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Subcategories from this category: General, Tech Tips

Posted by on in General

Hi all,

It has been decided split the divisions at the Nationals based on team number order. This decision was made after consultation with the USA and taking your comments into account. Division lists will be published at a suitable point in time and you will know what division you are in before you start competing on the Saturday morning of the Nationals.


Chris Hamling

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Hi all,

I know that many of you have entered this season's on line challenges but it is hard for us to find your entries to vote for them.

Please could you send me links ASAP (buy end Monday the 19th) for your entries so I can blog everyone with a complete list of entries.

The Excellence Award at the Nationals will take into account your online entries.


Chris Hamling

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Posted by on in General

Hi everyone,

With Nationals coming up soon, we're once again looking for volunteers to help us with the running of the competition. We've had an awesome response to this in previous years, and with two divisions planned for this year, it looks like we'll need more helpers than ever.

You don't need to have any VEX experience to volunteer (though I realise that most of the people on this page know their way around a robot, and that will be useful for some jobs) - the only restriction is that you can't be competing in Nationals, as there's not enough time to both compete and volunteer. If you are part of a team which is competing at Nationals and you will need to be available to help that team throughout the competition, please do not fill in the volunteering form. That being said, if you know others in your school or community who would be keen to help out and get some service hours (or just something to put on their CV), feel free to pass this link on to them.

Thanks, and good luck for any remaining scrimmages!

Sign up to volunteer at http://kiwibots.co.nz/volunteer

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Otumoetai Intermediate were awarded the first ever VEX IQ NZ Excellence Award at the VEX IQ NZ National Championships on the weekend. It looks as Tauranga are becoming a force to be reckoned with!

The Excellence Award is the highest award presented in the VEX IQ Challenge.

The recipient of this award is the team that best exemplifies overall excellence in creating a well-rounded VEX IQ program. This team excels in many areas and is a shining example of dedication, devotion, hard work and teamwork. As a strong contender in numerous award categories, this team deserves to be recognized for building a quality robot, delivering an effective STEM Research Project presentation, submitting a well-documented engineering notebook, and demonstrating that their team is committed to excellence in everything that they do.

Teams are eligible for the Excellence Award based upon the following criteria:

  • Teamwork Challenge Qualification Round Ranking
  • Robot Skills Challenge Ranking
  • Programming Skills Challenge Ranking
  • Effective STEM Research Project Presentation
  • Well-Documented Engineering Notebook
  • Judged performance in all other award categories at the event

It has taken forever to upload the photographs but they are now up and the photographs of the event can be seen on our Flickr page here //www.flickr.com/photos/68502543@N06/sets/72157649769386335/">https://www.flickr.com/photos/68502543@N06/sets/72157649769386335/ full results are here http://www.robotevents.com/re-viqc-14-2491.html

Well done to everyone.

Chris Hamling

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Posted by on in General

Come support AURA's Bumper Ball Fundraiser! We love volunteering & mentoring high school teams & we'll continue to do so, but we're also reactivating the competition side of AURA & we need your help to get us to Worlds 2015!

Don't know what Bumper Ball is? Check this video out: http://youtu.be/XqreH1bZ6Ec

AURA's Bumper Ball Fundraiser

Onehunga College (after the scrimmage)

Saturday 13th December 2014


Cost: $20 - this includes a pop-quiz game, 4 slices of pizza, a drink & at least 20 mins of game time (4x 5min games)! Or pay $23 & you get 8 slices of pizza!

There is a limited number of places, so you must pre-book your place at http://tinyurl.com/noxzoyg. If we exceed 50 places, we'll start a wait-list.

Once you fill in the form, we'll send you a confirmation email with AURA's bank details & then all you have to do is stay on after the Onehunga Scrim! If you're unable to pay by bank transfer, we'll talk to you about alternative payment options.

Any problems, please feel free to contact Michele - This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. - 021 138 9093.

We would greatly appreciate your support of AURA's fundraiser & we look forward to seeing you all there!"

Thanks again Chris.



