Since its release over a decade ago the VEX Educational Robotics system, more commonly called VEX EDR, has been available in various kits. The V5 System, version five of the robot brain, continues this history with four available kits for purchase. These kits are the V5 Classroom Starter Kit, the V5 Classroom Super Kit, the V5 Competition Starter Kit, and the V5 Competition Super Kit.
The Classroom Kits are available as a single kit or as a bundle of six which will provide a classroom set.
All four kits include the V5 System Bundle, and common elements from following VEX product lines:
- V5 Electronics include items such as the Control System, V5 Smart Motors, cables, and sensors
- Motion parts include Wheels, Shafts, and High Strength Gears
- Structure components include fasteners, Shaft hardware, and metal Structural pieces
- Tools and accessories have V5 Battery Clips, #32 Rubber Bands, T15 Star Drive Keys, and 4" Zip Ties
The V5 System Bundle represents the pinnacle of classroom/competition robotics control with a very high level of Brain processing power, a color touch screen on the Brain, and an LED screen on the Wireless Controller for continuous feedback and control. In addition to a programming and battery port, the V5 Brain provides 21 Smart Ports which recognize and utilize the V5 Smart Motors, V5 Radio, and V5 Sensors, as well as allowing for a wired connection to the Controller. It also has eight legacy 3-Wire ports which can be configured to accept the legacy Motor Speed Controllers, the Pneumatic Solenoid Driver, LED’s, and 3-Wire Sensors.
The Li-Ion Battery provides over 12 volts of potential with its own firmware plus LED and controller feedback.
The V5 Radio has its own firmware and can provide either WiFi or Bluetooth wireless control and programming. The V5 Radio also has an LED for visual feedback.
The V5 Smart Motors provide a powerful way to move robotic assemblies and they have three different interchangeable gear cartridges to change the maximum rotational speed to 100 RPM, 200 RPM, or 600 RPM. They have an illuminated smart port for visual feedback and have built-in sensors which measure rotation, rotational speed, current draw, power, temperature, and torque.
The V5 Brain has a wide variety of onboard programming, as well as being able to be custom programmed with the scalable programming software suite available with VEXcode. The V5 Brain has eight slots to store eight different custom programs for selection and use. There are also a number of other custom programming options available.
Each kit is designed to address a different need in the robotics community, from a fundamental classroom curriculum to an advanced robotics competition team. These kits provide significant savings over purchasing the parts in individual packs and include many useful parts which might be overlooked.
V5 Classroom Starter Kit
The Classroom Starter Kit Includes everything needed to build the V5 Clawbot which will provide an engaging hands-on teaching tool. In addition, two 3-Wire Bumper Switches are included to show the relationship between sensors and robot behavior. This kit is the most affordable option to start integrating robotics and STEM (science, technology, engineering, and mathematics) into a school curriculum.
Science topics can range from principles of mechanics such as motion and mechanical advantage, to electrical concepts and a broad number of other topics.
Some examples of technology topics can include areas such as assembly techniques, computer programming, and control principles.
The Classroom Starter Kit can be used to teach many principles of engineering including things like the digital electronics, engineering design, and iteration.
The V5 Clawbot can bring mathematical concepts to life by providing concrete illustrations of many abstract concepts such as ratios, slope, and measurement conversions.
Ideally, the Classroom Starter Kit can use robotics to bring all of these topics together to develop life-long skills of communication, teamwork, creative thinking, and problem solving. These skills will contribute to a rewarding life and a successful workforce development for the future.
The Classroom Starter Kit pairs seamlessly with the VEX standards-aligned STEM Labs.
V5 Classroom Super Kit
With over 1500 parts the V5 Classroom Super Kit has everything a classroom could want when designing and assembling robots. There are additional parts from all four VEX EDR product lines. Some of the notable additions include:
- The V5 Electronics includes 2 additional V5 Smart Motors, the Legacy Ultrasonic Range Finder and two Potentiometers, plus the Vision Sensor. The Ultrasonic range finder can measure the distances between the sensor and other objects, while the Potentiometer can measure the orientation of rotation of a shaft. The revolutionary Vision Sensor detects colors and shapes and can be programmed to identify and track objects.
