<R1> One Robot per Team. Only one (1) Robot will be allowed to participate per Team at a given event. Though it is expected that Teams will make changes to their Robots at the event, a Team is limited to only one (1) Robot, and a given Robot may only be used by one (1) Team. The VEX IQ system is intended to be a mobile robotics design platform. As such, a VEX IQ Robotics Competition Robot, for the purposes of the VEX IQ Robotics Competition, has the following subsystems: 

  • Subsystem 1: Mobile robotic base including wheels, tracks, or any other mechanism that allows the Robot to navigate the majority of the flat playing Field surface. For a stationary Robot, the robotic base without wheels would be considered Subsystem 1. 
  • Subsystem 2: Power and control system that includes a VEX IQ legal battery, a VEX IQ control system, and associated Smart Motors for the mobile robotic base. 
  • Subsystem 3: Additional mechanisms (and associated Smart Motors) that allow manipulation of Balls or navigation/manipulation of Field Elements

Given the above definitions, a minimum Robot for use in any VEX IQ Robotics Competition event (including Skills Challenges) must consist of subsystems 1 and 2 above. Thus, if you are swapping out an entire subsystem 1 or 2, you have now created a second Robot and are no longer legal. 

  1. Teams may not compete with one Robot while a second is being modified or assembled at a competition. 
  2. Teams may not have an assembled second Robot on hand at a competition that is used to repair or swap parts with the first Robot
  3. Teams may not switch back and forth between multiple Robots during a competition. This includes using different Robots for Skills Challenge, Qualification Matches, and/or Finals Matches
  4. Multiple Teams may not use the same Robot. Once a Robot has competed under a given Team number at an event, it is “their” Robot; no other Teams may compete with it for the duration of the competition season. 

The intent of <R1a>, <R1b>, and <R1c> is to ensure an unambiguous level playing field for all Teams. Teams are welcome (and encouraged) to improve or modify their Robots between events, or to collaborate with other Teams to develop the best possible game solution.

However, a Team who brings and/or competes with two separate Robots at the same tournament has diminished the efforts of a Team who spent extra design time making sure that their one Robot can accomplish all of the game’s tasks. A multi-Team organization that shares a single Robot has diminished the efforts of a multi-Team organization that puts in the time, effort, and resources to undergo separate individual design processes and develop their own Robots

To help determine whether a Robot is a “separate Robot” or not, use the Subsystem definitions found in <R1>. Above that, use common sense as referenced in <G3>. If you can place two complete and legal Robots on a table next to each other, then they are two separate Robots. Trying to decide if changing a pin, a wheel, or a motor constitutes a separate Robot is missing the intent and spirit of this rule. 

<R2> Robots must represent the Team’s skill level. The Robot must be designed, built, and programmed by members of the Teams. Adults are permitted to mentor and teach design, building, and programming skills to the Students on the Team, but may not design, build, or program that Team’s Robot

In VIQRC, we expect Adults to teach fundamental Robot principles like linkages, drive trains, and manipulators, then allow the Students to determine which designs to implement and build on their Robot

Similarly, Adults are encouraged to teach the Students how to code various functions involving applicable sensors and mechanisms, then have the Students program the Robot from what they have learned. 

<R3> Robots must pass inspection. The Team’s Robot must pass inspection before being allowed to participate in any Matches. Noncompliance with any Robot design or construction rule will result in removal from Matches or Disqualification of the Robot at an event until the Robot is brought back into compliance, as described in the following subclauses. 

