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  • 12 - 18 years old
  • 45 minutes - 4 hrs, 40 min
  • Beginner
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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/Instructions Used to Program the Vision Sensor


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

  • Identify that an image from the Vision Sensor can be captured 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 "Object Exists" as a condition in an if/then/else structure.

Materials needed

  • 1 or more VEX V5 Classroom Super Kits

    • Optional: VEX V5 Classroom Starter Kit + Vision Sensor + Mounting Hardware

  • Green, blue and red solid objects

  • VEXcode V5

  • 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 with either VEXcode V5 Blocks, C++, or Python 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- 155 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)