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Subcategories from this category: General, Tech Tips

Posted by on in General

Hi all,

just to let you know that our order for Aluminium 1x2x1x35 c-channel has arrived so all back orders should be available for pickup/posting tomorrow.

Sorry for the delay

Chris Hamling

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The second Auckland Ladder scrimmage will be held at Kristin School on the 5th of July. This will be run as part of the Auckland Ladder and teams with reserved spots will need to confirm their registration by filling out this form. Teams will need to confirm their registration by Friday 27th June, 11:59 pm in order to be able to participate. Teams who turn up on the day who have not confirmed their spot will not be able to attend.

Date: 5th July 2014 (Next Saturday)
Venue: Kristin School
Times: 09:00 - Doors Open, 09:30 - Registration Closes, 10:00 - Matches begin, 15:00 - Qualification Matches Finish, 17:00 - Venue closes

The scrimmage will be held in the Science & Technology building, a map of the location can be found here. Team list and results from the event will be available on RobotEvents under this event

Results for the scrimmages and overall ladder rankings for the Auckland season can be found at the following URL (http://kiwibots.nallen.me/regions/view/Auckland), these will be automatically updated after every scrimmage to reflect accurate rankings around the season. Thank you to Nathan Allen of AURA for creating this site!

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Posted by on in General

Hi All,

We will be holding the first of many VEX-U scrimmages during the last week of November/first week of December in Auckland. The aim of this event is to give VEX U teams a chance to compete, practice, share ideas and socialise. In addition you will have the chance to meet with our sponsors and discuss your aspirations with them.

This event is not open to High School students or teams.

Tentative Schedule (weekday)

  • 08:30 teams arrive and setup
  • 09:30 teams meet sponsors
  • 10:00 Comp starts
  • 12:30 lunch
  • 13:30 lunch finish
  • Tour of venue

We will either hold the event at Fisher & Paykel Healthcare of SMC Pneumatics.

Please let me know which of the following dates best suits your VEX-U team and if you would like to attend.

  • 27th Nov
  • 28th Nov
  • 1st Dec
  • 2nd Dec

Regards

Chris Hamling

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Hi All,

Inaugural Oceania challenge in Canberra.

I wanted to make sure that I started getting information out to all of you about an event that will take place at Dixon College in Canberra this August 22nd thru 24th. You are all invited to join us!

We want to develop a friendly rivalry between the Australian and New Zealand teams.  This year the Kiwibots teams are looking to go and play Skyrise with the Australian teams.  We are also going to host some workshops for the students and teachers to help get them up to speed for the Skyrise season.  

We are looking to develop an event where you can play against each other earning a coveted perpetual trophy that can travel back and forth to both nations. One possible idea is to hold the new Zealand Nationals and the Australian Nationals at the same time at the same venue. Each National event would be held as a separate event and the winners will qualify, as usual for the World Championships. The winners of the Nationals would then go on to compete for the Oceania Championship title. This is only star gazing at the moment but think how much fun a 300+ team event could be!

 

 

 

Schedule

 

  • 22nd August - Travel to OZ and set up
  • 23rd August - Competition and workshops
  • 24th August - Competition and Travel back to NZ

 

 

Flights

The flights that we have booked some seats on are:-

 

Friday 22nd August

            Depart Auckland at 08:10 on Qantas QF142

            Arrive Canberra on Qantas QF1419 at 12:20 via Sydney

 

Sunday 24th August

            Depart Canberra at 16:15 on Qantas QF1486

            Arrive Auckland on Qantas QF149 at 23:50 via Sydney

 

We will stay in accommodation close to the school.

If you are interested in joining us for this inaugural event please email me ASAP.

Regards

Chris Hamling

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Posted by on in General

Hi All,

CADPRO Systems are happy to announce that they are going to be running a 3 day Inventor training course in Auckland on the 14th – 16th July for tutors (not students) and the course will be free! It will be a great time for tutors to get together and discuss the use of CAD software both for the Vex competition and also its use in the curriculum.

To reserve your place and if you have any further questions do not hesitate to contact me.

Best regards

Paul Mokler-Tibbs

ATC Training Manager

CADPRO Systems Ltd                                     

Phone: +64 9 302 4028                                    

Mobile: +64 274 475 508

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

Auckland  -  Level 1, 527b Rosebank Road, Avondale

Christchurch  - Unit 3, 162 Kendal Avenue, Russley

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Posted by on in General

Hello,

A VEXnet Joystick was left behind at the Auckland scrimmage last weekend. If this is your joystick please contact This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.  to arrange for it to be returned

Thanks!

