Skip to main content
Teacher Portal

Teacher Toolbox icon Teacher Toolbox - Introduce the Play Section

In this Play section, groups will be introduced to conveyor systems. They will build a project to move a red disk through a conveyor system. 

What the Teacher Will Do:

  • Bring students together for whole class instruction.
  • Introduce the Lab to the students.
    • In this Lab, students are introduced to conveyors. Explain to students that in previous Labs they explored how to move the arm on the Workcell in 3D space and also how to successfully pick up and move disks. Eventually, students will use both conveyors and the arm to move disks along the conveyors and sort them by using the arm to pick them up and move them off of the conveyor. In order to do this, they first need to get the conveyors to move and learn how to code individual motors.
    • Tell students that first, they will code each of the individual motors of the conveyors and divert to spin. This will ensure that the Workcell is built correctly, and also give students the experience of coding individual motors and observing how they move.
    • Tell students that once they have tested all the conveyors and the diverter, they will then combine all of those movements in order to code a red disk to be loaded onto the entry conveyors, travel through the transport conveyor, and then be diverted off the exit conveyor.
    • Explain to students that they will be introduced to using blocks from the ‘Motion’ category in VEXcode V5 in their project to control the diverter and different conveyors with their associated motors. 
  • Tell students that they will begin the activity by opening the ‘Arm Workcell - No Sensors’ example project.

Teacher Toolbox icon Teacher Toolbox - Facilitating the Testing Movement page

What the Teacher Will Do:

  • Keep students together for a whole-class discussion about the activity.
  • Instruct students that they will be working together in their groups to follow the steps on this page.
  • Ensure each group of students has their devices to run VEXcode V5 and to view this page in the Lab.
  • Tell students to check in with you once they have completed the steps on this page.
  • Break students off to work within their groups. Walk around the room as students are working to answer any questions if they arise.
  • As groups check in, ensure they have built their project correctly before moving on. Guidance for the check in is provided in a Teacher Toolbox at the bottom of this page.

For more information about how to facilitate this activity, go to the V5 Workcell Educator Certification.

In this section, you will be introduced to conveyor systems. You will build a project to move one red disk through the conveyor system of the Workcell. 

In this Lab, more hardware was added to the Workcell in order to add different conveyors. There are three different conveyors as well as a diverter added to the Workcell. The names of these additions are the following:

  • Entry Conveyor: entry point for disk.
  • Transport Conveyor: transports the disk around the conveyor toward the exit.
  • Diverter: diverts the disk from the Transport Conveyor onto the Exit Conveyor.
  • Exit Conveyor: discards the disk off of the Workcell.

Lab 9 - HardwareCallouts_1

You will be introduced to using blocks from the ‘Motion’ category in VEXcode V5 in your project to control the diverter and different conveyors with their associated motors. 

Materials Required:
Quantity Materials Needed
1 per group

V5 Workcell

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

Colored Disk (1x red)

In order to code the arm to divert the red disk off of the exit conveyor, you first need to build the 'Lab 9- Conveyors' project. You will test the movement of each of the three conveyors and the diverter. This will give you experience coding individual motors, as well as a visual example of how the conveyors and diverter move on the Workcell.

In VEXcode V5, follow the steps in this video to open the 'Arm Workcell - No Sensors' example project, input your mastering values, name, and then save the project as 'Lab 9- Conveyors.' 

Ensure you are using your mastering values, and not the ones displayed in this video. 

Video file

Follow the steps in this video to add a [Spin], [Wait], and [Stop motor] block to the project.

These blocks will code the entry conveyor to spin forward for a set amount of time before stopping.

Video file

Download and run the project. The entry conveyor will spin forward for two seconds before stopping.

Once the entry conveyor has stopped spinning, stop the project.

If the entry conveyor on your Workcell did not spin forward for two seconds and then stop, notify your teacher.

Lab 9 - Entry Conveyor

Follow the steps in this video to adjust the parameters of the [Spin], [Wait], and [Stop motor] blocks in the project.

These parameters will code the transport conveyor to spin forward for a set amount of time before stopping.

Video file

Download and run the project. The transport conveyor will spin forward for five seconds before stopping.

Once the transport conveyor has stopped spinning, stop the project.

If the transport conveyor on your Workcell did not spin forward for five seconds and then stop, notify your teacher.

Lab 9 - Transport Conveyor

Follow the steps in this video to adjust the parameters of the [Spin], [Wait], and [Stop motor] blocks in the project.

These parameters will code the exit conveyor to spin forward for a set amount of time before stopping.

Download and run the project. The exit conveyor will spin forward for two seconds before stopping.

Once the exit conveyor has stopped spinning, stop the project.

If the exit conveyor on your Workcell did not spin forward for two seconds and then stop, notify your teacher.

Lab 9 - Exit Conveyor

Follow the steps in this video to remove the blocks to spin the exit conveyor and add [Spin to position] blocks to the project.

These blocks will code the diverter to spin to the 90 degree position and then to the 0 degree position.

Manually move the diverter to the starting position if it is not already, and then download and run the project.

The diverter will spin to the 90 degree position and then to the 0 degree position.

After the diverter has spun to the 90 degree position and then to the 0 degree position, stop the project.

If the diverter on your Workcell did not spin to position, notify your teacher.

Lab 9 - Diverter

Teacher Tips icon Teacher Tips

  • Saving a VEXcode V5 project may look different depending on the device that your students are using. For more information on how to save on a specific devices, view the Save a Blocks Project (iPadChromebookWindowsmacOS) articles from the Knowledge Base.
  • For more information on opening example projects, view this article from the Knowledge Base.
  • Remind students that their mastering values will be different than the one shown in the video. Students should be using their values, and not the values from the video.
  • If the diverter is not spinning properly (getting stuck or not spinning the full 90 degrees) try adding an additional rubber band to the build. 
    Rubber band
  • For additional tips, go to the V5 Workcell Educator Certification. 

Teacher Toolbox icon Teacher Toolbox - Troubleshooting

If groups are finding issues with their conveyors and diverter moving, try the following troubleshooting techniques.

  1. Check the VEXcode V5 project.
    1. Have students compare their project to the video on this page and ensure the order of the blocks match. Make sure students are re-downloading their project each time they make a change and before they run the project.
  2. Check the build. 
    1. There may be a mechanical issue with your Workcell. Instruct students to look at the Lab build instructions first and verify that the additions to their Workcell match.
      1. Can you hear the motor spinning and see the shaft moving, but the conveyor is not moving? Chances are that students have the wrong gear insert in the sprocket. Check the Lab 9 build instructions for specific part numbers to see which inserts should be high strength and which should be metal.
      2. Are all of the motors in the correct ports? Have students check their Smart Ports. 
        1. Entry Conveyor Motor: Smart Port 7
        2. Transport Conveyor Motor: Smart Port 8
        3. Exit Conveyor Motor: Smart Port 9
        4. Diverter Motor: Smart Port 10
      3. If your motor is not running, it may also be the Smart Cables. Check that your cable is working as intended by going to the Devices screen on the Brain and seeing if the motor appears in the correct slot.
        Device collage
      4. Use this Knowledge Base article for reference to see if your cables may be assembled incorrectly.
    2. Have students go back to the Lab 9 build instructions for a complete look at the build and check that all elements match.

Teacher Toolbox icon Teacher Toolbox - Check in

Review the following with the group during their check in:

  • Ensure their project contains the correct mastering values.
  • Check with students that all of their conveyors moved as intended. If any did not move as intended, follow the steps in the Troubleshooting Teacher Toolbox above.