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Subcategories from this category: General, Tech Tips

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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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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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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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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Hi,

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.

Regards

Chris Hamling

 

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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:

Age:

Parent name and contact details:

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

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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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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

Qantas

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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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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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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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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2015 VEX Robotics World Championship Moves to the Kentucky Exposition Center in Louisville!
The REC Foundation is pleased to announce that the 2015 VEX Robotics World Championship will take place April 15 - 18 at the Kentucky Exposition Center located in Louisville, KY. The venue features more room, two full arenas, outstanding accomodations and access to a variety of exciting attrations. In addition, the new location ensures that the entry fee will be able to stay under $1,000, while adding some great amenities. The VEX Robotics World Championship, presented by the REC Foundation and the Northrop Grumman Foundation, welcomes students and teams from around the world who compete year-round in the VEX IQ Challenge, VEX Robotics Competition, and VEX U. For more information about the World Championship, please visit individual event pages for VEX IQ Challenge Elementary School, VEX IQ Challenge MS, VEX Robotics Competition MS, VEX Robotics Competition HS, and VEX U. Enjoy a special video announcement from the press conference as well!

2015 VEX Robotics World Championship Team Party April 18th!
Teams will want to mark their calendars now for what promises to be an epic celebration. At the close of the 2015 VEX Robotics World Championship, teams will have an opportunity to gather at Kentucky Kingdom, a stunning amusement park connected to the Kentucky Exposition Center, for a private team party from 6pm - 12am. Stay tuned for many more details as the 2015 VEX Robotics World Championship draws near!

Louisville Welcomes VEX Teams!
The Kentucky Exposition Center promises to be a great new venue for the culmination of the VEX Robotics year, but even better the greater Louisville area offers a number of unique attractions and entertainment. There truly is something for everyone in Louisville, from Churchill Downs, home to the Kentucky Derby, to the Louisville Slugger Museum, Kentucky Science Center, Muhammad Ali Center, Belle of Louisville and much more. To learn more about what makes Louisville a premier destination, visit Louisville experience.

Online Challenges Officially Open September 16th!
The 2014-2015 Online Challenges officially open for submission on September 16th. The Online Challenges present a unique way to participate in competition activities and qualify for the VEX Robotics World Championship without traveling to an event.

 

Chris Hamling

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The sixth Auckland Ladder scrimmage will be held at Whangaparaoa College on Saturday the 6th of September. This will be another chance for teams competing in the Auckland Ladder!.

The following teams need to confirm with This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. that they will be attending the scrimmage before the end of Friday the 29th!

2901 Rangitoto College
2901b Rangitoto College
2901c Rangitoto College
2901d Rangitoto College
2942a Whangaparoa College
2942b Whangaparoa College
2908x Mount Albert Grammar
2913a Rutherford College
2913b Rutherford College
2913c Rutherford College
9098a Macleans
2927a Albany Junior High School
6786a Kaipra College
2919a Kristin School
2919m Kristin School
2919f Kristin School
2919b Kristin School
2919x Kristin School
9386a MPHS
2931e Pinehurst School
2931a Pinehurst School
2931b Pinehurst School
2931c Pinehurst School
2931d Pinehurst School
8560a Westbot
2904a Westlake Girls High School
2904b Westlake Girls High School
2906e Long Bay College
2906a Long Bay College
2906b Long Bay College
2906c Long Bay College
2906d Long Bay College
7757n Pasadena Intermediate
7757e Pasadena Intermediate
2907a Rosmini College
2929a Westlake Boys High School
2929b Westlake Boys High School

Date: Saturday 6th September
Venue: Whangaparaoa College Auditorium
Times:
09:00– Doors Open
09:15-09:30 – Check In (All teams attending this scrimmage must have checked in!)
10:00 – Matches Begin
12:00 – Lunch Break
12:30 – Matches Resume
14:30 – Qualification Matches Finish (as do skills fields and any involvement with the Ladder for this scrimmage)
14:40 – Alliance Selection Begins
14:45 -  Elimination Matches
17:00– Venue Closes 

All teams who have reserved spots but who have confirmed their spots must do so by Friday 29th August, 11:59 pm. 

We look forward to seeing you all there!

Chris Hamling

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The sixth Auckland Ladder scrimmage will be held at Whangaparaoa College on Saturday the 6th of September. This will be another chance for teams competing in the Auckland Ladder!. There will be skills available and all results will be published live to VEX Via and Robot Events. The scrimmage will be held in the school auditorium which is located on this map. A map for Whangaparaoa College can be found here.

Date: Saturday 6th September
Venue: Whangaparaoa College Auditorium
Times:
09:00– Doors Open
09:15-09:30 – Check In (All teams attending this scrimmage must have checked in!)
10:00 – Matches Begin
12:00 – Lunch Break
12:30 – Matches Resume
14:30 – Qualification Matches Finish (as do skills fields and any involvement with the Ladder for this scrimmage)
14:40 – Alliance Selection Begins
14:45 -  Elimination Matches
17:00– Venue Closes 

All teams who have reserved spots but who have confirmed their spots must do so by Friday 29th August, 11:59 pm. 

We look forward to seeing you all there!

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The winning design notebooks from the last 3 world championships can be downloaded from the bottom of this page http://www.roboticseducation.org/vex-robotics-competitionvrc/vrc-team-leadercoach/

So if you want to see what is considered the best in the world have a look at them.

The key design notebook points presented by Nancy McIntyre of the RECF are

The Design Process

  • The engineering design process is a series of steps that engineers follow when they are trying to solve a problem and design a solution for something; it is a methodical approach to problem solving. 
  • This is similar to the “Scientific Method” which is taught to young scientists. 
  • There is no single universally accepted design process.  It seems as though most engineers have their own twist for how the process works. 
  • The process generally starts with a problem and ends with a solution, but the middle steps can vary.

