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RobotC

Activity 3.1.1 Inputs and Outputs – VEX
Procedure
1. Start the “ROBOTC for VEX Cortex and PIC” software.
2. Connect the testbed to the computer using the USB A-A cable.
3. Set up the motors and sensors.
a. Open a New File
b. Set platform and communications method:
i. Click View > Preferences > Detailed Preferences.
ii. In the Platform tab, click the drop down under Platform Type, choose
VEX 2.0 Cortex. Natural Language should appear in the platform type
window.
iii. Make sure under Communication Port, it says “Automatic.” Note that this
can be changed to USB to ensure that the PC communicates to the
Cortex through the USB cable.
iv. Click OK.
v. Robot > Platform Type > Natural Language
c. Click File, Save As, select the folder that your teacher designated, then name
the file A3_1_1.
d. Complete the Project Title, Team Members, Date, and Section.
e. Click Motors and Sensors Set up.
i. Under the Standard Models Tab
ii. Select Configuration “POE + CIM” Testbed

4. Save the file in the same location used earlier, A3_1_1.
5. Obtain the teacher’s approval before proceeding to the next step.
6. Power on the Cortex.
7. View motor and sensor debugger windows.
a. Click Robot.
b. Click Compile and Download Program. Leave the Debug window
open.
c. Click Robot, Debug Windows, then Motors.
d. If there is not a Sensor and Motors tab available at the bottom of the
window, add them through the next steps. Click Robot, Debug
Windows, then Sensors.
e. Increase the debugger window area at the bottom to view the motor
and sensor values as shown below. Note that this window can be
viewed any time by clicking Robot then Debugger.
8. Fill in the Table
© 2012 Project Lead The Way, Inc.
POE Activity 3.1.1 Inputs and Outputs VEX – Page 1

Directions

Left

Enter several values ranging from -127 to
127, then press Enter on the keyboard or
click away from the value entry window.

Observations
(include threshold power setting for the motor to turn)
The motor turned to the right due to the
negative value
Right

Motor/Sensor

Motor

The motor turned to the left due to the
positive value

Change the line follower immediate
environment and observe the effect on
the lineFollower value. Use a dark and
light color within 1/4 - 1/8 in. to see the
change in the sensor value.

When there was a darker line under the sensor the value
went to a lower value like 1000 then when the sensor
followed a lighter line which had a higher value like 3000

Change the potentiometer setting and
observe the effect on the potentiometer
value. Rotate the potentiometer to
change the sensor input. Do not force
the potentiometer beyond the CW and
CCW physical stops.

The value of the numbers goes down when the potentiometer
is turned left but when it is turned right the value of the
numbers increases

Line Follower

Potentiometer

Calculate the angle change between
whole number values in your
engineering notebook. Use the
protractor below to measure an angle.
Change the limit switch environment and
observe the effect on the limitSwitch
value.

When the limit switch is depressed it gains a value of 1 but
when the limit switch isn’t pressed it has a value of 0

Change the bumper switch environment
and observe the effect on the
bumpSwitch value.

When the bump switch is pressed it gains a value of 1 but
when not pressed it has a value of 0

Change the optical encoder environment
and observe the effect on the quad
value. Rotate the optical encoder. Note
that there is no CW or CCW physical
stop therefore it can be turned
indefinitely in a direction.

When it is turned to the left the value increases while turning
it to the right decreases the value

Enter a 0 value, then press Enter on the
keyboard or elsewhere in the dialog
window. Did the LED respond as you
expected?

When the value of 1 is entered it turns the LED on while
entering a 0 value turns the LED off

Limit Switch

Bumper Switch

Optical Encoder

Green LED

Enter a 1 value, then press Enter on the
keyboard or click away from the value
entry window. Did the LED respond as
you expected?

© 2012 Project Lead The Way, Inc.
POE Activity 3.1.1 Inputs and Outputs VEX – Page 2

Enter several values ranging from -127
to 127, then press Enter on the
keyboard or click away from the value
entry window.

When the values such as -127 and 127 for the negative value
it turned right and when the positive value was entered it
turned to the left

Calculate the angle change between
whole number values in your
engineering notebook. Use the
protractor above to measure an angle.
Servo Motor
Enter several values ranging from -127
to 127, then press Enter on the
keyboard or click away from the value
entry window. This allows the value to
be updated. Note that the flashlight
needs a negative value in the debugger
window.

When -127 was entered as a value the LED didn’t turn on like
it was supposed to however when 127 was entered as a
value the LED light up

Change the ultrasonic environment with
a solid object in front of the ultrasonic
sensor. Observe the effect on the sonar
value.

As an object got closer to the sensor the value decreased but
when the object became farther from the sensor the value
increased

Change the light sensor’s immediate
environment by activating the flashlight
and shine it on the light sensor. Use
your hand to shield the light to the
sensor to change the sensor input.
Observe the effect on the lightSensor
value.

As more light hits the sensor the value decrease while the
value increases as amount of light on the sensor decreases

Flashlight

Ultrasonic

Light Sensor

© 2012 Project Lead The Way, Inc.
POE Activity 3.1.1 Inputs and Outputs VEX – Page 3