V5 Motor Restriction

For the past two seasons, teams using the V5 system have been restricted to 8 motors, 6 with pneumatics. Meanwhile, teams using the less powerful V4 system have 12 motors, 10 with pneumatics. Do you guys think this is fair or unfair? Why?

This is actually a bit unfair to Cortex teams, as their 12 motors will have the same power of 6 V5 motors.


I believe it is unfair to cortex teams having less power, (we had a six motor drive that would burn out very quick against v5 bots) though the pneumatic penalty is less but I think overall cortex is put at more of a disadvantage.


That’s very much an overgeneralization. Motor power is not nearly that simple to quantify.

It depends on lots of factors, such as battery voltage, current limiting (by V5 firmware/Cortex PTCs), and more.

Debating the “fairness” of the different systems’ motor restrictions would literally be an endless debate. There are so many different variables that could be matched under different circumstances…


That ties in well to what I forgot to put in the original post. Right now, I am struggling to integrate pneumatics into our passive intake system without taking shortcuts on other parts of the robot (which would put us down to 6 motors).

Easy solution for you:



My take on this is that the pneematic penalty for V5 is really restricting. I dont think we will see pneumatics on V5 robot until we either get bigger pneumatics, more pneumatics allowed or a larger motor cap in general. That being said, none of this would be feasible until cortex is fazed out.

Now one thing about the cortex vs V5 is how many different subsystems you could run. An ITZ robot would have been impossible with V5 without having some crazy passive transmissions.


It would’ve been possible and would have probably made the robot even better, you would just have to do a 2 motor base with v5 motors and the 2 v5 motors would’ve probably been just as powerful as 4 cortex motors, assuming that we’re talking about the dr4b everyone was using


The trade off is more in terms of different mechanisms than raw power when arguing in favor of Cortex. With 12 motors, you could potentially do 12 different things.

The thing with pneumatics is that you get to use unlimited actuators. (But have a limited air capacity) That is what got me really thinking about trying pneumatics, despite everyone (I see you, @TaranMayer ) advising me against it.


I think 315G’s ratchets might have something to say about that :smile:

EDIT: I think this is actually a factor to consider here though, the V5 motors might not be as numerous, but you’ll have do to quite a lot of things simultaneously for that to be a limiting factor if you use mechanical devices to your advantage


I did see one clever telescopic using the limited amount of motors for Turning Point

I actually think they should make the 393 motor legal in competition with the V5 brain. Then you could say for every 2 V5 motors removed you can have 3 393 motors instead. Because they do work with it.
So you could build a bot with 6 V5 motors and 3 393s, 4 V5 motors and 6 393s or 2 V5 and 8 393s. The numbers work out in the end.
Because yes V5 are more powerful, but sometimes there are little jobs that need doing and you just need more motors.

However with the current limits Pneumatics are dead with V5 I think.


Using 393s with V5 makes little to no sense with the current hardware, for competition purposes at least. You would get virtually useless power from the 393s.

I actually disagree with that. While we do see better engineering with limited resources, wouldn’t it be really useful to have a couple of 393 motors for smaller actuations? We don’t need the full V5 power for some mechanisms, and being able to trade that out for a couple of smaller motors makes a lot of sense to me.

While the 2-3 tradeoff doesn’t really seem beneficial to me, a 1-2 (2-4) tradeoff would actually be really helpful, and make things simpler in terms of designing and building. (But where’s the fun in that?)


1-2 would be an advantage. Anyway numbers aside.

My point is this, V5 motors are more powerful yes, but there are some simple jobs that need doing that a lighter and less powerful motor would be excellent for. We had one function on our In The Zone robot that a 393 would have been perfect for and we would have traded 1-1 if allowed.
Our first Tower Takeover robot uses 7 motors to do everything we want and again swapping 1 to 393 would be useful for weight, or even maybe adding a couple of other functions that V5 motors just add to much weight and size to do. So we would absolutely go 6 x V5 and 3 x 393 if allowed. These are also situations in which fun little gearing mechanisms don’t work so well.


Having smaller v5 motors would be nice


The V5 architecture as is underpowers any potential 393 motor attached, and also caps the current that the entire 8 wire triport can take.

It’s not really feasible.

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Power expanders would make it work.


if You have ever used 12 motors you would know it doesn’t work. We used 10 motors last year with a power expanded and we had trouble with motors straight up not functioning at states. So yeah V5 is definitely at an advantage

Maybe your motors gears were stripped or something else, cortex motors don’t just “not work” after adding more motors