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Subcategories from this category: General, Tech Tips

Posted by on in General

Hi All,

Things have been moved around a little on our website.

  • The side menu and log on bars have moved up to the top menu bar.
  • The 'VEX Worldwide' options have increased
  • A Curriculum tab has been added.
  • The 'Start Here' tab has links to the four formats that are available to you.
  • A ‘VEX IQ’ category has been added to the Web store to help you find the VEX IQ parts.

We hope you find the website a little tidier. We are working on improving things for you.

Chris Hamling

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Hi all,

We are reasonably confident that we will have between 75 and 100 students coming to New Zealand to hold their 3rd International Youth Robot Education Olympiad at Massey University Gym, Albany on the 2nd of December. They will be from China, Taiwan, Hong Kong and Canada.

Do you want to compete?

There are 10 games

  • #1 – Robot Race
  • #2 – Robot Dance
  • #3 – Robot Ball
  • #4 – Robot Soccer
  • #5 – One on one
  • #6 – Thematic – how many tables
  • #7 – Robot Creative Challenge -I still have no idea of how many tables to provide for this
  • #8 – Robot Rocket
  • #9 – Satellite Robot
  • #10 – VEX IQ

The rules (translated from Chinese) can be downloaded from http://www.vexrobotics.co.nz/starthere/Rules.pdf they need a bit of interpretation but it seems as if it will be a blast.

Times and details will be posted as soon as they are available. Just reserve the 2nd at the Massey gym!

We have added a VEX IQ Highrise game in order to show them the game.

This competition is open to anyone you do not have to be a VEX team just email me by the 21st Nov letting me know what you want to have a go at and I will add you to the list. Where you see lego you can also use VEX IQ!

Should be fun

Chris Hamling

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Hi all,

Just so you are aware we have changed the way the web store operates to make things a bit clearer for everyone.

1/ The current stock for every product is now shown so you will be able to see if what you want is in stock.

2/ You will not be able to order parts that are out of stock so there will be no back orders and you will be able to decide on an alternative there and then when you order. There may be the odd instance where the web store shows an incorrect stock level but these should be few and far between.

3/ You will be able to set the store to notify you by email when the parts come into stock so you can order them then.

4/ We will attempt to keep most things in stock and update stock at the end of each calendar month. This obviously depends upon VEX in the USA having them in stock.

5/ If you are after a large quantity of a particular part (say greater than 5) and they are not in stock, then please email me and I can add your requirement to my next order. High value items such as classroom kits are only stocked in small quantities 2 or 3 for obvious reasons.

6/ Orders will normally be posted on a Tuesday and Thursday to avoid us having to go to the Post Office every day. You will need to have your order in by 12:00 on Tuesday or Thursday in order to give us enough time to process them. Please understand that we would love to send your parts to you the same day you order them but that is diverting too much time from other things.

Please let me know if you find any issues with how this works when you use it.


Chris Hamling

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If anyone would like to help out on the VEX IQ stand at Big Boys toys I would be very grateful.

This year we have a very simple stand that will focus on VEX IQ. I am looking for help with 6 shifts with one person per shift.

  • #1 Friday morning
  • #2 Friday afternoon
  • #3 Saturday morning
  • #4 Saturday afternoon
  • #5 Sunday Morning
  • #6 Sunday afternoon

If you help out with a shift then you will get a free pass for the other half of the day.

The stand is shown below. We will have VEX IQ models on display along with the Current Highrise VEX IQ Game. We will also be selling VEX IQ kits.


Please email me if you can help out.


Chris Hamling

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Hits: 223

Book mark the date and city!

The first New Zealand VEX IQ nationals will be held in Palmerston North on the 13th of December 2014.

Watch this blog for exact details and location which should be sent out in a couple of days.

This will be a heap of fun and, as it is our first ever, teams will be learning as they go.

See you there!


Chris Hamling

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Posted by on in General

Just a  reminder to you all that we have a scriummage scheduled for this Sunday starting 9:30 with competition to be over by no later than 12:30 (based on last time - this is an estimate). As for some of you there is a bit of travel involved please let me know if you would like to remain longer to make use of the field or just hang out with others doing Robot stuff. I am keen to make the most of these get-togethers so if there is anything in particular you would like cover or so then let me know.

As with last time, I propose a round-robbin to be super-fair, though am quite happy to do something less formal with fewer rounds if that is what people want.

At this stage we will be located close to where we were last time (Electronics room) though with refurbishments happenning this may change - I'll let you know.

James Low (Bay of Plenty Robotics Coordinator)


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Hits: 250

Posted by on in General

Robot Mesh are excited to share the beta 3 of their python programming environment for the VEX IQ and VEX EDR (Cortex). Share your thoughts on their forum.

Beta 3 brings faster (delta) downloads, VEXnet Competition Switch template support and the Python math module

They plan to release a standalone version soon for occasions where internet access isn't always available (e.g. VEX Robotics Competition venues).