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Posted by on in General

Hi all,

A downloadable VEX catalog is available here http://www.kiwibots.co.nz/starthere/catalog.pdf for those who wish to print out what the Kiwibots have in their store.

If you see it on the VEX USA store and it is not in our catalog please let me know and I can get it in for you.

Regards

Chris Hamling

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Hi everyone,

In my last blog post I said that the 18”x18”x18” size limit would be enforced at all Auckland scrimmages.

We have decided to change this requirement for the first few scrimmages. I apologise to those teams who were inconvenienced by the incorrect announcement yesterday.

We realise that the best way to build robots that make optimal use of the whole size limit is to build with some protruding corners, then file those corners off once the design is finalised. We expect the robots used at the earlier scrimmages to be works in progress, so in order to save teams money we want to make it easier for them to keep their metal pieces intact as they rapidly cycle through different robot designs. We anticipate that this enforcement policy will allow teams to build similarly to how they did in previous seasons.

To make sure that the competition is still fair for teams who do build within the size limits, any part of a robot that protrudes outside the 18” limit will have to meet the following conditions:
- It must not be a functional component. That is, it must be able to be removed without affecting the robot’s ability to function in a match.
- It should not protrude from any side of the robot by more than 1”.

Inspectors will use their discretion when judging whether a robot that is outside the 18” limit is allowed to compete. The intent of this rule is to not penalise teams who are still in the design process and have small (non functional) parts outside the size limit, while still ensuring that no team can gain an unfair advantage by building outside size.

The following image shows an example of what will be allowed:
http://i.imgur.com/L0U57vk.png

Sizing Dimensions


This rule is temporary, and we will switch to using the 18” size limit later in the season. We will keep you updated about this so that you can be sure you are bringing a legal robot to each scrimmage.

Teams who want to compete in skills challenges will have to pass the full size inspection. Nationals qualifications based on skills will only go to teams who did not qualify through the ladder, so if your team wants to go to Nationals and you aren’t sure whether you will qualify through the ladder or not it would be a good idea to do skills.

Cheers,
Oliver Wilson
Head Referee

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Posted by on in General

Hi All,

I just wanted to say thanks again for helping me organize the filming with the team from Lynfield! I know Liam had a great time! The Episode will be on The 4.30 Show on Friday 13th June.

http://tvnz.co.nz/the430show

Regards

Chris Hamling

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Hi everyone,

The rules for Skyrise have recently been updated. The most important updates are that teams may not place any scoring objects within their opponent’s protected area (rule <SG9f>) and that teams may not place their opponent’s scoring objects within their own protected area (rule <SG13>). <SG9f> includes pushing multiple objects into your opponents’ corner to clutter it. See this thread for details:
http://www.vexforum.com/showthread.php?t=81255

As you know, scrimmages this season are qualifying events for NZ Nationals. To make sure that the competition is fair for everybody, and unlike in previous seasons, we need to enforce the robot construction rules. These can be found in the Skyrise manual under section 4:
http://content.vexrobotics.com/docs/vex-skyrise/VEX-Skyrise-GameManual-Rev20140416.pdf
and for a quick check you can use the Toss Up inspection checklist:
http://www.roboticseducation.org/documents/2013/06/inspection-checklist-vrc.pdf

To make sure your team has time to be inspected, please be on time to scrimmages and make sure you turn up with a legal robot. Because scrimmages (especially the larger ones) will have to be run to a tight schedule, we may not be able to finish your inspection before your first match if you either turn up late or fail inspection repeatedly.

There will be a couple of exceptions to the robot rules in the manual:
- Teams may compete without a backup battery, but they do so at their own risk. Backup batteries are intended to stop the robot from disconnecting if the main battery connection is temporarily disrupted. The reasons for not enforcing this rule are that (a) the rule exists mainly to avoid complaints about dropped connections rather than as a design constraint or safety feature and (b) at any tournament where we run an inspection, backup batteries cause the most delays of any rule other than sizing. If you don’t have a backup battery and you are having connection issues, put a backup battery on your robot before you come to the scrimmage volunteers about the problem.
- Teams do not need to use the new blue and red numberplates, since not all teams will have them yet. However, if a team isn't using the new numberplates then they need to use flags for every match. Flags will be available at scrimmages.

The biggest changes from scrimmages in previous seasons are that robots must be inside the 18” size limit to compete, and robots must use Vex batteries only. There are other places where you can buy 7.2V 3000mAh NiMH batteries, but since battery performance is so important to robot performance we need to make sure that everyone’s batteries are the same.

For skills challenges teams will need to pass the full inspection, meaning the will need to have backup batteries (but teams who have not received their new numberplates can still compete).

