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Subcategories from this category: General, Tech Tips

Posted by on in General

Following the arrival of elements today, there will be the chance for teams to take a look at the new Skyrise elements and field tomorrow (Saturday 24th May) from 8am to 12pm. This will be at Massey University School of Engineering & Advanced Technology; there will also be a TV crew there as well, so a good crowd would be great.

Teams are welcome to bring robots along to test and evaluate the new objects

Time: 8am to 12pm
Location: Massey University School of Engineering & Advanced Technology, Level 1/Ground Level
Date: 24th May (Saturday)

We look forward to seeing you all there

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Posted by on in General

A spare VEXnet joystick has been picked up by Ormiston Senior College from the Auckland Kiwi Challenge Regionals last weekend. It has the number three written on it. If any teams have lost a joystick from the event; can they please contact KIWIBOTS and the return of the controller can be organised

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Posted by on in General

Following yesterday's blog post, there is a very high chance that there will be a set of Skyrise elements at Massey University this weekend. There will also be a TV crew present who will be filming VEX Robotics and it would be great to have teams come along to both be a crowd and take a look at the new elements.

The fields will be in the Ground Floor of Massey University and they will be available from 8am to 12pm this Saturday (24th May). Teams are welcome to bring robots and test them out on the new game in preparation for the first Auckland Ladder Scrimmage on the 6th of June.

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Posted by on in General

There is the possibility that new Skyrise elements will be arriving in New Zealand this weekend and the KIWIBOTS would like to give teams the chance to see and play with the new elements before the first Auckland Ladder scrimmage. This is not confirmed as we are waiting for the objects to arrive; however watch this space as we will announce if it is confirmed. 

This will be held at the Massey University School of Engineering and Advanced Technology on the ground floor and the venue will be open from 9am. There will be a single field with Skyrise objects which teams are welcome to take a look at and get observations or measurements for the first scrimmage in two weeks. 

We will let people know if this event is confirmed by the end of the week but are providing advance warning to ensure teams are aware of it.


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After receiving all teams' requests for scrimmages in the Auckland region for the 2014-2015 Skyrise season ladder; the reservations list for teams has now been developed.

Each team should receive an email today with the scrimmages they have been granted reserved slots for. If you have not received an email but have sent in your reservations, please contact Chris Hamling to have this issue sorted. 

Important Notes:

1/ Your ranking will be calculated from your results for all 5 scrimmages that are reserved for you. If we need to use rankings to qualify your team for the Nationals missing a reserved scrimmage will not work in your favour if you cannot make it up.

2/ If you cannot make a scrimmage that has been reserved for you for any reason then you will have to try to make it up by going on the waitlist. We cannot guarantee you will get a waitlist spot.

3/ We have not been able to come up with any acceptable excuse for a team to miss a scrimmage that would result in special consideration from us. There may be one but as with any sporting series it is those that perform 100% of the time that win.

4/ Drivers being ill will not be an excuse for missing a scrimmage as you can use a substitute driver.

5/ Space is limited and we will try to be as accommodating and fair as possible if you miss a scrimmage but our hands may be tied.

6/ Reserved space swapping will have to be approved by the Kiwibots WELL IN ADVANCE and will only be allowed in exceptional circumstances as it will cause vast amounts of work to be done in the backend. The Kiwibots will not be able to do any work to help you arrange swaps we will have to focus on the series.

7/ At this point in time you should consider all scrimmages at capacity as we need to keep some headroom for new teams etc.

Remember there is the Auckland Kiwi Challenge regionals on this weekend! - Please make sure you have registered if your team plans on attending!

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Posted by on in General

The Auckland Kiwi Challenge regionals will be held on the 17th of May at the Massey University (Albany) Recreation Centre. This will be the final event for the 2014 Tic Tac Topple season and is open to all teams that wish to compete and have a robot ready for competition. There is free parking available right next to the recreation center and it is located across the road from Albany mall and shops.

Date: 17th May
Times: 9am (Doors Open) -> 4pm (Venue Closes)
Location: Massey University Recreation Center

It has been requested that teams please bring their own tables or surface to work on and that ALL teams interested in attending this scrimmage, please email This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.  to let the event organisers know so that we can accommodate the right number of teams.