Chris Hamling



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Posted by on in General

There may be an issue with the latest version of the software for the v2.0 keys.

Please do NOT upgrade your keys until we have more info.


Chris Hamling

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Hits: 253

Posted by on in General

VEX Battery Extension CableThis 12" battery extension cable allows for greater flexibility in robot design. Now you can design a battery compartment into your robot regardless of where the microcontroller is mounted.

Designed for either of the VEX 7.2V Robot Batteries
Mounting plate makes a permanent battery fixture easy.


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Robomatter, a REC Foundation partner, is offering a unique opportunity for VEX IQ Challenge teams to secure FREE ROBOTC programming software and a Robot Virtual Game License with research study and online course participation.

In addition, Robomatter invites teams to register today for a FREE Online Introduction to Programming Certification Course. The course begins October 14th!

Chris Hamling

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Hits: 293

Posted by on in General

Don't forget that the VEXnet Key 2.0 Trade-In Program is still being accepted through the end of the year (12/31/2014).

To upgrade simply order yor keys 276-3245U from the Kiwibots web store and we will get in touch with you and work out the least painful way of upgrading your v1.0 keys.

Chris Hamling

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Hits: 263

Posted by on in General

VEXnet 2.0 users -

An important firmware update is now available for VEXnet devices and the VEXnet Key 2.0.

VEXnet Key 2.0 Firmware Version 1.46 features:
- Added Security Enhancements

VEXnet Master Code Version 4.23 features:
- Added Security Enhancements

Without this updated version, your VEXnet Key 2.0 may not function properly.

Download and install the new firmware at www.vex.com/firmware.

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Hits: 410

Hi All,

It may be possible to have all New Zealand teams at the Nationals and if we do, we would have to run two divisions.

I would like your feedback on how we should split up the teams if this happens.

Ideas are:-

1/ Simply by team number ie

  • 1a – Division A
  • 1b – Division B
  • 2 – Division A
  • 3 – Division B
  • Etc

At the end there would be a playoff between the Division Champs of Division A and Division B to find our National Champions who would qualify to go to the Worlds.

Excellence would be open as a path to qualify for the World Championships to either Division as would the Design Award, Robot Skills and Programming skills.

Things to consider:

  • Weaker teams are mixed in with stronger teams possibly pulling the stronger teams down.
  • Stronger teams would have to be able to rise to the top in spite of weak alliance partners to win. This is what you will have to do in the World Champs.
  • Weaker teams get hammered by the stronger teams and they feel they have no chance of winning.

2/ Using the ladder system ie

  • Top 50% of teams from each region go into the Premier Division. Teams in this division will compete to qualify for the World Championships.
  • Lower 50% go into the Plate Division
  • Both divisions are run as separate events
  • The ‘grey area’ of teams in the middle will have some adjustments made based upon Robot Skills rankings and Programming Skills rankings
  • The intention is to make the Nationals fun for everybody and all inclusive.
  • Why is in what division would only de decided once we had final confirmations of which teams were coming to the nationals so that the divisions would be roughly the same size.

At the end the winners of the premier division qualify for the World Champs and the winners of the plate divisions get bragging rights and winner status. Excellence would be open as a path to qualify for the World Championships to either Division as would the Design Award, Robot Skills and Programming skills.

Things to consider

  • Separating teams this way means that rookie teams still have a chance of winning something
  • Stronger teams have a stiffer competition to rise to the top
  • Stronger teams loose the experience of having to work with weak alliance partners
  • Each region will have 50% in Premier and 50% in Plate
  • We acknowledge that Plate teams in one region would be better than Premier teams from another but we need to ensure there is a fair representation from all regions. Robot Skills and Programming skills would be used to help sort this out as much as possible.

3/ Random selection

Toss a coin and that is your division J. Somehow I do not think this is a serious suggestion so I will not detail how it would work apart from saying that it would be like #1

4/ Keep schools teams together in divisions and have balanced numbers in divisions

Possible but that could cause serious issues if we want to ensure that our strongest teams with the best chance of winning the World Championships actually qualify. It would work like #1

In all cases the pits would be numerical in order to keep schools together.

Please let me have your thoughts on this and any other ideas on this that you may have.

This is not a debate on the ladder system, that is something we will be having later when we review the season.

Would you object if we opened up the Nationals to every team in New Zealand if we can?

Thanks in advance for your thoughts

Chris Hamling

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Hits: 274


Sorry for the mass email but people are on holiday so I hope to catch someone.

Please could the following confirm that they will be at the Glenfield scrimmage by the end of today (Friday the 3rd Oct) to avoid loosing their slot at the Glenfield Scrimmage on the 11th.

  • 5592 - Albany Senior High School
  • 8595a - Botany Downs Secondary College
  • 8595b - Botany Downs Secondary College
  • 2921a - Free Range Robotics
  • 2921b - Free Range Robotics

Please email me at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. to confirm you place.


