Methods of Programming the Robot

What are the different methods of programming our VEX Robot? This is our first year in EDR, and for IQ we only used RobotC. I was wondering if there were any other ways that we could program our robot for driver control and autonomous.
Thanks in advance.

I recommend PROS.


Towards the bottom of this page, you can find additional programming options other than RobotC. I would say that PROS is the most popular of those on the list.

I don’t honestly have a problem with PROS but that is just straight up wrong.

And I still recommend ROBOTC for new people.

Which one is the most popular? EasyC would be my (first or second) guess. It seems like it’s in serious decline and it doesn’t make sense for anyone who doesn’t already have it to buy it, but I could see there still being a lot of old teams that still use EasyC

If you use graphical programming, I find Blockly better for beginners than RobotC Graphical.

So I talked with some of the PROS guys and we came up with an estimate of between 2-3% of teams use PROS with a maximum upper bound of 5%.

I would be surprised if EasyC was less than 20% of the market share.

I’m going to try migrating one of my teams to PROS this year since it seems pretty similar to the arduino syntaxes I have used for a few years now. We switched to RobotC last season since Vex made it free. For NbN we used EasyC V4. RobotC has its IDE quirks, but I still prefer it over EasyC.

That seems reasonable. On the forum, it seems like no one asks about EasyC anymore, and I don’t know of any teams personally that use EasyC anymore either, but I’m sure there’s still a lot out there. (Obviously the forum and teams I know aren’t good sample). EasyC has got to be in heavy decline, though, with RobotC now being free and having graphical programming.

Are you talking competition teams or all users (ie. classroom use)?

So we were going off of competition teams but I can just give you the raw data we know about pros. The numbers were 800 installs and we were thinking something around 2 programmers per team.

If you knew ROBOTC download numbers or any guesses as to EasyC I would be curious.

I believe the easiest way to get into VEX programming is Robot Mesh Studio. It supports both VEX EDR and VEX IQ, and includes Python, Blockly, and Flowol (a flowchart-based programming environment) in the same SDK. Also included is our integrated VEX-specific CAD environment for VEX IQ (VEX EDR on the way) which allows you do build an online VEX IQ robot, then program and test it online.

(Disclosure: I work for Robot Mesh, but I have been helping youth build and compete with VEX robots since 2006.)

The PROS package for Atom has 1833 downloads, and that’s how I am working with PROS, so you guys may need to reconsider.

I’ll preface this by clarifying that keeping an exact count of our userbase is nearly impossible, so any conjectures about the number of people using PROS are merely conjectures, and should not be treated as absolute fact.

That being said, we do try to keep a reasonably accurate count of our users through Google Analytics in our Atom package. This allows us to keep track of the number of people who actually install and use PROS, not just download it. Since we introduced this feature at the end of October 2016 (roughly a month after the release of PROS for Atom), we have had 770 unique users. This number should be roughly accurate to the number of people who have used PROS at leasst once, although it does not include users who have disabled analytics in Atom, never updated Atom after downloading PROS during the one month window between its release and the introduction of tracking, and users who are still using PROS for Eclipse.

Since we do not support any sort of classroom curriculum, it is my assumption that no classrooms use PROS in the same way that many do with EasyC and RobotC.

That’s an underestimate. We used PROS for a non-competing team this year, and we will more than likely have 2 non-competing teams using it next year.

We have been using PROS for competition since sometime in NbN, so it makes sense for the non-competing programmers to learn PROS in case they join a competition team in the future.

Non-competing teams? I know new teams will sometimes crash and burn at competitions, but that’s the best way to learn.

Yes, it’s an underestimate, and noncompeting teams != classroom users (in the sense we are using).

Our analytics are far from perfect, and are really only to be used to get a (quite) general estimate of the size of our userbase.

Between money, commitment, and resources, increasing our number of competing teams was not viable for us. For the foreseeable future, we will continue with 3 competing teams.

Though, in recognition of competition generally being the best way to learn, we have sought to simulate a competitive environment to some degree.

My classroom does. I now teach using Robot Mesh Studio’s Blockly for the beginners and PROS for those with experience.