Understanding the IQ Pneumatics Kit Components

This article is an introduction to the IQ Pneumatics Kit, breaking down each component and explaining how it works. It is a valuable resource for anyone using the Kit to kickstart their pneumatic projects. This guide offers the necessary information to get your system operating smoothly. For guidance on coding your IQ Pneumatics Kit, view this article from the VEX Library. For examples of a basic IQ Pneumatics System operation, view this article from the VEX Library.

Important Update Notice: Make sure the firmware on your IQ Robot Brain and Pneumatic Control Unit is up to date. Using outdated firmware could result in unexpected behavior and performance issues with the pneumatic components. To learn how to update your firmware, view the "Firmware" Section in the VEX Library, ensuring you follow the instructions specific to your IQ generation control system.

Kit Exploration

The IQ Pneumatics Kit can be broken down into 5 different functional categories. These categories include the following and are listed in order of importance from the initial pressurization of air and ending with the actuation of mechanical parts:

  1. Air Stowage: This pertains to the components responsible for storing and distributing the pressurized air within the system, like the Air Pump and the Air Tank.
  2. Fittings: This category includes the various types of fittings such as the Tee Fitting and Straight Fitting that connect and route the Tubing throughout the system.
  3. Tubing: This includes the tubes that transport the pressurized air throughout the system.
  4. Electronic Control: This category includes components like the Pneumatic Solenoid that control the operation of the pneumatic system electronically.
  5. Cylinders: These dual-action cylinders (2x Pitch Stroke and 4x Pitch Stroke Pneumatic Cylinders) create mechanical movement through the use of compressed air.
Product Description
Air Stowage

Air Tank 70mL


The Air Tank acts as a backup system for your pneumatics, storing extra air.

When multiple parts of your pneumatic system (the cylinders) all demand air simultaneously, the Air Tank steps in. It reduces the system's total reliance on the Pneumatic Pump. It's a crucial component in maintaining a consistent and dependable operation of your pneumatic system.

Air Pump


The Air Pump, which you can recognize by its gray rectangular shape, works like an engine by compressing air and mainly sends it to the Cylinders through the Solenoid.

The Cylinders can't produce any force on their own, so they need the Air Pump's help. The Air Pump also sends some of the compressed air to the Air Tank. By doing this, it keeps your entire pneumatic system running smoothly and efficiently, especially when the demand is high. As long as you want your system to maintain air pressure, the Air Pump should remain on.


Tee Fitting


The Tee Fitting, which is easy to recognize because it looks just like the letter 'T', helps send air from one place to two different spots in your pneumatic system.
This gives you the power to send air to different places at the same time, like helping multiple cylinders work together or managing more complicated routes. Using the Tee Fitting, you can come up with really creative and flexible designs for your pneumatic system.


Straight Fitting


The Straight Fitting allows you to connect two pieces of Tube together, and is also an anchor for your Tubing, making sure your pneumatic system stays put and doesn't move when running.

By attaching the Tubing firmly to your structure, the Straight Fitting helps control and keep the flow of pressurized air steady. The Straight Fitting is as simple to use as pressing the Tubing into it and guiding it where it needs to go. It makes building your system easier and more reliable.



4mm Tubing


The 4mm diameter Tubing in your IQ Pneumatic Kit is very important. It works like veins, moving pressurized air from one part to another. 

You can cut the tubing to any length you need using classroom scissors, so it's perfect for any project. The tubing links different parts of your pneumatic system and helps it work smoothly. By adjusting the length of the tubing, you can make the best use of space in your robot's design.

To purchase more tubing, VEX IQ Pneumatic Tubing is available at vexrobotics.com

Electronic Control

Pneumatic Solenoid


The Pneumatic Solenoid is an important control part, working like an electronic valve. It receives instructions from your Robot Brain and turns them into pneumatic actions by directing compressed air to the cylinders.

It can control up to two Pneumatic Circuits at the same time, directing air to make cylinders extend (push) or retract (pull). This part is key in managing how your pneumatic system works.



2 Pitch Stroke Pneumatic Cylinder


The IQ Pneumatic Kit comes with two types of Pneumatic Cylinders: the 2x Pitch and 4x Pitch. These cylinders use air pressure to extend or retract, creating a push or pull motion.

'Pitch' refers to how far the cylinder can extend, not its starting size. They connect to the Tubing through built-in fittings and use the power of pressurized air to create linear  movement. Select either the 2 or 4 Pitch Cylinder for your design based on how far you need it to move.

4 Pitch Stroke Pneumatic Cylinder


For examples of a basic IQ Pneumatics System operation, view this article from the VEX Library.


For more information, help, and tips, check out the many resources at VEX Professional Development Plus

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