For those teams wanting final practice; there is a scrimmage tomorrow (10th May) at Kristin School which all teams are welcome to attend and get ready for the regionals

We look forward to seeing you all there!

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Posted by on in General

There have been a couple of changes to the location of scrimmages for the 2014-2015 Skyrise season in the Auckland region. These changes have been shown below

  • 5th of July - Scrimmage is now at Kristin School
  • 19th of July - Scrimmage is now at Ormiston Senior College

All other venues have remained the same and the full list of scrimmage dates and location is available below

• #1 - 7th June @ Whangaparoa College
• #2 - 5th July @ Kristin School
• #3 - 19th July @ Ormiston Senior College
• #4 - 2nd Aug @ Whangaparoa College
• #5 - 16th Aug @ Onehunga High School
• #6 - 6th Sept @ Whangaparoa College
• #7 removed due to General Election
• #8 - 11th Oct @ Glenfield College
• #9 - 13th Dec @ Onehunga High School
• #10 - 7th Feb 2015 @ Glenfield College
• #11 - 14th Feb 2015 @ Pinehurst
• #12 - 21st Feb 2015 @ Onehunga High School

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A map for the Kiwi Challenge Scrimmage at the Kristin School Science and Technology Block on the 10th May.  Could people please park in the Bass Road car park at the back of the school  and only vehicles delivering fields access the building via the Gate 2 car park.  This will be busy with sports and a considerable amount of school production activity so the school management has asked us to use Bass Road as much as possible.


Martin Allen

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Posted by on in General

Hi all,

We are looking for locations for the 5th July and the 19th of July for Auckland scrimmages.

If you can host a scrimmage on these dates please let me know.


Chris Hamling

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Hi everyone,

This Saturday's Auckland Kiwi Challenge scrimmage will be held at Long Bay College between 9am and 3pm. There will be volunteers there to help teams get robots working if they aren't finished, so please don't let that stop you from coming.

Here are the rules again:

Thank you to Long Bay for offering to host.

The scrimmage next week will be at Kristin and the regionals the following week will be at Massey University.


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Hi All,

After feedback, watching games and discussion with the GDC this is the new manual version.


The document has highlights to make it easier to find the changed rules. There is an amendments section added to the bottom.

Amendment list for Kiwiblog:

  • Field layout has been changed for ease of set up. All cups have been flipped around.
  • Matchloads may now be pre loaded if teams wish.
  • The Toppler now only uses two rubber bands per corner.
  • <R1> has been updated to allow partner joysticks
  • <R5> has been added to explain the allowance of tape
  • Amendment section has been added to the end of the manual. 


Jamie Davis

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RobotC now fully supports the VexNet 2.0 keys in both v3 and v4 of RobotC. You will have to maually upgrade your RobotC v3.62 to v3.63 to be ableto debug over WiFi, this is easy to do.

So if you have been hanging back, now is the time to upgrade. Several schools already have ordered theirs.

Chris Hamling

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Posted by on in General


The first shipment of 40 VEX IQ kits have arrived and 26 have already been shipped!

If you want to get your hands on one of these kits and have been waiting for them to land please order them from our web store now.


Chris Hamling

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Hi teams,

The first Auckland Kiwi Challenge scrimmage will be held this weekend at Glenfield College, in the cafeteria. Please arrive between 9 and 9:30; matches will start at 10.

There will be another scrimmage on the 10th of May, and likely also on the 3rd of May. Kiwi Challenge regionals are on the 17th of May at Massey University.

Remember, Kiwi Challenge is for students (of any age) who are participating in their first year of VEX, or who only had a limited amount of experience last season.

We would like to really encourage teams to come to the scrimmage, even if you don't have robots that are ready to use. Giving students hands on time in a tournament format is one of the primary goals of the Kiwi Challenge. Many of the game's objectives can be achieved by simply pushing cups around the field, and even if you have a robot that isn't complete or isn't programmed there will be volunteers there who can get you ready to participate.

If you need to re-read the rules for tic-tac-topple, they are here:



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Posted by on in General

Hi All,

I have managed to negotiate a way to enable NZ teams to make use of the VEX upgrade offer where they can upgrade their v1.0 VexNet keys for v2.0 VexNet Keys.

This is great news as VEX was finding it hard to find a way to offer the upgrade to teams outside the USA. We are the only country outside the USA to be able to offer the upgrade :-) so far.

