Aug 3, 2007

FIRST looking for VEX replacement



" it's unlikely that FTC will use the Vex kits in next year's competition"

I was surprised to see this comment in yesterday's announcement from US FIRST.

Does anyone know why FIRST is thinking about ditching VEX?

5 comments:

Jim Kelly said...

I don't know much about VEX, but I have heard from others that the older kit(green) had parts that wore out quickly and that assemblies were sometimes very "rickety" and "wobbly" - I know that the product is being re-released by Revell as a "red" kit, so maybe they've addressed some of the problems.

Also, pricing of the kit is higher than NXT and you have to buy the software separately and most of the popular add-ons are a little pricey, too.

Jim

Eric D. Burdo said...

Pricey? Try downright expensive!

I bought a VEX kit off ebay (brand new, but a good price). You can't program it. You have to purchase the programming kit.

You know what the programming kit is? A connector cable and a CD. You know how much it costs? $99 (plus shipping).

Throw the other items on top of that, and it gets expensive. Plus, you need 14 AA batteries to run it (8 for the remote, 6 for the "brain box"). Yes, you can buy a power pack for it, but that costs you yet more money.

I am seriously considering selling my VEX kit and buying more LEGO stuff.

Jim Kelly said...

When I said "pricey", I was just being nice. Yes, it's a more expensive hobby kit and the fact that the software costs 99 and isn't included is a real shame and crime.

Jim

Anonymous said...

VEX parts suck. Cheap materials sold at exorbitant prices. For a nice sturdy prototyping solution check out Compact Technik's Automat system.

T said...

I agree that the VEX robot is very expensive and the main kit is incomplete. I got my VEX when Radio Shack put them on clearance and when kits and accessories where at least 50 percent off. Even after buying the programming kit, I found many programming functions were not included but the programming kit could be upgraded for more money.
I bought the VEX to learn about micro controllers and get experience using servos. The VEX gears fit with Lego gears and I have built combination Robot using Lego and VEX when I wanted a remote controlled robot. The size of the VEX and some of its accessories were other reasons I bought it. The omni directional wheels, larger wheels and tank tracks are nice for robots which are used outside.
Overall, the Mindstorms product is superior in my opinion and robots can be built and programmed much quicker than using the Vex system.
I hope we learn why the Vex is going to be dropped.
--Todd
Hobby Robots

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