Archive for April, 2006

Innovation First, Inc. Acquires VEX from RadioShack

Monday, April 17th, 2006


GREENVILLE, Texas (April 17, 2006) – Innovation First, a leading provider of robotics products for the consumer and education markets, today announced it’s acquisition of the Vex® Robotics Design System brand name and trademark registrations from RadioShack Corporation. Innovation First, developer and licensor of the technology powering Vex, partnered with RadioShack in 2005 to develop the award-winning product platform.

“Gaining ownership of the Vex Robotics brand positions Innovation First to take the product platform to the next level,” said Tony Norman, president and CEO of Innovation First. “We plan to stock the full line of Vex products and accessories and will seek additional distribution partners to fully serve the consumer and education markets in the US and abroad. We’ll also be stepping up efforts to drive innovation into the product assortment and will offer even more unique parts through the website.”

The Vex Robotics Design System includes a starter kit with over 500 individual parts and offers more than twenty accessory products including an autonomous programming kit, distance sensors, line following sensors and tank treads. Winner of the Best of Innovation award at the 2006 International Consumer Electronics Show, Vex promotes creativity and allows builders to design an infinite variety of robots to solve any task. FIRST (For Inspiration and Recognition of Science and Technology), creator of the nation’s leading robotics competitions for students, is utilizing Vex to pilot a new level of competition called the FIRST Vex Challenge which culminates in a national championship later this month at the Georgia Dome in Atlanta. More information is available at

“Teachers are looking for easier, fun ways to deliver practical lessons in math, physics and computer programming,” said Joel Carter, vice president of marketing for Innovation First. To this end, educational curriculum mapping to national standards has been developed for the Vex platform by intelitek and Carnegie Mellon University. “Ironically, the US is facing a shortage of qualified applicants for high-paying technical jobs. Vex is a low cost way for schools to introduce kids to these vocations through hands-on courses in robotics.”

To learn more about the award-winning Vex Robotics Design System, please visit or call 903-453-0801.

About Innovation First

Innovation First incorporated in 1996 and is a privately held S corporation. Co-owners Tony Norman and Bob Mimlitch founded the company on the belief that innovation very early in the design process is necessary to produce simple and elegant product designs. Innovation First began producing electronics for unmanned mobile ground robots, and is an industry leader in the hobby, competition and education markets. The RackSolutions division was formed in 1999 with the goal of becoming the “Rack Mount Problem Solvers.” RackSolutions works closely with all major computer OEMs to provide custom mounting solutions and industry-wide rack compatibility for data installations of all sizes.

Contact Joel Carter Innovation First, Incorporated (903) 453-0880

Vex Release 4-17-06