  • This offer will run until the 31st Oct 2015.
  • Returned Keys with more than minimal damage will not be considered valid trade-ins.
  • Non functional but mechanically ok keys are acceptable for trade in.

Please reed this forum post for details http://www.vexforum.com/showthread.php?t=79927&highlight=vexnet

The process in New Zealand will be:-

  • Teams order as many v2.0 upgrade keys 276-3245U from our website as they require. http://www.kiwibots.co.nz/vex-store/control/vexnet-key-2-0-290-detail Keys must be on their own order and package for pickup selected. Note the U at the end of the part number.
  • I will send the upgrade keys to a representative (Huub, Miranda, Anthony, Hayden) in your region in batches to keep postage to a minimum. Central North Island rep to be advised.
  • At a scrimmage you will get the v2.0 keys IN EXCHANGE for the same number of v1.0 keys. These keys need to be in a zip lock plastic bag clearly marked with the ORDER number that the v2.0 upgrade keys were ordered on.
  • I need to make sure I get the v1.0 keys back clearly labelled otherwise I will have to charge the team that does not return their keys full price for the v2.0 keys.

Doing the upgrade this way will minimise the time teams will be without keys.

The Kiwibots will be charged the full price for any shortfall of v1.0 keys that exists.

RobotC v4 and RobotC v3.63 (comming very soon) fully support v2.0 keys.

Chris Hamling



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Posted by on in General

Hi All,

We now have event co-ordinators in Auckland, Palmerston North, Wellington and Christchurch and as a result of their fantastic efforts you can find a diary of events for the rest of the year at http://www.kiwibots.co.nz/events for those regions. Please make sure you visit the calendar often to see what is going on around the country and try to get to as many events as you can.

The KiwiChallenge events near you are also online so go and find out when and where they are!

We are still looking for an event co-ordinator for the central North Island region so if you are interested please drop me a line as we need to have events planned there as well.

Chris Hamling

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Posted by on in General

Hi All,

There are 11 scheduled ladder scrimmages for Auckland this season. In order to ensure that all Auckland region teams can attend enough scrimmages to be ranked for Nationals, teams will be required to state which scrimmages they know they cannot attend (make with 0) and rank the remaining scrimmages in order of preference. (11 is most 1 is least)


Please could you complete the list below for EACH and every team you will register for the 2014-2015 season.


Put a 0 if you cannot make it to the scrimmage then rank by putting 11 for the scrimmage you would most like to attend down to 1 for the least


Team number..........

  • #1 - 7th June @ Whangaparoa College...............
  • #2 - 5th July @ Westlake Girls High School ?.....
  • #3 - 19th July @ Avondale College ?...................
  • #4 - 2nd Aug @ Whangaparoa College................
  • #5 - 16th Aug @ Onehunga High School.............
  • #6 - 6th Sept @ Whangaparoa College................
  • #7 removed due to General Election..
  • #8 - 11th Oct @ Glenfield College.........................
  • #9 - 13th Dec @ Onehunga High School..............
  • #10 - 7th Feb 2015 @ Glenfield College...............
  • #11 - 14th Feb 2015 @ Pinehurst?........................
  • #12 - 21st Feb 2015 @ Onehunga High School....

We will use your rankings to help us select who gets a reserved spot at which scrimmages.

Scrimmage locations will probably change. Those with ? as TBC.

Out of region teams need to indicate the scrimmages they would like to attend.

If we do not get a reply by the 1st of May then we will assume you will not be able to attend any scrimmages.

Chris Hamling

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Posted by on in General

Hi All,

We have spent a great deal of time looking at your feedback on the ladder system that the Kiwibots are introducing this year and we believe that we need to give you some 'behind the scenes' information before detailing the way forward.

In order to put the ladder in perspective we feel that it would be helpful to describe some 'behind the scenes' issues that we have had to consider.

  • The number of countries that participate in the VEX competition is growing rapidly (almost exponentially)
  • The number of teams that can compete at the World Championships is limited (we can assume fixed)
  • The number of spaces that a country has at the World Championships is a function of the number of teams that the country had during the previous year.

If we do not grow the number of teams in New Zealand at the same rate as the competition grows world wide we will eventually only have one space at the World Championships. This would go to the Excellence Award winners.

