Getting Started with the VEX V5 Workcell

The VEX V5 Workcell is an introduction into the world of industrial robotics. Nearly all products manufactured in the world today utilize some form of mechanization, many of which include robotic workcells. This article will help you get started with the V5 Workcell.

This article will cover:

  • Preparing the V5 Battery
  • Downloading VEXcode V5
  • Updating Firmware
  • Introduction to the Labs
  • Versions of the STEM Labs
  • The Build Instructions

Preparing the V5 Battery

Before you can begin powering on the V5 Workcell, you first need to ensure the battery is charged. To learn how to charge the V5 Battery, follow the steps in the Getting Started with Your V5 Kit VEX Robotics Knowledge Base article.


Download VEXcode V5

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The V5 Workcell STEM Labs use the VEXcode V5 to code the V5 Workcell. Before you begin coding with VEXcode V5, you must first download the software.

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First navigate to the download page. VEXcode V5 is available for the following devices. Select your device to download and install the software.

For more information on how to install VEXcode V5, view the VEXcode V5 install articles from the VEX Robotics Knowledge Base.


Updating Firmware

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Once you have downloaded and installed VEXcode V5, it is important to check for firmware updates as needed. Many VEX V5 products contain their own internal processors and run on a special Operating System. This software is the VEX V5 Firmware and is called VEXos.

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For more information about why you should update your firmware and how to do so, view this article to help you get started.

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Once you have downloaded and installed VEXcode V5 as well as checked for firmware updates, you are now ready to begin coding! For more information about using VEXcode V5 to code the V5 Workcell, view the Coding with the V5 Workcell section of the VEX Robotics Knowledge Base.


Introduction to the Labs

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The V5 Workcell STEM Labs introduce concepts used in manufacturing robotic workcells.

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The Labs utilize a robotic arm and conveyor systems attached to the V5 Workcell, which students will build out of parts designed to work with the VEX V5 system.

These Labs will provide action-oriented activities that will introduce students to the foundation concepts of robotic workcells. These concepts will provide a step-up for a variety of rewarding careers.

Each Lab starts with an introduction video which provides an overview of the concepts to be developed in the Lab and the activities which will be completed. Here is an example of the Introduction Video from the first Workcell Lab: Industrial Robotics.


Versions of the STEM Labs

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Each Lab exists in two versions: a student version and a teacher version.

The student version has the Seek, Play, Apply, Rethink, and Know sections of the STEM Lab.

The teacher version of the STEM Lab contains all of the same information as the student version, plus an abundance of resources which provide everything an educator needs to support the Lab.

These Teacher Resources include:

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Teacher Notes Guide -These guides within the Lab provide things like Teacher tips, Teacher tool boxes, Motivate discussions, and Extend your learning.

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STEM Lab Guide - This guide contains information about how the STEM Labs are structured using the SPARK format. SPARK is an acronym standing for Seek, Play, Apply, Rethink, and Know.

  • Preview - The preview of the Lab provides a description of the Lab, essential questions, understandings, objectives, vocabulary, materials needed, and educational standards.
  • Pacing Guide - The pacing guide for each STEM Lab provides step-by-step instructions on What, How, and When to teach.
  • Assessment - The assessment for the Lab includes all of the rubrics used for scoring.
  • Answer Key - The answer key provides the answers for the summative assessment found in the Know section of the Labs.
  • Finding Help - VEX Robotics offers support documentation in the form of "How to" articles to help new users get quickly up and running and to help more experienced users find timely and targeted answers to their questions.

The Build Instructions

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Many of the V5 Workcell STEM Labs have a set of Build Instructions within the Seek section to help illustrate the concepts found in the Lab, and help with the challenge found in the Rethink section.

These Build Instructions are .pdf documents which illustrate how to assemble the parts for the Lab. This format allows the instructions to be shared electronically or printed.

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The Build Instructions include a parts list at the beginning and detailed illustrations with a part list for each step allowing an ease of assembly.

View the Lab 1: Industrial Robotics Build Instructions as an example.

Note: for some additional tips and tricks to help with the STEM Lab Build Instructions, please see the articles in the Setting Up the V5 Workcell section of the VEX Robotics Knowledge Base.