New Products - February 2022

Why are these needed. We have been told on multiple previous occasions that static is not an issue and that the V5 has static protection.


Well it obviously doesn’t, and so for the many who do not want to pay more to buy new hardware that is actually static proof, this is a good alternative. Vex is offering a solution to the problem that teams can use. While vex certainly did mess up with the static issues, be happy that they are offering a solution that will hopefully work rather than just leaving teams with these issues to suffer.


Interesting choice by Vex to attempt to address a potential source for white-screens and blown ports.

On the one hand, this may go to the source of static generation.

On the other hand, this doesn’t directly protect the Brain and its ports.

Having teams upgrade wheelsets at $40 a pop to protect (possibly) old and new Brains versus having teams shell out $500 (or whatever a new Brain is) to buy a new Brain with better ESD protection could be cost-effective, especially for teams who have already invested in Brains, plus, probably easier on the product-design and supply-chain life cycle. And maybe reduce warranty/RMA work for Vex.

EDIT: That said, given the “antistatic tiles” don’t seem to have abated much in the way of blown ports/white screens (at least in my experience), I’m not sure that anti-static wheels will improve the situation.


I mean if you have a major glaring problem that affects literally every user, why fix it when you can release more products?


It’s definitely a regional issue due to atmospheric conditions. I have never had a team with static blown ports. I’m always surprised by the outcry over this.


Any shot at a trade in program for the dozens of wheels I have now that are perfectly safe to use in my hot humid climate?


I feel like there’s multiple factors besides just climate.

For instance, at Google’s signature event in California there was only one practice field and it can have up to 15 robots at a given instance:

We blew about 10 ports on this practice field with our cap bot back in 2019. There was so much static that if you hovered your hands over the field you can feel your skin tingling pretty heavily. I feel like this, as an extreme example, can show that not only region is important, but also how active a field is at the tournament.


I’ll probably add on to what Connor said.

I’ve probably only blown 1-2 ports for the past couple of years. Taiwan is a very humid place, so static doesn’t really build up as much.


We have had a very big problem with ports going out. Our team is on our 8th brain because we run out of ports, this has been over the past three years. We are in Utah where it’s pretty dry and hot.


Same issue here in Colorado. Static blows our ports so often we are almost on our third brain this year, we have just enough ports left on the second brain to keep our robot working. Our entire first brain aside from 2 ports got blown and all but 8 got blown on our second one. The dry climate and the altitude makes static build up so much easier.


In Arizona we have a bit of a static problem, but no one in our 5-team organization have blown a port due to static, just sometimes you get a bit of a shock when you touch the robot.


We blew 7 ports to static and had to replace our brain but as long as we keep our wheels and field clean, motors lubricated, and spray staticide in high friction areas, we dont have any problems other than a slight shock.

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Our team NEEDS these (I have ptsd after blowing 7 ports on one of our brains)

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lol this would help my brain has like 10 blown ports kinda unuseable for competition use

So the real question is: “How many teams would replace existing brains with new ones with antistatic upgrades in them?” I’d rather bite the bullet now and replace them. The current death by a thousand cuts (or 20 ports dying slowly) is far worse.


I’d order ASAP, but with the anticipation that we wouldn’t get them shipped for a while since I don’t think the shortages have gotten much better.


ideally I would be able to wait until all the unprotected brains have perished before replacing them with protected ones, but given how quickly components go out of stock these days I would probably buy protected ones as soon as they would be available, since by the time they actually arrive my unprotected brains will probably be all dead.

but given how many years it’s been since v5 launched, I don’t have any faith that this issue will be fixed, or that there is any intent whatsoever to fix it. And just saying, it does open up a market for anti-static products that would otherwise be unnecessary.


Teams in places like the UK where static is not really that much of an issue (high humidity) might not replace

I would rather buy a new brain with protection to the transceiver chips than keep spending money on antistatic tiles, antistatic wheels (although rims with screw holes are very welcomed), what’s next antistatic shafts made out of special secret Chinese antistatic alloy at 5x the price? Last weekend at a qualifier our top team whitescreened (EP promised all fields had new antistatic tiles). Driver asked head ref if the match will be replayed, answer was a very abrupt “No”. Bunch of teams came to the rescue with the appropriate game rules in hand and the match was replayed. They whitescreened again. Event decided no more replays for them for the fear of running late. This team never ever had a whitescreen before (they did burn many ports though and this is their second and last brain this season, we’re out and VEX is out). Not making any point, just confirming facts.


Not sure how this got missed in the announcements: VEX Avatar Assortment Pack - VEX Robotics

Every IQ robot needs a driver!