Working on the robot for our Vex Challenge has inspired me to get more into robotics and I was wondering which robotics kit would be best.
So far it is between the Lego Mindstorms NXT and the Vex Starter Kit
Here are the links for both
[ (The remote controlled one)

Your thoughts and ideas would be appreciated]( (The remote controlled one))

I have worked with VEX for 4 years, and i have to say that outside of FRC, it is my favorite system. I have the old lego mindstorms kit, which i still sometimes build somethings out of when im bored. But to me, VEX is still better, i think it offers more expansions, and more availible sensors, though i could be wrong. There are no directions for building a robot other than the kitbot, whereas legos may offer more help to beginners. I take this as a challenge, and i think that building your own design is more fun. I guess it really depends on what you are hoping to get out of either of them.

If you are a beginner, you may find the NXT easier to work with. If you are more adventurous, Vex can be a much more flexible platform.

If you like proggraming more then I would suggest the NXT, however if you would build things then the VEX kit is probably better.

With regards to programming, NXT supports graphical, NQC and Java (lejos)
With VEX you’re limited to easyc, mplab ©, robotc… anyone knows of a Java port?
NXT has the benefit of bluetooth and I2C connectivity while Vex has two serial ports.

I personally like Vex. a LOT more. i have the NXT and it’s great for beginners, but the platform isn’t very flexible. after building about 4 robots with NXT, i got bored because it was too limited (3 motors and 4 sensors maximum? you kiddin’ me?) so i got vex. i’ve built about 11 robots and still have more to build, and it’s really flexible. you can bend and cut parts or customize your own, 8 motor ports (you can use more motors with Y cables) 16 analog/digital ports, and i think 6 interrups (i haven’t checked lately). and NXT’s processor is really slow, it takes mine about 1 whole second to figure out that the touch sensor is being pressed! by that time, my robot would have driven off the table. probably the only good thing about the NXT is that it costs less than Vex.

LEGO has a lot more organized, published books where you can self-learn in various areas – Vex has very few.

It also depends on whether you plan to tinker on your own or compete on a team. Many LEGO competitions are geared for younger students (ages 14 and under), while Vex has high school and now college competitions.

I agree with corpralchee’s and yongkimleng’s comments; LEGO tends to appeal more to programmers (especially beginning ones), while Vex requires more building skills. But with Vex, once you reach a certain level of complexity with building, the options with programming are greater.

So VEX seems to be the undeniable victor and will more than likely be my next solo project.
The thing that caught my eye however was that the Lego Kit seemed to be compatible with some pretty cool sensors such as the accelerometer, color sensor, compass sensor, gyroscopic sensor + the ability to be controlled by a bluetooth enabled device.(I’m not even sure what i would do with all these sensors, but the possibilities…) (Maybe i should post these in the product ideas section)

Thank you for your advice.

I think that with either, Lab View programming for NXT or **EasyC for Vex **you will have a good start on understanding and developing an Embedded Control System.

Being that I am 42 years old, and have been doing Embedded Programming, as an occupation for Seven and a half years, the Vex is great Starter Kit for learning what I work with on a daily basis.

In the Future there will be more Lab View and Lab View Type development environments for Commercial Embedded Systems. But starting with EasyC and then learning MPLAB for the Vex will give you a more rounded Embedded Programming education. Leading to more Programming Opportunities if you decide on doing Embedded Programming for a part of your Career.

For a look at what kinds of people work with vex, take a look at these past links:

Robotics background
Why do you work on vex?
Whos playing with vex?

just so you know, vexlabs is producing those sensors, hopefully they will be coming out soon. though it isnt bluetooth compatible, but with a 6-channel remote, why would you need that? lego is only programmable, which is something to be considered.

[ (The remote controlled one)

Your thoughts and ideas would be appreciated]( (The remote controlled one))

One thing I noticed about your OP is that you’re looking at the remote controlled starter bundle – I assume you mean the $299 radio control starter bundle.

