My son has been participating in a LEGO Club (no official competitions), but is “aging out” of the club. He really wanted to join an FTC, but all teams are closed. A VEX team is just now forming and he has an opportunity to join. He’s a bit hesitant because he LOVES LEGOs and using the NXT brain. Can you give me any advice / info on VEX that would help him make up his mind for joining the team? Thanks so much!
Hello, Holly. It sounds like you have a young robotics engineer there! As your son ages out of Legos, he will naturally be ready for the greater challenge that is offered by the more advanced platforms used in both VRC and FTC. The platforms will allow him to continue to grow as he sees the expanded capabilities of the robots he is able to build.
The VEX Robotics Competition (VRC) and FTC are similar in that the robots are the same size, they play a head-to-head sports-style game, and are constructed using a standardized kit of parts. VRC uses a VEX Robotics Cortex controller that is different than the LEGO NXT used in FTC, but it won’t seem strange to someone who has programmed LEGO robots. If your son moves up to either VRC or FTC, he won’t see many LEGO parts anymore, as they are not used in VRC, and you rarely see FTC robots with many (or even any) LEGO components. What he will see is robots that are bigger, stronger, and faster than you can build with LEGO.
The VRC has thousands of teams all over the world and your son should have a great time. There are quite a few troops and Venturing crews building VRC robots and competing, too, so he could even mix robots and Scouting.