Using VEX Controllers Outside of VEX Robotics

HI, I’m new to the VEX Forums, so I’m not sure if this thread is in the right channel, so moderators feel free to move it if necessary.

Anyways, my question is not directly related to VEX Robotics, but it does involve to controller. I’m wondering if it is possible to read input from the Joystick in other programming languages (particularly in Java), and if so how. I want to write a sort of maze game that uses a controller to move through the maze, and I want to do this using unfamiliar hardware so that I can learn what to implement in different situations.

In short, is there any way for me to read and translate the inputs from the VEX Joystick into other programming languages to use outside of VEX Robotics? Any help is greatly appreciated.

Welcome to the forums!

To the best of my knowledge, no, that is not possible. The joystick communications are deliberately hard to parse to prevent people from messing with it during competition. @jpearman can give you more accurate/better help, though.

Previous thread:

Oh ok. Thanks anyways!

What you could do (If you were crazy and that dedicated) would be to connect to a cortex using VEXNet, and interface through the cortex using one of the ports

e.g. the UART port

1 Like

Or parse the output regardless of the efforts to stop you from doing so. It should also be noted that there has been some success in the past parsing the communications between the cortex and the Controller over the VexNet interface using a cheap 2.4Ghz software controller antenna.

You could also flash the joystick firmware with something a little more friendly, though the basic “please don’t break your expensive toys” statement might find application there. Best of luck!

This actually isn’t difficult at all, unless I misunderstand what you’re suggesting. Since OP presumably has a Cortex as well as a joystick, this seems the easiest thing to do.

You also can interpret the joystick messages from the joystick port of a partner controller. That’s a wired-only connection, but it’s straightforward, and will do exactly what OP wants. You could do it with a direct-wired micro controller like an Arduino and add a wifi interface to it. That’s more difficult than using the cortex and a regular VEX joystick, but much cheaper. A VEX partner joystick is $29.

The original Vex RC Remote and the Vex 0.5 Microcontroller are excellent low cost devices for control of JAVA based projects.

You may also be interested in the GNAT Ada Make Contest using Vex and the Ada language.