Did VEX ban the Cortex system?

I just read the game manual for Tipping Point, and it seems as though the GDC is not going to allow teams to use the Cortex system, per “Robots are built from the VEX V5 system. Robots may be built ONLY using official VEX V5 components, unless otherwise specifically noted within these rules. Teams are responsible for providing documentation proving a part’s legality in the event of a question. Examples of documentation include receipts, part numbers, official VEX websites, or other printed documentation.” Also note R18, R19, and R20.

I have not used Cortex since middle school for STEM class, and my first year in competitive robotics was with V5, so this does not affect me. However, do other teams still use Cortex for competition, and will this affect teams?

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cortex has indeed been discontinued for competition. I really don’t see why this change was necessary, since cortex is obsolete anyways, but yeah that’s a thing now.


Yeah I mean I get that it was probably going to happen eventually. As an inexpensive option, I think starting off with Cortex is a nice way for underfunded/new teams to dip their toes in the water before jumping into the world of V5. However, now this is not possible, at least on a competition level.


I think people are ignoring the benefits. If they only allow v5 they can make newer competition control software that has extra features and interfaces with V5 controller. Up until now they had to maintain compatibility with the cortex so they couldn’t add new features.


This is a very valid justification of the continuation. As a web developer I still have to make sure my websites are compatible with Internet Explorer, despite it having zilch users!

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Funny you say that…
just saw this on my twitter feed today.
Microsoft is finally retiring Internet Explorer in 2022


This change has me kind of worried, honestly. So, my team was fortunate enough to get to use V5 this last year, while the rest of our org was using Cortex. Now, thanks to us needing to raise about $16,000, we might not get to compete, because our robotics teacher needs the V5 sets for classes(which is how we had access. No one was building in classes, so we got to use the hardware). While I completely agree that the hardware is far inferior, and competitively laughable compared to V5, it kinda sucks that I might not get to have a Freshman season at all, at the root, due to Covid.


This has been anticipated for a while and has been standard procedure anytime the system changed. There was a 2-3 year grace period where the old system was still allowed before being retired. It happened when going from the original PIC brain. First using radio crystal communication, then moving to the Cortex and now to V5. It is the inevitable march of progress.


I’m under the impression that the controls offered by the towers is pretty simplistic (auto, driver, disabled) There are a ton of EPs out there that have multiple towers, etc. If RECF decides that we need new control systems hope it comes with a pretty extensive trade in program.

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I think RECF/VEX has already signaled that more sophisticated field control solutions were coming - look at using V5 Robot Brain as skills field controller - look at radio-radio capabilities … I think we see the path ahead that it is no longer a matter of which cat5 cable pin is hot or not, that the future is with new VEXNet protocols and sophisticated software on V5 Brain controlling the match… I have suggested putting a communication delay in challenges to mimic communication delays between control and destination which can be planet away in the solar system… or putting autonomous mode in some random spot during the game - all these are real world experiences.

For team - these advance challenges could be phased in depending on team experience. Novice teams could have straight forward communications with their bots, while more sophisticated ones could be challenged with delays, drop outs, etc

Maybe for VEXAI and VEXU crowd.


Yea, let’s make the control system even more complicated so I can argue more with roboteers about field faults. :smile:

Cool, drive for 30 seconds, auto mode for 15 then driver for 60. I like it.


On the contrary, one of the advantages of the new system (just a rumor…) is that diagnostics will be greatly enhanced.


could be even worse - hypothetical game “Dark Side” earth moon mission - there is a point where there is a loss of signal when with mission control … so LOS is a real world situation faced in interplanetary travel.

so instead of fixed point for autonomous, it could be a point where LOS occurs in challenge scenario.

but that will never happen :slight_smile:


Cool so it’s not based on V5 brains, good to know.

Oh ye of little faith. That’s not what I said.


Oh please no. I do not want V5 brain competition control. That sounds like a recipe for disaster.


I will disagree. V5 Brain for skills has been excellent option both for teams and EP. Teams can verify process and not worry if match field control switch was doing right things. For EP, you know that the V5 Brain would use proper frequencies for match control always. There is the advantage that as an EP you did not have to worry about those CAT5 cables being smashed.

Note, only have seen the skills option - have not seen full 2v2 in person tournament configuration and how it would interface with TM … but I believe it is the right path.

Moreover - it could provide second life pathway for those V5 brains that have a blown port, or two, or … and still able to count down seconds to end of period.