New Vex Microcontroller announced

Qwerk Overview

* Powerful robotics solution for university and high school educational and hobbyist markets
* High-performance CPU with an excellent I/O feature-set for robotics and mechatronics applications
* Low-cost


* 200 MHz ARM9 RISC processor with MMU and hardware floating point unit
* 32 Mbytes SDRAM, 16 Mbytes flash memory
* Latest generation Xilinx Spartan 3E FPGA for custom I/O peripherals
* Linux 2.6 installed
* WiFi wireless networking support
* WebCam video input support
* 4 Amp switching power supply, 90% efficient, 7 to 30 Volt input range
* Rugged aluminum enclosure
* 5.1” x 5.8” x 1.3", 11.8 ozs


* 4 closed-loop 2.0 Amp motor controllers (supports both quadrature encoder and back-EMF “sensorless” feedback)
* 16 RC-servo controllers
* 16 programmable digital I/Os
* 8 12-bit analog inputs
* 2 RS-232 ports
* USB 2.0 host ports for connecting standard USB PC peripherals
* 10/100BT Ethernet port
* Built-in audio amp for playing MP3 and WAV files

From Charmed Labs Website[1]

For $350, this looks like a more affordable option for the 2009 Control System , You can actually buy them on a normal robotics budget and Charmed Labs has been providing Robot Parts for BotBall for almost as many years as IFI Robotics has been for FIRST.

I’m ok with the Compact Rio, I just think the cost on the Rio is way too high and hopefully it will come down to a few hundred dollars.

I understand that FIRST wants more powerful processing, but I’ve seen many college robotics teams scrape together a very advanced robot at IGVC[2] competitions with an old laptop and a simple micro-controller.


  1. ^ Charmed Labs Website (
  2. ^ IGVC (

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