New Products - August 2021 (VEX IQ Gen 2)

I’m happy to announce something that’s been a long time coming for us, the second Generation of VEX IQ.

These updates mark a complete overhaul of the VEX IQ Control System, and Kits. Some highlights include:

  • Color screen on the Brain
  • International languages on the Robot Brain screen
  • Gyro sensor built into the Brain
  • Integrated radios to both the Brain and Controller
  • Additional controller “click” buttons on the joysticks
  • An improved battery that lasts 5x longer, without slowing down or losing performance
  • Improved Color and Distance sensors
  • Organized parts storage

We are now opening up pre-orders for the all new Education Kits and Bundles, and Competition Kits. Much like V5, we will only be accepting orders for Kits and Bundles for now, and will open up ordering for individual Brains, Controllers, Batteries, etc. at a later date.

Barring any setbacks, (famous last words, I know) we expect pre-orders to begin shipping out to customers in late September / early October.

You can find product pages for the new kits and bundles here:

And here are a few additional pages to answer any additional questions you may have

If you have any further questions, please don’t hesitate to reply below, or contact our Customer Service team!

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I’ve always thought VEX IQ was starting to slip with the level these students compete it now. This is a great advancement in the program!

What exactly prompted the change?

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Replacing the fragile ultrasonic distance sensor with an optical sensor looks like a BIG upgrade!

The integral inertial sensor is also a nice touch.

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Golf, there were a lot of reasons that prompted the change, such as making a better product. The 1st generation IQ was launched in 2013, and therefore was using electronics available in 2011. We are able to produce the 2nd generation IQ electronics, but the 1st generation IQ electronics can no longer be made due to global chip shortages.

See the beginning of the FAQ’s for more explanations.

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Are the motors in the 2nd generation kits more powerful?

Coming Soon

Does the Robot Battery (2nd generation) provide a competitive advantage?

Coming Soon

@Bob_Mimlitch_III do you have an answer for these questions? This information is needed in order to decide if we need to upgrade this season or not.

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Regarding potential setbacks, would the chip shortage not be an issue right now?

If we can have a VEX Pro version for VEX IQ 2gen, it would be great! Cannot teach advanced students with github/VEXCode, the main reason got us stuck in RobotC for advanced students who are going to VRC because of it.

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Another concern I have is the timing of this announcement. We have several new IQ teams starting this year, and since the school year started a few weeks ago, they purchased new IQ kits. We were unaware of the fact that a new system was coming out very soon (did I miss an announcement somewhere?). With V5, the new system was announced 8 months ahead of the original planned shipping date, and pre orders were opened at that year’s worlds. Here, both the announcement and pre-orders where opened about 1 month before kits are expected to ship. Obviously this has been in development for quite some time- I would have really appreciated more notice before we sunk a bunch of money into the V1 system.

Additionally, with the V5 launch, there was a trade in system for the old cortex equipment which gave a discount on the new V5 bundles. Will there be a similar system here for equipment such as the V1 brain and V1 controller?

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sazrocks, the FAQ answers are now available.

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Thank you.

Here are the answers, for everyone else that was interested:

Does the IQ Robot Brain (2ndgeneration) provide a competitive advantage?

Yes and No. The processor, RAM, and flash have been improved considerably allowing programs to run faster. However, the communication speed to all the motors and sensors has not increased. For most applications, no competitive advantage exists.

Are the motors in the 2ndgeneration kits more powerful?

No. 1st and 2nd generation kits use the same motors.

Does the Robot Battery (2ndgeneration) provide a competitive advantage?

Yes and No.

  • 2nd generation batteries uses Lithium-ion cells
  • 2nd generation batteries will operate five times longer without experiencing any performance loss.
  • 1st generation batteries suffer from voltage droop over time
  • 1st generation batteries can experience performance loss near the end of the match.
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Yayyyy!!! new batteries were very needed

Can you use first gen brains with 2nd gen batteries?

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It does look like VEX IQ got streamlined into the same config as EDR, looking at the new brain home screen, clawbot, and the kit structures.

Yes the new Robot Battery (2nd generation) works with the Robot Brain (1st generation).

