VEX Hero 2021 Robot In Action!

Shows the Hero 2021 Robot in action!

My Hero 2021 robot was inspired by the original Heathkit Hero 1 Robot that came out in the mid 1980’s. It has an arm that can move up/down, left/right with a wrist and a gripper used to pick up small objects.

It uses the VEX Construction System for most of the parts but also uses some external components such as metal plates and brackets. The VEX Cortex microcontroller is used to control all the motors and to read the sensors. In addition, the VEX Game Controller is used for motion input by the user by using the two joysticks and twelve pushbuttons on the game controller unit via VEXNET (Innovations First Custom Wi-Fi).

I developed the embedded VEX software using Robot C and also developed a serial interpreter in GNAT C and GNAT Ada that allows the robot to accept commands via an RS-232 Serial Cable or a Raspberry Pi 3 connected to UART1 on the VEX Cortext at 115200 Baud, using commands sent from a PC, laptop using Windows 10 or Raspberry Pi 3 using Linux and receiving telemetry with a second XBEE module connected to UART2 on the VEX Cortex.

The robot will in the future be controlled autonomously using GNAT C and GNAT Ada on a Raspberry Pi 3. The RPI3 module, in this case is mounted next to the VEX Cortex and connected between Serial 0 on the RPI3 and UART 1 on the VEX Cortex.


I remember some discussion of the Hero 1 robot a few years back, @hero1, were you previously on the forum as @tswift1 ?


Yes, that was me but for some reason I was blocked by Vexforum because they thought I was a robot…

I am human as you can see from the video.

We have been through a couple of different forum software packages since @tswift1 last posted back in 2013, the latest forum software has tended to close many of the older inactive accounts, perhaps that’s what happened. What have you been up to the last few years ? Any plans to acquire the latest VEX V5 system ?


Yes, I am very interested in the V5 system and will try to get a used one soon. I have been using used Cortex systems combined with Raspberry Pi 3/4’s to build various projects relating to photography and video rigs.