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Teacher Toolbox icon Teacher Toolbox - The Purpose of this Section

This Apply section will help students understand how robots are used in the real world. Begin the section by asking students to identify some of the present-day uses and benefits of robots. Students may have formed some misconceptions about how robots are used in society. List the students’ answers in the classroom so they can be referenced after the reading. The Apply section also discusses how to start a VEX Robotics competition team and the different roles that students can have on a competition team.

These Apply pages can be worked through as a class.

  • Together, read the Apply page “Robotic Movements.”

  • Facilitate a class discussion on the topic.

  • Together, read the page “Let’s Compete!”

  • Facilitate a class discussion on the topic.

If you have time available in class or as homework, Extend Your Learning sections provide other options to get students thinking about how robotics is used throughout their lives.


                                                         A Dragon Runner Robot moves through the desert.
   Photo: Steve Dock/MOD [OGL v1.0 (]

Robotic Movements

Today’s robots have the ability to complete many complicated tasks, such as the Dragon Runner Robot. This robot uses many operations and movements to find and remove dangerous items to keep people safe.

Robots didn’t start out being able to carry out complicated programs. The very first robot, the Unimate, was created by General Motors to work in a factory in 1961. It was programmed to complete very simple movements, like moving forward and backward, in order to move pieces of hot metal on an assembly line.

Over time, engineers have developed robots to be able to complete tasks that benefit humans in many ways. These advancements have led robots to become widely used in our communities.

They are many benefits for using robots:

  • They are capable of lifting heavy loads without injury.

  • They are more precise in their movements.

  • They can produce more products in a shorter amount of time.

  • They can work at a constant speed with no breaks.

  • They can perform tasks that are dangerous to humans.

  • They can work in hazardous conditions, such as poor lighting, toxic chemicals, or tight spaces.

Extend Your Learning icon Extend Your Learning - Robots in Industry

Robots are becoming more accessible with the technology advances available. More and more industries are using robots to be more efficient, cost-saving, and safe. To get students thinking about robots in the world around them, ask them to research how robotics is used in one type of industry (Examples include, but not limited to: banking, military, manufacturing, shipping, or medical). Students should be prepared to share their findings with the class.