VEX GO is a fun and educational system intended for use with students in grades three through five. It's flexibility and function can also be utilized with many higher grade levels.
This article will introduce you to some key ideas which will help students use the VEX GO system.
Circles vs. squares - a connection for motion
The VEX GO building system consists of plastic parts, metal shafts, and electronics.
The plastic parts may have:
The metal shafts are square rods.
These different shapes have very specific functions for the VEX GO system.
Square peg/shaft in a square hole
When a square peg/shaft is placed in a square hole and the peg/shaft is forced to spin, the part with the square hole will be forced to spin. For example, if a square pin is placed in the square hole of a motor, the pin can be forced to spin.
If the square hole of a Green Gear is inserted on a spinning, square Gray Pin, the gear will also be forced to spin.
Parts with square pegs or square shafts
- Gray Pin
- Red Shaft
- Green Shaft
- Capped Shaft
- Plain Shaft
Parts with a square hole
- Gray Wheel
- Red Gear
- Green Gear
- Blue Gear
- Green Pulley
- Orange Pulley
- Red Square Beam
- Thin Beam
Round peg in a round hole
When a round peg is placed in a round hole of a part, the part can spin freely on the round peg. For example, if a round peg of a Red Pin is placed in the round hole of a Black Beam, then the beam can spin freely on the Red Pin.
Note: Round pegs will not fit into square holes.
Square peg or shaft in a round hole
When a square peg or shaft is placed in a round hole of a part, the part will be able to spin freely around the square peg or shaft. For example, if a Plain Shaft is inserted through the round hole of a Blue Wheel, then the Blue Wheel can freely spin on the shaft.
Two or more connections
If two parts have two or more connectors connecting them, they will not spin. For example, if a Yellow Large Beam has two Red Pins inserted in its holes and a Blue Large Beam is inserted onto the Red Pins, then the Yellow Large Beam and the Blue Large Beam will be solidly connected together.
Caps, flanges, and shaft collars
The VEX GO Kit’s pins and shafts have special features called caps or flanges.
Caps are features which are found on Pink Pins and Capped Shafts which stop the parts from passing completely through the hole of the part they are inserted into.
Flanges are features found on pins and shafts which stop them from being inserted further than one part thickness into a hole.
Shaft collars are rubber collars which can be put onto metal shafts.
A Shaft Collar can keep a metal shaft from sliding through the hole of another part. For example, a Shaft Collar can keep a Red Shaft from sliding back out of a round hole in a Black Large Beam.
A Shaft Collar can keep a part from sliding off of a Shaft. For example, a Shaft Collar can keep a Gray Wheel from sliding off a Shaft.
Colors and sizes
Another feature which makes the VEX GO such an easy building system is the parts have their own unique color. These colors help match the parts to the steps in the build instructions.
For example, a Blue Connector and a Yellow Connector may look similar. However, when the build instructions call for a Yellow Connector, there is no doubt which connector should be used.
In addition to helping identify parts that are needed for a step in the build instructions, parts of the same color will be the same size. For example Yellow Beams are always smaller than Blue Beams.
This feature where a part size can be identified by its color helps a great deal when matching up parts. For example, you will know both sides of your assembly are the same size if you use a Dark Gray Large Beam for each side.
The shapes of the parts and their colors allow you to easily build many different things with the VEX GO system.