VEX Protobot Unboxing

Posted 2 Sep 2009 at 16:05 UTC by steve Share This

Sorry about being MIA most of the last week! Glad to see the other editors have been keeping the news flowing. Just to show I'm still alive, here's a quick post foreshadowing a future review. The UPS guy delivered a big red box yesterday containing the new VEX Protobot Robot Kit Dual Control Starter Bundle. I was on my way out to a meeting of the Dallas Personal Robotics Group at the time, so I took the box with me and got Glenn Pipe of the DPRG to shoot a quick VEX Protobot Unboxing video. Enjoy.

PIC, posted 2 Sep 2009 at 19:59 UTC by The Swirling Brain » (Master)

Sweet! I want one!

What I'd like to see in the review:

I didn't know vex was a PIC based bot! I'm interested to hear what sort of programming stuff they have. Was it C and pic asm???

How much would the all that loot be if I were to purchase it in the store?

Are there sample programs and such?

Dual core, posted 2 Sep 2009 at 20:41 UTC by robodave » (Journeyer)

Think the Vex controller has 2 PICs in it, they might be 2 18F8520 or something. I think one has firmware to decode the RC receiver signal, and maybe some other stuff. The other I think can be programmed in the usual ways, MPASM, various C's.

Just checked Steve's link, looks like that was $500 worth of goodies.

programming, posted 2 Sep 2009 at 21:35 UTC by steve » (Master)

Yep, about $499 I think. It uses the PIC18F8520 micros. They offer two C compilers: Robot C and easyC PRO. Ours came with Robot C. Both are Windows-only proprietary software so I'll have to look around and see if there are any free software tool chains I can use with it. I've already found GPL'd source code for a program loader written by a VEX team who didn't want to use Windows. The free software SDCC compiler supports the 18F8520. Some other VEX teams have been reverse-engineering the proprietary stuff, so I think we'll be able to get it going. Worst case, we'll bolt on an Arduino or something. :)

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