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Hi All,

I am pleased to announce that the 2015 VEX Nationals will be open to all teams!

The Lion Foundation has very kindly supported us again this year and we can run the event as an open one for all teams. I am sure you will all be happy with this news. We still have to find funding assistance for teams that qualify for the World Championships but we are ever hopeful.

As we anticipate having too many teams for one division I need your thoughts on how we should decide on which team goes into which division. So please can I have your thoughts on

Two Divisions split based on team registration number

This is the way VEX does it at the World Championships. Team pits are put in numerical order and then teams are allocated divisions A/B in alternating sequence. The two Division Champions will then play off for National Champion title. This is the easiest and fairest way of dividing and balancing the divisions and is not open to any dispute. It also means that more teams are involved as long as possible. In the long term this will be the method we will have to adopt as we get more international teams wanting to attend the VEX Championships in future years.

The question will arise as to why we bothered with the ladder and the answer will be that we have to maintain the ladder in anticipation of not being able to open the event to all teams. In which case we will have to have a fair way of choosing which teams will be able to attend. We will be continuing with the ladder. Having said that we will be evaluating how well the ladder worked this season with the view to ironing out any bugs that we will identify when we review it.

Two divisions split based on ladder rankings

Have and event with a Premier Division that will compete to qualify for the World Champs and a Plate Division that will compete for the Plate trophy. The two divisions will be split based upon the ladder events run in each region with the top 50% of teams from each region going into the Premier Division. Obviously there will be a gray area where teams will feel the need to dispute the division that they are put into which will cause unnecessary friction. This method goes against the ‘help others and work together’ philosophy we cherish as it will create an elitist split.

In either case teams will only find out which division they are in shortly before the event.

There will be one Excellence Award and one Design Award for the combined event in either scenario.

Please let me have your thoughts on which division style you prefer and why.

Please go to http://www.vexrobotics.co.nz/upcoming-events-top/event-registration to register your team for the 2015 VEX New Zealand National Championships.


Chris Hamling

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Would someone from the following teams please confirm that they will be attending the Scrimmage at Onehunga on the 13th.


8595a Botany Downs Secondary College Auckland Res
8595b Botany Downs Secondary College Auckland Res
9386a MPHS Auckland Res
2941a Otumoetai College Tauranga Res
2941b Otumoetai College Tauranga Res
2941c Otumoetai College Tauranga Res
2941d Otumoetai College Tauranga Res
2950a St Cuthbert's College Auckland Res
5890a Takapuna Grammar School Auckland Res
8560a Westbot Auckland Res


Chris Hamling

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Hi All,

The Bay of Plenty/Waikato coordinator is asking that teams intending to compete in their last scrimmage on Sunday 7 December to register using the following link. If you have any further questions please don't hesitate to contact James Low on 0211025004. A venue has not been confirmed but is likely to be Otumoetai College - probably the dance hall.

The registration link is: https://docs.google.com/forms/d/1X-0BWfQa1XW7ObPAVSpnQKCS5Qw7Fe3IXaUjq1DM9HA/edit?usp=sharing


James Low (Bay of Plenty Robotics Coordinator)

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Posted by on in General

The ninth Auckland Ladder scrimmage will be held at Onehunga High School on Saturday the 13th of December. 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 hall; a map to this can be found here.

Teams with confirmed spots will need to register here for the scrimmage.

Date: Saturday 13th December
Venue: Onehunga High School Hall
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 5th December, 11:59 pm. 

We look forward to seeing you all there!

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Posted by on in General

Time is running out to reserve our place at the 1st New Zealand VEX Iq Nationals.

Go to http://www.vexrobotics.co.nz/kiwiblog/entry/vex-iq-nationals-13th-december-in-palmerston-north for details.

Chris Hamling

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Posted by on in General

Hi all,

This is to let you now that the Kiwibots web store has been restocked and that almost everything is back in stock! In some cases VEX USA did not have stock of some parts so they were not able to resupply us.

If you have been waiting on a part to come into stock, now is a good time to go on line and order them.

I will be supplying all back orders and orders tomorrow.

