Answered: Vex U - Alternative Cortex casing

Hello Karthik,

Could a Vex U team remove the Cortex from it’s outer plastic casing and use their own case / mounting method (made out of whatever materials (within reason) they please that do not count towards the extra material or 3D printed parts allotted to college teams (basically the same way the sensor housing works)), given that:

A. The board and components are not modified whatsoever
B. The new case is non structural to the robot (but may be structural to other sensors and/or co-processors)
C. The team in question is willing allow inspectors a close look at this arrangement in order to determine both A and B

To be clear, the Cortex electronics would not be modified at all, we’re just popping off the case and substituting our own.

The intent is to provide a more compact mounting method for the Cortex and other sensors / co-processors.

Pretty please, fingers crossed. -Cody

Yes, this is legal, provided that:

  1. There are absolutely no modifications to the Cortex electronics.
  2. All Cortex lights are still visible, and the Cortex on/off switch is still accessible
  3. That you can clearly demonstrate the not illegal modifications have been made. The onus will be on the team to prove that only the housing of the Cortex has been changed.

Awesome Karthik, I feel like this answer is particularly thoughtful and fair. Thanks for seeing the potential here.

Would light pipes (one for each of the LEDs) be an acceptable way to show the lights through an enclosure?

Also, would a custom knob that is still functionally attached to the Cortex’s on/off switch suffice for the switch part of this ruling? The Cortex switch is actually a little plastic part attached to a real switch, I’m asking if we can make our own.

For the onlookers who apparently like snooping through my FTP, think this not that.


These do sound like appropriate and legal modifications. However, please remember, the bigger the differences between this case and the original Cortex case, the greater scrutiny it will undergo from inspectors.

Thanks Karthik, I’ll post a more specific question if/when the time comes to clear up any ambiguities.

You’re welcome!

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