Mobile App for Controlling VRC Robot?

Hey all,
I am wondering why the Vex Pilot mobile app for iOS and Android does not allow you to control a robot using the VRC brain?

Why is this not supported in the app? Does anyone have suggestions for how I could build a version of this app that can remotely control a robot using a VRC brain?

It is only for these kits:
You cannot control your robot simply with just a device (like an iPad or android).
To control your VRC robot, you need either an autonomous program, or a driver control program that uses the controller to make the robot move/do stuff

First of this, let’s think of the legality of this, we aren’t even able to use 3rd party motors, in addition phone calls are illegal in matches. If VEX added this, why would people buy controllers, they can just use third party controllers and bind them to their phone. It’s a profit loss, and something VEX can’t do without losing a major part of their margins.

Also to ensure that teams dont cheat during competition. Also to plug into the field control system.
Besides profit, there are a lot of reasons vex requires you to use their controllers

@Railgunawesome Gives very useful points, without regulation of every mobile device, some can be used for cheating, even with bluetooth pairing of the controller to the game, some people may get hacked APKs of the program/app and cheat.


I don’t think the question was about competition legality. There are other uses of VEX besides VRC. For example those funny contraptions people bring to worlds (moving sculptures, roving friendly humanoid robots, self-moving carts, …) could use phone to control them.
@RoboCatz had a valid point that even for such a use case, you’d still need a driver-controls like program to translate any phone input into motor commands, but let’s assume you already have that working with the official V5 controller. Well, the V5 VexNet radios do support bluetooh communication mode (again, not legal for competitions, but you can switch the radio to bluetoot to play with that on non-VRC use cases).
Once you have a brain accepting control commands from the controller over bluetooth, you can observe the communication and emulate it from a phone app.

I haven’t tried that for VRC/V5 yet (much anyway), but apparently the V5 bluetooth protocol is similar to that of Vex IQ Smart Radio, which is reasonably documented (including SDK and demo applications) on the Smart Radio product page, see

If you’re proficient in writing phone apps, you should be able to pick up from that point and write a controller emulator, or even a very different app that just happen to use the same channel for encode a control paradigm very different to 2 joysticks and a bunch of buttons…


Quite a bit different and easier to use.
vexos 1.0.9 now has the BLE data channel enabled (well, it’s in settings) allowing future download etc. from iPad and other BLE enabled devices. V5 will show as a BLE peripheral, IQ was the other way around. However, BLE cannot be used at the same time as VEXnet.