Vex offroad brain/pilot

I recently bought an offroad robot and realized it is possible to update the firmware using Bluetooth. Is it possible to create my own firmware or to upload… let’s say… The arduino firmware?

Probably! Lots of things are “possible” in computer programming. But I think the considerable effort required to write custom firmware for the hexbug brain is unlikely to be worthwhile.

I don’t know what the hexbug brain looks like on the inside but if it’s not an arduino then it won’t be possible to upload arduino firmware to it. If it is an arduino, then it might be possible to flash arduino firmware, but again, unlikely to be worth the trouble.

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Agreed… Do you know if there is a way to program that controller using vex tools?

As far as I know there isn’t any way to update the brain that is used in the Hexbug family. I think the secret is being able to program the remote. If you put up a Bluetooth sniffer, you can see that there is a ton of API functions that are callable.

If you are really looking to program, it’s possible to put the VEXIQ brain and motors in. The VEXIQ motors are the same width, but are sightly taller and have a little more length. So with just a little bit of effort they can be installed. There is room for the brain on the back deck of the truck.

Granted a brain, three motors and a controller and battery packs will set you back about $240 plus shipping.

The chip is a TI CC2640R2F (Spec sheets is here ( It’s an Arm M3 Core, so you’ll be able to find tool chains to work with.

They did not publish the schematics, so you are on your own. ( is a picture of the inside of the board. On the plus side there is a JTAG interface so you might have a way to boot strap new functions in.

If you can figure out the Bluetooth API function calls you should be able do what you want.

You can write to Innovation First to see if they will share info. Interesting things to me is that the board has room for another jack next to the power jack.

Let us know how you make out!

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Thanks for the detailed answer, I’ll give it a try and will let you know

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