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These days kids (and the grown-ups who act like them) get all of the coolest toys. Radio Shack announced that they will be carrying a series of new accessories for their current Vex Robotics line. Radio Shack originally worked with FIRST (For Inspiration and Recognition of Science and Technology) to develop the Vex line of programmable robots for youth. Accessories include: a line tracker kit, ultrasonic range finder, optical shaft encoder, light sensor kit, omni-directional wheel kit, sprocket and chain kit and a tank tread kit. Check out the full press release and more details after the jump. The initial programming kit will run $100 and the new accessory kits will run $20 to $30.



Second Annual FIRST Vex Challenge to Begin with Regional Competitions in Winter 2005

Fort Worth, Texas October 4, 2005 RadioShack Corporation (NYSE: RSH) today announced the exclusive availability of eight new accessories in its Vex Robotics Design System a breakthrough robotics line that allows young people and teachers to explore the possibilities of science, technology, engineering and math in an entirely new way. Building on the successful launch of the Vex starter kit and first round of accessories in April 2005, the new accessories give inventors even greater control over the design, performance and functionality of their robots, including the ability to program robots to perform tasks autonomously.

RadioShack created the Vex Robotics Design System in partnership with FIRST (For Inspiration and Recognition of Science and Technology), the world s leading high school robotics competition, and unveiled the product at the 2005 FIRST Championship in Atlanta. The initial competition included 52 teams from around the world, including the United States and Singapore. The 2005/2006 FIRST Vex Challenge will kick off this winter with regional competitions in Fort Worth, Texas; Orangeburg, S.C.; Hartford, Conn.; Newark, Del.; Atlanta and St. Louis. The tournament will culminate at the FIRST Championship in Atlanta in April 2006. Information on the competitions can be found at .


The following new accessories, which are available now at RadioShack stores nationwide and at , will enable teams to create more advanced robots and take the competition to the next level:

* Programming Kit (MSRP $99.99) Programs the robot s behavior and utilizes all the Vex Sensor Accessories the key to unlocking the robot s true power.

* Line Tracker Kit (MSRP $39.99) Lets the inventor create an autonomous robot behavior by programming it to follow a black line over a white surface.


* Ultrasonic Range Finder Kit (MSRP $29.99) Emits a high-frequency sound wave that alerts the robot to obstacles in its path.

* Optical Shaft Encoder Kit (MSRP $19.99) Aids in the creation of autonomous behavior by enabling the robot to accurately measure distances for navigation purposes.

* Light Sensor Kit (MSRP $19.99) Enables the robot to react to light so that it will follow a beam of light to perform tasks. Programming kit is required.


* Omni-Directional Wheel Kit (MSRP $19.99) Helps robot to achieve greater mobility and overcome small obstacles in its course.

* Sprocket and Chain Kit (MSRP $29.99) Enables the transfer of working power to a distant point (or multiple points) on the robot.

* Tank Tread (MSRP $29.99) Dramatically increases design flexibility and allows robot to navigate harsh terrain and extreme inclines with ease.


Vex provides young people with everything they need chassis, wheels, motors, gears, a programmable microcontroller, 6-channel hobby-grade radio transmitter and more to build virtually any robotic device the mind can conceive. Whether designing a robot that lifts, jumps, throws or races, young inventors are limited only by their own imagination and skill level. In the process, students can discover a newfound appreciation for science and technology, and learn valuable teamwork, communication and problem-solving skills.

We received overwhelmingly positive feedback about Vex at the FIRST Vex Challenge in April, and we re committed to expanding the line and continuing our relationship with FIRST, said Sam Mahserjian, brand manager for RadioShack Corporation. With these new accessories, there is really no limit to what kids can create, and we re excited to see their designs at next year s championship.

The Vex starter kit is available exclusively at RadioShack at a MSRP of $299.99, significantly less than other robotics products on the market. A portion of all Vex proceeds goes to FIRST to help further the organization s mission to inspire young people s interest and participation in science and technology.