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Subcategories from this category: General, Tech Tips

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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Posted by on in General

Robot Mesh are excited to share the beta 3 of their python programming environment for the VEX IQ and VEX EDR (Cortex). Share your thoughts on their forum.

Beta 3 brings faster (delta) downloads, VEXnet Competition Switch template support and the Python math module

They plan to release a standalone version soon for occasions where internet access isn't always available (e.g. VEX Robotics Competition venues).

Chris Hamling



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Posted by on in General

There may be an issue with the latest version of the software for the v2.0 keys.

Please do NOT upgrade your keys until we have more info.


Chris Hamling

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Posted by on in General

VEX Battery Extension CableThis 12" battery extension cable allows for greater flexibility in robot design. Now you can design a battery compartment into your robot regardless of where the microcontroller is mounted.

Designed for either of the VEX 7.2V Robot Batteries
Mounting plate makes a permanent battery fixture easy.


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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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Posted by on in General

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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Posted by on in General

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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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.


Chris Hamling


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