New sensors! Coming Q3 2020 (basically now)

Not sure if I’m just blind or something, but I’ve seen no one talking about the new sensors announced on the vex website which to me is some pretty big news. Even the way more knowledgeable than me people didn’t know what this was.

(These are not Vex AI)

So here’s the rundown:

Inertial Sensor

So the inertial sensor yada yada you already know it, it’s amazing.

Optical Sensor

The optical sensor is probably the most useful sensor coming out. Because in change up with a design like 99999V. Depending on how good the sensor ends up being, it can make sorting through colors very easy cause I know the vision sensor is kinda janky.

Distance Sensor

The distance sensor imo is the least useful sensor coming out. It is based on light rather than ultrasonic makes it seem to me like it’ll be more accurate and because it’ll follow a straight path, rather than a cone (idk how the ultrasonic sensor technically works but still cool). The main way I see this being useful is to align with the wall with 2 back sensors like 16075B’s tp bot, but ramming the wall does like the same thing so idk and since it’s light-based It’s questionable if the light will go through the plastic parts of the field wall.


Rotation Sensor

Ok so at a glance I thought the rotation sensor going to be like a singular axis Inertial sensor and I was like, uh questionable useful? Boy was I wrong, it’s basically the v5 quad-encoder. I have been dreaming for the day a v5 quad encoder comes out because the quad-encoders are soo aged. First of all they are pretty big, the screw placements aren’t in the most useful spots and they’re asymmetrical so you have to flip one side of the quad-encoder so the cables don’t rub up against the ground. One major improvement seems to be that you can put high strength so you can track the position of an arm/lift which can be very handy because before you needed weird 4 bars or hs-to-non-hs axle adapters if you wanted to do this sorta thing. While I’ve still sorta sus about the stick form-factor, every improvement is very well appreciated. Lastly, even though I’ve been talking about it like it’s a quad-encoder, I’m unsure if it’s supposed to be like a potentiometer or a quad-encoder. My hopes are that it can act as both but I’m unsure.


3-Wire Expander

Okay, I think Vex fixed a problem here that no one complained about but a handful of people will appreciate. I’m a sucker for good cable management and have employed things like cable combs and buffer zones to keep things under wraps. But the spaghetti red black and white wires sticking out the side of my cortex have always been a mildly infuriating eyesore and being able to just tuck those in some dark spot in the robot is a blessing. Also being able to have more quad encoders, more whatever 3 wire stuff you want will be like a godsend for those who like to track left, right, side to side, put a pot here and there and maybe have a few limit switches to do something. And most importantly, I don’t have to choose between having position tracking wheels and a mechanical auton selector. Like come on, between a crucial step in programming that’ll win you hard matches and a slight quality of life improvement, I’m going to have to drop everything for the auton selector.


So yeah exciting stuff. On the note of PROS, I know that integration for these sensors is currently being worked on and will probably be ready for the launch of these.

Also, Q3 2020 is considered July 1st - September 30 so I think we can expect to get these in our hands by December but who knows really. I’m hyped


Just a heads up, these were announced a while ago…

Edit: Also, as you said, most people are excited for the 3-wire expander and the rotation sensor.


I guess you missed this.

Yes, PROS will have support for the new sensors soon, VEXcode Pro does already.


aw well delete this…


bruh I saw this post and thought they just got released or something smh


No problem, we are all waiting for them to go from “soon” to shipping now. :slight_smile:

I’m personally looking forward to the optical sensor the most, because the current vision sensor needs amazing lighting conditions to differentiate between red and blue balls, better than what you’d find at a competition, so it’s not really usable for that. and the line trackers can’t consistently tell the difference between red and blue either.

rotation sensor looks great too, it seems like it will be a fairly easy matter to use code to have it act just like an encoder, but lower profile and probably more precise I’d imagine.

3 wire expander will be really nice, and the distance sensor could come in handy too.
very happy with the direction vex is taking in terms of sensors.


It was already mentioned that the internal sensor is an absolute encoder which will allow it to act as a potentiometer and encoder. I am pretty sure it was mentioned it will be 3600 ticks per revolution aka 360 degrees incrementing in 0.1 increments.


I’m sure that there will be a guide released when the sensors are. Or at least a example program in VEXCode Pro