Updating VEX EXP Controller Firmware in Web-based VEXcode EXP (Mac/Chromebook)

Many VEX EXP products contain their own internal processors and run on a special Operating System. This software is the VEX EXP Firmware and is called VEXos.

Note: VEXcode EXP can only update the firmware on the EXP Controller when connected to a device via a USB-C cable. Web-based VEXcode EXP does not support updating the firmware on the EXP Controller when using an iPad, Android, or Fire tablet.

What is Firmware?

This Operating System is written entirely by VEX Robotics, and harnesses the flexibility and power of VEX hardware for the diverse needs of education and the rigors of competition. The Brain will automatically push out the latest updates to any EXP device that is connected to it.

Why Should I Update?

There are several reasons why you should update your VEX EXP Controller firmware with the latest VEXos, some of these include:

  • VEXos updates will include fixes for known bugs and add the software which is needed to operate any new devices introduced into the VEX EXP line.
  • Updates allow for advanced programming features.
  • The best way to ensure that your VEX EXP system is functioning properly is to keep the software up to date.

How to Know if the Controller Firmware is Out of Date


If your Controller and Brain are paired and the Controller firmware is out of date, this error message will appear on the Brain’s screen.


The Controller is connected to Web-based VEXcode EXP and the Controller icon in the Toolbar is orange.


When a Controller is connected to VEXcode EXP via a USB-C cable, a prompt will appear asking “Do you want to update now?”

How to Update Controller Firmware


First ensure no other applications that work with VEX hardware are open in the background - such as app-based VEXcode EXP or Visual Studio Code.


Using a USB-C cable, connect your Controller to your computer and ensure it is powered on. Once the Controller is connected, launch Web-based VEXcode EXP.


One the Controller is connected via USB-C and powered on, both indicator lights on the Controller will be visible.


Connect the Controller to Web-based VEXcode EXP using the following articles depending on your device:


The Controller icon in the Toolbar will turn orange, and a prompt will appear asking to update.

Select “Update.”


Once “Update” is selected, the Controller will start blinking red rapidly, and the following prompt will appear.

Select “OK.”


Select “VEX EXP Controller FW Upgrade” and then “Connect.”


The Controller will become disconnected and the following prompt will appear.

Select ‘OK.’


The Controller will then attempt to reconnect.

Select the EXP Controller with the lowest ID number from the list of Controllers available, and then “Connect.”


Please wait while the Controller updates.

This could take a few minutes.


A prompt will appear when the update is complete.

Select “OK.”


The Controller firmware is now updated and the Controller icon in the Toolbar will display green.

For more information, help, and tips, check out the many resources at VEX Professional Development Plus

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