Hey, my school is considering the switch from VEX to FTC and I was wondering if anyone had any personal experience/could list the pros and cons of both (keeping in mind the new v5 systems for VEX).

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Vex is significantly cheaper, even more so since you already have vex hardware. While vex doesn’t have the capabilities of control systems/motors used in ftc, that downfall will be significantly reduced with v5. Vex games are also far superior to ftc games historically. The main advantage to ftc is the ability to be more creative with designs. However, with ftc being so small relative to vex, the community isn’t the same as it is here.

VEX, even with the switch to V5 remains the more cost effective option.

FTC is crazy expensive, but it’s also very expansive in parts usage and the freedom in sensor usage.

FTC has neglected for years to make a control system better than the Cortex or V5, imo.

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(I have competed in FTC for two years, and actually did not compete this past season due to the cons below. However there are some pros.)

  1. FTC games are bad.
  2. The FTC control system is the single most buggy, unreliable, and prone to damage control system that I have ever used. Not to mention its terrifying vulnerabilities.
  3. Everything FTC is more expensive, like way more expensive.
  4. Unless you have the tools to make everything custom, you will get smoked by everyone that does.
  5. FTC game rules are so exceedingly restrictive on robot interactions that it might as well consist just of skills runs.
  6. Way, way too many things to do to score points. Most years people just pick two and go only for those. Only the very, very top teams play the entire game.
  7. There is no field controller. That’s right, the only way robots are disabled and enabled, autonomously run, etc. is through the drivers themselves starting and stopping the program by pressing a button on the screen on the phone.
  8. Penalty system. In FTC, for most rule violations there is no warning/dq system, rather points are awarded to the opposite alliance.
  9. The wireless control system runs on freaking Wi-Fi, which teams must constantly manually change the channel of. Lol and we think vexnet has interference issues…

Now, some pros:

  1. Java programming language (expect v5 will come up to par with this with c++)
  2. more powerful motors
  3. More freedom; you can use sheet metal and weld it if you want (If you have the required tools that is…)
  4. More robust materials (metal gears, actual chain)
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Come talk to us (7682E, 7682S) at worlds since we’ve done both programs since 2012. We’re competing at FTC Worlds in Houston the week before VRC Worlds. Pros and cons with both programs. Cost is about the same for a competitive team.

I agree with @_7682 that cost is about the same. FTC costs more to register your team and for tournament entry fees, but given the wide variety of open market parts, the parts are generally less expensive. You can use nearly everything you have that is Vex except the control system. FTC is using a new control system this year that looks promising. We did not compete this year because the game sucked.

The motors you can use are much better and last longer and cost about the same. The ones we used come with integrated encoders that actually work.

You can use off the shelf sensors. For example, for less than $5 you can buy one sensor that is both a 3 axis gyrosensor and accelerometer rather than $40 each for single axis sensors.

The Vex 393 motors with the motor controller can be used as servos. You are allowed 8 motors and 12 servos. No pneumatics.

Both are great programs. Both have advantages. Both have disadvantages. I will say there is also a huge difference in the cultures of the two. I think FTC is a bit more challenging (complicated) and that could be good or bad.

A couple people have mentioned that the FTC motors are stronger and have built in encoders that are reliable. That may be true for the 393 motors, but the V5 motors will be much, much stronger, and will have built in encoders and other smarts.