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Subcategories from this category: General, Tech Tips

Posted by on in General

Hi all,

In order to help teams get more scrimmages we feel that it is necessary to clearly explain scrimmages and what we want to achieve.

Informal Scrimmages

This is exactly what we have had in place for several years in Auckland and regions but teams may not have been aware of the details.

Q: What is an ‘informal scrimmage’?

A: An informal scrimmage is a relaxed event where teams can just book that they are coming, turn up and compete, when they can/want to against other teams. There may very well not be a match schedule. The intent of informal scrimmages is to allow teams to work together, have fun and test out their robots. No more than that.

Q: Who organises an informal scrimmage?

A: The event is organised and run by the teams that want to take part. The organiser checks that the date is available (hopefully well in advance) and promotes the event. All the Kiwibots will do is put the event on their calendar and create a Google form where teams can register the fact that they are going to attend by the Thursday night before the event.

Q: Who can attend an informal scrimmage?

A: Anyone from anywhere can attend an informal scrimmage. Numbers at these events will be on a first come first serve event and may be limited by the organiser based on space.

Q: Who can host an informal scrimmage?

A: Anyone anywhere can host an informal scrimmage.

Q: Who will run an informal scrimmage?

A: Informal Scrimmages will not be run by Tertairty volunteers but by the teams that attend. Any tertiary volunteers that attend will be there to mentor teams not to run the event.

Q: Where do we get fields etc from to compete on?

A; The SMC trailer with its two complete fields, game elements and field control laptops etc can be borrowed by any school PROVIDED that they pick it up the week before and return it the week after the scrimmage. If informal scrimmages are run immediately before or after another informal/formal scrimmage then the trailer can be picked up from the formal or returned to the formal scrimmage. People who borrow the trailer are totally responsible for it and its contents. There will be an online form they will need to fill in to book it.

Q: Do we need to use the game control software at an informal scrimmage?

A: No. The idea is to share ideas and have fun so paper and stopwatches will be more than enough.

Q: Will there be inspection at informal scrimmages?

A: No. But teams can ask for advice on if their robot is legal or not and a sizing tool is in the trailer if teams want to check their robot.

Q: is there a limit to the number of informal scrimmages?

A: No. there can be as many informal scrimmages as people can arrange. Just remember that teachers have lives outside robotics.

Q: Will there be skills at informal scrimmages?

A: No. They are informal.

Formal Scrimmages

Formal scrimmages are spread out during a season and are designed to enable a mechanism by which teams can be ranked so that, if we have to limit numbers at the nationals, we have a fair ranking system in place that can be used to select teams for the nationals.

Q; How many formal scrimmages will there be?

A: This depends upon the calendar and when exams etc happen. In Auckland we aim to have at least 5 formal scrimmage slots available for every team that will translate to around 11 scrimmages that have to be scheduled. Other regions will have different numbers.

Q: What happens at a formal scrimmage?

A: Formal scrimmages in the 2015-2016 season will be run using the VEX ‘dodge it’ competition manual with some variations. The most important variation is the sizing of robots where we will be more relaxed early on in the season and get stricter as the season progresses. This will be detailed in a later email.

Q: Who will run formal scrimmages?

A: This season we intend to get more High School students involved in running the formal scrimmages with the assistance of the Tertiary Volunteers. The intention of this is to get more High School students involved in the operations of events etc.

Q: How will spots at formal scrimmages be allocated?

A: Last year we tried letting teams choose the best spots for them and this sort of worked. This season we will ask teams to indicate which scrimmages they will not be able to attend and we will then allocated spots based on that.

Q: What is happening with the ladder in the upcoming season?

A: The 2015-2016 ladder system will be based upon a nationals ranking of a combination of Robot Skills and Programming Skills only. It is necessary to raise the profile of these events in student’s minds. We could actually qualify 60 teams for the World Championships through Robot and Programming Skills alone in 2016! Teams must at least consider giving these a go.

Q: Who can 'judge' skills?

A: This will be covered in a later email.

 

This is enough for one email.

More to come later.

Chris Hamling

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Posted by on in General

Hi all,

Hayden Wilson has said the he is moving away from helping with VEX as he must focus on his fourth year engineering studies and that he will simply not have enough time to do anything else. This is not unexpected as fourth year has a huge work load associated with it.

I am sure you will all join me in thanking Hayden for all the hard work he has done for us over the years and dedication and enthusiasm that he has shown. His unwavering energy will be missed as will his cheerful ‘sure, no problem’ replies when asked to do something.

Please could you contact me from now on with any questions or comments you may have and I will answer or deal with them.