Chris Hamling

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Hi All,

I have had a few people having issues with their VEX IQ radios not working when they build their robots for the first time.

The cause is that the fit of the radio to the connection pins is very tight and the pins do not always slide into the radio due to a slight misalignment. As we do not like to force things, we all stop pushing the radio in when we feel it come to a mechanical stop. This is the right thing to do however it means that the radio will not work as it is not plugged in all the way.

This is very simple to fix as follows:-

1/ Check that both the radio module in thebrain and the radio module in the joystick are fully inserted as the pictures below show. Correct insertion is indicated by the distances indicated matching the photographs.

Radio correctly in Brain..................Radio correctly in Joystick

VEX IQ Radio module in BrainVEX IQ Radio module in Joystick

2/ If the radio is correctly inserted then this is not the issue and you should contact me. DO NOT REMOVE THE RADIO ONCE IT IS CORRECTLY INSERTED AS YOU CAN DAMAGE THE CONNECTION PINS. (See #5)

3/ If the radio is not inserted fully then try pushing a little harder until you hear a solid 'click' this is normal as there are clips that hold the radios into the joystick and brain. Once you hear a click and the radio is seated as shown in #1 the radio will work as expected.

4/ If the radio does not click home with firm pressure then you may have to move the pins in the radio slot a little to one side or the other (in the directing shown by the arrow in the photograph below). Only a small movement should be needed. This canbe done with a small screwdriver to gently push the pin cover very slightly (less than 1/2mm) to one side. This will allow the cover to slip into the radio's slot. Repeat steps 3&4 until the radio clicks home.

VEX IQ Radio pin cover

5/ If you can see the gold pins with no plastic cover (i.e. the pins look like the pins in the photo below) then STOP and contact the Kiwibots.

VEX IQ Radio exposed pins

I hope this helps.

Chris Hamling

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Posted by on in General

Just a heads up of our intention to hold the final Waikato/Bay of Plenty scrimmage on Sunday 7 December.

All are welcome to attend, so if you want to get to another scrimmage just come to Tauranga. Please email me to let me know you are comming.

If you are keen we can run a skills session. Please, let me know if you are keen as we need to record the event.

Results of the three prior scrimmages are here: https://docs.google.com/spreadsheets/d/14Ivikmse6yhU2xiW-6d0BTzFs3y0v6l6DD7j-58tmsM/edit?usp=sharing

Let me know if you have any particular thoughts about this last scrimmage. Personally, I think it would be great to finish on a social note and with some reflection and recognition of the effort put in by many (kids, teachers, support), and perhaps a few thoughts on where to next. I am particularly keen to see how we can reward practices we know work well (teamwork, planning, design process, collaboration)  and to have a debrief (perhaps while the kids run the scrimmage).


James Low (Bay of Plenty Robotics Coordinator)

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

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Hi All,

One month to go until the 2014 New Zealand VEX IQ Nationals!

These will be held in Palmerston North on the 13th of December 1014.



Go to http://www.robotevents.com/re-viqc-14-2491.html for all the event details.



This is a two step process.

Step 1: You need to have your VEX IQ team registered with the USA in order to compete. You can register your team with the USA and get an official team number for the 2014-2015 season through RobotEvents here https://www.robotevents.com/

Step 2: Once you have an official team number for the season from Step 1 fill in the form here http://goo.gl/forms/UeIyu3uy38 to register for the actual event.

We will then register your team for the 2014 VEX IQ Nationals.



I will probably be taking a 12 seater bus from Auckland down to Palmerston North for the event. If you want to 'catch the bus' please email me ASAP.


See you there

Chris Hamling

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Posted by on in General

Hi All,

Things have been moved around a little on our website.

  • The side menu and log on bars have moved up to the top menu bar.
  • The 'VEX Worldwide' options have increased
  • A Curriculum tab has been added.
  • The 'Start Here' tab has links to the four formats that are available to you.
  • A ‘VEX IQ’ category has been added to the Web store to help you find the VEX IQ parts.

We hope you find the website a little tidier. We are working on improving things for you.