Chris Hamling


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Posted by on in General

Interested in a holiday course in palmerston North?


Tuesday and Wednesday 7-8 October 2014

9 am - 3 pm ~ $150 for two day programme Optional 5 pm finish

St Peter’s College ~ Holdsworth Avenue ~ Palmerston North

G5 Computer Room

Open to school aged children from year 5-9 (age 9 -13)

Spaces limited

Morning and afternoon tea provided

Register and pay to St Peter’s College  030726 0399137 00  reference student name, VEX by

Thursday 2 October 2014

Topics: Build a VEX IQ Robot

Compete with the robot in HighRise tournament VEX IQ Challenge.

Program your robot

Write instructions for your robot to follow.

Test your program on the VEX IQ robot and/or in Robot Virtual World


More information contact:

Stephan van Haren

HOD Digital Technology and TIC Robotics

This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.


Please email following details to Stephan Van Haren: 

Student Name:


Parent name and contact details:

Attending 9am-3pm or 9am-5pm

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Posted by on in General

These courses are designed to introduce students to robotics.

In each one day course students will build a robot from a kit and drive it in a competition called Tic Tac Topple. The robots will be either VEX IQ or VEX Protobots.. If students have attended before we will provide them with some extra challenges to enhance their learning and enjoyment.

We will run the course on Monday 6 October 2014

9.30AM to 3.30PM

Students should be in Year 6 or older at school.

Bookings are made to This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. Please specify student(s) names, year at school, phone number for contact.

Payment to _12-3072-0723500-00 ref: students name, robotics

Places are only guaranteed on receipt of full payment and are on a first in basis.

Registration for this course closes 26 September or sooner if course is full.

For more information phone David Aston 021 254 6014

Lunch is provided

Venue Glenfield College Room 75

Courses are limited to 20 students

Cost is $45 per student

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Posted by on in General

Hi All,

Getting to the 2015 World Championships is taking shape and looking rather cool!

I am talking with Qantas and Hawaiian Air to find the best solution for NZ teams.

So far I have


Auckland - Sydney - Dallas - Louisville ...... Louisville - Dallas - Sydney - Auckland

This would be a dash there and back enjoying what Louisville has to offer (more on that later)

Hawaiian Air

Auckland - Hawaii (stay in Hawaii 3 days) - Atlanta - Louisville ... Louisville - Atlanta - Hawaii (stay overnight) - Auckland

This looks like it will work out to be a fantastic trip as well as a competition. Shorter flight time, Break in the middle of trip.


Both solutions would have us back in Auckland on Tuesday the 21st of April so you should only miss two days of school. yay!


So please keep your travel options open until I have more details for you.

Chris Hamling

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Hits: 288

Hi all,

I thought that it would be a good idea to get this reminder out before the school holidays arrive.

The following schools have spots reserved for the scrimmage at Glenfield college on the 11th of October.

Please could you confirm to This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. that you will be attending before Friday the 3rd October.

2927a Albany Junior High School
6786a Kaipra College
7757e Pasadena Intermediate
7757n Pasadena Intermediate
2931a Pinehurst School
2931b Pinehurst School
2931c Pinehurst School
2931d Pinehurst School
2931e Pinehurst School
2907a Rosmini College
2929a Westlake Boys High School
2929b Westlake Boys High School
2909a ACG Parnell College
2909b ACG Parnell College
7682 ACG Strathallan
7682E ACG Strathallan
5592 Albany Senior High School
7031a Baradene College
8595a Botany Downs Secondary College
8595b Botany Downs Secondary College
5606a Feilding High School
5606b Feilding High School
2921a Free Range Robotics
2921b Free Range Robotics
2918a Glenfield College
2918b Glenfield College
2918c Glenfield College
2918d Glenfield College
2918e Glenfield College
5672a Katikati College
8674a Manurewa high School
8674b Manurewa high School
8674c Manurewa high School
8674d Manurewa high School
5821a Otara Clubhouse
2950a St Cuthbert's College
2968a Rangitikei College
2968b Rangitikei College

See you soon.

Chris Hamling


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Posted by on in General

Built Using a Super Kit

Only have a VEX IQ Starter or Super Kit? You're in luck - these fun robots can be built using the 850+ parts found in any of the VEX IQ Starter or Super Kits! They're even designed to be controlled using the built-in Driver Control program; no code needed!

VEX IQ Clawbot IQ Build Instructions

Clawbot IQ

(PDF, 60.5 MB)

VEX IQ Armbot IQ Build Instructions

Armbot IQ

(PDF, 42.8 MB)

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Hits: 568

Hi all,

Glenfield College will be hosting a friendly scrimmage this Saturday 20th September, Glenfield College Cafeteria. Does not count towards the ladder.

Please an email David Aston to let him know you are coming would be useful. ( This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. )

They are holding it in the cafeteria/my room as it being election day we couldn’t use the hall.

See you there

David Aston

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