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Subcategories from this category: General, Tech Tips

We have made a last minute change of venue for the Sunday Scrimmage to the Electronics/Sewing workshops at Otumoetai College. Same school, just 50m short of the action centre we had previously advised. This alternative venue will be warmer, more "friendly" and a lot easier to set up.

This is the spot: https://drive.google.com/file/d/0B81ProobmtWbRWJGX2RCelExNzQ/edit?usp=sharing  or https://goo.gl/maps/tLL94

There is a dairy and takeaways about 50m down the road.

Please let me know if you are at all unsure about how to get to the Venue. Basically, drive down Windsor Road, past the signpost for the pool/tennis court and you will see a bus-stop on the right with an entrance immediately prior. Take this entrance and the venue is in front of you, slightly to the left as in the image.

See you Sunday.

  • A rough itinerary for the day is (very flexible):
  • 8:00 - 9:30, BOP will set up
  • 9:30 - Others arrive.
  • 9:30 - 10:15 - Registrations (Vex IQ + VRC)
  • 10:15 - Welcomes
  • 10:30 - Round 1 (Vex IQ), 10:35 - Round 1 VRC.
  • 12:00 - Lunch Break
  • 1:00 - 3:00 - Resume Competition(s)/ Vex IQ Workshop
  • 4:00 - Everyone should have departed.



James Low (Bay of Plenty Robotics Coordinator)


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Hi All,

There will be a VEX IQ event alongside the VEX event this weekend.

For event details please refer to our event calendar http://www.vexrobotics.co.nz/events

Come and see the revolution in Education in action. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=-W2Y-P4AzXg&list=UUrXrv7HlILk8K-KJfmxaO5w

Chris Hamling


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Hi All,

I’m pleased to confirm that we will be running a Skyrise Scrimmage in Wellington at WelTec on Saturday 9th August.

The doors will open at 9am on 9th Aug, and we propose to start at 10am. Other details are still being finalised. We hope to run a sausage sizzle, and we will also gratefully accept any offers of assistance with the official/technical side of running the event. We are of course keen to have participation from as many teams as possible. For planning purposes, it would be handy to get indications of how many teams might be keen to attend.

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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Hi all,

I have been asked to remind all teams of the Skyrise rule <G4> that reads as follows.

"<G4> Only Student Drive Team Members may touch the team’s controls at any time during a Match, and
are the only Drive Team Members allowed to interact with the Robot as per <SG4>. Adult Drive Team
Members are not permitted to touch the controls or interact with the robot or Skyrise Sections. Minor
violations of this rule that do not affect the match will result in a warning. Egregious (match affecting)
offenses will result in a Disqualification. Teams that receive multiple warnings may also receive a
Disqualification at the head referee's discretion."

So adults, if you must be at the field, please do not touch anything.

This has been energetically debated in the forum here http://www.vexforum.com/showthread.php?t=81258&highlight=loading so please do not violate it.


Chris Hamling

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Hi all,

I knew it would happen and it has!

Every scrimmage in Auckland will be bigger than our first Nationals with 36+ teams at every scrimmage after Whangaparoa. I knew this was going to happen, it has just happened a little sooner than anticipated.

This is great but could create some problems that the volunteers and I need your help to avoid. The scrimmage reservation system is working well and teams are mostly confirming that they will attend without too much chasing. Thanks.

The Auckland scrimmage planning group have discussed ways to streamline scrimmages and this is what resulted.

This blog lets you know what we need your help with and the changes we will be making at scrimmages to enable us to let everybody play the matches they are scheduled for. We do not want to be still playing at 7pm!

1/ The event calendar http://www.vexrobotics.co.nz/events will be your go to place for information on events.

2/ Teams need to confirm that they will be at the scrimmage by 17:00 on the Friday the week before the scrimmage that they have a reserved slot in. This helps us ensure that nobody forgets a scrimmage and to plan for final numbers. Remember that there is no waitlist. One team has unfortunately already been turned away at a scrimmage, please, we don't want to have to do it again.

3/ Teams need to have checked in by 09:30 on the day of the event at the latest. If they have not they will not be able to compete as the schedule for the day will be generated at 09:35. If you are delayed then you can contact us to let us know and we will check you in.

4/ VEX Via will be available to teams - see Hayden's recent post.

5/ We will have printed match schedules posted around the venue so teams will know when they will be playing. For cost and time reasons we will not be printing individual schedules for teams.

6/ There will be a drivers and coaches meeting of 10mins starting at 09:40 before every scrimmage so the running of the scrimmage can be explained. The rule about not waiting, being on time and ready for matches will be restated during these meetings so everybody knows.

7/ Matches will start at 10:00 sharp and run to the minute after that even if the teams for the match are not ready. A 'Master Clock' will be at the event so everybody knows the same time. Matches will start on time even if teams are not there, not ready, not in size etc etc We will not wait for you. With 40 teams playing a match every 5mins we have to get through 5hours of constant competition in a day. We would prefer to get sharp with start time than to have to reduce the number of teams at a scrimmage. Lunch will be 1/2hour.

