Understanding and Mounting the IQ Smart Motor

The IQ Smart Motor transforms your Robot Battery's energy into dynamic movement, powering your robot's diverse functionalities like wheels, arms, claws, and other manipulators. This article will walk you through common problems when building with the IQ Smart Motor and solutions on how to address them.

The IQ Smart Motor


Your IQ Smart Motor, a distinguishable gray rectangular item, has three main features:

  1. Mounting holes for secure attachment to your build.
  2. A square output socket beside the mounting holes for efficient power transfer.
  3. A Smart Cable port for Robot Brain control.

For a deep dive into IQ Smart Motor Specifications, view this article from the VEX Library.

Problems and Solutions when Building with the IQ Smart Motor

Problem: The Motor Feels Unstable

Solution: Utilize the motor's 11 top holes. More pins provide a firmer setup because there are more points of connection. The Smart Motor should be viewed as a key construction component requiring a solid connection.

Like a standard construction piece, the motor has mounting holes compatible with any pins and standoffs from your kit, ensuring a robust connection.


Removing the pins by hand might be challenging once inserted. For more information on removing tricky pins, view this article from the VEX Library that walks you through using the Pin Tool.

Problem: The Motors are Difficult to Mount

Solution: Things to keep in mind for the best way to mount motors:

  • Ensure the Smart Cable port is accessible.
  • Avoid interference between the motor and other mechanisms.
  • Position the square output socket to deliver power as intended.

If you're a novice, start by assembling the IQ Education Kit Builds from builds.vex.com. Acquainting yourself with effective building practices will benefit future projects.

This image shows the IQ Clawbot, effectively utilizing Smart Motors for its drivetrain, arm, and claw mechanisms.


Problem: The Motor isn't Moving the Mechanism

Solution: The motor's unique square socket allows for straightforward shaft connections. To employ the full power of it, you first need to attach a driving shaft. Insert any shaft till it's flush with the motor's surface, ensuring continuous power delivery. If your motor is attached but not moving, double check the shaft is fully inserted, sometimes it may slip out over time and robot use. As depicted below, any shaft can be integrated into the motor's socket during the mounting process.

Thanks to their square shape, any shaft can fit into the motor's output socket, directing power to the required mechanism. Just push the shaft fully into the motor until it sits flush, enabling smooth power transmission.


For more information on selecting, capturing, and supporting VEX IQ shafts, view this article from the VEX Library.

Need further assistance? Explore the Mechanical section of the VEX IQ Library for insights on mechanisms, assemblies, and drivetrains. For hands-on learning, kick off with the IQ builds at builds.vex.com for motor mounting examples.

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

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