Team JVN

Through consistent and meaningful advice, coupled with his unique sense of humor, John V-Neun has permanently cemented himself as one of the FRC community’s most-respected members.

John hails from upstate New York, where he first stepped into the spotlight as a college mentor for FRC team 229, Division By Zero out of Potsdam, NY. Though he considers himself “more Clark Kent than Superman,” the username “JVN” was one of the earliest adopters of the online FRC community Chief Delphi, and his insightful design tips served to mentor students far beyond his geographic area. In 2004, he created a mechanical design and gearing calculator that is still used by teams to this day, nearly ten years later.

Upon graduation, JVN joined the team at Innovation First and helped develop what would later become the VEX Robotics Design System. While in Texas, he joined FRC team 148, where he has led them to a world championship and 11 regional wins (so far). In his current role as Vice President of Engineering for VEX Robotics, JVN’s personal design signatures permeate competitive robotics culture in the VEXpro line of products for FRC teams, his VEX EDR system that is now used in over 32 countries, and the brand new VEX IQ platform for the next generation of robotics engineers.

JVN is an avid motorcycle rider and enthusiast – his secret circus performer talent would be to ride around in the “big metal ball of death,” and he knows without hesitation which bikes he would buy if he had a million dollars to spare (Ducati Panigale, Confederate Hellcat, and a BMW R nine T). With 12 years spent in competitive robotics, he’s looking forward to the challenge brought by a brand new 3 day build marathon, and remains confident in Team JVN’s prospects. “I’m thrilled by the opportunity to work with some of IFI’s top robotics experts, and some of my great friends.”

Team Copioli Charles “Charlie” Wensel Aren Hill Jay
“Smart Aleck”
Randy Larsen Carlos Perez Grant
“That Guy”
Glamour Shot Charles Wensel Aren Hill Jay Trzaskos Brian Culver Randy Larsen Carlos Perez Grant Cox
Occupation “Senior Intern,” VEX Robotics; Student, Texas Tech VEXpro Engineer, VEX Robotics Product Development Engineer, Innovation First Labs Intern, VEX Robotics; Student, Kettering University Intern, VEX Robotics; Student, Texas A&M University CNC Operator, Innovation First Manufacturing Marketing Coordinator, VEX Robotics
Build Blitz Role CAD Monkey Innovative Idea Generation, Prototyping CAD, Prototype Lead Design Strategy, Prototyping, Spying on Team Copioli Electrical Prototyping, Machining Sideline Reporter
FRC Experience 6 years
Teams 148, 3481
10 years
Teams 1625, 3928, 148
12 years
Teams 229, 148
5 years
Team 33
4 years
Team 148
1 year
Team 148
7 years
Team 217
FRC Game
Overdrive (2008) Aim High (2006) Triple Play (2005) and Ultimate Ascent (2013) Lunacy (2009) and Ultimate Ascent (2013) Breakaway (2010) Rebound Rumble (2012) Overdrive (2008) and Ultimate Ascent (2013)
What about Build Blitz excites you the most? “It’s going to be 3 days of caffeine fueled design. What’s not to like?” “Working with the ridiculous group of people.” “I love a project that challenges me to work outside of my comfort zone.” “I get to hang out with Aren Hill. I heard there might also be robots?” “Building robots!” “The chance to make an awesome robot” “A chance to give the world an inside look at how IFI engineers work together. Also being on camera for 72 hours.”
If you were a superhero, who would you be? “Aquaman” “Batman” “Iron Man” “AwesomeMan” “Iron Man” “Iron Man” “Tony Stark”
Misc. What would you do with a million dollars?

“Double down.”

What would your circus performer specialty be?

“Get shot out of a cannon.”

What’s one little-known fact that others would be surprised to learn about you?

“I played Club Ultimate Frisbee in college.”

If you could become one cereal box character, who would it be?

“Lucky (I’ve heard he has some charms)”

What would your circus performer specialty be?

“My level of coordination limits me to miming.”

What was your favorite toy as a child?

“Game Boy Color.”

What would you do with a million dollars?

“Throw the world’s largest electronic music festival. Free admission.”