Irvington robotics switches from FIRST to VEX

By Sarvesh Mayilvahanan | Staff Writer

After many years of participating in the FIRST Tech Challenge, Irvington’s robotics team switched from the FTC to the VEX competition because the FIRST Tech Challenge required teams to purchase additional equipment to be able to participate in the competition.

VEX is a robotics design system which is both cheaper and easier to use than the FIRST parts. Teams who use VEX are also able to participate in the VEX competition where students form teams for an engineering-based challenge. Every year, participants in the competition are given a set of rules and a goal to accomplish which they must build a robot to do.

“Since I’m going to be teaching the Principles of Engineering class starting next year, and the equipment we will be using for that is VEX equipment, overall, for our school, it would be cheaper to go to the VEX competition because we will already have the equipment,” Robotics teacher Mrs. Berbawy said.

One of the major differences between VEX and FTC, other than the price are the pieces used to build the robots. However, the coding of the robots is very similar between the two platforms.

Students in the Robotics club stated that the switch was a positive change. “I like the switch. VEX is awesome!” sophomore Naveen Ravindar said.

All the students as well as Mrs. Berbawy look forward to participating in the VEX competition this year and in the years to come.