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VEX IQ 2nd Generation Is Using in Classroom Now

VEX IQ enables classroom & competitive robotics that inspire students with a complete STEM experience, developing creativity & innovation. It’s applied for Grades 6+.

VEX upgraded the VEX IQ to its 2nd Generation this summer and finally shipped them out in Fall 2021. Vinci Robotics Academy has purchased the classroom bundle at the beginning of sales and got in on hands at the end of October 2021. We will use the bundle to teach VEX IQ for camp programs.

The 2nd generation kit has a new collection of parts. This was done to support new STEM Labs and STEM Games with new robot builds. New parts were added that allow for more build options. Some parts were replaced with improved versions. Part quantities have also been adjusted.


See the IQ Education Kit of Parts and the IQ Competition Kit of Parts for different parts


  • The Robot Brain connects your entire robot together and includes a color screen for quick and easy control. Multiple international languages will be available.

  • The Robot Battery uses Lithium-ion technology to provide all-day classroom usage in most situations and includes a button for quick battery charge indication.

  • The Controller enables wireless robot driving and wireless code download.

  • The Optical Sensor lets the robot see light, color, and gestures, even in darker rooms.

  • The Distance Sensor (2nd generation) uses a safe laser to accurately detect distances without interference.

  • The Touch LED provides human touch input to the robot and color output to human eyes.

  • The Bumper allows the robot to feel when it hits a wall or another robot.

  • And the most important part of all, the Smart Motors make it all come to life with power and precision.

  • Languages will be added in updates as they are translated. Languages in work are Spanish, Chinese Simple/Traditional, Russian, French, Arabic, German, Japanese, Korean, and Portuguese.

STEAM education has evolved since the introduction of VEX IQ in 2013, and the robot construction system needed to evolve as well. The VEX engineers have made hundreds of minor improvements to the VEX IQ system, however, it is still the IQ system you know today, and it is all forwards and backward compatible. They worked closely with STEM educators and mentors, and Designers took their feedback into account in this redesign as well. Advancements in silicon chipsets and battery technologies have also allowed for the integration of new features and capabilities in their robotics platform.

A few of these include:


• Code with python, blocks, and C++

• Educators can easily bring the excitement of VEX competitions into the classroom

• Classroom clutter is greatly reduced with organized parts storage

• Student’s robots build experience is enhanced with many new and useful parts

• Firmware updates are simpler and easier to manage

• Battery runtime was increased significantly before the robots slow down

The 2nd generation kit has a new collection of parts. This was done to support new STEM Labs and STEM Games with new robot builds. New parts were added that allow for more build options. Some parts were replaced with improved versions. Part quantities have also been adjusted.


All of the 2nd generation electronics are compatible with the original 1st generation electronics and vice-versa. This was done to ensure classrooms with mixed 1st and 2nd generation equipment would not have any compatibility issues. Brains, Controllers, Sensors, Motors, and Batteries can be mixed in any combination between the 1st and 2nd generations of IQ. The only difference in the generations is that the 2nd generation battery has a new charger. The 2nd generation battery will not charge with the 1st generation charger, and accidentally inserting the 2nd generation battery into a 1st generation charger will not cause any damage either.


How are the VEX IQ 1st and 2nd generations compatible?

  • Everything works with everything (except chargers)

  • IQ Robot Brains (1st and 2nd) work with both IQ Robot Batteries (1st and 2nd)

  • IQ Robot Brains (1st and 2nd) work with both IQ Controllers (1st and 2nd)

  • IQ Robot Brains (1st and 2nd) work with all IQ Sensors and the Smart Motor.

  • The 1st and 2nd generation batteries use different chargers. The 1st generation Battery Chargers will not harm or charge the 2nd generation batteries. The 2nd generation charger connects via USB-C.

Does the IQ Robot Brain (2nd generation) provide a competitive advantage?


Yes and No. The processor, RAM, and flash have been improved considerably allowing programs to run faster. However, the communication speed to all the motors and sensors has not increased. For most applications, no competitive advantage exists.


VEX IQ is based on plastic, snap-together pieces specifically designed to build highly functional robots. This system doesn’t require any prior knowledge in robotics. Students can easily build their first robot, and the wide variety of additional parts means that they can build anything they imagine as they continue to learn. Every kit includes a hand tool to make assembly and disassembly easy for small hands.


VEX Code IQ brings Robotics and Computer Science to life for all students at all skill levels. Choose between three different coding languages – Block – based, python, and C++. Configure and drive your robot with ease thanks to the graphical Device interface. Develop your programming skills quickly with integrated Examples, help, and tutorials. VEX Code IQ also helps keep your robot up-to-date, automatically.


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