  1. Significant changes to a Robot, such as a partial or full swap of Subsystem 3, must be re-in spected before the Robot may compete again. 
  2. All possible functional Robot configurations must be inspected before being used in competition. 
  3. Teams may be asked to submit to spot inspections by Head Referees. Refusal to submit will result in Disqualification
  4. If a Robot is determined to not be legal before a Match begins, the Robot will be removed from the Field. A Driver may remain so that the Team does not get assessed a “no-show” (per <T5>). 
  5. Robots which have not passed inspection (i.e., that are in Violation of one or more Robot rules) will not be permitted to play in any Matches until they have done so. <T6> will apply to any Matches that occur until the Robot has passed inspection.
  6. If a Robot has passed inspection, but is later found to be in Violation of a Robot rule during or immediately following a Match, then they will be Disqualified from that Match and <R3d>/<T6> will apply until the Violation is remedied and the Team is re-inspected. 
  7. All inspection rules are to be enforced at the discretion of the Head Referee within a given event. Robot legality at one event does not automatically imply legality at future events. Robots which rely on “edge-case” interpretations of subjective rules, such as whether a decoration is “non-functional” or not, should expect additional scrutiny during inspection. 

<R4> Starting configuration. At the start of each Match, the Robot must be able to satisfy the following constraints: 

  1. Only be contacting the Floor and the inside face of the Field Perimeter
  2. Fit within the volume of a Starting Zone
  3. Be no taller than 15” (i.e., roughly the height of the yellow VEX IQ beams above the bottom two Targets). 
  4. The starting configuration of the Robot at the beginning of a Match must be the same as a Robot configuration inspected for compliance. 
    1. Teams using more than one possible Robot configuration at the beginning of Matches must tell the Inspector(s) and have the Robot inspected in all configurations. Rule <R3c> will apply if a Robot is placed in an uninspected configuration (i.e., will not be permitted to play until re-inspected, but will not be considered a “no-show”). 

Note: These dimensions (i.e., fit within a Starting Zone and height limit of 15”) are also the maximum expansion limits during Match play. 


Figure R4-1: The 15” Robot height limit roughly aligns with the top of the lower set of Targets.

<R5> Prohibited items. The following types of mechanisms and components are NOT allowed: 

  1. Those that could potentially damage Field Elements or Balls
  2. Those that could potentially damage or entangle other Robots.
  3. Grease, oil, graphite, and/or any other lubricant or plastic additive.
  4. Tape and/or any other material that adheres to or changes a legal part.

<R6> VEX IQ product line. Robots may be built ONLY from official Robot components from the VEX IQ product line, unless otherwise specifically noted within these rules. 

  1. Official VEX IQ products are ONLY available from VEX Robotics. To determine whether a product is “official” or not, consult www.vexiq.com.
  2. If an Inspector or event official questions whether something is an official VEX IQ component, the Team will be required to provide documentation to an inspector that proves the component’s source. Such documentation may include receipts, part numbers, or other printed documentation. 
  3. Only VEX IQ components specifically designed for use in Robot construction are allowed. Using additional components outside their typical purpose is against the intent of the rule (i.e., please don’t try using VEX IQ apparel, Team or event support materials, packaging, Field Elements, or other non-Robot products on a VEX IQ Robotics Competition Robot). 
  4. Products from the VEX 123, VEX V5, VEX CTE, VEX EXP, Cortex, or VEXpro product lines cannot be used for Robot construction. However, products from the VEX V5 product line that are also cross-listed as part of the VEX IQ product line are legal. A “cross-listed” product is one which can be found in both the VEX IQ and VEX V5 sections of the VEX Robotics website. 
  5. Mechanical/structural components from the VEX Robotics by HEXBUG* product line are legal for Robot construction. However, electrical components from the VEX Robotics by HEXBUG* product line are illegal for Robot construction. 
  6. Mechanical/structural components from the VEX GO product line are legal for Robot construction. However, electrical components from the VEX GO product line are illegal for Robot construction. 
  7. Official Robotics components from the VEX IQ product line that have been discontinued are still legal for Robot use. However, Teams must be aware of <R6b>. 
  8. Functional 3D printed components, such as replicas of legal VEX IQ parts or custom designs, are not legal for Robot use. 
  9. Additional VEX IQ products that are released during the season are legal for use, unless otherwise noted on their product pages and/or in the VEX IQ Robotics Competition Legal Parts Appendix.
  10. VEX IQ Smart Cables may only be used for connecting legal electronic devices to the VEX IQ Robot Brain. 

