A few ideas for new VEX products.

I’ve been meaning to post these ideas for a while now and just haven’t ever gotten around to doing it.

I was thinking that a LCD module with some user programmable buttons on it would be nice. It could just plug into the TX and RX ports on the microcontroller. I know that some people have interfaced their own LCD modules to the VEX microcontroller, but I think that it would be nice to have a finished module that was designed specifically for it. Anyone would be able to use it from beginners to experts. It would be great to be able to display variables or other information right on your robot, especially if you were trying to check sensor readings at a competition.

The other thing that I was thinking of is also something that other people have interfaced on their own, but again it would be nice to have a finished product and not just something that I put together on my own.

This item would be some kind of signaling device for VEX - either a light or sound module. I was thinking that a light module would be great for VEX especially during a competition or even at home. You could use it as a visual indication that your robot is in “Autonomous mode”, running a specific part of a program, or that something is wrong. You would be able to easily see it and have an idea of what is going on with your robot.

I know that other people have mentioned cost before and have said that if a new product costs too much that they would just make it themselves. And I know that some of them will say that about these ideas too, but I disagree. After all the money I have invested in VEX and other robot systems like LEGO Mindstorms - I would rather spend a little bit of money for a nice finished product. If I wanted to make it myself, I would have just done that to start with. That’s the whole point of buying something like VEX or LEGO Mindstorms - you don’t have to make everything yourself. You buy a set of parts and hopefully new accessories as they become available so that you can concentrate on building and programing something without having to design everything from the ground up.

Thanks for listening,

some cool ideas…i completely agree that you can make them but it’s nice to have that professional look and competition legal parts


I wasn’t sure if anyone else would think they were good ideas or not and it’s nice to know that I not the only one who would like to have nice finished parts.

I agree. I would like to have a display. If you don’t want your robot hanging off your computer from a cord so you can use the print to screen thing, you can just add a display. I’m a beginner, so I’m not very experienced in electronics and i don’t think i would really be able to hack a display and make it fit for vex yet.:frowning:

P.S. Nice speech!:slight_smile: :slight_smile:

alright, how about we split the difference? The cost would shoot major high by the additon of a screen directly to the microcontroller itself…and buttons would make it look rather unprofessional. Not to mention that the addtion of a screen would zap the batteries super fast.

so, here’s my solution: have a small additonal module (like something that would plug into an auxilliary port) that could send out bluetooth feedback and link it to your cellphone (or other bluetooth enabled device, such as a PDA), and then you could control it via the same device?

Not to mention…the price would be siginificantly lower, AND the screen would be full color. I mean, hey, who doesn’t already have a phone, and if you have it, why not use it?

I also thought it would be cool to have a speaker addition available for the vex, kind of similar to the vexplorer camera (which makes for awesome control when not in the same room). The microphone could just “adhere” to the top of the remote, and then the speaker itself would just mount to the robot. When used in conjunction with the camera, it could make for a nice communications method. Even better: if the microphone came equipped with buttons that would make it release certain pre-programed sounds, such as a siren or a “robot-style” beep.

They are working on a Vex LCD, there have been a few posts about it here.

also on the speaker thing, make it with port to fit an MP3 player or Ipod, you know, just a standard jack…

Just say “no” to bluetooth for controlling robots. The next generation VEX controller is going to use WiFi.

I don’t have a phone or any bluetooth device, and i don’t ever plan on gettin’ one…

I can’t wait until the Wi-Fi contollers come out. I hope by the time next year’s game is released they will have it out. Does anyone know when the Wi-Fi will come out?

I can’t say for sure, but I would be surprised if both the power extender and the new control system weren’t out before the new season starts in August.

Just order my VEX Saturday so this may be old but there are no crown gears, jack shafts, or universals.

I think a universal join could be quite awesome and useful. I had to look up a jackshaft, and it seems like it could be two things. A shaft with universal joints on both ends, maybe covered… or a round “gear” (or what ever) with an offset anchor. I assume the first, because the second can be achieved with the holes in the gears.

I never used the crown gears very much in the Lego sets, but I wouldn’t object to seeing one for Vex.

I hope so too! I am anxious for both of these new products to come out, but especially the new control system. It should be well worth the wait.

I’m also anxious for the LCD to come out. It’s kind of nice when something you have suggested gets made into a new product - although I’m sure that other members probably suggested the LCD too.

I think that some useful products would be, springs and bigger tank tread sprockets. The springs would fit on axels and could be used for suspension, grippers, or anything else. The bigger tank-tread sprockets(3-4in) would also be useful. Just my opinion…

Springs = do want.

It would be just awesome to have a Vex bot with a real suspension system. I’ve actually used springs from a ballpoint pen on an axle to build a servo controlled spacer launcher before, but ballpoint pen springs aren’t what you’d call long.

most hardware stores (Lowes possibly, but you’re likely to have better luck at a local, non-chain place) usually cary a large assortment of springs. At one store, i saw enough variations of springs to do just about anything from a super-tiny job to a full-out one. Now for this you’ll probably want compression springs if i’m not mistaken…

and if you had a robot big enough, you could always salvage a really old mattress… :smiley: