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.
A question on the forum by our Rules Master:
Is this correct?
Some general advice for teams: Don't touch your Skyrise at the end of the match!
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.
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.
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
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
We look forward to seeing you all there!
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
- Onehunga High School
- Otumoetai College
We don't want to have to turn teams away so please confirm your registration to attend!
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
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!
We will be holding the first of many VEX-U scrimmages during the last week of November/first week of December in Auckland. The aim of this event is to give VEX U teams a chance to compete, practice, share ideas and socialise. In addition you will have the chance to meet with our sponsors and discuss your aspirations with them.
This event is not open to High School students or teams.
Tentative Schedule (weekday)
- 08:30 teams arrive and setup
- 09:30 teams meet sponsors
- 10:00 Comp starts
- 12:30 lunch
- 13:30 lunch finish
- Tour of venue
We will either hold the event at Fisher & Paykel Healthcare of SMC Pneumatics.
Please let me know which of the following dates best suits your VEX-U team and if you would like to attend.
- 27th Nov
- 28th Nov
- 1st Dec
- 2nd Dec
Inaugural Oceania challenge in Canberra.
I wanted to make sure that I started getting information out to all of you about an event that will take place at Dixon College in Canberra this August 22nd thru 24th. You are all invited to join us!
We want to develop a friendly rivalry between the Australian and New Zealand teams. This year the Kiwibots teams are looking to go and play Skyrise with the Australian teams. We are also going to host some workshops for the students and teachers to help get them up to speed for the Skyrise season.
We are looking to develop an event where you can play against each other earning a coveted perpetual trophy that can travel back and forth to both nations. One possible idea is to hold the new Zealand Nationals and the Australian Nationals at the same time at the same venue. Each National event would be held as a separate event and the winners will qualify, as usual for the World Championships. The winners of the Nationals would then go on to compete for the Oceania Championship title. This is only star gazing at the moment but think how much fun a 300+ team event could be!
- 22nd August - Travel to OZ and set up
- 23rd August - Competition and workshops
- 24th August - Competition and Travel back to NZ
The flights that we have booked some seats on are:-
Friday 22nd August
Depart Auckland at 08:10 on Qantas QF142
Arrive Canberra on Qantas QF1419 at 12:20 via Sydney
Sunday 24th August
Depart Canberra at 16:15 on Qantas QF1486
Arrive Auckland on Qantas QF149 at 23:50 via Sydney
We will stay in accommodation close to the school.
If you are interested in joining us for this inaugural event please email me ASAP.
CADPRO Systems are happy to announce that they are going to be running a 3 day Inventor training course in Auckland on the 14th – 16th July for tutors (not students) and the course will be free! It will be a great time for tutors to get together and discuss the use of CAD software both for the Vex competition and also its use in the curriculum.
To reserve your place and if you have any further questions do not hesitate to contact me.
ATC Training Manager
Phone: +64 9 302 4028
Mobile: +64 274 475 508
Auckland - Level 1, 527b Rosebank Road, Avondale
Christchurch - Unit 3, 162 Kendal Avenue, Russley
A downloadable VEX catalog is available here http://www.kiwibots.co.nz/starthere/catalog.pdf for those who wish to print out what the Kiwibots have in their store.
If you see it on the VEX USA store and it is not in our catalog please let me know and I can get it in for you.
In my last blog post I said that the 18”x18”x18” size limit would be enforced at all Auckland scrimmages.
We have decided to change this requirement for the first few scrimmages. I apologise to those teams who were inconvenienced by the incorrect announcement yesterday.
We realise that the best way to build robots that make optimal use of the whole size limit is to build with some protruding corners, then file those corners off once the design is finalised. We expect the robots used at the earlier scrimmages to be works in progress, so in order to save teams money we want to make it easier for them to keep their metal pieces intact as they rapidly cycle through different robot designs. We anticipate that this enforcement policy will allow teams to build similarly to how they did in previous seasons.
To make sure that the competition is still fair for teams who do build within the size limits, any part of a robot that protrudes outside the 18” limit will have to meet the following conditions:
- It must not be a functional component. That is, it must be able to be removed without affecting the robot’s ability to function in a match.
