Carnegie Mellon University

Carnegie Mellon Robotics Academy

Use educational affordances of robotics to create CS-STEM opportunities for all learners

Certified ROBOTC Training for VEX Cortex (Anytime Online)

To follow along with this course, you will need access to VEX Cortex hardware and the ROBOTC for VEX Robotics programming software (not included with tuition). In this web-based teacher training, you will learn to teach programming and STEM using robotics. Tuition includes online access to CS2N and Carnegie Mellon Robotics Academy Training Materials.

This course focuses on learning how to teach programming and additional STEM concepts using the VEX Cortex robot. You can earn professional development credits and a Carnegie Mellon Robotics Academy Certification by completing various assignments throughout the course and passing an exam.

Teachers using PLTW curriculum are welcome to join and will benefit from a deeper understanding of the programming, computational thinking, pedagogical concepts, robot hardware, and troubleshooting techniques we focus on. The Project Lead the Way teachers we have worked with have found our training to be a highly valuable complement to the PTLW training.


Session 1: Introduction and Basic Movement

– What is a robot?
– VEX EDR Hardware
– ROBOTC Overview
– Natural Language with Graphical
– Movement and Turning
– Proportionality and Movement
– Labyrinth Challenge
Session 2: Improved Movement

– Shaft Encoder Overview
– Forward for Distance
– Programming Structures
– Programming Logic
– Calculating Distance
– Labyrinth Challenge Revisited
Session 3: Remote Control

– Transmitter Overview
– VEXnet Overview
– Basic Remote Control
– Mapping Functions
– Timers
– Minefield Removal Challenge
Session 4: Robot Sensors Part 1

– Sense-Plan-Act Overview
– Touch Sensors, Ultrasonic Rangefinder, and Potentiometers
– ROBOTC Debugger
– Thresholds
– Sensor Challenges
Session 5: Robot Sensors Part 2

– Line Tracking Sensors
– Gyro Sensor
– LCD Screen
– Competition Programming

The following is required is required to take this course:

VEX EDR Robot Kit – Sold Separately
We recommend the EDR Super Bundle which contains the hardware necessary for the class. Please call 412-963-7310 for more information.
ROBOTC for VEX Programming Software
– ROBOTC for VEX Robotics software

Computer System Requirements

– Windows® XP, VISTA, 7, 8 or later / Mac® OSX 10.8 or later
– Internet Explorer 9.0 or later / Mozilla Firefox® 18.0 or later / Safari 6 or later
– Adobe Reader 7 or later (Adobe Reader 9 included for PC)
– Two available USB ports for robot and optional headset
– Broadband internet connection

Additional Materials

– Black electrical tape
– Hard, flat, blank surface approximately 8′ x 4′ in size.
– Yard or Meter stick
– Twelve 3″ tubes (e.g. toilet paper rolls, PVC pipes, etc…)
– Twelve plastic balls, 4″ to 5″ diameter (e.g. play-pen balls)
– Hardcover books (or other objects to act as obstacles)
– Plastic drink container ( or other containers)

Tuition Cost - $299

Use the links to the right to register or checkout instantly. 

Upon Completion

– ACT 48 credits / 36 hours per class (for Pennsylvania teachers only)
– Certificate of Completion of course ‘graduates’ – may be used to apply for Continuing Education hours


We will only use personal information (such as name, mailing address or e-mail address) contained in your registration or correspondence to respond to your questions or provide Robotics Academy updates. If you enter a chat area or post messages, remember that other users may have access to your email address and user name. The Robotics Academy will not share any personal information provided by you with any unauthorized person or company except where the disclosure is required by law or is necessary to comply with legal process.

Certificate of Completion Requirements

To earn the Certification, class attendees must complete all homework assignments to the satisfaction of the instructor and pass the certification exam.

Class Eligibility

Classes at the Carnegie Mellon Robotics Academy are available to individuals who are at least 18 years of age and minors who have parental consent to enroll. The Carnegie Mellon Robotics Academy reserves the right to restrict, suspend or terminate any student for violation of these policies. In consideration of your involvement with the Carnegie Mellon Robotics Academy, you agree to provide true, accurate and current information about yourself when you register. If you provide any information that is inaccurate or if the Carnegie Mellon Robotics Academy has reasonable grounds to suspect the information is inaccurate, the Carnegie Mellon Robotics Academy has the right to terminate your account.


Purchasing a seat to online classes gives access to one participant only. Resources distributed as part of the class are for use of the participant only. Purchase Orders are also acceptable. Please contact the Carnegie Mellon Robotics Academy at for information about registering for the course, payment for the course, or if the course will be held.  Please email if you have questions about the content of the course.

Internet Access / Bandwidth Fees

The Carnegie Mellon Robotics Academy is not responsible for any internet access or bandwidth fees you incur while taking this class.

International Export Controls

International enrollment is subject to applicable United States export controls and laws.


The Carnegie Mellon Robotics Academy will offer partial refunds for tuition expenses only if class registrants contact us prior to the beginning of the first class.

Copyrighted Class Material

All course documents are owned by the Carnegie Mellon Robotics Academy. These materials may not be reprinted in any form except those specified for instructional purposes. The course documents and presentations may be displayed and printed for personal, non-commercial use only. Only students registered for this course may access this material. The Carnegie Mellon Robotics Academy makes every effort to provide accurate and up-to-date content. However, we have no liability for the accuracy, content, or accessibility of the hyperlinks included with class material.

Use of Student Material

The Carnegie Mellon Robotics Academy reserves the right to use coursework done by students for the purpose of advancing the educational mission of the Academy. When this occurs, students will be given the option to have their name credited to the material. This includes, but is not limited to, text, graphics, multimedia and other material created as part of the Carnegie Mellon Robotics Academy online course assignments.


You agree to indemnify and hold the Carnegie Mellon Robotics Academy harmless from any and all losses, actions, controversies, suits, demands, claims, liabilities or any causes of action whatsoever. You expressly agree that the Carnegie Mellon Robotics Academy is not responsible or liable for any infringement of another’s rights, including intellectual property rights.

Note: Policies are subjected to occasional revisions.