New VRC team questions

I am looking at starting a community based VEX VRC team this coming year (2019-2020 season). I do not have any EDR hardware at this point in time. A few questions for those with more experience:

–What would you consider essential for a new robotics team? Feel free to list parts, tools or other equipment (field, etc.)

–With the ongoing V5 rollout situation, what would your recommendation be on this issue? I am a bit nervous concerning V5 availability, but I am also hesitant to acquire a brand new collection of V4/Cortex gear that will only be legal for competition for the next 2-3 years. Thoughts on this would be invaluable.


Join the vex world coaches association on facebook. There will be a lot of help there on how to run a VEX program.

Answer the three questions!

What is your name?
What is your quest?
What is the airspeed velocity of an unladen swallow?

Unfortunately for this issue, I do not use facebook.

Touche. Do you have any more relevant suggestions?

OK, there are still plenty of mentors and coaches on the forum, too. My personal opinion: VEX will have their delivery issues fixed by next fall and you’ll be good with V5.

Here is a helpful thread to look at:

I’m not sure anyone has experience with the new 5V competition kits, as they are not shipping, but that may be worth looking at for a new team to get started. Add to that a “star drive” based team tool kit from to get the the team started.

but is it an English or an African swallow?

you really do need a full field, and a lot more parts than you think. a lot more. the best thing would be to create a place that a team can spend hours upon hours building and testing their robot from one place.

Make sure those parts are aluminum mainly, though!

You can make a field out of wood if you have the tiles (which you can get cheaper knock-off ones that work well enough). We’ve always gotten game elements but I’ve known teams that do pretty well who just improvise those and use only the pieces that come with the welcome kit.

Definitely v5 if you are going to start fresh and plan to compete (and this is coming from someone who doesn’t care for it, had lots of problems with it, and switched back to cortex for this season!). Cortex will likely only be legal maybe 1more season (maaaaaaybe 2, but I’m guessing vex wants it gone asap). Large learning curve and lots of expense for such a short time that will be duplicated when you switch to v5. Hopefully by next season they’ll have worked most of the (crazy amount of) bugs out.

As a student that helped make our club into a competition robotics program here are a few things we learned over the years that you need.

  1. You need a field, or at the least game elements to test with.
  2. lots of aluminum c channels, assorted sizes. These will be your bread and butter for building almost anything.
  3. the two advanced (ish) pieces I recommend for new teams are a linear motion kits, and then whatever sensors you can get your hands on. Even if you don’t make use of these yet they will be available when you are ready for them.

Of course I’m VEX there are so many things you can make use of, but hopefully those things can get you started.
P.S. our V5 clawbot kit was also great for fresh parts and V5 materials.