Disinfecting Robots

What are you going to use to disinfect your robots if we go back to school in the fall? Are you going to use wipes/spray or are you looking into other methods like UV wands?

Thank you,


if the situation requires you to disinfect your robot you probably shouldn’t be meeting with your team tbh.


I guess if you wanted to disinfect the robot you could use Clorox or disinfecting wipes on the metal and plastic parts. If you wanted to disinfect a lot of parts at once it might be a good idea to to take apart the robot and place the parts and just spray a disinfectant on all of the parts at once


I teach robotics in the classroom. If we are face to face in the fall, I have to social distance and have more supplies. I’m going to have some students using VEX for a month, and then another group of students using them after that, etc., plus I want to disinfect them.
My students don’t take robotics just for the coding part, so I am still going to use the buildable robots like VEX and others that I have.

I’d be happy to share what I will be doing, but I really just wanted to ask about disinfecting.

We are not a team. We are just learning. And we can all have our own robots


makes sense, but perhaps hands on robotics isn’t a good class to have during this time. While the class you teach is probably well out of your control, it might be safer to not have any unnecessary hands on activities. It is possible however that the situation will be a lot safer in the fall, in which case you’d want to have as few students touching each robot as possible, and each student washing their hands before and after touching the robot. disinfecting the physical robot doesn’t seem like a particularly high importance to me because the only way disinfecting would be important is if one of the students working on it has the virus, in which case the other students would be touching the robot alongside the infected student. Better measures would be wearing masks, washing hands before and after, and maintaining as much distance as possible. But if you want to disinfect for extra measure, using wipes seems like a good method.

Leaving it out for three days is also a really good way to ensure anything there dies. That’s how our team is going to work: Divy up the sub-sections and work on it individually.


that seams like a great idea but I think the original poster teaches so maybe they won’t be able to do that between classes from what I understand

In regards to the actual cleaning of robots, there will be information provided at the EP Summit on ways to properly disinfect and handle robots during this situation. According to Grant Cox and Dan Mantz, they are currently creating a “Season Restart Guide” which will provide more information on sanitation and other COVID concerns. Even if you are not an EP, I expect the document will be made public in a few weeks’ time (probably on this forum), and you might find helpful information from VEX on it.


I missed this, I was assuming you’d only have one group of students working on each robot. You could then disinfect the robot between groups of students, but it might be easier to just leave the robots sit untouched for a week.


FWIW, I don’t think most schools have a dedicated class for robotics, just after school sessions. Working on Tuesdays/Fridays while focusing on a proper design book and communication seems like the way to go from a teaching perspective.

Ok I’ll explain the whole thing. haha I really just wanted to ask about disinfecting VEX robots.
The other companies already all answered me and VEX suggested I ask other teachers, as they did not have an answer…

I will have Robotics class in the Fall. I will either have it face to face with social distancing and masks, or we will be at home and they will have these supplies at home.

I am doing the following:
10 students get Edisons and Finches (programmable, not buildable)
10 students get BotBall and VEX (buildable)
10 students get Raspberry Pis and supplies like sensors, motors, breadboards, circuits, etc.

After each month, I will rotate the supplies to the next 10 students. I would like to disinfect them during this time, but prefer to also disinfect them more often.

I would use the virtual robots, but I have a lot of classes for programming already and these kids mostly want to build, and are interested in going into Engineering, which we do not offer much of in our school yet.

Thank you for the help. I’d love advice on disinfecting. I will definitely be teaching Robotics and I’m happy about it too :o)



Sorry - I do not know what EP means

We are not sharing robots. The students will all have their own robot.
Distancing and washing hands were a given that I did not state in my question. Of course we will be doing all of that. I just wanted to ask about disinfecting so I would not damage the robots. I expected responses of wipes, sprays, and maybe even UV wands’ so just curious what others are using.

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We have robotics classes. I’m not sure if you are telling me not to teach robotics during the school day?

This is not a team working on the same robot. It is kids learning during school hours about robotics. We are not part of a team.

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Do you know when that will be? I have to tell my boss what I need this week…

The Event Partner Summit will take place next week.

Unfortunately it’s hard to say exactly what will and won’t work. UV sterilization may not be viable depending on the type of insulation used on VEX wires (some common insulation materials break down with UV exposure).

The best advice at this time is probably to get some alcohol wipes and/or isopropyl alcohol in liquid form.


Pretty sure dunking the robot in soapy water will not work :slight_smile:
(not hard to find stuff that does not work!)


As previously stated, letting the parts sit for an extended period of time or disassembling the robot and disinfecting them are probably the best options, though make sure not to spray any electronics and I’d question doing it with some motion components too, using disinfectant spray or even wipes may impact the friction properties.

I know this part isn’t super relevant to the original post, but I’ll throw it in anyways. If CAD isn’t part of the curriculum for this class, I’d strongly consider adding it. CAD is probably the tool engineers use most, and it allows students to work on projects without having to physically touch a robot or similar. Instead, they can work on a personal device (worst case: a computer used by kids in different classes that are wiped down between periods) and have a lower risk of spreading the virus. Using CAD also forces students to go through a more thorough design process, and I know that myself and many others in vex have seen drastic improvements in robot competitiveness and design notebooks due in large part to learning to CAD and constantly improving and learning new things about it.


You could also wear gloves. While germs could still be transferred, it forces the students to be more conscientious about what they touch. You should probably be looking to disinfect tools and the controller more so than the robot itself anyways.