VAIC Tipping Point Future Plans


I originally planned this to be an email, however it seems it would be best if the community had access to the response from RECF and the ability to comment.

I, along with many others, am excited to see what the future of the VAIC competition holds. As with the Change Up VAIC season, the rules Appendix D is limited in wording(which I am very glad about). The Appendix does mention two new items, the GPS sensor and the “AI” Camera will be required for each robot. Is there any information that can be made available about these items? Along with the questions about registration cost and hardware included in the registration fee, I’m opening this thread to the public so that their questions may be included as well.

Also tagging @Jim_Crane so he sees this and hopefully provides us some answers.


The information about the VEX GPS sensor and VEX AI camera will be on our websites by Fall 2021. We have not opened registration yet because we will be including these products in the VEX AI Hardware kit. We simply need to get closer to the release before we have those details to share. What we can share is that there will be no application and all teams will be able to register.

I will be emailing the 2020-21 VAIC pilot teams as soon as I know for sure when registration will open so that they can be first to register for the 2021-22 season.

Jim Crane
Director of Global Competition and Strategic Initiatives
VAIC Program Manager
REC Foundation


If these products are going to be sold on the official vex store anyway and people will already own them in future seasons, can you confirm them not being included in future registration costs?

Assuming I read “vex ai hardware kit” correctly as part of registration.

I also know normal vrc/vexu teams even this year are excited to buy the AI hardware from vex directly and play with it. The hope is to try out hardware before committing to fully competing with it. So if those teams buy hardware to try out, and then want to register is there a method to avoid them having to buy the hardware a second time?

And of course we all know the rule this year about hardware being required and how your GPS data will be shared with opponents which I think is a great idea.


Can you disclose what kind of volume the AI camera and GPS are expected to take up? It would be useful to know the sizes of each when designing robots this summer, especially the 15”, and AI team will need all the time they can get to build and program robots to be able to tackle this complex game.

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Right now, no one has these components, so we are including them to make sure you get what you need. Next year, you will have it, so we will not include it in every registration. This has a simple solution and we will keep it simple.

As to the other questions, you’ll just have to wait and adapt. I know you want to know exact specs, but that documentation is not ready to be made public yet. When it is, it will be.


As one potentially interested in supporting an AI team, I’d be interested to know if the required components would be allowed to be on a VRC robot (either functionally or disconnected). Thought being, teams may want to use their VRC-sized robot (sub-18") as their 24" AI robot to reduce cost


Unless there’s a game manual update to specifically exclude V5 AI sensors then R6 already permits them. However it’s pointless to use the GPS sensor because in VRC there’s no barcode around the field. Seems logical the object detection camera could be used which is great news. The only reason I can think of for excluding it from VRC would be cost and thus accessibility for all participants.

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The “Coming Soon” page still lists them as uncertain about their legality for VRC, so I’m not sure I’d bank on them being legal. As you say, without the GPS bar code, one is pretty useless. But given that Remote will be a thing, it may be hard to police (if they are not allowed for VRC), especially if teams cross-list as VRC and VAIC teams. Might simply be a design constraint that the team needs to consider - placing the AI components somewhere/how that is relatively easy to add/remove depending on competition format.


I’m a college student interested in AI Competition. According to Appendix D, it seems that all teams must utilize the official components like VEX GPS sensor and VEX AI camera. But we have tried to develop our own AI system for the future VAIC and made some progress. We hope that we can use our own sensors and cameras in VAIC if possible.

By the way, I think it’s more chanllenging and educational for college students to develop all the function modules by ourselves. During the developing process, we can apply our knowledge in various fields like CV and Neural Network to practice.


The VEX GPS sensor data will apparently be shared with the opposing alliance and I would guess a firmware update will provide some means to siphon this off outside of user program control. Nothing stops a team from using their own sensors and/or processing modules as per rule VUR10. You don’t need to use data from the VEX GPS and VEX AI Camera sensors however rule AIR3 says they must be connected.

Definitely agree the challenge and learning outcomes from developing your own vision and navigation systems are worth pursuing.


Is there any new information or ETA on the VEX AI products? Unless I’m missing something, I don’t see any new AI info or products listed on the VEX sites, nor any new information posted in the forums…


I have not seen much on this either. The VEX GPS sensor and code strips have been made available for sale on the VEX website (sensor: ) (code strip: ). Past this, I have not seen any updates, and I have not received any replies to the emails that I have been sending.