- The Motion products include four of each type of wheels available for VEX EDR system. This allows for investigation of the differences of behavior in wheels of different diameters and allows for exploration into multi-directional holonomic drive systems through the use of Omni-Directional and Mecanum Wheels. High Strength Sprockets and chain are also included in the Super Kit, as well as the V5 Claw Assembly. In addition, there are parts which are usually purchased through the specialty kits, these include: the Advanced Mechanics and Motion Kit, the Linear Motion Kit, the Winch and Pulley Kit, the Tank Tread Kit, and the Tank Tread Upgrade Kit. These parts allow for a multitude of different mechanical motions and applications.
- The Structural components include a larger amount of the types of components included in the Classroom Starter Kit and two 15x30 Base Plates. The Base Plates provide a solid platform to assemble mechanisms without having to assemble a robot drivetrain and chassis.
- The Tools and accessories in the Super Classroom Kit provide Latex Tubing and additional types of wrenches to compliment the parts which are also included in the Classroom Starter Kit.
The Super Classroom Kit will certainly provide everything necessary to utilize the VEX STEM Labs. The kit provides ample supplies to adapt the V5 system to fulfill the equipment needs of most available curricula for the VEX EDR system. It will also allow for the development of a custom educator-designed curriculum or for integration into an existing STEM curriculum. In addition, the Super Classroom Kit will make an excellent set to introduce robotics within an educational makerspace.
Where the V5 Classroom Kits are designed specifically to include parts which are ideal for use within a school curriculum, the V5 Competition kits are specifically designed to help middle school, high school, and college robotics teams be competitive when they participate in the middle school/high school VEX Robotics Competition and the college-level VEX U Competition. One major difference between the Classroom kits and the Competition Kits is the Competition Kits include Aluminum Structural components. These aluminum metal pieces are lighter and this provides a competitive advantage because the lighter the structure, the easier it is for motors and pneumatic systems to move it.
The versatility of the V5 Competition Kits will allow teams to be successful in both the Tournament Competitions and the Skills Challenge with custom designed, assembled, and programmed robots.
V5 Competition Starter Kit
The V5 Competition Starter Kit provides a low-cost entry system for the robotics competitions, while providing enough parts to create a competitive robot. Rookie teams can use this kit to learn about game analysis, design, game rules, and how to work cooperatively with their alliance partners.
In addition to the supplies which are also included in the V5 Classroom Starter Kit and the aforementioned Aluminum Structural pieces, the V5 Competition Starter Kit includes the parts from the specialty kits: the Tank Tread Kit, the Tank Tread Upgrade Kit, and the High Strength Sprockets & Chain. These products allow for additional options when designing drivetrains and manipulators.
Also included from the Motion line of parts are two 2.75” Wheels which are ideal for roller claws and support wheels; and Shaft Collars which provide a stronger grip than the Rubber Shaft Collars. These Shaft Collars will hold shafts and components in place during the rigorous interactions which take place during a competition.
The additional parts included within the V5 Competition Starter Kit can make the difference between assembling an annoyance robot whose main function is to get in the opponent robots’ way and assembling a custom robot which is actively playing the game!
V5 Competition Super Kit
The V5 Competition Super Kit is the “Super” of the Super kits! With over 4,000 parts, it contains just about everything a robotics team could desire. The purpose of this kit is to provide many parts to allow teams to create customized robots and not starter robots like the V5 Clawbot. For instance, the V5 Claw Assembly is not included in the kit and in its place numerous Structural and Motion components are included which can be used to assemble custom-designed manipulatives.
These kits are ideal for a grant-funded rookie team, a team looking to take their competition to the next level, or a program looking to add additional teams without straining their current parts inventory.
Some of the notable supplies contained the V5 Competition Super Kit are eight Smart Motors, four 4” Traction Wheels, four 4” Omni-Directional Wheels, High-strength Shafts with Hardware which can support larger and heavier assemblies, and the Vision Sensor.
The Vision Sensor can take a competitive robot to the next level of intelligent behavior. Plus, there are thousands of additional parts to allow a robotics team to design, assemble, and program a competitive robot which will frequently visit the tournament’s Alliance Captain’s station for the elimination rounds and bring home the awards!