Operator Control

The operator control phase is the second half of a VEX Robotics Challenge match, where human drivers take control using a VEX Joystick. In high school, this phase lasts for the lion's share of the game (1 minute and 45 seconds of the 2 minute match), but in VEX U, this mode is shortened to 1 minute and 15 seconds. Some rules of the game may change during this period, in an effort to encourage new strategies or place a bonus on scoring during the Autonomous Period.


Autonomous code seldom continues into the operator control phase, but small scripted portions and PID controllers are often implemented to manage low-level tasks such as supporting an arm or running an intake. Parity among teams during this period is largely related to the skill of the drivers, obtained mostly through accumulated on-field practice time. Attending practice competitions and getting quality time on the field with a finished robot makes big payoffs during this phase.

Near the end of the match, a special scoring element usually comes into play. Examples of this would include the Negation Barrel in VEX Gateway, the Parking Bonus in VEX Sack Attack, and the Hanging Bonus in VEX Toss Up.

Contributing Teams to this Article:

  • BLRS (Purdue SIGBots)

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