To fully unlock the potential of VEX Robotics microcontrollers, it's important to ensure that all applicable drivers are installed and firmware is updated. This page should help you get your new system up to spec, or return a VEX microcontroller to its default/factory state for a "clean slate."
Note: This page pertains to the Cortex Microcontroller, used in the VEX Robotics Design System. For help updating a VEX IQ Robot Brain, visit http://www.vexiq.com/firmware.
1 - Update PC Drivers
These drivers allow your computer to communicate with the Cortex Microcontroller over a direct USB connection or wirelessly with the VExnet Joystick and a Programming Hardware Kit.
| VEXnet Serial USB Driver
| If your kit is newer than June 2012, use this driver.|
The VEXnet v3.0 and newer firmware allows your PC to communicate using a new Serial Link with VEXnet products. The serial communication link requires this Driver to be installed on your PC. This driver is also required if you have the orange and gray programming dongle or the Programming Hardware Kit from June 2012 onwards.
| Windows XP Prolific USB Driver
|Windows XP Prolific USB Driver for the USB to Serial Cable which is part of the VEX Programming Hardware Kit from before June 2012.|
| Windows 7 Prolific USB Driver
|Windows 7 Prolific USB Driver for the USB to Serial Cable which is part of the VEX Programming Hardware Kit from before June 2012.|
| Prolific USB Driver 18.104.22.168 (for Windows 8)
| Windows 8 Prolific USB Driver for the USB to Serial Cable which is part of the VEX Programming Hardware Kit from before June 2012. |
Note: To use the old style programming cable on Windows 8, follow these instructions.
2 - Update Firmware on Cortex Microcontroller, VEXnet Joystick, and VEXnet Key 2.0
VEXnet devices contain internal processors and run on special software called Firmware (or Master Code). Firmware is updated periodically to provide additional functionality or fix bugs.
|VEXnet Firmware Upgrade Utility v4.1.2 (zip, 04-18-14)
(updates to VEXnet Firmware v4.21)
The VEXnet Key 2.0 requires VEXnet Firmware v4.0 or higher on the Cortex Microcontroller and VEXnet Joystick.
|VEXnet Key 2.0 Firmware Upgrade Utility v1.43 (zip, 04-18-14)||
VEXnet Firmware 4.21 (for Cortex Microcontroller and VEXnet Joystick) requires VEXnet Key 2.0 firmware 1.43
Firmware Update Notifications
New! Register for automatic email notifications when a new firmware update is available at the firmware notification page.
3 - Install Programming Software from VEX Partners
To use the VEX Robotics Design System without Autonomous Programming or robot sensors, there is no extra software required - you're done at this point. The system works fine "out of the box" for general robot operation. Minor changes to robot functionality (e.g. joystick scaling, motor reversals) can still be made via the transmitter menus or by placing jumpers in certain ports of the digital I/O.
For advanced users who wish to dive deeper, visit the Programming page to learn more about software available from VEX partners. For support with user code, please contact your programming software provider. easyC is supported by intelitek. ROBOTC is supported by Robomatter.
Other Downloads: VEXnet MAC Address Utility
| VEXnet MAC Address Utility
(v1.0.3, zip 09-20-11)
|The VEXnet MAC (Media Access Control) Address Utility allows a network manager to quickly collect a list of the MAC Addresses that are used by first generation VEXnet USB Adapter Keys (which operate on an 802.11b/g wireless network) so they can be authorized by their local IT department. Go to the VEXnet MAC Utility page for more information and to download.|
Other Downloads: Legacy Components
Visit the PIC Microcontroller Downloads page for information on how to restore a PIC Microcontroller to its factory state.
VEXnet Upgrade (v1.5) Users (discontinued)
Visit the VEXnet Upgrade Software Downloads page.
MPLAB Users (not supported)
Visit the MPLAB Software Downloads page.