Cheers,
Oliver Wilson
Head Referee

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Posted by on in General

Hi All,

Just to clarify a few more points that have been raised as questions.

  1. Teams from out of the Auckland region who compete at Auckland ladder events will not be considered when qualifying teams for the nationals. ie their position in the ladder will be skipped. This works the same in reverse. Auckland teams will not be able to 'steal' qualifying places from other regions by attending their events.
  2. We are working on having teams play the same number of games at every scrimmage regardless of the number of teams at the scrimmage so larger scrimmages will have more games with shorter game cycle times to try to keep the day start and finish times as even as possible.
  3. The minimum percentage of scrimmages that a team needs to attend is 100% of the 5. Playing at less will probably count against you and playing at more scrimmages will not help.

This is where we are today but things might change as we work through things.

Please bear with us as we need to work our way through this season and see what works and what does not.

Above all judge us on the following:-

  1. We are not out to get you, we are just trying to become more streamlined to free up time and do more for more people.
  2. We will help you as much as we can, sometimes circumstances take things out of our hands.
  3. We know we will not get it perfect first time so please understand when we change things.
  4. We are trying to get things planned ahead as much as possible to help host schools plan ahead.
  5. We do not want to be 'Big Brother' but we need to make sure teams start to realise that we have moved on from the days of 'things will be fine just pitch up on the day'. That is why we are taking the hard line on registering for scrimmages. Plus RobotEvents works best if we load team in advance.

Have a great season

Chris Hamling

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Hi all,

I understand there is confusion regarding scrimmages so to clear things up.

1/ Teams have received 5 reserved scrimmage slots. This is because we have too many teams in Auckland to have 'open' scrimmages any more.

2/ Teams must attend these reserved scrimmages or risk not qualifying for the nationals.

3/ Teams must email Hayden to confirm that they will be attending each scrimmage that is reserved for them at least 1 week before the scrimmage. So the DEADLINE for the scrimmage #1 on Saturday the 7th at Whangaparoa is TODAY before 23:59.

4/ Spots at scrimmages MAY become available 1 week before a scrimmage but this is unlikely.

5/ Teams that just turn up at a scrimmage that have not registered by Wednesday 23:59 the week prior (ie 4th June for #1) WILL be turned away. :-( Sorry but we need to get tough on this as all our events are now on RobotEvents for multiple reasons.

So if you have a spot reserved for you at scrimmage #1 you MUST register before 23:59 on the 30th May (TODAY)

Regards

Chris Hamling

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Posted by on in General

Hi All,

We will be able to send one VEX IQ team from New Zealand to the VEX IQ World Championship in April 2015.

With the growth of VEX IQ in New Zealand we need to seriously look at starting scrimmages of some form in order to select which team goes to represent New Zealand.

It is early days but please let me have your thoughts on how you would like to see this happen.

Regards

Chris Hamling

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Posted by on in General

Hi All,

I have been told that people have been asking Hayden about a scrimmage waitlist for Auckland. Please do not bother him about this as it is not under his control.

The situation is as follows:

1/ We are still trying to find a solution that will cause the least amount of confusion and be seen as fair to the greatest number of people (the holy grail).

2/ Until we know what will work we are going to go from scrimmage to scrimmage as far as a waitlist is concerned. This will be driven by myself as I get feedback on where the scrimmage system is working and not working.

Our latest idea THAT WE MAY FOLLOW BUT WILL CHANGE was described in this blog http://www.kiwibots.co.nz/kiwiblog/entry/qualifying-for-the-nationals-update.

For the time being please note that we will not create waitlists for any event other than the next one on the list. This will be that case until we see how things go.

Regards

Chris Hamling

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Posted by on in General

Hi All,

In order to answer the multitude of unhappy emails that I have been receiving about VEX aluminium 1x2x1x35 c-channel being out of stock in one go I feel that it is best to do so in a blog. This will keep everyone in the loop.

VEX USA were caught on the hop by the unprecedented demand for this item. No they did not anticipate the demand would be as high as it has been as they design the game not the robots that will play it. They have been doing their best to get stock as soon as possible.

The Kiwibots did have 40 sets of the part in stock but they sold in two days. We cannot hold as much stock as we would like due to financial constraints.

I have been told that USA will have stock again in around two weeks. It will take two weeks for my order to get here after that.

If you are thinking you may need 1x2x1x35 aluminium then please order NOW from our web store and I will add these 'back orders' to my stock order and you will be assured of getting your parts as soon as you possibly can.

