It includes a 75 Mhz transmitter. My understanding is that the receiver included only works with vex's microcontroller, so I would probably have to buy separate receivers to control the servos. But these transmitters are cheap (in both senses of the word).
Compared to the dozens-o'-channels transmitters available for RC today, yea the Vex ones are fairly basic, but it's a decent product. Not terribly cheapified.
The receiver included has a pinout which can be found on the net easily. Not as easy to find, but also out there is an explanation of how to take the signal streamed out of the receiver and run it through a circuit to control servos. It's not a badly complex project, but it does take a little to figure out. So no, the receiver WILL work with other microcontrollers. You just need to write code read the data pulses (it's just PWM) and make it do what you want with it. A worthy and educational project for sure.
In fact, the Vex receiver signal is all broken out and ripe for a robotics project, while a standard RC receiver would have to be hacked to get a microcontroller to be used with it somehow. It's a standard PWM signal for servos and your sharp scouts should be able to work together and figure it all out, especially if there is some experienced help.
Here's a basic explanation and maybe some simple Arduino code to start with:http://profmason.com/?p=602
You'll want to read this (click on "Vex radio interface" and maybe other links there)http://www.kronosrobotics.com/Projects/vexradio.shtml
A while back I wrote code (well... edited someone else's code to function anyway) and built a circuit to read the Vex receiver and control servos with an Arduino. The code was a little bit tricky - timing must be spot-on. The circuit was pretty simple. I think it's long gone now, but IF I can find it I'll post it here.
This is most useful and informative too:Link
ANd here's one somebody did up with a pic:http://profmason.com/?p=602
Will some standard 75 Mhz receivers work fine with this?
It's reported that most Futaba receivers will work with the Vex transmitter, but not all of them and I'm sure other brands will work with it as well. Best to search the web and find out specifically which ones will work with it. You could take the Vex to a hobby shop and get them to help you mix & match things to see which receiver(s) will work.
But again, if you use a standard RC receiver, then you might as well just call it an RC project to begin with and not a "robot". By decoding the Vex receiver, you could make the wiggling of the transmitter knobs do whatever you wanted to do besides making servos change positions.