Connecting Smart Radios to the Brain

Smart Radio (Catalog Description of Smart Radios)
P/N: 228-3530

The Smart Radio expands the potential of the VEX IQ Robot Brain and Controller by enabling wireless communication with smartphones, tablets and computers using Bluetooth ® 4.0+ connections. When combined with apps designed to utilize the Smart Radio, this allows for wireless programming of robots, interaction with robots using smartphones or tablets running Bluetooth ® 4.0 or higher, and other advanced features.

For information on installing, updating, and connecting the Smart Radio, see the Smart Radio User Guide. The VEX IQ Robot Brain and Controller firmware must be updated to VEXos Version 2.0.1 before using the Smart Radio.

Question 1: Can you wirelessly program robots with a smart radio by using RobotC without connecting the computer to the brain
with a USB cord?

Smart Radio User Guide

Press the X Button to return to the Settings menu and use the Up or Down Buttons to select Radio Data On. Turning Radio Data on will ensure the Robot Brain can communicate with other Bluetooth-enabled devices. If Radio Data is off, the Robot Brain will be able to communicate with the controller; but, it will be unable to communicate with other Bluetooth-enabled devices.

Question 2: “Bluetooth Off or On” (Is this the same setting as Radio Data on or off in settings menu on the brain?)

VEXos Version 2.0.1 (Current)
Released July 2016
> Improved Smart Radio security with feature “Settings > Bluetooth Off or On.” Only turn Bluetooth on if connecting to a Bluetooth enabled device This setting will only appear when a Smart Radio is inserted.

Smart Radio User Guide (Unique ID)

When prompted in your partner app or desktop computer program (?RobotC), type in the Unique ID number displayed on your Robot Brain. When a Bluetooth ® 4.0 or higher peripheral device has successfully connected to the Smart Radio enabled Robot Brain, the Smart Radio Status icon will change to connected.

Question 3: I got the Robot ID number from the brain. Why is there never a prompt from the desktop computer
running Graphical RobotC to type in the Brain ID number. I think this must have something to do with the art
of “pairing” Bluetooth devices like a laptop computer with the robot brain. This is just guess on my part.

In the RobotC help file we found a section called “Getting Started with the VEX IQ Smart Radio”
1. We updated the brain firmware. (Version 2.0.1 July 2016)
2. We set Window > Menu Level to “Super User”
3. We set Robot Platform Type to “Use VEX IQ Smart Radio Features”
4. We went to Robot > Download Firmware. We chose the file "Smart Radio File (VEX_IQ_SR_1050.bin) and downloaded it to
the brain.
5. It says: once the firmware file has been download, your VEX IQ brain will be configured to use with the IQ Smart Radios.

The Icon on the brain still shows that the brain radio is on but nothing is connected to the brain.

We went to settings on the laptop computer and opened the Bluetooth settings. We turned Bluetooth on. Bluetooth searched for
a Bluetooth application and found none. I turned on the Bluetooth on my cell phone and the Bluetooth on the computer found
my cell phone. I paired my phone with the computer. The Bluetooth on the computer asked if the number my phone generated
was correct. I said yes and the computer paired with the phone. Then I turned on the VEX controller. The computer said VEX ready
to pair. I clicked pair. No message box came up to type a number in.

Question 5: So what do we do now? Thanks for any help. Dave Wallace

I read all of your documentation. It looks like smart radios won’t do what we want to do. We need to go back to dumb radios. We lost the link between the controller
and the brain two times this weekend in the Texas State Finals. I hope you are able to get these smart radios perfected. Thanks for you help. Dave Wallace

  • If the above is true, that RobotC does not support wireless programming (as seems to be the case from anything I have found so far), it seems the Smart Radio product description is seriously misleading, at least in my opinion. At least in Dave’s original post, the description made mention of ‘apps designed to utilize the smart radio’, but the current description on the vex IQ products page just states “…tablets and computers using Bluetooth ® 4.0+ connections. This allows for wireless programming of robots…” and also “Supports multiple connections (e.g. Robot Brain + Controller + Tablet”. I ordered my pair smart radios for the sole purpose of wireless programming based on this description, and with the product description, it seems it should have been a fair assumption that RobotC, which seems to be one of the primary programming options, would have been able to do wireless programming.

  • Sorry, that was partially venting my frustration of spending the last hour or two trying to figure out how get RobotC to connect via smart radio, only to find that effort looks to be futile. Overall I think the Vex IQ is a very well designed series, but this item does irk me a bit. If anyone happens to have info on if there are plans for RobotC to be able to do wireless programming (or there is currently a way!), and/or how soon in the future that may be released, that would be great!

I would like to add my frustration to this thread. Not only does it seem to be misleading advertising, but it leaves me (and everyone else using VEX IQ with students) with the same frustration of a weak micro USB connection on the brain. Of my 28 brains, over half of them are sporadic in their connection to the computers. I continue to have to send brains back for repair, this creates an extra cost for my program (shipping) and a huge inconvenience for my curriculum and sequence. I really held out hope that VEX was addressing a MAJOR concern with the Smart radio. It appears that was not the case.

I’ve been back and forth with VEX support about this issue for the past three months. They finally admitted that it will only work with an iPad.

I went back and forth with VEX support over the past three months. They finally admitted that it will only work with an iPad.

We also have smart radios on our robot and want to use RobotC to program the controller for teleop, so we can have 2 motors on 1 axel under command of 1 button.
Unfortunately, we cannot get even one of the RobotC sample (simple) controller programs to work.
We are downloading the program thru a wire - not wireless.We followed the steps to set up RobotC to be compatible with the smart radio.
What are we missing?