8/ Drivers and coaches will be expected to reset the field after their match. Setup layouts will be at the field to help. If the drivers and coaches leave the field without resetting the field they will be called back to the field and they will have to reset the next matches (number to be determined.) Needing to work on your robot will not be an excuse. We need to help the volunteers with this.

9/ We will be creating a roster of teams to help set up and pack down as the days are getting way too long for the volunteers and we need to help them with the load.

10/ We are looking at remote speakers so people in the extended venues can all hear the announcements. This should be less of a problem with us running on time and printed schedules displayed.

11/Remember to hand in your design notebooks for judging at the scrimmages you attend. Teams that hand in their notebooks at every scrimmage they attend will stand a better chance of winning the design Award at the Nationals compared to those that do not. (Teams that do not come to AKL scrimmages will not be subject to this 'grading'. It is just that seeing the notebooks on a regular basis helps with proving that the notebook was a process rather than a panic.)

If we all work together then these large scrimmages will flow beautifully and we will be able to finish on time.

Looking forward to a continuing fantastic season.

Chris Hamling

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VEX Via will now be available for teams attending Auckland scrimmages to get instant scores, rankings and schedule for the scrimmage on their mobile devices. VEX Via is supported by Android and Apple Devices, any other devices are still able to view the results and information on the main RobotEvents.com website. 

People wishing to use VEX via will need to download the application from either the Play Store or App Store to have it installed on their devices. Devices will need to have a mobile data connection available during the scrimmage as WiFi will not be available for use.

The Auckland events will appear on VEX Via a few days before the scrimmage starts and information will be available during the day as it will be continuously updated to provide live scores and up to date event rankings or schedule at any time. 

We hope as many people as possible will start to use this application as it allows up to date information and doesn't require printing of match schedules. If there are any issues directly related to VEX Via for a Auckland scrimmage, please contact myself so that we can have them sorted out. VEX have kindly provided this system for use and we hope that it can be utilized well in New Zealand

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The fourth Auckland Ladder scrimmage will be held at Whangaparaoa College on Saturday the 2nd of August. 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 (A separate post will be sent out detailing these applications). 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 2nd August
Venue: Whangaparaoa College Auditorium
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 24th July, 11:59 pm. These schools currently include Kristin School, Pinehurst School, St Cuthberts College and Free Range Robotics. 

We look forward to seeing you all there!

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Hi All

I am emailing you to remind you and invite you all to our first ever Bay of Plenty Scrimmage. The Kiwibots will be taking a van or possibly two down so if you are interested in a free ride for two of you and your robot please email c.hamling@vexrobotics to reserve your place. They will leave Auckland early on Sunday morning and return that night.

We plan to have the local media here too to cover the event.

Our vision is to try to get the new region set up and inspire more local schools to join the vex buzz and have more budding bot enthusiasts. We are also running a small vex IQ competition with Otumoetai intermediate ( 4 teams) as Tauranga Intermediate don’t have their teams set up as yet to be able to compete.

Please reply to let us know if you are able to help and in what capacity.

Kind regards

Sarah Parry

Team Manager

Oats Robotics

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Please could those teams that are scheduled to compete at the scrimmage in Whangaparoa on the 2nd of August please email Hayden before Friday the 25th to confirm that you will be there.

Teams that are registered but who need to confirm for the event are

5592 Albany Senior High School Auckland Res
2941a Otumoetai College Tauranga Res
2941b Otumoetai College Tauranga Res
2941c Otumoetai College Tauranga Res
2941d Otumoetai College Tauranga Res
2927a Albany Junior High School Auckland Res
2921b Free Range Robotics Auckland Res
2921 Free Range Robotics Auckland Res
6786a Kaipra College Auckland Res
2919d Kristin School Auckland Res
2919m Kristin School Auckland Res
2919s Kristin School Auckland Res
2919w Kristin School Auckland Res
2919z Kristin School Auckland Res
9386a MPHS Auckland Res
2931e Pinehurst School Auckland Res
2931a Pinehurst School Auckland Res
2931b Pinehurst School Auckland Res
2931c Pinehurst School Auckland Res
2931d Pinehurst School Auckland Res
2901 Rangitoto College Auckland Res
2901b Rangitoto College Auckland Res
2901c Rangitoto College Auckland Res
2901d Rangitoto College Auckland Res
2950a St Cuthbert's College Auckland Res
8560a Westbot Auckland Res
2904 Westlake Girls High School Auckland Res
2904b Westlake Girls High School Auckland Res
2942a Whangaparoa College Auckland Res
2942b Whangaparoa College Auckland Res

Remember that if you do not confirm then you will not be able to compete.