Chris Hamling

National Manager

Kiwibots

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Posted by on in General

Hello potential Auckland scrimmage hosts,

The season of Missile Mania is upon us, and there’s no set list of scrimmage dates yet – yikes!  To make the process as easy yet accommodating as I can, I have created a Google Form that will allow you to simply enter all the required information.  Once there are enough responses I will draw up a scrimmage schedule and post it up here.  This should only take a couple of days if the respondents get in touch fast enough.

If we get any offers to host a March 28th scrim in the next couple of days, we will just announce that scrimmage earlier than the rest so everyone is aware of it as soon as possible.  The rest will follow shortly after anyway, no doubt.

Potential Dates are:

  • 28 March
  • 11 April
  • 2 May
  • 9 May
  • 16 May
  • 23 May

So if you are interested, please fill out this form ASAP:  Here is the form!

Cheers,

Rob

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Posted by on in General

Hi Guys,

A  typo was pointed out to me which may be causing some confusion among you teams. This was to do with the number of motors allowed. In <R1.1> it limits you to 5 motors, however, the part list for the Super Kit says there are 7 motors included. This is not the case and has been updated in the manual. You are only allowed to use up to 5 motors in Missile Mania. I'm sorry for any inconvenience this may have caused in your designs. 

The updated manual (linked here) reflects this change as well as a few other grammatical changes. No rulings have been changed in this update. 

I have also had a couple questions regarding the use of polycarbonate and anti-slip mat on KiwiChallenge robots. There has not been an allowance in the rules for these materials, thus they cannot be used. Cable ties can be used, but as per the limitation in the Super Kit part list, you may only use up to 50. 

If there are any questions in regards to rulings, don't hesitate to email them through. We will get back to them as soon as possible. "

The video is still rendering. We reduced the quality so it shouldn't take as long. 

-Jamie

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Please register for this meeting this Saturday before 17:00 on Thursday. We would really like to hear your thoughts so we can take them into account during the coming season.

Previous blog....

Hi All,

What a phenomenal season ‘Skyrise’ was, more scrimmages, more teams, more stress. I would like to invite anyone (students, parents, teachers, mentors, volunteers) that is able to attend physically, or on line, to come to an annual meeting. I need you to help me to reflect on the past season and to look forward using what we, as a group, have learned from the past season, good and bad. We will have both full group sessions and small group sessions to discuss ideas and work through them.

I would like to use the meeting to refocus and hear your ideas for the future.

On Saturday the 14th of March I would appreciate it if those people who would like to contribute to a season review would join me at either Smales Farm, Glenfield College or Massey University from 11:00 onwards. The location will depend on the number of people that indicate their desire to attend, the length will depend on how much you want to discuss.

The aim of the review will be to look at as many aspects of the 2014-2015 season and what we did well and what we could improve. Once we have looked at all the aspects raised I will be able to make decisions based on your thoughts and feedback.

I would like to look at things like:-

  • The ladder, what worked and what did not
  • How to have a fair way to qualify people for the Nationals if we have to limit numbers.
  • VEX IQ – Regionals and Nationals
  • Mentoring schools
  • Volunteers
  • Growing regions
  • Funding the program
  • New ideas
  • Communications
  • Marketing

Please come to the meeting with the intention of looking at what is best for the students and how to positively improve on what is already and excellent program.

Register your commitment to attend by filling in the form here https://docs.google.com/forms/d/1_Lfw7xvywqarLv8SqBTex6jILOFFL3OBS8LnugoWNLs/viewform

Please feel free to email me This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. with comments and things you would like to have covered in advance.

Thanks

Chris Hamling

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Hi all,

Westlake Girls High School has come up with a fantastic idea! They have posted on the Kiwibots facebook page here https://www.facebook.com/Kiwibots/posts/859504524105716

"Westlake Girls challenges all Kiwibots participants this year to a friendly trailer decorating competition! Personalise your towing trailer and post a picture on this page; the team with the most likes wins, and there may be prizes up for grabs ;-)"

This is a great idea so the Kiwibots have decided to up the challenge and offer a VEX IQ kit to the team whose trailer gets the most likes on facebook. Hey you can even decorate your team to match. Keep the trailer "competition legal" (ie don't make the scoring tray smaller, deeper or outside the boundaries it already has and avoid making it harder for missiles to stay in) but after that anything goes. Get the artist in your team busy.

If your team is keen then go to Westlake's post and comment 'challenge accepted' with your team/school name. 

Happy decorating

Chris Hamling

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Posted by on in General

For those teams that are going to the World Championships.

Make sure you have your ESTA applications done.

Onehunga High School are planning a weekend where you can get together and work on your robots and share ideas.

This will take place as soon as possible (once they have confirmed the availability of their hall) so watch the blogs. Any team that wants to come and help our teams prepare is welcome.

If you can offer batteries to traveling teams I am sure they will appreciate it. Flight boxes may also be needed.

Thanks

Chris Hamling

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The wait is over!

