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Teacher Toolbox icon Teacher Toolbox - Facilitating the Sort the Disk Using UI Page

What the Teacher Will Do:

  • Instruct students that they will continue to work in their groups to follow the steps on this page.
  • Circle the classroom as students work through the steps on this page and answer any questions that arise.
  • Students will let you know when they are ready for their check in. Guidance for this check in is provided in a Teacher Toolbox at the bottom of this page.
  • Once all groups have finished testing their projects and have picked up and dropped off a red disk using the UI on the Brain's screen, bring the groups together for a whole-class discussion. Guidance for this discussion is provided in a Teacher Toolbox at the bottom of this page.

Now that we have coded the arm to pick up the red disk from the pick up location using the UI on the Brain's screen, you will now continue to build on the project to code the arm to sort the red disk into the drop off location using the UI on the Brain's screen.

In VEXcode V5, follow the steps in this video to add a [Joint move] and [Energize electromagnet] block beneath the 'Red Box Pressed' comment. Use your coordinates for Point 3 in the [Joint move] block shown.

Download and run the project. Four different colored boxes will be displayed on the Brain’s screen.

Lab 7 sort disk download and run_0

Lab 7 Sort Disk brain screen_1

Press the white box on the Brain's screen. The arm will move to the pick up location, pick up the red disk, and lift it up and out of the pick up location. 

If your arm did not pick up the disk, notify your teacher. 

Lab 7 white press_0

Lab 7 - Red-Step4_6_1

Press the red box on the Brain's screen. The arm will move to the drop off location and sort the disk by dropping it into the standoffs. 

If your arm did not sort the disk, notify your teacher. 

Lab 7 red press

Lab 7 - Red-Step6-2_4

Once you have finished coding the arm to sort the disk using the red button on the Brain's screen, stop the project.

Lab 7 sort disk stop_0

Teacher Toolbox icon Teacher Toolbox - Troubleshooting


If groups are finding that the arm does not pick up and drop off the red disk when they run their project, try the following troubleshooting techniques.

  1. Check the location of the blocks in the project. Ask students to verify that the [Joint move] and [Energize electromagnet] blocks are beneath the 'Red Box Pressed' comment.
    red box pressed
  2. Check the mastering values.
    1. Instruct students to check that the mastering values they recorded in their engineering notebook during Seek match what is in the [Set mastering] block.
    2. If the problem still persists, have students follow the steps in Seek to rerecord their mastering values.
  3. Check the VEXcode V5 project.
    1. Make sure students are re-downloading their project each time they make a change and before they run the project
  4. Check the build. 
    1. There may be a mechanical issue with your Workcell. Instruct students to look at the Lab 7 build instructions first and verify that the additions to their Workcell match.
    2. Have students go back to the Lab 1 build instructions for a complete look at the build and check that all elements match. Even one small detail being wrong can affect the movement of the arm on the Workcell.

Teacher Toolbox icon Teacher Toolbox - Check in

Review the following with the group during their check in: 

  • Ensure groups added the additional blocks to the correct places in the project. View this example code as reference. Note that the coordinates will vary depending on the group.
    red box pressed
  • Ensure that groups set the [Energize electromagnet] block beneath the 'Red Box Pressed' comment to 'drop.'

magnet to drop

Teacher Toolbox icon Teacher Toolbox - Discussion

After groups have coded the arm to pick up and drop off a red disk, engage the class in a discussion about their experience coding and their observations.

  • Begin by asking groups to share with the rest of the class the x, y, and z-coordinates they used for Points 1, 2, and 3 to code the arm. If time allows, ask groups to run one or both of their projects to show the arm picking up and dropping off the red disk.
  • Then ask groups to share any observations they had while creating and testing the two projects. Ask students questions such as: 
    • How does the 'Lab 7- Manual Move' project compare to the 'Lab 7- Sort Disk' project? Students should explain that the two projects used a lot of the same blocks like the [Energize electromagnet] and [Joint move] blocks. The two projects also used the same values. The main difference was that the 'Sort Disk' project had the UI on the Brain's screen that allowed the groups to choose when and where the arm should move to each location.
    • What benefits are there to using a UI-based project versus a project where each movement of the arm is coded (like the 'Manual Move' project)? Students may have different answers, but some should relate to how the UI-based project can be repeated or used no matter what color disk or no matter how many disks are present.
    • How was the [Comment] block used in this project? [Comment] blocks are used to communicate different sections and blocks of the 'Lab 7- Sort Disk' project.