Pneumatics Penalty Removed

So I don’t know if anyone’s pointed this out yet, but the pneumatics penalty appears to be entirely removed.

from the tipping point manual:

<r18> Robots may use a V5 Robot Brain, up to eight (8) V5 Smart
Motors, and pneumatic components.

this completely changed motor distribution. You essentially have an extra power source of 2 pneumatic reservoirs. It would almost be foolish not to use pneumatics since it’s free power for your robot.

Which brings me to my point: why? I personally think this is a terrible change, because it means that you have to use pneumatics to get the max possible power. Which means you have to buy the expensive pneumatics components, and fit the bulky hardware onto your robot.

I would have liked to see a 1 motor penalty remain.

I’m curious what everyone else thinks about this change?

  • I love it, more power for me
  • I don’t really care
  • I dislike the use of pneumatics with no penalty

0 voters


I think this is going to hurt organizations that can’t afford pneumatics. I don’t know about most teams, but I don’t even know how to build with pneumatics.


Do you own pneumatics?

  • Yes
  • No

0 voters

It seems that the use of pneumatics without the previous drawback would reduce the number of motor sharing mechanisms, but with the knowledge of pneumatics I have, they would only be useful for a DR4B or another kind of lift: motors would be needed to power the intakes and maybe the mobile lift. This would, however, force teams to learn pneumatics to continue being competitive with other teams, and a change like this so soon I do not think is best.


pneumatics can and will be used for many actuations this season. With no penalty, it doesn’t make sense not to use them. Which I dislike, since it forces you to use pneumatics if you want full power.


Yeah I’m bugged by this. Some of our local teams are barely given the funding for 8 motors, not to mention proper parts. It would put them at a terrible (I might even say class) disparity because they won’t be able to afford pneumatics. That’s really unfair to me.


that, and also the fact that I want to be able to use maximum power without having to deal with the hassle of pneumatic components.


Dang, I just thought about autonomous with these things. Are there built in pressure sensors or something?

It’s been a while since I’ve participated in VEX, but I was under the impression that the two-tank limit was a check added in Skyrise solely because it was meta-breaking in Toss Up, and I think the motor trade off was introduced in Nothing but Net to further deprioritize pneumatics.

That second penalty was too much already, even with just a couple Cortex motors. NbN needed way more launches much more quickly than pneumatics could offer, the meta for Starstruck was a big claw, In The Zone technically had a potential use for a mogo lift (Tipping Point folk, get ready to call them mogos again since mobile goals is too long), but with clever motor sharing you didn’t really need to get to that stage, and V5 just made any tradeoff of two motors laughable for Turning Point, Tower Takeover, and Change Up.

Perhaps I’m not thinking creatively, but I genuinely believe a single V5 motor is too much of a tradeoff for this year’s game. Maybe a 5.5V motor, but not a full-stength motor. Combine that with the fact that pneumatics was kind of useless the past five years leads me to believe this move was more to extend the power of V5 without dealing with extra motors.

Then again, won’t organizations with funding already have a sizable advantage to begin with, like laser-cut plexiglass for custom parts? I do think there is a philosophical question of funding here, but I don’t feel that this move widens that gap a lot more, since you can play this game well with eight motors.

I kind of want to also argue about learning about pneumatics as a new experience, since it can be a great resource, but I do agree that funding overtakes that slight benefit.


I think it is stupid to say that 300 dollars for a 3D printer is too much when they ask you to spend 200 dollars per team to reach full potential. I really hope they understand that my org can’t just get 1000 dollars and some teams will be at a disadvantage. I really hope they introduce a 1 motor exchange.


Wait so you can use 8 motors and 2 pneumatics? I though it was meaning the motors and pneumatics had to go up to 8 components combined

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Yeah, you’re limited to 2 pneumatics, and you can use all 8 motors on top of that.

You can have 8 motors, 2 air reservoirs and unlimited pistons.

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Looks like pneumatics is becoming a lost art.

@Andrew-GOATS is right - limited to 2 air reservoirs (or sometimes people call it cylinder). Unlimited pistons.

This is so that all teams will have about the same amount of air for the actuations.

If it is unlimited number of reservoirs, it will be almost similar to unlimited motors.


VRC will almost always have a competitive advantage to teams with more money. If you can’t afford more parts you’ll be disadvantaged. the hardware is bulky but it’s worth the power. It’s just how the story goes. By that logic v5 should be banned because it gives the poorer teams with cortex a disadvantage it’s just how the world rolls. :man_shrugging:


Kind of. We have old Cortex pneumatics, I think.

It does appear that way. Give me a week or two I’ll be throwing something together.


That’s what I thought, but I wasn’t sure.

for sure, and the cost of pneumatics isn’t my biggest issue with the change. It’s the fact that pneumatics is now mandatory if you want to get full power out of your robot, and I would prefer a balanced tradeoff instead (I think 1 motor would have been a good tradeoff. )

the increased affordability would simply be a beneficial side effect of giving teams more of a balanced decision.


Now i am just so glad that my seniors decided to conduct a module on pneumatics to the juniors during Dec last year :stuck_out_tongue: