Future of VEX Electronics

I think we can all say that v5 (generally) is a good system and it was a much needed improvement from 393. Most times, people were doubling up on motors for 393, but now we can use just one motor for most mechanisms which is incredibly convenient. IMO others than some minor software and hardware changes, I don’t really think there’s a need for a new electronic system. So does that mean that we’re just going to have some modified version of v5 forever or will there be some reason for a change? These are just random car thoughts I had. Wdyt?


In the future, the technology in the motors will change and they will get better (stronger and faster). When that happens, a new electronics system will likely be released. But until then, V5 will stay as V4 (Cortex, 393s, legacy) gets phased out.


I disagree. V5 has plenty of power. I doubt vex will release game objects so heavy that only stronger motors will be able to interact. At this point. Vex might as well release new structure pieces and gears since such weight would break the current objects. I feel like vex should release more reliable, not stronger products.


exactly, the delay of the buttons on the v5 controllers and the easy to short out ports on the brain could use improvement before we need stronger motors


Maybe they could keep the motors as they are, but release a better controller and brain system to go with them.

I could see improved versions of parts being added to vex like larger batteries or maybe a higher power version motor.

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The V5 system itself leaves plenty of room for future improvement through firmware updates. This means that they can add support for new sensors, better control systems for the motors, or better functionality for existing devices (such as the vision sensor or the controller LCD), without needing to release new hardware. As a result, I’d expect these to stick around for quite a while

In terms of new actual hardware, I think there will be effort put toward more sensors—the VEX Inertial Sensor is an early example of this. Future ideas include Lidar or a 3-wire expansion port.

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Personally, I think it would be nice if we could use more languages on v5. In frc people are able to use python java and cpp. If newcomers in VEX know Java but not cpp, it would be nice to allow them to use the same syntax and compilers that their familiar with

Also I’ve heard a lot of people are exhausting the memory so a vex official memory bank could be cool

You can…
As much as I dislike mentioning it, Robot Mesh Studio has many different languages you can use. @John_TYler could explain more if he wants.

If you’re talking about storage, the SD card slot is the solution. If you’re talking about RAM…then you’re out of luck. The Smart Port busses are nowhere near fast enough to support some sort of external RAM (nor should they be). Also, if you are running out of RAM, that’s likely due to a memory leak or other programming issue—the 128 MB in the V5 brain should be more than enough for any application in robotics programming.

I do agree that more languages would be good (and as Taran pointed out, RMS does support Python on the V5), but it is a rather complicated issue. The NI roboRIO, used in FRC, is a much more powerful (and expensive) computer than the V5 brain, and it runs a full Linux system, which is how it supports Java (and also the source of many headaches). Hopefully we’ll see more language support on the V5 as time progresses, but in the meantime the options aren’t terrible.


One of the things that I think is very cool about the VIQ is that the smart devices are connected via I2C. I was kind of hoping there would be a crossover that would allow the smaller VIQ motors and the sensors to be used on VRC and that future VRC sensors would be able to be back ported to VIQ. This happened with the vision sensor.

There are a ton of I2C products out there, it would be nice to see that open up for our use.


The only issue I have with this is that I2C is not really meant for the long-distance connections that you see in VEX; from my understanding, this was one of the issues with the old 393 IMEs, which connected to the brain via I2C; RS-485 on the other hand, which is the bus used on V5 smart ports, is much better suited for the application (given its distance ratings and differential signal properties). Given that any device would need to be packaged with a 4P4C jack and voltage regulator in order to connect to the V5 brain, it’s not like off-the-shelf components would be able to be directly plugged in anyway.

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I2C at high speeds is good for 1 meter, about 38" at the highest speed supported by I2C, So unless you are hanging motors at the far end of a wall bot, it should be fine. The OP was looking at futures, I was trying to add to things I’d like to see coming up.

One of the things I love about FRC and FTC is more of the open architecture around the electronics. There are variety of motor controllers available, because they are hanging off the CAN bus.


V5 is a great control system other than its reliability. I see no reason to make it stronger, though I do wish the motors had a cooling system.