11 teams qualify to represent New Zealand at the 2015 VEX World Championships in Louisville during April.

Team #

School

How they qualified

2918A

Glenfield College

Excellence Award

Programming Skills

2908X

Mount Albert Grammar School

Design Award

7682

Wingus & Dingus

National Champions

Programming Skills

2915A

Lynfield College

National Champions

Programming Skills

Robot Skills

2900B

Onehunga High School

National Champions

2915C

Lynfield College

Current World Champions

8757

House of Science

Programming Skills

2976A

Christchurch Boys High School

Robot Skills

5606A

Fielding High School

On line CAD Challenge

10890B

Otumoetai Intermediate

VEX IQ Excellence

AURA

Auckland University Robotics Association

VEX U

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Well done to all of you and good luck in Louisville.

Chris Hamling

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Hi All,

What a phenomenal season ‘Skyrise’ was, more scrimmages, more teams, more stress. I would like to invite anyone (students, parents, teachers, mentors, volunteers) that is able to attend physically, or on line, to come to an annual meeting. I need you to help me to reflect on the past season and to look forward using what we, as a group, have learned from the past season, good and bad. We will have both full group sessions and small group sessions to discuss ideas and work through them.

I would like to use the meeting to refocus and hear your ideas for the future.

On Saturday the 14th of March I would appreciate it if those people who would like to contribute to a season review would join me at either Smales Farm, Glenfield College or Massey University from 11:00 onwards. The location will depend on the number of people that indicate their desire to attend, the length will depend on how much you want to discuss.

The aim of the review will be to look at as many aspects of the 2014-2015 season and what we did well and what we could improve. Once we have looked at all the aspects raised I will be able to make decisions based on your thoughts and feedback.

I would like to look at things like:-

  • The ladder, what worked and what did not
  • How to have a fair way to qualify people for the Nationals if we have to limit numbers.
  • VEX IQ – Regionals and Nationals
  • Mentoring schools
  • Volunteers
  • Growing regions
  • Funding the program
  • New ideas
  • Communications
  • Marketing

Please come to the meeting with the intention of looking at what is best for the students and how to positively improve on what is already and excellent program.

Register your commitment to attend by filling in the form here https://docs.google.com/forms/d/1_Lfw7xvywqarLv8SqBTex6jILOFFL3OBS8LnugoWNLs/viewform

Please feel free to email me This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. with comments and things you would like to have covered in advance.

Thanks

Chris Hamling

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It is up!

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=DYo-dOoAONY&feature=youtu.be

Great original music too

Thanks Studio 274!

Chris Hamling

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Hi all,

For some reason the links to Flickr and some of the Awards were left out of the emails you have recently received. Please go to http://kiwibots.co.nz/kiwiblog And read the blogs in their original and correct form.

Thanks and sorry for the errors. This is the problem with open source software and I will go and correct the code that send the emails out.

Chris Hamling

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Posted by on in General

Continued...

As the software has a limit on the number of characters in a blog :-( You guys 'n gals rock

Innovate Award

7786A Xicheng District of Beijing Financial Street Child all the way from Beijing, China
Build Award
8757 House of Science
Promote Award
2919M Kristin School
Autodesk STEM Award
Long Bay College
Tertiary Volunteers of the Year Award
AURA
Mentor of the year Award
Shane de Rijk
Teacher of the year Award
Grant Collie
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Posted by on in General

The 2015 KiwiChallenge is 'Missile Mania"

If you missed the announcement at the Nationals you can find the rules etc for download here

Rules: http://kiwibots.co.nz/promo

Poster: To advertise the Kiwibots in your school you can download the A3 poster that was handed out at the nationals from here  http://kiwibots.co.nz/starthere/ScanIfYouDare.png it has a QR code that links to the KiwiChallenge

Dates and venues for the KiwiChallenge will be posted soon.

Chris Hamling

 

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Posted by on in General

Well the 2015 Nationals are over and they were bigger and better than ever before!

Congratulations to all the teams that took part especially the Award Winners listed below.

You can find photographs of the event

Teams listed in green have qualified for the World Championships in Louisville to represent New Zealand and their school this April.

