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   Minimum   Quantity

Recommended Quantity

Description P/N Price Rec Ext Price Min Ext Price
1 1 easyC V4 for Cortex (10-seat) 276-1716 $375.00 $375.00 $375.00
5 10 Dual Control Starter Bundle with Cortex 276-1700 $549.99 $5,499.90 $2,749.95
5 10 Booster Kit 276-2232 $179.99 $1,799.90 $899.95
1 5 Smart Charger 276-1445 $16.99 $84.95 $16.99
1 5 Power Cord - North America (Type A) 276-1500 $3.00 $15.00 $3.00
5 12 7.2V Robot Battery NiMH 3000mAh 276-1491 $29.99 $359.88 $149.95
1 5 8-Bay AA/AAA Smart Battery Charger 276-1622  $24.99 $124.95 $24.99
5 12 AAA NiMH Rechargeable Battery (6-pack) 276-1696 $12.99 $155.88 $64.95
0 3 Plate 25x5 (4-pack) 275-1140 $14.99 $44.97 $0.00
3 8 Bar 1x25 (8-pack) 275-1141 $12.99 $103.92 $38.97
0 3 C-Channel 1x2x1x35 (4-pack) 275-1136 $17.99 $53.97 $0.00
0 3 C-Channel 1x5x1x35 (4-pack) 275-1139 $19.99 $59.97 $0.00
0 3 Chassis Kit, Medium 25x25 275-1033 $21.35 $64.05 $0.00
3 10 Drive Shaft 12" (4-pack) 276-1149 $8.96 $89.60 $26.88
3 10 Shaft Collar (16-pack) 276-2010 $10.49 $104.90 $31.47
0 3 Sprocket & Chain Kit 276-2166 $29.99 $89.97 $0.00
0 1 Additional Chain 276-2182 $14.95 $14.95 $0.00
5 10 Replacement Gears 276-2025 $1.99 $19.90 $9.95
0 10 3-Wire Servo 276-2162 $19.99 $199.90 $0.00
0 5 3-Wire Extension Cables (Large Bundle) 276-1424 $39.99 $199.95 $0.00
0 2 Screw 8-32 x 0.500" (100-pack) 275-1004 $7.49 $14.98 $0.00
0 2 Nut 8-32 Keps (100-pack) 275-1026 $2.99 $5.98 $0.00
0 5 Spacer Variety Pack 275-1066 $4.95 $24.75 $0.00
TOTAL $9,507.22 $4,392.05


Lesson Plan Course Title:   Robotics and Automation

Session Title:  Introduction to Robotics Part 1

Performance Objective: At the end of this lesson, students will be able to develop an appropriate knowledge of robotic systems in order to build a simple robot that matches the criteria in the Robot Construction Rubric.

Specific Objectives: Students will be able to:

• define what a robot is

• list and discuss three types of robotic controls (remote, autonomous, tethered)

• build a simple robot

• make a robot move

• construct and use gears to increase rotational speed or torque for movement

• identify and use tools to construct a robot

• develop mechanical aptitude

• design and build a structural system to support and protect a subsystem

• identify the different parts and pieces and how the different robot sub-systems relate to each other.


TEKS Correlations: This lesson, as published, correlates to the following TEKS.  Any changes/alterations to the activities may result in the elimination of any or all of the TEKS listed.

Robotics and Automation:

• 130.370(c)(1)(D)(E) …demonstrate the principles of teamwork related to engineering and technology; …identify and use appropriate work habits;

• 130.370(c)(2)(B)(C) …use teamwork to solve problems; and …serve as a team leader and a team member and demonstrate appropriate attitudes while serving in those roles.

• 130.370(c)(3)(A)(B)(C) …use time-management techniques to develop and maintain work schedules and meet deadlines; …complete work according to established criteria; …participate in the organization and operation of a real or simulated engineering project;

• 130.370(c)(4)(B)(D)(F) …follow safety guidelines as described in various manuals, instructions, and regulations; …dispose of hazardous materials and wastes appropriately; …handle and store tools and materials correctly;

• 130.370(c)(9)(A)(B) …safely use tools and laboratory equipment to construct and repair systems; …use precision measuring instruments to analyze systems and prototypes;

• 130.370(c)(10)(A) …interpret industry standard system schematics;

• 130.370(c)(11)(A)(B)(C)(D) …identify and describe the steps needed to produce a prototype; …identify and use appropriate tools, equipment, machines, and materials to produce the prototype; …implement sensors in a robotic or automated system; …construct a robotic or automated system to perform specified operations using the design process;

Interdisciplinary Correlations:

§110.47. Reading I, II, III

(3) The student reads for different purposes in varied sources. The student is expected to: (A) read to complete a task, to gather information, to be informed, to solve problems, to answer questions, and for pleasure; and (B) read sources such as literature, diaries, journals, textbooks, maps, newspapers, letters, speeches, memoranda, electronic texts, technical documents, and other media.

