US Open Buddy Bots?

Where exactly does it mention these “buddy bots”?

well if you’re not a ball launcher you better be an amazing cap bot to be truly competitive tbh. I recommend trying to get an outstanding cap bot, or try and come up with some ball launching mechanism.

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A buddy bot is used for the CREATE OPEN division at US Open. If you are competing in VRC you will be fine. If you are competing in the OPEN division, a buddy bot is a yellow frame with vex wheels used in their game that doubles the parking bonus


So with the buddy bot rule, there are a few things we are unclear about:

When are we allowed to actually use them during the match?

And with the height expansion, we came across a loophole, are we allowed to grab a ball but not launch it, and to instead directly toggle the flag with a " ball holder arm"?

there is another part of the rule too

<SG7> Use Game Objects for gameplay. Game Objects cannot be used to accomplish actions that would be otherwise illegal if they were attempted by Robot mechanisms. a. High Flags may only be contacted by Balls that are not being contacted by a Robot.

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please consider that we are still a relatively new team so when it comes to ball launching work we are useless, however, I do believe that we can make a launcher that only goes vertical, and shoots horizontal. since the expansion, the rule states that with a buddy but we can expand vertically ∞ anywhere. But is that practical?

on the Create Open website

I do not know that rule for the expansion and shooting with the buddy bot. My guess would be no. I am also asking this just to make sure you are competing in the OPEN side, not the VRC?

Look at link for rules addendum - it has a whole section regarding buddy bots for the Open division.

As asked above - you are definitely competing in the OPEN and not the VRC, correct? Buddy bots and other rules changes are specific to the Open.

To put it more specifically - at the US Create Open, there are multiple “programs”. The standard VRC program for HS is the VRC/EDR HS Turning Point (running the regular Turning Point game with no adaptations). The thing with buddy bots is the Create Open (running a modified Turning Point game with various modifications). See list & get details at

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Unfortunately, we are in the US Open. We were going to do the VRC but the slots ran out. So our coach signed us up for the open.

So the Buddy bot is completely optional. You can use it if you want but it is not required. I would look over the rules and understand the different parts for an open robot (REOFF, plates, lights, etc…)

We are in the same boat - our team just qualified for the CREATE US Open but the VRC division is full. Instead, the offered us a slot in the Open Division which they said was mostly Vex VRC robots. We had similar questions to them concerning the Buddy Bot - here’s what we learned:

  • The Buddy Bot is totally optional.
  • The Buddy Bot sits behind the wall next to the arena near the starting blocks. To pick it up, your robot will need to reach over the wall and grab or hook it.
  • If you climb the platform with the Buddy Bot, you get double platform points.
  • While holding the Buddy Bot, you can remain extended and can conceivably (and legally) block shots from the other team.

Since we are converting a Vex V5 VRC robot, we’ll probably stick with the “optional” part of the Buddy Bot and focus more on integrating the Reoff, reprogramming our auton for 20 seconds versus 15 seconds, hooking in a light sensor and other modifications.

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Thank you seems like an understatement. We didn’t know you had to lift the bot into play so huge props on that :+1:

But concerning the reoff, Create said they are supplying kits or something to allow robots to do the reoff function, do u have any info on how that’s supposed to work?

Edit: How do we get a light sensor? Especially when vex doesn’t make them anymore.

According to the informational email sent from US Open Create, " A VRC robot can easily be converted to be Open compliant. You simply need to add a “reoff” (remote on/off) device. This electronic device must be purchased prior to attending the event. The cost is $149.00. (Slightly more for VEX V5 robots.) To purchase a Reoff, simply provide shipping and billing information in an email to"

So - apparently after registering, you provide shipping & billing info (and I assume payment) & they send you the reoff. Sounds like you should try and get that ASAP so that you can work with it and figure out how it works.

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Side note - open allows non-Vex components. Look into buying a non-Vex light sensor that can be modified to work with your Vex robot.

Also, a quick search of the Vex EDR products page shows a light sensor for $20 in stock…

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We pinged CREATE support yesterday about purchasing a Reoff and they said someone would be in touch with us within 48 hours. They also said that everyone in the CREATE Open Division will be getting a special instruction packet next week with more info on the Buddy Bots, Reoffs and Open Division rules. We also just ordered the Vex Light Sensor - thank you TeamTX!

In terms of the Reoff - matches start with the power on. You can then select and start your proper auton/driver program. The auton needs to wait on the light sensor to start for its 20 second run. Then wait for driver control.

For skills, the Reoff first switches on the power to start the run. Vex V5 Brain robots are then allowed to touch the screen to start the skills program versus having it automatically run (which is not possible).

Note we haven’t actually used the Reoff yet - all from talking with the CREATE support team.


Thanks for the additional info! We’re trying to decide if we’re going to register & go into the Open division (since the VRC is filled), so we’ve been trying to get as many details as we can. :slight_smile:

Oh whoops, I was thinking about the old grey and white ones, thanks for the reclarification!

The buddy bot is if you are doing the Open Program. If you are going to the US Open to compete in HS it is just normal Vex rules.