New VEX Products???


#1

Congratulations to IFI on a great unveiling of the new VEX Pro products and the VEX IQ line last spring. No doubt RD has been busy, but with the new Blue baby IQ and the Green Hulk PRO, some of us are feeling like the Red-lettered middle child as far as attention to new products. The last real game changer was the mecanum wheels, how long ago did they come out? Speaking of wheels, how many types does Pro have and most of us are riding on ones that come out of FVC Radio Shack molds. Continuing with motion – Aluminum gears for Pro, need I say more (especially in turntables). And how about some pneumatics that are not cobbled together and a plastic accumulator so we don’t spend $300 in structural aluminum to drop weight and then need to put 2 steel tanks on. It would be great if we could get some decent bearings, Pitsco sells mini bearings for their CO2 cars, similar ones would really help. The big one - control, I would bet there is no one at 1519 Interstate 30 West , who has a smart phone as old as my Cortexes. Battery connections, and input/output connections that stayed in would be nice, and a power system which is designed for the 393’s would be a couple of places to start. You could add smart motors that are not subject to static. Gyros and yaw sensors that do not look like they came out our 2001 FRC box would also be great. Even something as simple as some battery extensions would be appreciated. Re-chargeable joysticks, maybe that recharge with a phone charger. And how about support for tablets and smart phones. Brookstone has an iPod controlled robot – how cool would that be? And programming with your tablet! We love the stuff you have developed. But with 7700 team strong, we want to stay on top of the crest. Does any one else have any ideas for new VEX products?


#2

Breathe and take a second to look through all of the new parts they just released for VEX Pro. This was a huge development and they obviously spent a lot of time on it.

Also, if and when they have major new parts for VEX, they would most likely reveal/release at the World Championships in April like they usually do. Especially since their primary focus has most likely been on the 150+ new parts they just released.

Great job IFI, continue to iterate and amaze.

My only wish is that VEXU teams could use all the VEX lines for competition. Maybe next season?

-Nick


#3

Metal gears like FTC have would be nice.


#4

Oh yes! Metal chain would be nice, but it would be really heavy.

I would also like to see wireless motors and sensors :wink:


#5

SMC makes the pneumatics and VEX Packages and resells it. Steel is the material pnuematic reservoirs are made of, there’s not much VEX or we can do about it.

What does this have to do with my club?

VEX is a relatively small company - they can’t be working on all lines of their products at the same time. We got release, then VEX IQ, and now the PRO line. Hopefully we’ll be the next in line, with a release coinciding with April World Championship.

Anyway, the big things I would like to see in the next big release are metal gears (hopefully some sort of strong lightweight alloy - not steel which is heavy and not aluminum which is weak), LCD Screen for the Joystick, fixes for IME problems, and perhaps a new low profile brushless motor.

Keep up the great work, VEX!


#6

I felt similarly at worlds last year. Hard to have enthusiasm for products not applicable to your team. I like those ideas you presented too.

Yes, metal gears in larger sizes would be nice. A 36 or 60 tooth metal one would be especially nice. Looks like they are starting to build them at IFI so how hard is it for a new center for Vex shafts? Or a square cut to fit in the existing shaft insterts (then you’ll get twisting of the shafts a lot more as the plastic is no longer the weakest link)

http://www.vexrobotics.com/vexpro/gears-and-gearboxes/vexpro-gears.html

Something more than the Delrin bearing blocks would be #2 request.

Now give IFI some credit - they did have one new Vex product release that is solving a major pain - VexNet drop outs. (hopefully) I bet this took a slew of engineering work that could have been used to bang out 4-5 sensors with the same hours/expense.

https://vexforum.com/t/announcing-vexnet-2-0/24845/1

I’m putting a lot of hope on this. We had about 12-18 teams a night practicing on a field right below this big metal bar. Add in everyone’s phones and a neighbor’s wifi router within range it was a lot of VexNet drop outs. People went to hard wired USB wires for a bunch of work due to drop outs.

I really hope the new keys help fix this. We placed the field there so people don’t bump their heads. This year we scrapped that location for a field due to drop outs.

[

Lastly, I have seen changes in packaging lately as a behind the scenes engineering work at IFI. That is an optimization of their shipping and warehouse costs but product work they are doing none the less even if it does not mean a new set of products are out there. With their explosive growth, you would think optimizing their warehouse would defer a big old expense of a facility expansion that so many new teams adds.