Obviously it is in our interest to grow the competition in New Zealand if we want to continue sending more than one team.

As the number of VEX teams in New Zealand grows we will no longer be able to host all of them at our National event or all of them at a single scrimmage. This is an unfortunate extension of growing the number of teams in New Zealand.

As a result of this fact we have to find a way to fairly qualify teams to attend the Nationals in the near future.

This qualification scheme is very strongly based upon the qualification criteria for the World Championships

Auckland Planning committee decisions:-

  • Use the VEX league system in Auckland as it will save us a lot of time and debate.
  • Design our own system and run it in the background and in parallel to the VEX league system with the possibility of adopting it in the future.

Please could you read the heavily revised Ladder document http://kiwibots.co.nz/starthere/ladder2.pdf to see the whole picture.

Chris Hamling

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Posted by on in General

Hi All,

Have a read of http://www.vexforum.com/showthread.php?t=80124

The ROBOTC Development Team is excited to announce the availability of ROBOTC for VEX Robotics 4.08 – an update for the VEX Cortex and VEX IQ platforms.

This new version supports the latest firmware versions provided by VEX Robotics (4.20 for VEX Cortex / 1.09 for VEX IQ) and all of the new features supported by the new firmware updates. Some of these new improvements include:

RobotC v4 does not support PIC processors.

- Support for the VEXnet 2.0 (white) Radios for the VEX Cortex
- Bug Fixes for the VEX IQ system to prevent “I2C Errors”
- Speed enhancements for VEX IQ for better performance of motors and sensor
- New VEX IQ commands for Gyro sensors

This new version of ROBOTC also supports the VEX IQ “Graphical Natural Language” feature. This new interface allows users to program robots from inside ROBOTC with easy-to-use graphical blocks that can be drag-and-dropped to form a program. Each block represents an individual command from the “text-based” ROBOTC and Natural Language. The new click and drag interface along with the simplified commands of Natural Language allows any robotics user to get up and running with programming their robots as soon as possible. As of today, the Graphical Natural Language commands work with the VEX IQ system, but we’re actively developing support for ALL ROBOTC supported platforms!

Before you can use ROBOTC for VEX Robotics 4.08, you will need to ensure that your VEX devices are up to date. The instructions to update your hardware will be different depending on what hardware setup you may have…

VEX IQ Users
- Run the “VEX IQ Firmware Update Utility” and update your VEX IQ brain to firmware version 1.09. You will also have to install the latest ROBOTC firmware from inside of ROBOTC.

VEX Cortex Users (with Black VEXnet 1.0 Keys)
- You will need to update your VEX Cortex and VEX Game Controllers with version 4.20 from inside of ROBOTC. After updating your master firmware, you will also have to install the latest ROBOTC firmware as well.

VEX Cortex Users (with White VEXnet 2.0 Keys)
- The new VEXnet 2.0 keys have a specific “radio firmware” that you will need to upgrade to enable “Download and Debugging” support. You can find this utility here.
- Download the “VEXnet Key 2.0 Firmware Upgrade Utility” and insert your VEXnet 2.0 key to any free USB port on your computer. Follow the instructions on the utility to update each key individually. All VEXnet 2.0 keys must be running the same version in order to function properly.
- After updating your VEXnet 2.0 keys, you will need to update your VEX Cortex and VEX Game Controllers with version 4.20 from inside of ROBOTC. After updating your master firmware, you will also have to install the latest ROBOTC firmware as well.
* Note that this new firmware version will support download and debugging with both VEXnet 1.0 (black) and VEXnet 2.0 (white) keys.

For more information on ROBOTC for VEX Robotics 4.08, please see this blog post. You can download the latest version of ROBOTC for VEX Robotics here.

Chris Hamling

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Posted by on in General

Hey Guys,

Feilding High School have purchased four handset power adapters which we are donating to Massey's robotics group for use at scrimmages, this should mean that we don't have teams dropping out of matches due to battery loss in the handsets.

Teams will still need to have aaa batteries so that they can practice (or the adaptation using the 7.2 batteries).

This has been done as a thank you for the support we have received from the Massey Group and the other teams.


Niamh Conlon - Team Captain SKARO


This is the kind of thing that Feilding have been doing for a while for others and is another example of why they and theose that have won it before them so richly deserved the Excellence Award.

Chris Hamling

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