VRC New Team Startup Costs?

Need some ideas of costs for a potentially new VRC team starting from scratch as independents. Our 8th graders are pushing us coaches to take things to the VRC level. I’m calculating costs this week for a Friday meeting but I’d like to get input from seasoned veterans. Coming from IQ world we know how to run teams and handle logistics. How many students would be a good amount for this level? We think we’ll have 6 but considering the level of work that might need to be done not sure if that’s enough. Thanks in advance.

Jeff Nagle


Field Perimeter & Tiles: $800
Field Elements: $550
Vex V5 Super Kit: $1,900
Parts Orders: $800
Spare Motors + Cartriges: $400
Spare Brain: $350
Spare Controller: $125
V5 Sensors: $200
Total Starting Cost: $5,125

This is just for one team, if you want more than one team just buy more super kits.


6 students is a great amount for a VRC team. I’ve seen teams with anywhere from 1 to 10-12 people, with most teams ranging around 4-6. I can’t speak too much on starting costs, but I will say you will end up spending a lot more on parts you cannot find in the supe kit than you think.


here is a full list of what my team
note: spacers are 3d printed to save on cost

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With 6 Students you could probably have 2 teams of 3 students, but if these students don’t have much experience with robotics or VRC, I would agree with @Connor_Howard (also helps with budget)

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@Dave-TBR i gave you access

Low-Level Team Starting Cost: $5k - $6k
High-Level Team Starting Cost: $8k+


@thejeffnagle we are starting a tea this year also so if you need any help with cost or how to set up a team dm me

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@Deathtooall13 I don’t have a Google account(gave that up years ago). Is there any way you could email that doc to me? PM me for my email address.

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For a team I would say 4-6 students so long as they are all willing to put in the time, in my experience there are usually 1-2 really dedicated students then 3-4 who will do what you ask them to do so llong as your there to look over their shoulder and there 1-2 who just don’t do much at all. if your only doing one team and as long as your students are careful you only need 1 controller and brain. We are an independent team and we started up last year. Some things I would recommend only buying aluminum. its lighter than steel so it gives you a lighter robot so instead of buying some of both I would get almost only aluminum. motors do break so make sure you buy some extras. this season we didnt have a feild peremiter for most of the season. it is a little inconvient but if you can do withought it you can save alot of money. Our team started a goFund me that we shared with all of the teammates family members in order to gain funds. we also asked some companies our coach had contact with for donations. companies will often donate to local organazations.


Are you operating as a NFP or just a group of parents making it happen? NFP is easier for corporations to make tax deductible donations. What are your thoughts here?

My dad/coach set it up because our school wouldent allow us to have our own team and prevented us from being competitive. The companies that donated to us didnt really care because my dad has worked with them before since he’s an engineer. but its definitley easier if your with a school or a NFP to get company donatins.


I have editted this post to remove personal contact information.


Background: I’m the president of a robotics club consisting of what we’re planning is 1 middle school team and 2 high school teams, and the captain of one of the high school teams. I’m responsible for making sure these teams are competition-ready and funding as the club is more student-led since our coach is busy with another club.

For costs, consider team registration fees, competition registration fees, travel costs, and product costs. Also, consider what each student will pay for and what the team will cover.

  • It costs $150 to register a team for the season.
  • Most competitions I’ve seen cost about $100 to register. Consider how many competitions you plan on competing in. I recommend at least 3-5 competitions. So that’s $300-$500 to compete in 3-5 competitions. You may have to consider the fees if you want to plan on going to states (about $200-$300) and worlds ($1200).
  • Consider if the team will pay for travel, hotels, food, and merch.

For product costs, plan out what products you need, a possible robot design to consider the costs of building it, and backup parts. I would say the most expensive (estimated costs before fees, taxes, and shipping) parts are…

  • The field ($550)
  • Electronics: batteries ($70), brain ($350), controller ($125), radio ($44), motors ($45), and pneumatics ($200). You will probably need backups of the above electronics, around 8+ motors ($360 for 8 motors), and other electronics.
  • If you don’t have a supply of VRC legal parts, consider buying a kit (starter/competition) so students can experiment with the variety of parts.

This season, we’re planning that our robot would cost $5000 and to register these 3 teams for 6 competitions would be about $3000.

My teams have had 4-6 members each (1-2 builders, 1-2 programmers, and 1-2 drivers). My team last season had 5 members (1 builder, 1 programmer, 1 driver, and 2 multi-purpose members). Consider how well they work together, the amount of work each member will be assigned, and the amount of free time they have.

If they’re 8th graders or advancing into high school, consider how much free time each member will have if they gets jobs or get involved in other activities. I’ve had students who worked at their job the entire school week, so they could only work for robotics during the weekends. I’ve had students in marching band and they would practice every day in August and every day after school in the fall. I’ve had students who were involved in other clubs and couldn’t commit to their team. So their team fell apart as no one attended the meetings.

It’s up to you to decide on your teams as you know them best.


The team registration has gone up to $200 for the first team, $150 for additional teams for the 2022-2023 season: 2022-2023 Competition Season | REC Foundation

This varies a lot by region, so use RobotEvents to find information on past events in your region to get an idea of cost per event.


Great advice. These are the same issues we run into with the IQ level too. We try to reiterate to parents that this is a year round sport and I know VRC will not be any different. The kids are going to have to work their tails off to become a reliable alliance partner. This level brings a whole new strategy, work ethic and commitment on the part of all folks involved from coaches on down.


Not vrc legal


oh change in plan then

I’d say all the above posts are great. I did the math myself and including registration, and potentially going to worlds the first year I could see a max budget of $9000. Probably the 8K range. This would be if you want to be very competitive (with experience of course).

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(Robots may use custom-made parts cut from certain types of non-shattering plastic.)
i double check the manual it fine if i do i mean i cant 3d print but i can use cutouts from the pla that they offer in robosource that i have extra of