(replacement slider plastic pieces is also a product request that requires little additional engineering outside of packaging)http://farm9.staticflickr.com/8202/8194236838_399561da3b_n.jpg](http://www.flickr.com/photos/66331260@N08/8194236838/)


#7

All,
Thank you for your comments. We are hard at work on developing new items for all three of our product lines, and of course rely on customer feedback to make this possible.

As someone mentioned, our product releases for the VEX line are scheduled to happen at the VEX Robotics World Championship. While we will sometimes release items & changes in the middle of a release cycle, the norm is to make announcements at VEX Worlds.

-John


#8

Regarding the requests for metal gears:
This is a surprising request which we have not received since our release of the increased face-width High Strength Gears. Based on all the feedback I’ve received recently and our own analysis & testing: the VEX High Strength gears seem to be sized appropriately for even heavily loaded mechanisms.

Are you seeing failures of these gears which would require something stronger?


#9

I would like to see 84-tooth high strength gear. Currently, we combine two regular into one.


#10

I have never seen high strength gears failed. Plastic gears are strong enough. Metal gear is too heavy.


#11

The plastic high strength gears are great. They are lightweight and plenty strong.

There have been instances where I have broken teeth off of the high strength gears though. This was due to a design flaw on my part, not yours.

I agree with TVEX on the 84t high strength gears. They would be a great addition and far simpler than doubling up two of the low strength 84t gears just to get comparable robustness.


#12

I have seen numerous gears lose teeth. Never on 12 tooth hs though so I would be interested in a pack called “super high strength gears” that would be used on high torque applications were they are worth the weight.

I was incredibly surprised with the quality of the bearings inside the vex turntables but they are just way to big to be feasible in most cases. Why aren’t there “high load bearings” that don’t have crazy friction so that we can get the most out of the current vex motors.

Anyone else see behind karthik and JVN individual vex hs sprockets in bins? Why aren’t these for sale?


#13

I would like to see upgraded sensors which would be more accurate and less likely to break. For example I believe that the limit switch and the potentiometer are things that could be majorly improved on.

I would also like to see the wheels (omni and mecanum) have the same type of high strength insert as the high strength gears.

One last thing that has bothered me this year while building our robot was the fact that the bearing blocks did not fit right next to the inside edge on the aluminum c-channels. This is due to the fact that the aluminum structure is made slightly thicker than the steel counterparts. I wish vex would make a slimmer profile bearing block so that this problem could be avoided.

Overall I think vex has done a great job listening to our suggestions and improving upon them this year!

Thanks!


#14

We have broken the teeth off some of our HS gears. We also have broken the plastic parts that hold the metal inserts into the gears. I will post pictures of the damage tomorrow when I am in school.

+1 on HS 84 tooth gears

Also what about HS inserts for HS sprockets. We have turned many of our sprockets square plastic inserts into circles.


#15

Oh yes. We have stripped 3-4 last year, and a couple this year. That would be very nice if we could get those.

We have also broken a couple HS 60t gears.


#16

We’ve had kids break 36 tooth gears making them into 33 tooth gears. :smiley:

Losing the metal inserts and not having them sold separately is also sometimes a pain.

Also the profile of the gear teeth on the plastic ones are not the classic gear tooth shape that optimizes the power transfer you see on most metal gears.

+1 on high strength 84 tooth gears with a metal insert.


#17

Just wanted to say that my team has broken gears of all sizes. It is very possible to put enough torque to break any gears. Even the metal ones.


#18

Sorry that was an edit I missed - that should have been 7700 teams strong. :o


#19

My thread lead off came off negative, but I am angry that 2 years in a row VEX Pro has released 100’s of new products for FRC while the VRC/RECF family has been working REALLY hard growing our program, 7700 teams and 23 countries is amazing. We need new products. It is discouraging to see more products getting discontinued on the web page. The product release at the last 2 VWC has been really sparse and as mentioned earlier “a small company” which will need to support the new Pro releases between now and April 25th, I do not expect much different this year.

My hope of this thread is to help provide some really good ideas for the VEX R&D department.

Another suggestion - with the 1/4" set off it would seem that a few lengths of small timing belts could be offered and perhaps the pitch on the molds for the high strength gears could be changed to match and then we could have some belt drive options.


#20

Most of the team 134’s 10 teams use high strength sprockets because of gear failure in the past (mostly the 36 tooth), and the teams have stopped using turntables all together because the gear failure. Not so bad this year, (134A, 134B, 134C are using gears on their 4/6 bars without a failure after 6 events- they are using the 60 tooth and doubled up 84 tooth) but the Sack Attack loads last year were too much.