Cost for NEW IQ Team... How does it compare?

I would say this is the essentials for what a competitive team would need to start.

item price
1. VIQC Field Kit (Full 6’x8’ Field) 228-7396 $320.00
2. Super Kit 228-2500 $379.00
3. Competition Add-On Kit 228-3600 $114.99
4. VIQC Rise Above - Full Field & Game Element Kit 228-6503 $99.99

Order Summary

Cart Subtotal $913.98
ShippingFedEx - Ground $102.26
Order Total $1,016.24

Team and tournament registrations on top of this, $200+. This feels like a lot of money!

Can anyone do a similar cost analysis for a new FLL team? Are there any other competing products out there?


I would say that they only comparable robotics competition for VEX IQ is FLL. Here is what the FIRST website says about costs, but keep in mind that some teams might want to buy more parts (and there are like 3 kits to choose from- the one for hobbyists, the standard classroom kit, and the classroom add on kit.)


Sounds about right for cold start of a single team. I would add a battery, 2 more omni wheels, and a foundation add-on kit.

Additional teams are considerably less, we get a competition add-on about every other team (so you’ll need 2 more omni and 2 more motors every other team).

Here’s the bit I know about FLL:

EV3 Kit $465
EVC expansion set: $135

FLL Registration is $325 and includes the “challenge” (the game elements and vinyl “mat” used for the field). This is annual, while for IQ, it’s only $99 for game after the field is purchased. There are additional registration fees by state and event.

Biggest difference between FLL and IQ, in my opinion: Driver Control and programming for IQ (which the students love), it’s only programming in FLL. Next biggests difference, FLL season is really short, just a few weeks before the FRC tournaments start, so kids just get a couple shots at the events.


From what I remember FLL also has a research project based on the game each year.

Actually the game gets released in August and goes until the world championship which is usually in April. Plus events go on even after that. Here was last year’s schedule.


Yes, essentially a “required” STEM project. Used to be required for excellence award in IQ. Also a presentation (usually a skit) at a competition.

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Maybe the schedule was just a Michigan thing…FLL teams were often started by FRC teams to earn the Chairman’s award, then once FRC build season started in January, the FLL teams were left without mentors.

Years ago, before Team VIRUS split completely from FIRST, we would host Michigan states in December.


Maybe its been awhile since a did FLL, but I remember something like that. It’s like FTC as well for Michigan but thats for another time.

One benefit of an FLL team is that if its part of a school district that has an FRC program you can probably get mentorship help from the team. It depends where your located.

In my honest opinion FLL is a lot of work. The robot is a great learning experience, but doing a whole research project with a 5 min presentation for judges takes a lot of work.

While in IQ the students are only focused on the robot and the design process.


For single teams we do Super Kit and 4 omni wheels and an extra motor.

Every three teams in a “POD” we add the Foundation add on kit.
On the fourth team in a “POD” we add the Competition kit.

So Super-omni-motor, Super-omni-motor, Super-omni-motor, Foundation,Super-omni-motor Competition. Lather rinse repeat until you get to 20 teams. Then break the POD into two, add the fields and elements and repeat until world domination happens.

I’ve mapped this out to FLL, the big difference is that RECF is only $125 for the registration, then $100. We run our events as shared things, so all teams that hold an event can come to three if you don’t hold one then you can only come to one for free. (We have LOTS of events because of this) FLL events cost $200+ to go to.

And has @kmmohn pointed out the initial start up is more for the raw parts.

Since I hate the STEM Project (with an unbridled passion that startles my fellow STEM colleagues) there isn’t a reason for me to sign up for FLL. (And no, it does not come from Michael Mears taking first place away from me in the 9th grade Science Fair).

I do like that there is more programming, and maybe this years “Stay home and Program” year with VEX-VR will fix that some.

As always YMMV.


Not just a Michigan thing (the FLL schedule looks similar here in WV as well), but not universal either - some regions have their state championships later in the spring.

