Cortex Should be Legal

Worlds this year, it would have been earlier but it’s another victim of everything that happened in the last 18 months.


So, you’re saying the new field controllers will be used at worlds? We knew it was coming, but that’s exciting news.


Interesting to know. It’s inevitable that cortex loses compatibility, and I don’t think these systems are expected to, or should be constrained to the limitations of cortex.

However, a local middle school tournament is not worlds, and I feel like exceptions should exist for this season in particular for events where cortex is compatible and the alternative is that a team goes home, unable to compete.


I like where your going with this. But in some areas, all the middle school teams had full V5 systems. I’m not sure where to stand on this topic. For the most part a Cortex robot would be dominated by a V5 robot of the same type. This then leads to @Sylvie (s) point saying they would otherwise compete.

I feel like RECF could even open a new division of VRC specifically tailored for the old system. Possibly even create a invitational showcase where teams use cortex systems exclusively. I’m sad to see cortex left behind because it’s nostalgic, but it is truly like upgrading your PS4 to a PS5.

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Just to build on this point, here’s a different viewpoint:

  1. By not reading the rules, 2 teams had a bad experience
  2. Worse, likely there was a waiting list and 2 teams that could have competed were not able to

Folks are putting a lot on the RECF here. Nothing is preventing students from self-organizing such events. In fact, I’m pretty sure @Sylvie and other students (apologies if I’m over- or under-including) put together a highly successful 1-v-1 remote tournament system last year that heavily influenced this year’s remote rules.

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Just to be clear - I do not see the students having anything part of this situation. I does fall on the adult mentor / coach not asking more questions and seeking resources to support the student-center journey. If a new organization - team - I think RECF Team Engagement Manager is going to be huge supporting teams (and counterpart Event Engagement Manager supporting new and all EPs). this will make regions stronger.

As an EP, I am glad this has been raised, end of the day I want teams to have a good experience. Some cases it is a no-win situation. But from discussions here, we can find solutions - “find the helpers” and make it work.


I can kind of understand how the mentor would have missed this. I think a lot of us, because we’re forum users who are super involved with VEX, don’t really understand the viewpoint of somebody who’s less involved.

Imagine you’re a coach who only knows the cortex as “that robot brain thing that makes the robot move.” If you think that’s an exaggeration, I can link you to posts on the forum asking questions about V5 in IQ and about programming the cortex in V5 programming subforums. So you’ve always used the Cortex, but unbeknownst to you this year it’s illegal.

But the only indication of that fact is buried in the boilerplate robot rules that look pretty identical to last year saying “don’t hook an Arduino to your robot”. So you miss it as you read over the rules.

An easy solution to this would just be a one pager of “important rule changes from last year” that covers all the things that have been true for like 8 years but no longer are. Like the fact that parts identical to VEX parts in all ways but color are no longer legal, or the fact that the Cortex is no longer legal.

If you’re communicating to a large group of people, and part of that communication is “if you don’t replace this thing your robot can’t compete” I think you have an obligation to make it a bit clearer than just having it buried in a list in R16a. Otherwise you’re gonna end up hurting the students the whole point of this program is to inspire. (And also, let us give them some leeway, because nobody is gonna be hurt by allowing the robot with the Cortex to compete)


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