Chris Hamling

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Hi All,

I have just ordered heaps of the new VEX parts http://www.vexrobotics.com/vex/products/new to ship via DHL so they should be available to order in about 10 days.

Chris Hamling

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Recently asked on VEX Forum


Hi all -

I'm getting ready to start programming autonomous with my students and have a clarification question about pre-loading.

Could my students pre-load their cube by pinning it off the floor between the field wall and their robot? Does that count as a valid pre-load?

As I interpret the preloading rules, pinning a cube against the wall would successfully meet all the requirements of 1) touching the robot 2) not touch any grey foam tiles or Skyrise Base 3) would be fully inside the perimeter.

The idea is that the robots would 'preload' the cube against the wall, drive forward to drop the cube and therefore score 1 point on their colored square in autonomous. From there they can program to score a second cube if possible.

Thanks for any clarification.



Yes, this is legal.

For the full forum post go to http://www.vexforum.com/showthread.php?t=81875

So you have no excuse not to score at least these points in Auto.

Chris Hamling


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A question on the forum by our Rules Master:


Originally Posted by Vex Mundi View Post
Or in simpler language, if you touch any othewise Built skyrise section then both that section and any sections above it are no longer part of the Skyrise, so they aren't worth points and you can't score cubes on them. If you touch the bottom section, then your team can't get any skyrise points at all.

Is this correct?
Posted by Karthic
Yes, this is correct. If a Robot touches a Built Skyrise Section, any Skyrise Sections above the touched Section are not considered Built. Thus no Cubes can be scored on any of those Skyrise Sections.

Some general advice for teams: Don't touch your Skyrise at the end of the match!
Chris Hamling
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Hi all VEX U teams.

We have a venue and date for the first friendly VEX U scrimmage.

It will be held at Fisher & Paykel Healthcare in Auckland (Exact location TBA)

This will be the first VEX U scrimmage held in New Zealand. The idea is to let VEX U teams from around New Zealand practice and share ideas in order to improve their chances at the World Champs in 2015.

We would also like VEX U teams to meet with engineers from Fisher & Paykel Healthcare so it will be worth you attending.

The event will kick off at 09:00 and be finished by 13:00.

Please note that this event is only for VEX U team members only.

Book the date.

Chris Hamling

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The long wait is almost over. :-)

I understand that the 1000kg order that has been on its way to us for weeks will be delivered to Massey today (the 17th). So if you have Skyrise elements, VexNet 2.0 keys or VEX IQ parts (including bumper switches) on back order your wait is almost over.

Sorry for the long delay. We will be loking for ways to make sea shipments faster.

Chris Hamling

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Hi All,

Just to confirm taht due to the large number of teams scheduled to attend every Auckland Scrimmage combined with other issues there will be no wait list for Auckland Scrimmages.


Chris Hamling

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The following teams have not confirmed that they will be at the scrimmage on Saturday the 19th.

  • 5592 - Albany Senior High School
  • 2913a - Rutherford College
  • 2913b - Rutherford College
  • 2913c - Rutherford College

If you are in one of those teams please email me to say that you will be attending as if we have not heard from you by Wednesday the 16th at 5pm we will have to assume that you will not be at the event.

If your team just turns up on the day you will not be able to compete as the event database will have been created.

Regards Chris Hamling

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The third Auckland Ladder scrimmage is coming up quickly and will be held next weekend at Ormiston Senior College. The scrimmage qualification rounds will count towards the Auckland ladder. Teams who have reversed scrimmage spots will need to register to confirm their spots, however due to late notice and school holidays; the deadline has now been extended to Wednesday the 16th of July. This can be done via the following online form (https://docs.google.com/forms/d/1IrJ2N_OEHSq8MXPI-P2VRy4BEGwRJXVNIijRGwQ6hPs/viewform?usp=send_form)

Date: 19th July
Venue: Orimston Senior College
Times: 09:00am - Doors Open; 10:00am - Matches begin; 12:00pm - lunch break; 4:30pm - Elimination matches finish

If there are any problems, please contact This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

We look forward to seeing you all there!

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Hi All,

Any teams competing in next Saturday's scrimmage at Kristin School who have reversed spots will need to register by this Friday (27th June) if they wish to compete. Otherwise they will be unable to compete at the scrimmage.

Registration can be done from this URL: https://docs.google.com/forms/d/1IrJ2N_OEHSq8MXPI-P2VRy4BEGwRJXVNIijRGwQ6hPs/viewform?usp=send_form

The following schools still have not registered and should do so by this Friday:

  • ACG Parnell College
  • Albany Junior High School
  • Cambridge High School
  • Edgewater College
  • Free Range Robotics
  • Katikati College
  • MPHS
  • Onehunga High School
  • Otumoetai College

We don't want to have to turn teams away so please confirm your registration to attend!

Please contact This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.  if there are any problems or issues with registration

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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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