If so, I recommend getting the $499 dual control starter bundle. The problem with the $299 bundle is that it uses the signal splitter, not the microcontroller. If you later want to upgrade and add programming, you’ll need the $150 microcontroller, the $99 programming kit, and 2 X $13 for the bumper sensor and limit sensor kits. It’s more economical to get everything at once for $499, if you can afford it up front.

Yeah that would make more sense. What I plan on doing now is just order the autonomous version subtract the RobotC, because i already have the program on my computer.Then perhaps buy the used transmitter and receiver from my school team, which is not in use anymore. That would save me about $150.

Currently I have both kits and are working simultaneously on them because I need to get more familiar with NXT to help out my schools.

With regards to structural design, with Vex it could go horribly wrong when not done properly (gears getting rounded, axles bent, or get rounded and start rusting). With NXT its a little more foolproof and safer for younger children.

You could also check EBay, I got a brand new transmitter set with crystals for USD$20++ back in June! And yes, it works :smiley:

well that’s why it says 14+ lol

true, you do have to take care of vex parts more than lego, but Vex is much more worth it.

Kind of off topic but…
When ordering the VEX Autonomous Starter Kit, I select no programing software. Do they still ship the programing hardware?

I think they still ship you the cord since it lists the hardware and software separately.

Autonomous starter kit should have programming kit. Please look at the site for the included items.

I wonder if anyone has made it possible to have a hybrid NXT + Vex system, with the NXT being the master and Vex being the slave.

Lego NXT is also really hard to build with. the motors, sensors, and microcontroller are really bulky, and there are few mounting holes. Vex is all around better.

and just so you know, Vex didn’t pay me to say that!

I have 2 NXTs and I dont really have any Vex yet. I have to say Lego is pretty good and even if you are very advanced its a great set to have. It can be programmed in more than 20 different languages and people keep making more. It has litterally hundred or so sensors(kit mindsensors hitechnic homebrew and many many more). It can be used with normal lego and so it is easy to find parts. It is quite cheap (pricewise) and I really enjoy it. With 2 you can build fully rc models and can make things with more then 3 motors and more than 4 sensors. It can connect up to i belive 5 NXTs or was it 4. And then you can make anything. I right now program in 2 languages (NXT-G and nXc) one is graphical and one is code. I also have 2 retail NXT sets and I bought tracks and treads and I am soon planning on buying pneumatics with cam wheels and some bigger tires. You can use something new called Tetrix (pretty pricy though) so that you can make metal robots. There are sensors for using other servos and motors with the NXT. There is so much about this set I cant even explain but It really is a great robot weather you are advanced or a begginer it is a great start. Any questions just ask me. :slight_smile:

I think the problem here is that you are asking people at a vex forum. Most likely they will say things about the vex that they like better. Try asking this at an NXT forum and they will say they like the NXT better mostly (im guessing) I know as of now I think I like the NXT better. Also having become quite advanced with the NXT myself lots of this information people saying isnt 100% true. pacoliketaco was talking about sensors and I know that there are plenty more sensors in NXT available then the few I see here with vex. Of course this is the only place where I have seen sensors. yongkimleng said only 3 of the languages that the NXT can use when there is well over 20. The one i dissagreed the most with (no offense honestly just want to make a point) is the one by octanetripledax. building only 4 robots does not at all show what the NXT is capable of. The NXT is extremely flexible and I know that with only the first 4 robots i built i thought it was pointless in some spotsand that some peices were useless and a lot. But now having built over 100 robots(i didnt invent all of them) i know that you can do quite a lot with it. of course I do agree that 3 motor ports is quite silly. As for the touch sensor being slow try programming in a different language other than NXT-G (stock nxt language) nxt-g is known for being really slow and i think 1 second is a pretty big exageration. ManiacMechanic said contests are for people 14 and younger. well ftc is having NXT this year and I belive the ages for that is 14-18.

Im not trying to be mean and i know that vex might actually be better than vex im just trying to fix some mistakes you all made about it. and its ok im sure i said some things about vex that might not have been true but remember you wont ever learn from your mistakes if people dont point them out. And im sure vex probably is a better set for many reasons but NXT isnt really as bad as some of you make it sound.

just trying to help