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  • 8 - 15 years old
  • 45 minutes - 3 hours, 10 minutes
  • Beginner
Preview image


Students are asked to build and utilize a robot that will detect objects using color signatures.

Key Concepts

  • Using the Vision Utility

  • Configuring the Vision Sensor

  • Tuning the Vision Sensor

  • Identifying Sensing Blocks Used to Program the Vision Sensor


  • Follow building instructions to create a robot that will complete a specific task.

  • Identify that a snapshot block will capture the current image from the Vision Sensor and that image will be processed and analyzed for color signatures.

  • Identify the steps needed to configure the Vision Sensor to detect an object.

  • Construct and arrange ideas in an engineering notebook.

  • Identify the criteria and constraints of the solution for their design problem by considering lighting constraints.

  • Explain the advantages of using robots for transportation on highways and transit networks.

  • Explain the use of an Object Exists block as a condition in an if/then/else block.

Materials needed

  • 1 or more VEX IQ Super Kits

  • Vision Sensor

  • Green, blue and red solid objects

  • VEXcode IQ

  • Engineering notebook

Facilitation Notes

  • Ensure all required parts for the build are available prior to starting this STEM Lab.

  • Students will need to download an example project from VEXcode IQ and configure color signatures in the lighting conditions for the classroom area. There are directions for both of these actions provided in the STEM Lab.

  • Due to varying lighting conditions, the Vision Sensor may need to be tuned after configuring the color signatures.

  • An engineering notebook can be as simple as lined paper within a folder or binder. The notebook shown is a more sophisticated example that is available through VEX Robotics.

  • The approximate pacing of each section of the Stem Lab is as follows: Seek- 65 minutes, Play- 45 minutes, Apply- 15 minutes, Rethink- 60 minutes, Know- 5 minutes.

Further Your Learning


  • Research and debate the pros vs. cons of self-driving cars. Discussion can be focused on safety, efficiency, and/or design.

  • Investigate and write a paragraph about GPS (Global Positioning System) or LIDAR, the two systems that are necessary for self-driving cars.

Social Studies

  • Discuss and compare what types of landforms or communities that would be the easiest or hardest to implement a self-driving car and explain why.


  • Write a persuasive piece on the need for self-driving cars in the 21st century.

  • Create a brochure advertising a new self-driving car that has been designed by the student. Include a picture, sales information, price, and any other marketing information to promote the vehicle.

Educational Standards

Computer Science Teachers Association (CSTA)

  • 3B-AP-08: Describe how artificial intelligence drives many software and physical systems.

Common Core State Standards (CCSS)

  • CCSS.ELA-LITERACY.RST.9-10.3 follow precisely a complex multistep procedure when carrying out experiments, taking measurements, or performing technical tasks, attending to special cases or exceptions defined in the text.

  • CCSS.ELA-LITERACY.RST.11-12.3: follow precisely a complex multistep procedure when carrying out experiments, taking measurements, or performing technical tasks; analyze the specific results based on explanations in the text.

  • CCSS.ELA-LITERACY.RST.11-12.9: Synthesize information from a range of sources (e.g., texts, experiments, simulations) into a coherent understanding of a process, phenomenon, or concept, resolving conflicting information when possible.

  • MP.5: Use appropriate tools strategically (Rethink)

  • MP.6: Attend to precision (Seek, Play, and Rethink)