V5 Status Update - 11/13/18

At VEX Robotics, we strive to harness bold creativity to create exceptional products. Our promise is to be customer-driven and take responsibility to correct our mistakes. Recently, we have fallen short of delivering on our values.

Effective immediately on November 13, 2018, new orders for V5 kits are indefinitely suspended. The continued shipment delays surrounding the V5 launch have inhibited our ability to provide the level of service expected from VEX. This pause in new orders will allow us to correct our mistakes, catch up with the current backorder, and properly prepare for the V5 era moving forward. This affects the following products:

  • 276-4800 - V5 System Bundle
  • 276-4810 - V5 Robot Brain
  • 276-4831 - V5 Robot Radio
  • 276-5842 - V5 Smart Motor 6:1 Cartridge
  • 276-5841 - V5 Smart Motor 18:1 Cartridge
  • 276-5840 - V5 Smart Motor 36:1 Cartridge
  • 276-6500 - V5 Classroom Starter Kit
  • 276-6600 - V5 Competition Starter Kit
  • 276-6550 - V5 Classroom Super Kit
  • 276-6650 - V5 Competition Super Kit
  • 276-6700 - V5 Classroom Starter Bundle
  • 276-6750 - V5 Classroom Super Bundle

This does not mean that we are shutting down V5. Production & shipping will continue full-bore during (and after) this hold, and orders that are already in process are still being shipped continuously. This hold does not apply to VEX IQ, VEXpro, or non-V5 VEX EDR accessories.

The Trade-In program will remain open for submissions until its scheduled close date of December 15, 2018. Teams who have shipped their equipment prior to November 13, 2018 will be the one exception to the ordering hold, and can place their order by contacting sales@vex.com with their discount code. For teams who have not yet sent in their equipment, and will be unable to order until the freeze is lifted, we understand that this gives you a difficult decision to make. However, we feel that this is a better alternative to completely closing the trade-in program early and not giving you the option to make that decision at all. Similarly, VEX U teams who have not yet placed or received their V5 order can contact sales@vex.com with their team number to place their order and/or make sure it is shipped as soon as possible.

Put simply, the demand for V5 has far exceeded our most extreme expectations. It is currently straining the capacity of every stage of our order-to-delivery process. In spite of a nearly blind sense of optimism and tireless effort, as everyone involved genuinely, desperately wanted to get V5 in the hands of our customers, we did not succeed in establishing the infrastructure needed to support the most ambitious product rollout in our company’s history.

This is not an excuse, it is an admission and an explanation. The past several months have been a shifting timeline for most of our customers. Unfortunately, each time we gave an estimate to you on an order, the team here at VEX truly believed in the estimate that was given with the information available at the time. However, when setting these dates and expectations, we were not doing a good enough job planning for the unplanned. For the past several months, our estimates were constantly missed. We no longer want to give incorrect answers.

By pausing new orders, it will also give us a chance to improve the experience for the thousands of early adopters who have already received some of the first V5 kits. Key accessories, including Robot Batteries and Smart Motors, will still be available to purchase to support existing users.

We want to return to fulfilling the promises that VEX has made to our community. Not the promise to create a control system with a touchscreen on it, but the promise of a customer-motivated, service-focused, quality-centric STEM experience from order to delivery and beyond. We want to be the company that under promises and over delivers. We are grateful for the patience that the community has had throughout this product launch, and look forward to seeing how V5 is able to change the face of robotics classrooms and competitions for years to come.

Adam Freeman, VP Product Development, VEX Robotics