Vex Robotics

by: Mark Kelly
These feature tool-less snap-together construction. They are aimed at key stage 2 and 3, and are very quick to assemble and dis-assemble, very durable, and have low cost spare parts.

There is a programmable control system at the centre. The screen has twelve ports meaning that twelve devices can be plugged into it. A device in this context is a motor, or one of the many sensers in the range. The robots are controlled by a joystick, which has remote sensers that are not on the robot itself. The robot is programmed to respond to inputs from that joystick.

It is possible to expand the robots from within the kits: i.e start with a simple robot and then create something more complex. There are various free programming options. There is free CAD (computer-aided design) software so the robot can be assembled virtually first. Vex Robotics addresses aspects of the design curriculum and the computer science curriculum. The classroom starter kit costs £220. All of the software is free.

There is a forum provided for schools to compare their experiences with the product. There is also a helpline which is available five days a week between 8am and 6pm. Kits are available on a next-day delivery basis, and can be ordered from the Rapid Education website.

This product helps children to learn about science, computer science plus design and technology. It is an exciting and flexible product which is highly recommended.