All of the 2nd generation electronics are compatible with the original 1st generation electronics and vice-versa. Brains, Controllers, Sensors, Motors, and Batteries can be mixed in any combination between 1st and 2nd generation of IQ. The only difference in the generations is that the 2nd generation battery has a new charger. The 2nd generation battery will not charge with the 1st generation charger, and inserting the 2nd generation battery into a 1st generation charger will not cause any damage either.

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@DRow Are the old kits and bundles still available?

Does the IQ Robot Brain (2ndgeneration) provide a competitive advantage?

Yes and No. The processor, RAM, and flash have been improved considerably allowing programs to run faster. However, the communication speed to all the motors and sensors has not increased. For most applications, no competitive advantage exists.

@Bob_Mimlitch_III It seems to me that this answer is overlooking the fact that buying the new brain is the only way to gain access to the new 6 axis IMU. It seems to me like this capability would give a significant competitive advantage in many scenarios.

Edit:

Additionally, I have a similar question about the new Battery:

Does the Robot Battery (2ndgeneration) provide a competitive advantage?

Yes and No.

  • 2nd generation batteries uses Lithium-ion cells
  • 2nd generation batteries will operate five times longer without experiencing any performance loss.
  • 1st generation batteries suffer from voltage droop over time
  • 1st generation batteries can experience performance loss near the end of the match.

This list seems to only contain reasons for why the new battery will provide an advantage. Therefore, I’m not sure why the bolded portion says “Yes and No.” rather than just “Yes”

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Further questions…

  • It is my understanding that these parts will be legal for competition this year. Is this correct?
  • When will individual parts (brain, battery, rangefinder, etc) be available? We are especially anxious about this because of the significant competitive advantage some of the new parts provide.
  • How much will each new part cost individually?
  • What is the status of partner programming solutions for the new brain? I see that RobotC is no longer supported (disappointing), but what about RMS or modkit (is modkit dead?)?
  • Will existing programming solutions (vexcode, RobotC, RMS, etc) support new sensors and features on the V1 brain?
  • Will VexCode Pro support the new IQ brain since C++ support has been added?
  • Bob said above that it is no longer possible for VEX to manufacture V1 brains. Will there continue to be replacements and repair for damaged V1 IQ electronics?
  • Can you use a V1 controller with a V2 brain?
  • Can you use a V2 controller with a V1 Brain? If yes, will the extra buttons (clickable joysticks) be useable in programs running on the V1 brain?
  • Do IQ smart motors regulate their voltage in the same manner that V5 Smart motors do? The point being, would a higher voltage lithium battery give IQ motors more speed?

Less important:

  • What are the specs of the new brain? “4x CPU Speed, 12x Ram, 32x Flash” is kind of vague.
  • The new battery is listed as being 7.2V and Li-Ion. Is it actually 7.2v nominal or is it 7.4v nominal? I ask because standard Li-ion cells have a 3.7v nominal voltage, making a 2s Li-Ion battery 7.4v. Alternatively, is the battery actually LiFePO4 battery, just marketed as Li-Ion (as is the V5 battery), with a significantly higher voltage?
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The competition kit includes some very cool new stuff that used to be only in hexbug kits so im hyped

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We added these answers to the FAQ.

Why was 2nd generation VEX IQ released now?
The original plan was to release the 2nd generation of IQ next year after the end of the 2021-2022 competition season. However, global semiconductor shortages made the 1st generation system no longer possible to build in any reasonable timeframe. Our only option was to release the 2nd generation system now, as we can get the semiconductor parts for it.

Will there be a trade-in program?
No. There will not be a trade-in program for IQ 2nd generation.

Will I be able to compete with the 1st generation of IQ?
Yes. Both 1st and 2nd generation VEX IQ parts are permitted in REC Foundation VEX IQ competitions.

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Coding answers:

  1. VEXcode IQ is the only solution for VEX IQ 2nd generation.
  2. VEXcode IQ will support the new sensors on the Robot Brain (1st generation).
  3. VEXcode Pro is for V5 only.
  4. RobotC is not getting any updates.
  5. We do not control RMS so I can’t answer that.
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VEXcode today supports C++ with IQ 1st Gen (and will support 2nd Gen at launch). VEXcode will be adding Python for use with 2nd Gen shortly after release.

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