Programming Software

Last year was our first year in robotics. We had a good year overall and are excited to do more in Ringmaster.

One question we have had is around programming. Last year we used RobotC which appeared to be very stable and reliable program. At one of our meets, most of the other teams were using ModKit which allowed them to program on the iPad and download without a wire, which seems easier. However, I have seen mixed reviews on its stability and repeat-ability. I would also like them to move beyond the “drag and drop” programming this year.

Can the experts please let me know your experience with either of these, or if there is a better option out there? We have the bluetooth transmitter, but plugging the cord in isn’t a big deal.



Almost all of our VEX IQ teams at HCS (teams 6210*) have used ModKit for the 3 years they have been competing in VEX IQ. They have had lot of success (top 5 MS Skills/Programming Skills for 3 straight years, and 1st in ES Programming Skills at VEX Worlds 2016). So… ModKit is capable, stable, and repeatable.

A few of the HCS teams have also used Robot C, and there are a couple things that ModKit does “behind the scenes” that RobotC does not do:

  1. Allocation of processor resources when multiple tasks are running (ModKit = Automatic (and works well), RobotC = must be manually programmed, and easy to get locked up)
  2. Avoiding a lock up due to a sub-routine being called again and again (due to a bug). (ModKit = Automatically Disables the sub-routine), RobotC = gets locked up)

On the other hand: RobotC code is much easier to copy from robot to robot, and from sub-routine to sub-routine.

So, it is most expect: drag and drop ModKit is easier, RobotC is more powerful. We have found that ModKit for ES & most MS teams, and RobotC for HS teams is the right fit.

Hope this helps.


Thank you for the response Paul. I will do some more Modkit research this weekend. Does it allow you to program the controller under arcade / joystick mode?

Also take a look at Robot Mesh Studio . It includes Python, Blockly, and Flowol (a flowchart-based programming environment) in the same SDK. Also included is our integrated VEX-specific CAD environment for VEX IQ which allows you do build an online VEX IQ robot, then program and test it online.

(Disclosure: I work for Robot Mesh, but I have been helping youth build and compete with VEX robots since 2006.)

Yes, our teams will program the Autonomous AND the Driver Control in the same single program (this allows common sub-routines to be used by both Driver & Auton). This allows for development of both sets of code at the same time. Then, right before tournaments the teams have to make a second copy of the program to remove the controller, so that it can be used it for Auton Skills with the controller off (fine print rule in <PSC2>). Below is an example of “dead zones” programmed for the controller n Modkit, and the motor program that sets the speed to either the StickA variable or the AutoLeft variable based on a AutoControl “flag” variable, this allows that flag to switch from driver control to auton, then the AutoLeft (and a similar AutoRight) is used to set what speed the motors will go.



Hi guys, just coming back to this. We are using the IPad app for ModkitForVEX. We set up the robot in the Robot screen with motors and assigned the motors to ports and to buttons on the remote. We did nothing else. We then tried to download it to the brain. In doing so, we received a Error Compiling message. Do we need to program in the Blocks tab as well? If yes, are there good videos or samples? Also, I don’t think the iPad version asked us to sign in. Does this mean our programs are stored locally on the iPad only?

Thanks for the help!
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Nevermind, I found the answer :frowning: