What to Buy when Starting a New VEX Team

I have quite a bit of experience with VEX. However, I am now switching to a new school and would also like to start VEX (VRC) there. I have to create a proposal for the school. What parts do I have to buy to be a semi-successful team? I am looking to build a competitive robot, but I am not sure where to start when shopping for parts. Thanks!

For ease in making proposals, the pre-configured competetion starter kit and super kit are not a bad place to get started. There’s some savings in getting the complete kit over individual parts.

For a team that is a complete novice, the “starter kit” contains some parts, including the “claw” and a specially cut 2x2 angle for building the V5 Clawbot Trainer, while the super kit contains a good assortment of competition-useful stuff. In our organization, we have a new team build the trainers (usually the Clawbot) to get started, so they can quickly learn the VEX building system, before going into the design process. We rarely build the season trainers (the so-called herobots) except in perhaps a summer-camp setting. So…I’d recommend one starter kit for the whole organization, and then a super kit for each planned team. Additionally, 2 additional batteries and 4 additional motors per team.

Don’t forget tools and storage: head over to robosurce and pick up a tool kit for each team: VEX Robotics Team Tool Kit for Star (Torx) Drive Screws, 43 Piece - Robosource.net
You’ll also need a workspace, bench vise, etc.


Pneumatics are also a good thing to use, though it is a bit more complicated then motor systems. Pneumatics - VEX Robotics
side opinion but i recommend buying it straight off the SMC site as it doesn’t give money to vex


For the sake of writing proposals, just use the VEX kit to save time (one double-acting kit per team)…once you have the approval, then buy what you want. Other sources include motionindustires.com and radwell.com both of whom stock SMC stuff.


Advice given so far has been good. I would not buy the pneumatic system out of the gate, next years game may not need it.

We rarely build the season trainers (the so-called herobots) except in perhaps a summer-camp setting

I’m finding that for roboteers with zero VEX experience (including middle school with no IQ) that building the Hero bot is a little more rewarding. While I love the claw bot, it most cases it’s really useless for the game. The hero lets them play in the mid December event (ours is Saturday) and then gives them a chance to decide how to go from there.

Can not emphasize storage enough. Sortable storage makes so much of a difference.


Thank you everyone! If assuming that I get my proposal approved, what parts should I actually get? And how does this SMC stuff work? Which components are allowed to be “off-brand”? Btw, for context, I am situated in the UK right now. Also, I am pretty familiar with how to build vex robots, but my teammates may require some training. Would it be a “waste” of materials and time if we first build the kits as intended first?

As I mentioned, the pre-configured kits are a pretty good assortment to get started.

Regarding pneumatics, they must be SMC components with identical part numbers.

Otherwise, “off brand” stuff is covered by R7 in the game manual, mainly things like rubber bands (“elastics” for you guys across the pond :slight_smile: ) screws, and common hardware.

For novices, building from the builds (V5 Build Instructions - Downloads - V5 - VEX Robotics) especially the speedbot and V5 clawbot are excellent ideas, as they demonstrate good construction technique with the VEX building system. My only issue with the herobot trainers is that, IMO, too many people just starting out think that they are designed to be highly competitive robots, when, in fact, they are purposefully designed to play the current game at only a mediocre level, to act as a starting point to develop a competition-worthy bot.