Another important difference, which I don’t think anyone in this thread has mentioned yet, is the qualifier system. In lots of regions, FLL teams get to go to 1 qualifier, and then the state championship if they qualify. Whereas in VIQC you can go to as many or as few qualifying events as you want.

Then there’s the number of spots at worlds. In a good year, WV will qualify 3-4 teams for FIRST worlds across all programs - roughly 1 FLL, 1 FTC, and 1-2 FRC. On the other hand, 19 WV VIQC and VRC teams qualified for VEX Worlds 2020, plus two VEXU teams, plus two spots at RAD worlds we would’ve given away if COVID hadn’t cancelled that state championship. We have more RECF teams than FIRST teams but not an order of magnitude more - seems like there are just more worlds spots to go around, which I think is cool.


For an initial start, that’s not too far off from what we had to shell out as a team (although the price of the field has gone up a bit, but it’s now 6x8). Even though we spread the cost amongst 5 to 6 families, the first year was a bit expensive. After the first year, it was mainly cost of registration, game elements, tournaments, and replacement parts.

When we started the kids had to decide between FLL and VEX. It was the controller that won them over. Plus, some kids had already competed in FLL/Jr. FLL and did not have great experiences from them and didn’t want to do FLL again.

The FLL season in California is really short. September to November. You get 1 qualifying tournament you can sign up for, and then if you qualify the regional tournament in December. Then if you qualify, worlds in April. Vex is a lot funner for the kids, and there isn’t the level of pressure FLL introduced with the “must be perfect for the one qualifying tournament”.


What is the age range of the participants because there is also Vex EDR and FTC, but they have to be old enough for those.

FLL is roughly the same age range of IQ (3rd-4th grade to 8th). So middle schoolers sometimes have a choice as to what competition to do (FLL/FTC or VEXIQ/VRC), although some schools might just choose one and stick with it.

Thanks to everyone that responded. I believed that I am on the right side of robotics history here but it’s nice to be validated.

This is often the first thing I bring up with people who are deciding. I don’t think I would have half the kids in my school program if they couldn’t drive the darn things. That’s always the first big AHA moment.

I had a friend that did FLL in her previous teaching position. It seemed like the majority of the kids on the teams of 10 or so didn’t even work on the robot at all because there was so much other stuff going on.

The way she described it (years ago) it seems like one of her FLL teams could have been three VEX IQ teams.

That’s not the @Foster I know… Didn’t we just sign a petition to Dan telling him that we demanded him to bring back STEM for excellence?

This is something that I was shocked when I heard about it for FLL. It seems like the best part of VEX IQ is seeing all of the changes and improvements VEX teams can make throughout the season. Isn’t that what engineers do?

There are a lot that changes for the students based on decisions that the adults and leaders at institutions make. We had a superintendent implement VEX in our country with a district grant, so I was told I would be teaching it the next year. Having never heard of VEX at the time, I asked for a kit to play with over the summer. Haven’t stopped since.


Ummm, not the @Foster you know. The @Foster I know has been an anti-fan since it first came out. I wrote in the early part of 2017

So first recorded public statement. Long term dislike, invoke @DanMantz or @Jim_Crane ask about me and STEM project and listen in the distance “click,click” is the sound of the painful eyeroll.

Happy to hear there is a new campaign to add STEM projects to Excellence, I can fire up the others that hate STEM projects to campaign against it.




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Sorry the sarcasm didn’t come through. You and I have been two of the biggest “stem project” haters out there!!! I am so glad it is going to an online challenge.


VEX IQ needs the stem project.
Also @sankeydd

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If you are a school team you can have your school submit a tax exempt form which you can get from the vex robotics website itself

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Sorry, that’s what I thought but wasn’t sure, it was stuck in the middle of some great advice. I’ve been known to change my stance on things (like I secretly think that all event finals should be B03), so it could of happened to you. :slight_smile: