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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)
When the range is negative the motor turns
clockwise.
Right

Motor/Sensor

Motor

When the range is positive the motor turns
counterclockwise.

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.

The value increases when following a light line, but when
following a darker line it decreases.

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.

When turned clockwise the value increases and when turned
counterclockwise the value decreases.

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 not being pressed, it value is 0 but
when it is pressed its value is 1.

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

In order for this to work, a person must push the button.
When pushed the value is 1 and when not pushed the value
is 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.

The value decreases as it turns clockwise but increases as it
goes counterclockwise.

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

When you enter 0 the LED turns off, which I was expecting.
When you enter 1 the LED turns on, which I was also
expecting to happen.

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.

The servo motor goes to whatever position you enter, so if
you enter 127 it goes to 127 and if you enter -127 it goes to
-127. When positive it went counterclockwise and when it
was negative it went clockwise.

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.

If the value entered was positive, then the light would be
bright. When the value was negative, the light wouldn’t turn
on at all. When it was positive, if it was higher it would shine
brighter.

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

If an object was moved closer, the value would decrease. On
the contrary (I’m a formal British man), if the object was
moved farther, 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.

If there was more light, the value would decrease. If there
was less light, the value increased.

Flashlight

Ultrasonic

Light Sensor

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