competition with two minute matches, no drivers.

“Each team brings two robots that they design and build to work as a team. Teams can 3D print and machine parts. Teams can use custom electronics, and there are no motor quantity limits. This game will be open to High School students and College students alike. Game registration will include the hardware needed for that year’s competition to run VEX AI, VEX GPS, VEX LINK, and Sensor Fusion Map.”

Information from the VEX website about this new competition:

VEX GPS Sensor
Install the Game Positioning System (GPS) on your robot
Apply the VEX Field Code to the field interior
Track X, Y Position and Heading on the field

VEX AI Vision System
Explore Artificial Intelligence
Detect hundreds of objects simultaneously
Determine object type, location, and distance
Experience a LIVE view of augmented reality

VEX LINK Communications
Activate VEX LINK Communications
Communicate from Robot-to-Robot
Send messages and data between bots
Coordinate robot actions

Sensor Fusion Map
Locate robots, objects, and goal on the map
Share information from robot to robot
Watch it all in real time via WiFi

Mechanical Engineering
Teams get to build two robots that work together as a team. That changes the robot design and robot strategy dynamic significantly. Do you build two identical robots, or build two different robots with different skills and capabilities? And now, with 3D printing and machining, there are new skills to be learned and taken advantage of, too

Electrical Engineering
Need a new sensor that isn’t available from VEX. You have choices! Buy one and integrate it, or, even better, build it. Students can design their own circuits to enhance the capabilities of their robot. There are new skills to learn, including schematics, circuit design, microcontrollers, and new sensor technology. The possibilities are real, and the learning potential is too!

Computer Science
Just imagine what comes next for your programming skills! You will have to replicate your driver skills in code. That means path planning, object manipulation, and scoring. You will have to write your offensive and defensive strategy in code. That means you need to calculate the score, determine the next best move, coordinate both robots, and execute the plan fast. Finally, and possibly the biggest challenge, is you will have to anticipate and react to your opponent’s strategy and changing field conditions… all in code.

Release video:
More information:

All information copied from the VEX website.

Looks like FIRST now has a competitor.


I couldn’t find this. Is this your addition?


Wait, there was a robotics competition where you couldn’t machine or 3D print parts??

I guess FRC really spoiled me.

Back when I competed in VEX, you could only use the VEX ecosystem of parts. So aside from cutting up their existing parts for modification, there was very little that could be done from a manufacturing stand point.

I’m going to exercise my right to disagree. I think that this is a really cool concept, and I’m very interested to see what teams make with it, but it also lacks just about everything that I think makes FRC great. No pushing your robot past the limit in a buzzer beater playoff, no un-tips, etc. As well, the construction looks like similar stuff to VexU. It’s also small,and if I’m interpreting this correctly, only one team plays at a time. I don’t think any FIRST program competes with this.

I appreciate the cost savings that will occur from not needing exclusively VEX ecosystem parts.

I also think that “GPS” is a bit misleading, but catchy and inflammatory marketing seems par for the course now. I’ll see you in the split thread.


Just wanted to clarify that I don’t believe this is the case. At the end of the video linked, it states the a match is comprised of 4 robots, 2 minutes, and 0 drivers.

All in all I’m very curious to see what the first year of the VEX AI competition brings. I’ll be following along for sure.

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Each team builds two robots. So one team competes against another team. First part of the match is only on your side, other part of the match is interactive between the two teams & four robots.

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Cough VEX has real robots cough, FRC is just RC cars.

Fully autonomous or go home.

Fully automomous Vex robot winning a match at worlds using raspi and neato Lidar. ~150$ in hardware

Winning a match against a team that was using was using human drivers for the teleoperated period. It was impressive to see.

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The big question I have for Vex AI is, while 3D printing and machining is allowed akin to recent iterations of VexU, would you still be stuck with Vex’s COTS ecosystem?

For example, even in VexU, you basically never see linear slide style elevators, as most teams reach for a linkage system of some sort, whereas FTC’s ecosystem has lent itself to people using those types of elevators because of its different parts rules.

I’d argue it’s also why, aside from different game design attitudes towards hitting robots while scoring, mecanum drivetrains are absent in Vex and ubiquitous in FTC - compared to other vendor offerings, the EDR mecanums just aren’t that good.