(5) The student comprehends selections using a variety of strategies. The student is expected to: (A) monitor his/her own reading and adjust when understanding breaks down such as by rereading, using resources, and questioning; (B) use previous experience to comprehend; (C) determine and adjust purpose for reading such as to find out, to understand, to interpret, to enjoy, and to solve problems; (D) find similarities and differences across texts such as explanations, points of view, or themes; (E) construct images based on text descriptions;

(7) The student reads texts to find information on self-selected and assigned topics. The student is expected to: (A) generate relevant, interesting, and researchable questions; (B) locate appropriate print and non-print information using text and technical resources, including databases; (C) use text organizers such as overviews, headings, and graphic features to locate and categorize information; (D) organize and record new information such as notes, charts, and graphic organizers; (E) communicate information gained from reading; and (F) use compiled information and knowledge to raise additional unanswered questions.

§110.34. English Language Arts and Reading, English IV

(11) Reading/Comprehension of Informational Text/Procedural Texts. Students understand how to glean and use information in procedural texts and documents. Students are expected to: (A) draw conclusions about how the patterns of organization and hierarchic structures support the understandability of text; and (B) evaluate the structures of text (e.g., format, headers) for their clarity and organizational coherence and for the effectiveness of their graphic representations.

 (26) Listening and Speaking/Teamwork. Students work productively with others in teams. Students will continue to apply earlier standards with greater complexity. Students are expected to participate productively in teams, offering ideas or judgments that are purposeful in moving the team towards goals, asking relevant and insightful questions, tolerating a range of positions and ambiguity in decision-making, and evaluating the work of the group based on agreed-upon criteria.

Occupational Correlation:  n/a

Teacher Preparation: Review this lesson. Preview the powerpoint. Review the VEX Inventor’s Guide, the quiz, and the Robotic Construction Rubric for student requirements. Basics are covered in this lesson, but, at the teacher’s discretion, subjects like motors and servos, gears, and binary numbers can be covered in more detail and would require additional preparation.  Have robotic kits and parts available for students.

References: 1. The VEX Inventor’s Guide,

2. Additional info on motors: or

3. Additional info on servo’s: or

4. Additional info on binary:

5. Information on parts and supplies can be found at:

Instructional Aids:

1. Introduction to Robotics Part 1: Prototyping PPT presentation and notes

2. VEX Inventors Guide found on-line

3. Robot Construction Rubric

4. Pictures of various robots from website links provided

Materials Needed:

This lesson is based on robotics using the VEX robotics system. VEX is a commercial vendor of robotic parts and supplies that are designed to work together, and, as far as robotic parts go, is relatively inexpensive. We recommend one robotic kit for every 2 students, but you can have as many as 4 students for every robotic kit. See the excel spreadsheet that details the parts, supplies, and software recommended. The prices seen are current as of July 13, 2011.

1. VEX robotic kits

2. VEX programming software

3. VEX Robotics Quiz and answer key

4. Robot Construction Rubric

Note: It is not the purpose of this lesson to require a particular robotic system, but there is no truly “generic” robotic platform that would be appropriate for a detailed lesson, so a particular robotic system had to be chosen in order to provide examples. VEX was chosen because of its popularity, and because all of the parts and supplies can be purchased from a single vendor. TETRIX would be an equivalent and perfectly acceptable alternative, found at: (

Equipment Needed:

1. Allen wrench (also called an L-wrench) - 2 sizes: 5/32” and  7/32”

2. Open ended wrench

3. Screwdrivers

4. Flat head and Phillips

5. Needle nose pliers and diagonal cutters

6. Crescent wrench

7. Vice

8. Dremel tool to cut and smooth metal

Note: Allen wrenches and one open end wrench is included in each VEX robotic design system

Learner Preparation:  The Design Process lesson found here:;automation_curr.html

Introduction  (LSI Quadrant I):

SAY:  Today we are going to learn how to build a robot. Before we do, we have to go over a few basics.

ASK:  Does anyone know what a robot is? (get answers from students. Say “Hmmm…” or “OK”).

SHOW:  Pictures of a robot from the following links:


( ) ( )


ASK:  Is this a robot? (for each one) Is this what you think a robot is? What about this? (next)

SHOW: Point to a printer.

ASK:  What about that?

SAY:  Technically, it is. It is not something that we generally consider a robot, but it senses and manipulates its environment, it is electronic, and it has a brain and a computer program.

SAY:  So, a robot is not always what we think it is.

SHOW:  Start the Introduction to Robotics and Prototyping PPT presentation.


Outline (LSI Quadrant II): Instructors can use the PowerPoint presentation, slides, handouts, and note pages in conjunction with the following outline. MI Outline Notes to Teacher

I. Introduce robotics by covering some of the definitions

A. “What is a robot” does not have a single definition.

B. Robots in practice turn out to be far different than robots in theory.

C.  Industrial verses humanoid      

This is Part 1 of a 3 part lesson on basic robotics. The primary purpose of this section is to get students to start the building process in a way that identifies academic requirements and considerations. Begin Introduction to Robotics and Prototyping PPT presentation. (Slides 2-4)

II. Types of control

A. We will be using each one of these types at one point or another in the class.

B. Most high school robotic contests are assumed to use autonomous control, but the reality is they generally use remote control.