Chris Hamling

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Hi all,

We are reasonably confident that we will have between 75 and 100 students coming to New Zealand to hold their 3rd International Youth Robot Education Olympiad at Massey University Gym, Albany on the 2nd of December. They will be from China, Taiwan, Hong Kong and Canada.

Do you want to compete?

There are 10 games

  • #1 – Robot Race
  • #2 – Robot Dance
  • #3 – Robot Ball
  • #4 – Robot Soccer
  • #5 – One on one
  • #6 – Thematic – how many tables
  • #7 – Robot Creative Challenge -I still have no idea of how many tables to provide for this
  • #8 – Robot Rocket
  • #9 – Satellite Robot
  • #10 – VEX IQ

The rules (translated from Chinese) can be downloaded from http://www.vexrobotics.co.nz/starthere/Rules.pdf they need a bit of interpretation but it seems as if it will be a blast.

Times and details will be posted as soon as they are available. Just reserve the 2nd at the Massey gym!

We have added a VEX IQ Highrise game in order to show them the game.

This competition is open to anyone you do not have to be a VEX team just email me by the 21st Nov letting me know what you want to have a go at and I will add you to the list. Where you see lego you can also use VEX IQ!

Should be fun

Chris Hamling

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Hi all,

Just so you are aware we have changed the way the web store operates to make things a bit clearer for everyone.

1/ The current stock for every product is now shown so you will be able to see if what you want is in stock.

2/ You will not be able to order parts that are out of stock so there will be no back orders and you will be able to decide on an alternative there and then when you order. There may be the odd instance where the web store shows an incorrect stock level but these should be few and far between.

3/ You will be able to set the store to notify you by email when the parts come into stock so you can order them then.

4/ We will attempt to keep most things in stock and update stock at the end of each calendar month. This obviously depends upon VEX in the USA having them in stock.

5/ If you are after a large quantity of a particular part (say greater than 5) and they are not in stock, then please email me and I can add your requirement to my next order. High value items such as classroom kits are only stocked in small quantities 2 or 3 for obvious reasons.

6/ Orders will normally be posted on a Tuesday and Thursday to avoid us having to go to the Post Office every day. You will need to have your order in by 12:00 on Tuesday or Thursday in order to give us enough time to process them. Please understand that we would love to send your parts to you the same day you order them but that is diverting too much time from other things.

Please let me know if you find any issues with how this works when you use it.


Chris Hamling

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If anyone would like to help out on the VEX IQ stand at Big Boys toys I would be very grateful.

This year we have a very simple stand that will focus on VEX IQ. I am looking for help with 6 shifts with one person per shift.

  • #1 Friday morning
  • #2 Friday afternoon
  • #3 Saturday morning
  • #4 Saturday afternoon
  • #5 Sunday Morning
  • #6 Sunday afternoon

If you help out with a shift then you will get a free pass for the other half of the day.

The stand is shown below. We will have VEX IQ models on display along with the Current Highrise VEX IQ Game. We will also be selling VEX IQ kits.


Please email me if you can help out.


Chris Hamling

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Book mark the date and city!

The first New Zealand VEX IQ nationals will be held in Palmerston North on the 13th of December 2014.

Watch this blog for exact details and location which should be sent out in a couple of days.

This will be a heap of fun and, as it is our first ever, teams will be learning as they go.

See you there!


Chris Hamling

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Posted by on in General

Just a  reminder to you all that we have a scriummage scheduled for this Sunday starting 9:30 with competition to be over by no later than 12:30 (based on last time - this is an estimate). As for some of you there is a bit of travel involved please let me know if you would like to remain longer to make use of the field or just hang out with others doing Robot stuff. I am keen to make the most of these get-togethers so if there is anything in particular you would like cover or so then let me know.

As with last time, I propose a round-robbin to be super-fair, though am quite happy to do something less formal with fewer rounds if that is what people want.

At this stage we will be located close to where we were last time (Electronics room) though with refurbishments happenning this may change - I'll let you know.

James Low (Bay of Plenty Robotics Coordinator)


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