Note: A comprehensive list of legal parts can be found in the VEX IQ Robotics Competition Legal Parts Appendix, as mentioned above. This Appendix is updated as needed if/when new VEX IQ parts are released, and may not coincide with scheduled Game Manual updates. 

* The HEXBUG brand is a registered trademark belonging to Spin Master Corp

<R7> Non-VEX IQ components. Robots are allowed to use the following additional “non-VEX IQ” components: 

  1. Rubber bands that are identical in length and thickness to those included in the VEX IQ product line (#32, #64 & #117B). 
  2. ⅛” metal shafts from the VEX V5 product line. 

<R8> Decorations are allowed. Teams may add non-functional decorations, provided that they do not affect Robot performance in any significant way or affect the outcome of the Match. These decorations must be in the spirit of the competition. Inspectors will have final say in what is considered “non-functional.” Unless otherwise specified below, non-functional decorations are governed by all standard Robot rules. 

  1. Decorations must be in the spirit of an educational competition. 
  2. To be considered “non-functional,” any decorations must be backed by legal materials that provide the same functionality. For example, a giant decal cannot be used to prevent Balls from falling out of the Robot unless it is backed by VEX IQ material. A simple way to check this is to determine if removing the decoration would impact the performance of the Robot in any way. 
  3. The use of non-toxic paint is considered a legal non-functional decoration. However, any paint being used as an adhesive or to impact how tightly parts fit together would be classified as functional. 

Teams should be mindful of any non-functional decorations which could risk “distract ing” Alliance partner Robots’ Vision Sensor or other sensors. 

<R9> Officially registered Team numbers must be displayed on Robot License Plates. To participate in an official VEX IQ Robotics Competition Event, a Team must first register on robotevents.com and receive a VEX IQ Robotics Competition Team Number.

This Team number must be legibly displayed on at least two (2) VEX IQ Robotics Competition License Plates on opposing sides of the Robot. Teams may choose to use the official VEX IQ Robotics Competi tion License Plate (VEX Part Number 228-7401), or may create their own custom License Plates

  1. License Plates must fulfill all inspection rules. 
  2. License Plates must be clearly visible at all times. For example, License Plates must not be in a position that would be easily obstructed by a Robot mechanism during standard Match play. 
  3. Any custom-made License Plates used must be the same length and height as the official License Plate (3.5” x 1.5” [88.9mm x 38.1mm]). They must not exceed the width of the official License Plate (0.25” [6.35mm]). 
  4. Custom-made License Plates are considered non-functional decorations, and must therefore meet all of the criteria listed in <R8>. Therefore, 3D printed License Plates are permitted within these rules.


Figure R9-1: A VEX IQ Robotics Competition License Plate with a VEX IQ Robotics Competition Team Number written upon it. 

Screenshot 2024-05-06 at 3.46.02 PM.png

Figure R9-2: An example of a legal custom License Plate.

<R10> Let it go after the Match is over. Robots must be designed to permit easy removal of Balls from their Robot without requiring that the Robot have power or remote control after the Match is over. 

<R11> Robot Brain. Robots are limited to one (1) VEX IQ Robot Brain. 