Regards

Chris Hamling

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Posted by on in General

Hi All,

The Wellington Regional Competition for the KiwiChallenge is to be held at WelTec on Saturday 7th June from 10am.  The competition will be held in the WelTec Student Hub which is at the foot of the 7 storey high WelTec tower block building on Kensington Ave Petone.

Everyone is welcome to come and have a look at what's going on, so feel free to pass this invitation on to family, friends, colleagues etc.

Teams from Auckland and Palmerston North are coming down to Wellington for this Regional KiwiChallenge Competition.  We also hope to have the elements for the new international competition on display.

If you have any queries about VEX in Wellington generally, or about the Wellington Regional Competition for the KiwiChallenge in particular, you may contact me in the first instance.

Cheers

Adrian

Adrian Ferguson
Senior Lecturer - Mechanical Engineering
School of Engineering Technology
Wellington Institute of Technology
(+64) 04 920 0466 x563
021 134 9275

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Posted by on in General

Following the confirmation of reserved spots for teams in the 1st scrimmage on the 7th of June, a waitlist has been opened for the 1st Auckland Scrimmage. Teams can join this waitlist and they will be accepted in a first come, first served basis. Teams will then be notified if they can attend the scrimmage on the 31st of May based off the numbers on the waitlist.

Teams who want to sign up to be on this waitlist can sign up here.

Reminder also that ALL TEAMS who have reserved spots for this 1st scrimmage and who have not confirmed their registration MUST do this by Friday 30th May, 11:50pm. If they do not confirm their registration by this date, the teams will not be able to compete at the scrimmage. Teams can confirm their attendance here.

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Posted by on in General

As part of our ongoing changes to the way we run things we will be presenting formal Excellence Awards at Auckland scrimmages #10 to #12. This Award will not qualify the winning team for the World Championships and will be judged with a focus on the point matrix in the judges handbook with some modifications. This means that points gained from Robot Skills and Programming skills will count towards the award.

  • Teams will need to have entered two or more on line challenges to be considered for these Excellence Awards.

These Excellence Awards will

  • Allow the winning team to enter the Excellence Award at the World Championships if they qualify for the World Championships.
  • Get teams to seriously think about Robot and Programming skills
  • Get teams to enter on line challenges

We cannot offer these awards in other regions as

  • You need at least 16 teams at an event for the event to qualify
  • We are just testing the water at this point in time

Excellence Award winners will be recorded on RobotEvents.

These Excellence Awards are not equal to the Nationals Chaiman's Excellence Award and do not carry the status of that supreme National Award.

Chris Hamling

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Posted by on in General

As part of our ongoing changes to the way we run things we will be presenting formal Design Awards at Auckland scrimmages #3 to #9. This Award will not qualify the winning team for the World Championships but will be judged in the same way as the Design Award at the Worlds and the NZ Nationals with ethe exception that the Design Notebooks have to be handed in two weeks before the NZ Nationals.

  • You will hand your design notebooks in at the start of the scrimmage
  • A dedicated and formally trained team of judges will judge the submitted notebooks and mark them according to world standards
  • To enter the National Design Award you must have entered the design award at the scrimmages that are reserved for you (#3 to #9).
  • A formal award will be made and shown on RobotEvents

These Design Awards will

  • Allow the winning team to enter the design award at the World Championships if they qualify for the World Championships.
  • Act as a form of authenticity when it comes to the Design Award at the NZ Nationals
  • help teams prepart for the NZ National Design Award

We cannot offer these awards in other regions as

  • You need at least 16 teams at an event for the event to qualify
  • We are just testing the water at this point in time

Google 'vex design notebook examples' for more info.

Chris Hamling

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Posted by on in General

Hi everyone

Thanks for a great turnout on Sunday. After a few hickups with the system we got underway and the day ended with an exciting close finish.

Congratulations to the alliance team of Christchurch Home Education and Boys High winning the Regional Scrimmage.

We are all grateful to Miranda for her efforts in getting us up and running at CPIT. The time she is spending at the venue helping us and ensuring we have a successful event is really appreciated. All queries about the venue must go through Miranda and be approved by her and Michael. We are hoping that there will be some time during the next school holidays for students to come in and use the field. Dates and times will be sent out prior to the end of term once the dates are confirmed.

The roster is working well with teachers turning up and helping. Our senior students are taking on leadership roles, which is great for them and for the events. A big thanks to the students who ran the event helped set it up and scored for us. Also to those who put up curtains and perservered with the system and managed to get it going. It has also been noted and appreciated that students are willing to help each other with the new game and give advice when needed. This is becoming a very sharing and student led environment which is great to see. Christchurch teams will have received an updated scrimmage roster - please note the change of dates for Term 3.

Thanks again

Diane Atkins

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