Chairman's Excellence Award
2918A Glenfield College
Design Award
2908X Mount Albert Grammar School
Partner of the year
SMC Pneumatics
National Champions
7682 Wingus & Dingus
2915A Lynfield College
2900B Onehunga High School
Science Division Technology Division
Division Chanpions Division Chanpions
7682E Wingus & Dingus 7682 Wingus & Dingus
2918A Glenfield College 2915A Lynfield College
2915B Lynfield College 2900B Onehunga High School
Division Finalists Division Finalists
2915C Lynfield College 2918E Glenfield College
8757 House of Science 2919F Kristin School
2968A Rangitikei College 2918C Glenfield College
Programming Skills
1st Place
48 points 7686 Wingus & Dingus
2nd Place
36 points 2918A Glenfield College
Driver Skills
1st Place
62 points 2915A Lynfield College
2nd Place
47 points 8757 House of Science
Community Award
8757 House of Science, Tauranga
Energy Award
 2906D Long Bay College
Educate Award
2918A Glenfield College
Judges Award
2906A Long Bay College
Amaze Award
2915A Lynfield College
Think Award
7682 Wingus & Dingus
Volunteer of the Year
Nathan Allen
SMC Pneumatics STEM Award
2976A Christchurch Boys high School
Create Award
2918E Glenfield College
Innovate Award
7786A Xicheng District of Beijing Financial Street Child all the way from Beijing, China
Build Award
8757 House of Science
Promote Award
2919M Kristin School
Autodesk STEM Award
Long Bay College
Tertiary Volunteers of the Year Award
AURA
Mentor of the year Award
Shane de Rijk
Teacher of the year Award
Grant Collie

A big thank you to the army of tireless volunteers that made it all possible

Chris Hamling

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Posted by on in General

Hi all,

Here are the times for teams Design Award interviews.

To make things easy for you we have scheduled the interviews to fall between your matches. The Match numbers below show when (which match) each interview will start.

 

Division Match Team # School
Science Q10 2904 Westlake Girls
Science Q24 2921A Free Range Robotics
Technology Q34 2908X Mt Albert Grammar School
Science Q40 2906A Long Bar College
Technology Q45 7682 Wingus & Dingus
Science Q51 2918A Glenfield College
Science Q64 2919M Kristin School

Please be waiting with your robot outside the Panasonic Meeting room before the matches indicated for your interview by as much time as possible.

Regards

Chris Hamling

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Posted by on in General

Hello,

Following the generation of the two divisions today at the Nationals, the following two lists are available which have all the information for the science and technology divisions

Science: http://amess.co.nz/science.pdf

Technology: http://amess.co.nz/technology.pdf

All the information is available on RobotEvents and VEX Via though we are working to fix an issue displaying the two divisions on RobotEvents at the moment

We look forward to seeing everyone at the Nationals this year, it's going to be great!

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Hi All,

Congratulations to the following teams for being selected for Design Award interviews. The standard this year is very high and has moved upwards from last year.

  • 2919MKristin
  • 2906ALong Bay College
  • 2908X Mount Auckland Grammar School (MAGS)
  • 7682Wingus and Dingus
  • 2921AFree Range Robotics
  • 2904Westlake Girls High School
  • 2918AGlenfield College

 

At the upcoming Nationals these teams will have a 10min slot allocated to them between their matches for a design presentation and interview. They will be advised of your time on Saturday morning. There will be a data projector available if needed.

Good luck

Chris Hamling

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Hi all,

A team-blast with two updates to our team info.

Divisions at the Kiwibots VEX Nationals

The wait is over!

The Kiwibots are pleased to announce that the teams will be allocated to divisions based upon a random, live, streamed draw at 17:15 on Friday the 27th of March. So either be at the Vodafone Event Centre at 17:25 to watch it live or join us on line to see who will be in each division. This will be a nail biting event for some.

Parking

There is an event booked in the Theatre on Saturday 28th February. Therefore we need to make sure that your crew and patrons all park in the allocated South Car Park and away from the Dock Door please. The PDF at http://kiwibots.co.nz/starthere/2015parking.pdf outlines where the entrance to the car park will be.

On the 28th parking in the North Car Park will be Pay and Display for the other event.

Parking for the Kiwibots event is free. Just print out our Sponsor’s page and put it onto your dashboard.

The Nationals information document, located here http://kiwibots.co.nz/starthere/nationals_info.pdf, has been updated to reflect this.

Chris Hamling

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Hi all,

ImpossibleCube

The 2015 VEX NZ Nationals are just over a week away!

Please could you download and read the PDF for competitors that is located here http://kiwibots.co.nz/starthere/nationals_info.pdf for all the info you will need.

Thanks

Chris Hamling

National Manager

Kiwibots

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Posted by on in General

Hello Everyone,

This is just an announcement that there are 7 days left for teams to register for the 2015 New Zealand Nationals. There are also 7 days left to register to volunteer for the  Nationals.

Both the Nationals & Volunteer registration will close on the 14th of February at 5pm. Please make sure you are registered by this date if you want to compete or volunteer. Registration for the Nationals must be done on the KIWIBOTS website where as volunteer registration is done from http://kiwibots.co.nz/volunteer

If you have any problems with the registration please contact This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.  to have those issues sorted. We need to know numbers for the Nationals as soon as possible so please register quickly!

We look forward to seeing you all there!

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