First look at VEX 5.5W V5 Smart Motors

Just out of the box from a V5 Workcell kit! Can’t wait to play with these. Image from iOS (4) Image from iOS (3) Image from iOS (2) Image from iOS (1)


the question is, will they be competition legal for vrc? and if so, how will they be accommodated through the motor limit.


Would you be willing to post pictures of a disassembly of the motor, similar to the pictures in my thread of the normal sized motor?


As the rules are currently written, these do appear to be legal for VRC, with the caveat that you are still limited to 8 motors total.

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What are the benefits of the new motors? are they less susceptible to overheating? or do they just run better and easier? If you know that is. if you don’t do you know someone who does?

Their main benefit at this point is size and weight, with the trade off that they have half the power of a full sized motor. Perhaps next season it will be legal to “trade” one full sized motor for 2 of these smaller motors in terms of the motor limit.


Ok thankyou. 20 characters.

well, I’m seeing in r18…

<R18> Robots use one control system. Robots may use exactly one (1) of the following four (4) options:
• Option 1: A VEX ARM® Cortex®-based Microcontroller, up to ten (10) 2-Wire Motors or VEX Servos (in
any combination up to ten) and a legal VRC pneumatic system.
• Option 2: A VEX ARM® Cortex®-based Microcontroller, up to twelve (12) 2-Wire Motors or VEX
Servos (in any combination up to twelve) and no pneumatic components, excluding pneumatic tubing.
• Option 3: A V5 Robot Brain, up to six (6) V5 Smart Motors, and a legal VRC pneumatic system.
• Option 4: A V5 Robot, up to eight(8) V5 Smart Motors.

from this I would assume these are not competition legal, since these do not fit into any of these options, unless they can be considered V5 Smart Motors, which is debatable. On one hand, they are referred to as “V5 Smart Motors” on the website. But, they obviously aren’t the same as the larger V5 Smart Motor that the manual is talking about.

So I would assume that for now they are not competition legal, although a q&a on legality or a Manuel update could change that in the near future.


I think that if these motors were legal, there would be a limited trade off. Pneumatics are all or nothing, so I think it would be 2 normal motors for 4 smaller motors


they are referred to as “V5 Smart Motors” on the website.

That’s all that’s necessary for them to be legal, especially when you consider R15.

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fair enough. It’s not like it would be viable to use these for now so it isn’t really an issue.

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I disagree, I would for sure use these on my rollers since they don’t pull a lot of power, and I could do everything as I do now with them. However, I would reduce the weight of my robot

I would even be willing in some scenarios to go from 2 normal motors for 3 small motors.


Yes, you may not need more than 5.5W of power in your rollers. But, if we assume that new smart motor uses a smaller internal motor, then it is likely to have smaller thermal capacity and would overheat faster than the original motors under the same load.

Smaller weight and size is definitely an undisputable benefit, but limited power margin is likely to outweigh it in the majority of cases, unless the new game rules allow a trade-off to increase the motor count.


really? you think the reduced weight is worth the loss of motor power? I mean for sure 8 v5 motors of power is vastly more than is needed to play a game as low-power requiring as change up, but you probably wouldn’t be able to run intakes quite as fast with these weaker motors.

would the increased drive speed possible with the reduced weight from switching 2 large motors with 2 small motors really be worth the reduction of intake speed? possibly idk. But my intuition says no.

I agree. now, if they allow you to trade 1 large motor for 2 small ones, they would become incredibly useful. Personally though, I think this would make motor distribution too easy, instead I would prefer a 2 for 3 trade in, that seems more balanced to me.


Image from iOS (7) Image from iOS (6) Image from iOS (5)


When everything was cortex I saw many teams use servos or 269 motors in places where the power of a 393 was not needed and the weight could have been a concern. For In The Zone I had two teams qualify for worlds and make eliminations with a servo intake. Not necessarily useful in all games, but could have uses. When the motor limit inevitably goes up next season or the following you may see teams have uses for these.

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I definitely agree there are uses for a small motor where the weight benefit is far better than the power loss. claws in itz are a great example, because having more power on your claw will in no way make it faster, you just need enough power to grip (or open if you use rubber bands to passively grip) your claw. So a light motor makes perfect sense to use in that situation.

why would the motor limit go up? Initially this seemed to be the consensus because going from 12 393’s to 8 v5 motors was a big difference to everyone, but the thing is 8 v5 motors are already too much power for some vex games, like change up. I don’t expect the motor limit to increase in the near future, simply because it would make everything far too easy.

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They put 20 ports on the brain for a reason. The biggest driver of the 8 motor limit is to make cortex somewhat viable for teams who did not have the funds to upgrade. Opening up more motors isn’t about making robots faster, it allows teams to have a greater number of actuations on their robot. In turn, it allows for more complex games to be designed.


Another post that I am sure won’t age well. Maybe next year’s game will be a weight lifting competition. Jokes aside, change up is a relatively easy game (the challenge comes with speed). Maybe next year it will be hard to score and the challenge will come in scoring more than 5 objects in a match.