C. Tethered control might seem to be a contradiction to the way a robot is generally perceived, but virtually all industrial robots are fixed in place and hard wired to a power source.

D. The offshore oil and gas industry also uses a large number of tethered robots for their work.

Refer to notes in the PPT presentation as you proceed through the lesson. (Slide 5)

III. Power

A. Batteries are the primary power source for student robots.

B. Batteries have limitations, one being the amount of power they can provide, another being that they are relatively heavy.

C. Heavy, meaning they are one of the heaviest parts of the robot.

D. Motors will use the most power and the highest voltage; the electronic control systems use less power and lower voltage.  

This is just a brief introduction to power. There is a good discussion of the differences/advantages/disadvantages of the different types of batteries in the VEX Inventors Guide. (Slide 6)

IV. Movement

A. This introduces DC motors and servos.

B. These are the two primary ways of creating motion in student robots. C. There are similarities and differences.

D. The control signals are the same type – PWM – but implemented differently.

E. This is the first inclusion of a VEX specific part but there is nothing unique or different about these VEX parts except for the way they are designed to work with other VEX parts (different brands of motors and servos work the same regardless of maker).     

This is just supposed to be a basic introduction to the use of motors and servo, not a lesson on how they work. Theory of operation will be discussed in more detail in a later module. (Slides 7-14)

V. Binary numbers

A. Students should have had an introduction to binary in an earlier class (i.e., from Concepts of Engineering and Technology course).

B. Review some of those simple concepts here.

C. 8 bits (one byte) has 256 different values ranging from 0-255.

D. VEX uses one byte to store motor and servo values.

E. The VEX PIC does not use negative numbers, the VEX Cortex does. The total number range is the same in both cases, the number values are just offset from each other by 127 (primarily a function of how the numbers are displayed in the control block).  

(Slides 15-16) Teacher may want to refer to: (STEM, Concepts of Engineering and Technology, Basic Electricity and Electronics: Module 2 lesson) for an introduction to binary logic and numbers.

VI. Gears

A. The primary concept is the trade-off between speed and torque.

B. One suggestion is to have students do some calculations.

C. Calculate the gear ratio needed to increase motor speed to 250 RPM. What gears/combinations of gears give us that ratio?

D. Calculate the gear ratio needed to pick up an object that weighs 4 lb. (see slide 10). What gears/combinations of gears give us this ratio?  

Again, this is just a simple introduction. More detail can be found in section 3 of the VEX inventor’s Guide. (Slides 17-19)

VII. Structural and mechanical system

A. These are the parts and pieces that are  used to physically build the robot.

B. The structural system is used to support and protect the control system. C. The tools given are examples of what is commonly needed to build and modify a student’s robot.

D. The structural pieces included in a kit are standard sizes, shapes, and lengths. These may need to be modified for custom designs, which is why a vice and a dremel tool are recommended.  

We want students to be able to build a robot but they have to be able to also identify the different pieces and how the different robot sub-systems relate to each other. (Slides 20-23)

VIII. Let’s Build!

A. Students start out by following the step by step instructions in the VEX Inventor’s Guide.

B. The sequence given is recommended based on experience, but can be changed or modified based on preference.

C. Students will be asked to design and build a new robot based on some given performance objectives in Design Challenges: Part 3, of this lesson sequence.

D. The assessment rubric given is designed for the complete design project where students design and build without step by step instructions. Adjust the rubric accordingly for this simplified objective.

E. The robot built is considered to be a prototype for the advanced designs to follow in the future.

F. This robot will not actually work until students learn to program their robot, which will be covered in Introduction to Programming and Control: Part 2 (the next lesson in this sequence).  

Building is where the focus of this lesson is, and where the students are expected to spend the most time. The lesson up to this point has been designed to prepare them for building by covering some preliminary concepts. (Slides 24-26)


Guided Practice (LSI Quadrant III): The teacher will guide the instruction about robotic definitions, parts, and assemblies during the Introduction to Robotics and Prototyping PPT presentation; and during the building process involving practical advice, tool use, and construction techniques.

Independent Practice (LSI Quadrant III): Students are expected to physically build their robot following written directions.


Review (LSI Quadrants I and IV): Question:  What is a robot? Answer: usually an electromechanical machine which is shown what to do by computer and electronic programming

Question: What is the difference between a motor and a servo? Answer: A motor rotates continuously 360 degrees; and a servo goes to a position and holds there.


Informal Assessment (LSI Quadrant III): Observation, question and answer, time on task.

Formal Assessment (LSI Quadrant III, IV): Quiz, Robot Construction Rubric based on robot performance


Extension/Enrichment (LSI Quadrant IV): Enrichment activities will occur during Design Challenges: Part 3 of this lesson.

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