V5 Motor review

So I had the pleasure of attending CES and seeing some of the VEX hardware. Discussion on the actual event can be seen here

What I want to talk about here is just the motors.

From @Paul Copioli we have heard to expect 2 - 2.5x the power output from a new V5 motor that we get out of a 393 motor. The internal DC motor is a lot beefier than the 393 internal motor so the 2x improvement makes sense. You can also see the 3 different gearing modules, the different colors are visible while inside the motors so no more confusion between different motor gears.

https://scontent.fzty2-1.fna.fbcdn.net/v/t31.0-8/26232997_834950366676230_5756199108354945840_o.jpg?oh=2cb991545d7de5d22d7f2052252c7ba0&oe=5AF62AC8 (photo credits to @RobotMesh )

The outer shell of a motor module is noticeably bigger than a 393 motor. A 393 motor with an IME is roughly the same width (?) as the new V5 motors but in the other 2 dimensions the V5 is larger. Hopefully needing less per mechanism makes up for it.

The plastic gear inside the motor was a question that came up in a previous thread. This gear is followed by 2 stages of planetary gear reduction so don’t be too worried. While we will never know how the internal motors components will handle long term wear and tear, the only engineering solution is to make the whole system over built. Paul and I put the motor under insane load, back and forth as fast as we could by hand and the results blew me away.

The motor internal components survived several minutes of torture that would have stripped every gear in a 393. The axle we were using got very hot and twisted while the little gear showed no wear.

The “smart” aspect of the motor is quite interesting as well. Rough estimates put the chip inside each motor at being 50% as powerful as the chip running the entire current Cortex which is insane. The motors have their own diagnostic information that can be accessed on the V5 brain AND from Vex coding studio. This is game changing. Built in PID and motion profiling is supposed to all be customizable but as I was not programming anything I did not play around with this functionality. They even mentioned being able to change the update rate of the built in PID and that sending raw PWM values could be done a lot faster than 10 ms.

This sounds incredible
i think 2 motor drives and lifts with 1 motor intakes will possible

That’s some pretty cool info! It sounds like it was well worth the wait!

i think so

wow, the motors are a lot larger than I expected. But as you said, the need for less will make up for that. With the ability to make such high amounts of torque directly out of the motor now, I suspect we will be seeing a lot more teams using HS shafts

I like the functionality of the cortex. The only thing I was worried about the plastic gears in the motor stripping.

Yes! I especially like that you can directly put HS shafts into motors now. For my DR4B, I have the motors driving the 12 tooth gears with the regular shaft, and the big 84 tooth gears on HS shafts. Most of my lift play comes from the regular shafts twisting.

Can the motors detect if they have different gearing in them? or does the user manually enter them?

No you manually enter them.

The ability to get real data back from each motor will dramatically improve the experience of the programmer.

Now they’ll have a more active role in watching the health of the motors as the drive team tests out mechanisms. This will allow the programmer to gather information that’s actually useful to the builders on which motors are under additional loads and/or friction. Once the builder adjusts the system, repeat the cycle.

This gives the three basic roles more balance in the participation of the total life cycle of the design of the robot. It better reflects the dynamics I see in the real world. I like it.

That kind of power is just a little insane.

If I had 10 of those motors on my team’s pushbot last year we could probably rip the fence right out of the field :stuck_out_tongue:

It will be interesting to see how the GDC change the game objects to be able to withstand this kind of power, like the cones this year could probably be crushed by a claw with one of these on it, and stars last year would break so easily

It is going to take some time to get used to, but the new robot brain is NOT Cortex. It is V5. The people at VEX are pretty adamant about that.

Bruh I’m just calling it V5

That would be technically incorrect, as V5 refers to the entire electronics system, not just the Brain microcontroller.


Personally, I see that as a way to tell apart newcomers. Only the true OGs will know about the cortex.

Your definition of “true OG” is pretty wide. :wink: Lots of people doing VEX now. Now only the real OGs will know about the PIC. Just kidding, I’m not going to gatekeep here.