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  • Grade(s): 9-12
  • Time: 1 week
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Students will add the whiteboard and marker attachment to the V5 Workcell, then create a project in VEXcode V5 to move the arm. They will compare linear and joint movement and how the arm moves using each type of movement. Students will also explore the following topics: a manufacturing robot’s controller, operating systems, motion control, and robot dynamics.

Essential Question(s)

  • How can an industrial robot be programmed to move within a 3D space?
  • How can I describe the motion of a robotic arm?


Students will understand:

  • The types of robotic arm motion and why these are important in manufacturing.
  • The V5 Workcell relates to the different industrial robot controllers/operating systems including elements of the controller.
  • How changing the x, y, and z-coordinates affects the position of the robot.


  • Identify and record the x, y, and z-values of a point on the Workcell.
  • Identify how the x, y, and z-values change when the arm on the Workcell moves.
  • Identify where the quadrant 1 and quadrant 4 locations are on the Workcell.
  • Identify how to launch VEXcode V5.
  • Identify how to open an example project.
  • Identify how to name and save a VEXcode V5 project.
  • Identify how to download and run a VEXcode V5 project.
  • Identify how to add blocks to a VEXcode V5 project.
  • Identify the difference between linear and joint movement.
  • Identify that the V5 Brain is the controller for the Workcell.
  • Identify the different inputs and outputs of the Workcell.


Joint Motion
The robot’s path follows the shortest possible arc between two known points.
Linear Motion
The robot’s path follows a straight line between two known points.
Operating system
A lower level set of software which allows the user program to communicate with the robotic hardware.
Programming device
Hardware which uses the programming software.  This can be a computer or mobile device. In industrial robotics a common device used is a Human Pendant (teach pendant).
A device in a robot that receives inputs, processes information, and then provides outputs.

Materials Needed

Quantity Materials Needed
1 per group

V5 Workcell

1 per group

Build Instructions

1 per group

VEXcode V5

1 per group

Engineering Notebook

1 per group

Device to run VEXcode V5

1 per group

Micro-USB cable

1 per group

Dry-erase marker

1 per group

Seek Checklist (Google / .docx / .pdf)

Educational Standard(s)

  • Next Generation Science Standards (NGSS) HS-ETS1-2: Design a solution to a complex real-world problem by breaking it down into smaller, more manageable problems that can be solved through engineering.
  • International Society for Technology in Education (ISTE) 5c: Students break problems into component parts, extract key information, and develop descriptive models to understand complex systems or facilitate problem-solving.
  • Common Core State Standards CCSS.ELA-LITERACY.W.11-12.2: Write informative/explanatory texts to examine and convey complex ideas, concepts, and information clearly and accurately through the effective selection, organization, and analysis of content.

Go to this page in the Knowledge Base to see a cumulative list of VEX V5 Workcell STEM Labs standards.