Moving into VEX Robotics from LEGO FLL

I have coached FLL teams and engineering students for seven years. I am looking to expand to other types of robots, programming, and challenges. I want to begin to dabble in VEX robotics this next semester and possibly with some summer camps to gauge if we should be joining the competitions next year.

My question is this,

What do I need to purchase to setup the challenge boards and challenges for 2015? I looked through the sites, but not real sure what I should buy. I have two VEX IQ kits and will basically use my existing robot teams to sample ideas. Do I need to buy a mat/board and then the challenge materials? Do I need to buy software?

I am just not sure what I should get to be up and running. Thanks

I migrated from FLL to VEX IQ as my primary focus over the past year or two (I still dabble in everything a bit, but IQ meets our program needs most effectively).

What do I need to purchase to setup the challenge boards and challenges for 2015?

A complete field for the 2015-2106 Challenge Bank Shot would be assembled from the VEX IQ Challenge Full Field Perimeter & Tiles (P/N 288-2550, $200) and the Bank Shot Full Field & Game Elements Kit (P/N 228-4251, $100).

Do I need to buy a mat/board and then the challenge materials?

Short answer - yes. The field perimeter & tiles are used every year, so the only recurring expense is the unique game elements. If an organization is really strapped for funding you could theoretically manage without either one and instead purchase only the smallest pack of game objects, but the teams probably wouldn’t be able to do the programming skills matches and driver practice for teamwork matches and robot skills matches would be rather difficult.

Do I need to buy software?

Short answer - no. At least one programming option (modkit) is free online. There are other options that do require a software license, however software options aren’t my area of expertise so I’ll let somebody else take that one.


PS - If you’d ever like to discuss IQ in a summer camp environment let me know! IQ day camp is pretty much my favorite program of the year. At some point I’ll get my act together and go answer my own questions from this thread here.

If you are just going to try to get VEXIQ started and wait for next years challenge (it comes out in April) you might want to check with teams in your area that have the prior years games. They will let you teach the robotics part and give you a running start on next years game.


I’ve coached FLL for about twice as long as you, and we moved from FLL to VEX a couple years ago, and are not looking back.

If you have two VEXIQ kits (Super kit is best with remote control AND sensors) you will be able to reuse them each year.

You need:

  1. VEX IQ Challenge Full Field Perimeter & Tiles - 228-2550 - $199.98 (again, reuse-able)
  2. VEX IQ Challenge Game Elements (this year’s challenge) $99.99

A) I would only suggest getting #2 if you want to attempt this year’s challenge.
B) I would suggest you attempt this year’s challenge.

Take 3 or 4 of your best FLL kids (hopefully kids that will be returning next year) have them build a “clawbot” and see what happens.

You’ll be way behind the curve, and have little chance of winning but as you know, there is a lot to be learned by simply attending an event.

Good luck