  1. Robot Brains, microcontrollers, and other electronic components that are part of the VEX Robotics by HEXBUG, VEX GO, VEX EXP, VEX V5, VEX 123, or VEXpro product lines are not allowed. 
    1. The Robot AA Battery Holder (228-3493) is the only exception to this rule, per <R13>. 
  2. If using a first generation VEX IQ Brain, Robots must use one (1) VEX IQ 900 MHz radio, VEX IQ 2.4 GHz radio, or VEX IQ Smart Radio in conjunction with their VEX IQ Robot Brain. The VEX IQ Brain and VEX IQ Controller may not be physically connected during a Match, and may only communicate through the radio. 
  3. The only legal method of driving the Robot during Teamwork Challenge Matches and Driving Skills Matches is the VEX IQ Controller. 
  4. See <RSC8> and <RSC9> for more information about operating the Robot during Autonomous Coding Skills Matches
  5. Additional Robot Brains cannot be used on the Robot (even Robot Brains that are not connected) 

<R12> Motors. Robots may use up to six (6) VEX IQ Smart Motors. 

  1. Additional motors cannot be used on the Robot (even motors that aren’t connected). 

<R13> Batteries. The only allowable sources of electrical power for a VEX IQ Robotics Competition Robot are one (1) VEX IQ Robot Battery (first or second generation) or six (6) AA batteries via the Robot AA Battery Holder (228-3493). 

  1. Additional batteries cannot be used on the Robot (even batteries that aren’t connected). 
  2. Teams are permitted to have an external power source (such as a rechargeable battery pack) plugged into their VEX IQ Controller during a Match, provided that this power source is connect ed safely and does not violate any other rules (such as <G8>). 

Note: Although it is legal, the Robot AA Battery Holder (228-3493) is not recommended for use in the VEX IQ Robotics Competition. 

<R14> Firmware. Teams must use VEXos version 2.2.1 or newer on Gen1 Brains, or VEXos version 1.0.8 or newer on Gen2 Brains. The latest firmware can be found at https://link.vex.com/firmware. Custom firmware modifications are not permitted. 

  1. The minimum VEXos version requirement is subject to change over the course of the season. 
  2. When the minimum version is updated, Teams have a two week (14 calendar days) grace period from the time the minimum version is changed to update their firmware to the latest minimum version.
  3. VEX reserves the right to deem any firmware update critical, and remove the allowable grace period. 

<R15> Modifications of parts. Parts may NOT be modified unless specifically listed as an exception in this rule. Examples of modifications include, but are not limited to, bending, cutting, sanding, gluing, or melting. The following exceptions are legal: 

  1. Cutting metal VEX IQ or VEX V5 shafts to custom lengths. 
  2. Bending parts which are intended to be flexible, such as string, rubber bands, or thin plastic sheets. 
  3. Cutting VEX IQ pneumatic tubing to custom lengths. 

<R16> Pneumatics. Robots using parts from the VEX IQ Pneumatics Kit (228-8795) must satisfy the following criteria: 

  1. No more than two (2) Air Tanks, including any that aren’t connected. 
  2. No more than (1) Air Pump, including any that aren’t connected. 
  3. No additional parts that are not included in the VEX IQ Pneumatics Kit (e.g., unofficial tubing or fittings). 

Note: There is no limit on the number of Pneumatic Cylinders or Pneumatic Solenoids that may be used, provided that no other rules are violated. There are no restrictions on running the Air Pump prior to (or during) Matches.

The intent of <R16a> is to limit Robots to the air pressure stored in two Air Tanks, as well as the normal working air pressure contained in any Pneumatic Cylinders and tubing on the Robot. Teams may not use other elements for the purposes of storing or generating air pressure.

Using Pneumatic Cylinders or additional tubing solely for additional air storage is in Vio lation of the spirit of this rule. Similarly, using Pneumatic Cylinders and/or tubing without an actual pneumatic system (e.g., Air Tanks and/or a Air Pump) is also in Violation of the spirit of this rule. 

<R17> There is a difference between accidentally and willfully violating a Robot rule. Any violation of Robot rules, accidental or intentional, will result in a Team being unable to play until they pass inspection (per <R3d>). 

However, Teams who intentionally and/or knowingly circumvent or violate rules to gain an advantage over their fellow competitors are in violation of the spirit and ethos of the competition. Any Violation of this sort may be considered a violation of <G1> and/or the REC Foundation Code of Conduct.