 Picture1

Steps in the Design Process

Engineering Notebook

  • Use Every Day
  • Use Every Page
  • Print In Ink
  • Number Sequentially
  • Do Not Remove Pages
  • Include Daily Objectives
  • Single Line Cross outs
  • Document All Research
  • Label Everything
  • Permanently Attach Items
  • Date Pages
  • Initial Entries
  • Never Erase
  • Show All Work
  • Document testing
  • Show Coding

Picture2

 

The Design Award

  • The Design Award is presented to a team that demonstrates an organized and professional approach to the design process, project and time management and team organization.
  • The Engineering Notebook requirement of the Design Award has no specified format.
  • Each notebook should be created through a concerted effort by a team to document their design decisions.
  • Throughout the season, many larger events will send their Design Award winner to a state or regional Championship, and as a result, teams should start their notebooks early and update them often.
  •  

The Key Criteria in Judging the Design Award

  • 1) Engineering Notebook is a clear, complete document of the team’s design process
  • 2) Team is able to explain their design and strategy throughout the season
  • 3) Team demonstrates personnel, time and resource management through the season
  • 4) Teamwork, interview quality, and team professionalism.

Judging of Engineering Notebooks

  • Creating and maintaining an Engineering Notebook is in no way “required or mandated” for teams participating in the overall VEX Robotics Competition. Although the Engineering Notebook is not required, maintaining an Engineering Notebook is highly recommended because the process can have many benefits for the team.
  • The development of technical writing skills is a valuable tool to acquire. There are two awards given at the VEX World Championship (and some local events) which requires teams present their Engineering Notebook to the judges -- the Design Award and the Excellence Award.
  • All teams are encouraged to create an Engineering Notebook and bring it to events to show and discuss with Judges.
  • Judges are always interested in learning and seeing the various skills students acquire and demonstrate through their participation in the VEX Robotics Competition.
  • Teams are welcome to bring support materials, flyers, team promotional materials, and items such as an Engineering Notebook to events to share with judges.
  • It is encouraged that all members of a team contribute to this portion of the project throughout the season.

Resources

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Most of you will know that rubber bands make great muscles for your robots. When used on your robot’s arms they can help your motors lift the arm and save overloading the motors by counteracting gravity.

#32 rubber bands have long been legal on VEX competition robots and now #64 rubber bands are legal as well! The best place to get your rubber bands from is your local stationary store where you can get packs of 100 bands for next to nothing.

Chris Hamling

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Hi,

The following teams still need to register by 5pm tomorrow (Friday 8th August) if they want to attend the Auckland Ladder Scrimmage #5

  • Auckland Girls Grammar School
  • Baradene College
  • Cambridge High School
  • Edgewater College
  • Onehunga High School
  • Otara Clubhouse
  • Rutherford College

The online registration link can be found here (https://docs.google.com/forms/d/1IrJ2N_OEHSq8MXPI-P2VRy4BEGwRJXVNIijRGwQ6hPs/viewform)

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Hi all,

It has taken 3 weeks to get the parts from Auckland Airport to Massey :-0 yea I am asking why too!

So if you are interested in what is available go to our web store and have a look around.

 

Our PDF catalog has also been updated.

Have fun, they are really cool.

Chris Hamling

 

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Hi All IQers,

A technical advisory note on the small radio modules that clip into the brain and the joystick.

It has been noticed that if you remove either of these modules from their socket that a small plastic shroud the surrounds the pins in the brain or joystick can sometimes stay inside the RF module and damage will be made to the pins when you try to put the module back in.

So please DO NOT remove the RF modules for any reason once you have inserted them, not even to check if it will happen to you. Complete disassembly of the brain or joystick is required to rectify the issue.

Regards

Chris Hamling

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Hi All,

I am writing to remind you about the upcoming scrimmage this Saturday 9th Aug, and to confirm that we are running our usual VEX Robotics Wellington Club Night on Thursday this week, 7 Aug 2014.

The next VEX Wellington Scrimmage for the VEX Skyrise game, is at WelTec this Saturday 9th August 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, and the doors will be open from 9am on the day.

Everyone is welcome to come on Saturday and have a look at what's going on, so feel free to pass this invitation on to family, friends, colleagues etc. There will be a number of teams from out of town coming down to Wellington for this competition, so there should be some exciting robots and competitions to watch. There will be a sausage sizzle running at lunchtime, so bring some gold coins!  We will have some new mini VEX IQ robots, and an official VEX IQ field with IQ game elements at the scrimmage also.  If you don't have your own robot, you can come and try one of ours at the scrimmage!

There is a flier for the scrimmage attached to this email, so feel free to print or email that to others at your school, work, or anywhere else!

For our club nights, people can come from 4.00pm on Thursdays, to WelTec Petone - N Block - room NE039. WelTec students will usually be working on their robots from around 5pm.  N Block is between Kensington Ave and Cuba St Petone, there is free parking after 5pm, and access is from either end of the building. It doesn't matter if you don't have a robot - feel free to come along and have a look anyway!

We have made some good progress on working out ways to put keen students who don't have a VEX robot at their school, in touch with robots. If that's of interest to you, email me and I will see what I can do to connect you with a robot.  From Thursday next week, we expect visitors to our club nights to be able to use our VEX IQ robots to hone their robot skills, & compete, even if they don't have their own robot.

If you have any queries about the scrimmage on Sat 9th or our about VEX Wellington club nights, 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
www.weltec.ac.nz

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