Idea - Vex Mobile app

A vex controller app, it would be so cool to control your robot from the app, with custom buttons. You could configure a UI to your heart’s content. I think it’s a good idea, anyone else?


That just sounds like Lego mindstorms with extra steps, but could be cool


Honestly I think theres massive potential. It would be cool if there was bluetooth functionality that allows you to control your robot by sending signals. And VEX could make a Python Package API so that you can send commands from and to the computer. This opens a wide range of capabilities like using the vision sensor for reading what the robot sees using OpenCV, and making the robot move based on those machine learned readings on the computer side. This could also allow you to wirelessly control the robot using external sensors on the computer as well.


probably making it not competition legal but still a feature you can use for the V5 system.


They can have it so that the robot disables bluetooth when connected to the field.


(edit: reply to


might be best to make it not competition legal so there is no competitive advantage, but it is a tool that teachers and people using V5 for a hobby rather than competing can utilize.

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we did it freshman year with LEGO EV3 mindstorms (stupid name btw, one brain is called a mindstorms), and it wasn’t too mush of a distraction, because all coding is done on the computer, only driving is on the phone (and you can tell when someone is or isn’t driving).



If you don’t have the restraint to not fool around on your phone when you’re driving with it, that’s your problem. So long as it’s not competition legal (feel like letting it be legal would be opening a wormhole of issues), I see no reason why this shouldn’t be a thing, definitely sounds like fun to mess around with, especially if you can make custom buttons and whatnot.


seems like it would be a cool experimental tool, but I doubt anyone would use it for competition purposes. There’s a reason most people don’t use touchscreens for video game consoles, it’s near impossible to find the buttons without looking down, and difficult to develop that muscle memory. And you don’t get any of the physical feedback from pressing real buttons or moving real joysticks.


An app for iOS and Android is in development that allows remote viewing and control of the V5 Brain’s screen. This greatly extends the usefulness of dashboards by allowing viewing while testing and practicing. The app will additionally turn your phone into a sensor, allowing your robot access to time and date, GPS location, gyro and accelerometers, and the ability to Tweet.

Wow, almost as if VEX promised us this over 4 years ago.


V5 has built-in support for programming it over Bluetooth so, I would imagine, they could expose an API for user control or a serial communication channel to third party applications as well.

But, there is, probably, not enough demand or business use case that would justify investing dev time into it (would be nice to have as an option, though).

We tried to experiment with controlling vex robot from a phone and the conclusion was that touch screen interface is nowhere near as convenient as an ordinary joysticks.

Although, it was nice to have a large display with capability to send back and show various debug information.

Also, you could define custom modal controls and annotated buttons for various infrequently used functions, but you can easily “annotate” your V5 controller buttons with some white tape and sharpie as well. :slight_smile:


I theory the v5 brain already supports this, but the functionality is undocumented. Here’s a post explaining generally how it works:


It’s all in there. You cannot use VEXnet and BLE on the V5 at the same time, you have to choose which to use, and BLE is not competition legal. On the user code side you just use stdin/stdout so it’s easy to use. On the PC/Mac side WebBLE works pretty well, we just have to document the required characteristics at some point, it’s just not something 99% of our customers would ever use. For what it’s worth, the same functionality is also included with IQ2 and EXP.


It would be a cool idea to open up a virtual controller in VEXCode and assign keybinds to immitate an action using a keyboard for convenience. Additionally would be a cool idea to connect an XBox controller to your PC and control the robot via the XBox controller thru bluetooth or usb/vexnet

This can also open up possibilities like playing games using keyboard and mouse on the V5 brain

Damn though, it makes me sad that so many features promised did not come to light. It would have been really cool for mock competitions with peer-to-peer, alongside being able to program with a phone (sad it is only limited to iPad, which is very niche).


didnt see that, sorry

No need to apologize lol, I was making fun of VEX for not keeping their promises, not criticizing your neat idea.


Ah, I see.
(20 char)

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Hey jpearman.

I’m gonna be going to a hackathon this saturday and plan to build a VEX robot that autonomously moves with computer vision (talk about timing lul). Do you know of any way to control the robot via bluetooth using VEXCode? Like, I just need some way for the brain to receive bluetooth signals to control motors


As I said earlier in this topic, there are ways to achieve this with V5 but we have not prepared any documentation or example code, it’s not something I can just explain in a few paragraphs in a forum post. Your best bet would be to use some type of bluetooth to serial adapter (perhaps an HC-06) and the old cortex system.