- It should not protrude from any side of the robot by more than 1”.
Inspectors will use their discretion when judging whether a robot that is outside the 18” limit is allowed to compete. The intent of this rule is to not penalise teams who are still in the design process and have small (non functional) parts outside the size limit, while still ensuring that no team can gain an unfair advantage by building outside size.
The following image shows an example of what will be allowed:
This rule is temporary, and we will switch to using the 18” size limit later in the season. We will keep you updated about this so that you can be sure you are bringing a legal robot to each scrimmage.
Teams who want to compete in skills challenges will have to pass the full size inspection. Nationals qualifications based on skills will only go to teams who did not qualify through the ladder, so if your team wants to go to Nationals and you aren’t sure whether you will qualify through the ladder or not it would be a good idea to do skills.
The rules for Skyrise have recently been updated. The most important updates are that teams may not place any scoring objects within their opponent’s protected area (rule <SG9f>) and that teams may not place their opponent’s scoring objects within their own protected area (rule <SG13>). <SG9f> includes pushing multiple objects into your opponents’ corner to clutter it. See this thread for details:
As you know, scrimmages this season are qualifying events for NZ Nationals. To make sure that the competition is fair for everybody, and unlike in previous seasons, we need to enforce the robot construction rules. These can be found in the Skyrise manual under section 4:
and for a quick check you can use the Toss Up inspection checklist:
To make sure your team has time to be inspected, please be on time to scrimmages and make sure you turn up with a legal robot. Because scrimmages (especially the larger ones) will have to be run to a tight schedule, we may not be able to finish your inspection before your first match if you either turn up late or fail inspection repeatedly.
There will be a couple of exceptions to the robot rules in the manual:
- Teams may compete without a backup battery, but they do so at their own risk. Backup batteries are intended to stop the robot from disconnecting if the main battery connection is temporarily disrupted. The reasons for not enforcing this rule are that (a) the rule exists mainly to avoid complaints about dropped connections rather than as a design constraint or safety feature and (b) at any tournament where we run an inspection, backup batteries cause the most delays of any rule other than sizing. If you don’t have a backup battery and you are having connection issues, put a backup battery on your robot before you come to the scrimmage volunteers about the problem.
- Teams do not need to use the new blue and red numberplates, since not all teams will have them yet. However, if a team isn't using the new numberplates then they need to use flags for every match. Flags will be available at scrimmages.
The biggest changes from scrimmages in previous seasons are that robots must be inside the 18” size limit to compete, and robots must use Vex batteries only. There are other places where you can buy 7.2V 3000mAh NiMH batteries, but since battery performance is so important to robot performance we need to make sure that everyone’s batteries are the same.
For skills challenges teams will need to pass the full inspection, meaning the will need to have backup batteries (but teams who have not received their new numberplates can still compete).
Just to clarify a few more points that have been raised as questions.
- Teams from out of the Auckland region who compete at Auckland ladder events will not be considered when qualifying teams for the nationals. ie their position in the ladder will be skipped. This works the same in reverse. Auckland teams will not be able to 'steal' qualifying places from other regions by attending their events.
- We are working on having teams play the same number of games at every scrimmage regardless of the number of teams at the scrimmage so larger scrimmages will have more games with shorter game cycle times to try to keep the day start and finish times as even as possible.
- The minimum percentage of scrimmages that a team needs to attend is 100% of the 5. Playing at less will probably count against you and playing at more scrimmages will not help.
This is where we are today but things might change as we work through things.
Please bear with us as we need to work our way through this season and see what works and what does not.
Above all judge us on the following:-
- We are not out to get you, we are just trying to become more streamlined to free up time and do more for more people.
- We will help you as much as we can, sometimes circumstances take things out of our hands.
- We know we will not get it perfect first time so please understand when we change things.
- We are trying to get things planned ahead as much as possible to help host schools plan ahead.
- We do not want to be 'Big Brother' but we need to make sure teams start to realise that we have moved on from the days of 'things will be fine just pitch up on the day'. That is why we are taking the hard line on registering for scrimmages. Plus RobotEvents works best if we load team in advance.
Have a great season