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Subcategories from this category: General, Tech Tips

Posted by on in General

It was bound to happen...

LinusTechTips has reviewed the VEX IQ platform and the video is well worth watching.

Click this link to view it https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=sohekAXc8UY&feature=youtu.be&a

Thanks to Jason Collingwood for bringing it to my attention.

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Some fantastic news!

The Auckland University Robotics Association team (AURA) team that went to the 2015 VEX Robotics World Championships were recently awarded with their Auckland University Sports Blues.

This is incredibly significant as not only has AURA proved themselves on the world  stage but they have also succeeded in getting robotics finally recognised as the sport that it truly is.

An award like this underpins the efforts of everyone in the program and validates the commitment that our volunteers show to the program.

I am sure that AURA would be more than happy if teachers go to their sports departments and used this award to get VEX in the school recognised, not only for the fantastic difference it is making in the technology area, but also that it is a valid sports option and should be held on at least the same level as the first IV rugby team.

Once again well done AURA you absolutely deserve this recognition!

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Posted by on in General

If you're interested in interfacing your android device to your vex IQ robot then you will be happy to hear that the new Bluetooth radio for the VexIQ robots is available.

I have just finished writing the foundation application for android devices and I'm looking for a select group of android programmers to start playing and testing the application.

Please let me know if you'd like to be part of that group and tell me what your capabilities are and why you want to be included.

Chris handling Hamling

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Posted by on in General

In case you are unaware it is possible to program the VEX IQ robots in Python. If you're interested go to http://www.robotmesh.com/python/ where there are some example programs. We are planning to hold training courses in how to use Python on the VexIQ platform for please email me if you would like to be put onto that mailing list.
Chris Hamling.

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Hi I'm sending this blog to remind teams that the New Zealand VEX IQ nationals will be held in Palmerston North on 12 December 2015. This is an event not to be missed as we will also be holding a VEX U friendly match further teams can see where they can eventually end up. The Excellence Award winners from this competition will qualify for the World Championships in Louisville April 2016.

The date of our VEX IQ nationals conflicts the Asia-Pacific competition in Melbourne but that is out of our control. I am sure that New Zealand teams would prefer to come to the VexIQ nationals in Palmerston North but I'm hoping that vex EDI teams will go to Melbourne to compete.

Chris Hamling

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Dear all,

We are pleased to announce that The 9th Asia-Pacific Robotics Championship ( also called ARL Championship) is going to be held in Melbourne, Australia during 10-12 December. Welcome to join this great robotics feast in Asia!!! 

There will be 4 different competitions being held in the championship. Including,


VEX Challenge--Nothing But Net


VEX IQ CHallenge--Bank Shot


BDS Challenge--Energy Battle

BDS Humanoid Competition

For more information regarding the rules and other information of the competition, please refer to the following link:

Invitation letter of the Asia-Pacific Robotics Championship

You can also find the attached registration form from the following link:

Registration Form 

Please do not hesitate to join this robotic feast in Asia!!! We are looking forward to seeing you in the coming December in Australia!!!

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Posted by on in General

Hi all

As motors start to get old we are seeing more instances of wires breaking where they enter into the motor. http://www.kiwibots.co.nz/starthere/index.html?repairing_motor_wires.htm

The question of how to repair damaged motor wires has come up again so I thought it would be wise to remind teams how to repair broken motor wires.

This link http://www.kiwibots.co.nz/starthere/index.html?repairing_motor_wires.htm will take you to a step by step guide that shows you how to make a good repair to motor wires.

Note that we strongly advise against using ports 1 and 10 on your cortex unless you have to do so as a short on a motor wire will result in a blown cortex H-bridge.

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Hi all,

This is a reminder that there is a scrimmage in Tauranga this Saturday the 26th and it would be really great if teams could get down to Tauranga to support them. As I said at the Auckland scrimmage the Kiwibots will cover the cost of a schools fuel from Auckland to Tauranga.
Please register your intention to attend the event at <https://docs.google.com/forms/d/1B1ljMwD_1PCHrWS411MsLe9ayhRGOcmM5nhOHzJqHM4/viewform?usp=send_form>

Don't forget there will be a random draw, for teams that are competing, for a VexIQ kit at the event.

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Posted by on in General

This past weekend we had fantastic events both in Auckland and Palmerston North.

The Auckland event had 42 teams attending it and Len Brown the Major of Auckland was very impressed with the robots that the teams had developed. I'm amazed at how sophisticated some of the robots are and how fast they are able to school balls in the high goals. It is also fantastic that teams of turning up to matches on time and that we are running a match every three minutes. A big thank you to Unitec for allowing us to use their building for our events is without them we would not built have 42 teams at an event.

Palmerston North is going from strength to strength and their VEX IQ program is gaining strength. I look forward to seeing the teams in the near future.

The VEX IQ kits were won by Long Bay College in Auckland and Palmy Tungsten in Palmerston North. Well done to both of you I am sure you will enjoy the fantastic kits.

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Hi All,

Just a reminder that we need teams to let us know if they are coming to Auckland scrimmages.

We may still have to use the formal scrimmages as a way to qualify teams for the Nationals as we have in the past however we still want that the Nationals will continue to be an open event if at all possible. The ladder will stay as it did last year but with a small change.

Time is running out to attend scrimmages to test your designs and see what other teams are doing. We will use your attendance at scrimmages to help us determine who can attend the Nationals if we have to.

Please go to the following forms to register your teams for the Formal Scrimmages you wish to attend. Links are also on our calendar.

Teams outside Auckland are welcome to attend.


19th Sept


17th Oct


19th Dec


6th Feb


13th Feb


20th Feb


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Hi All,

St Peters in Palmerston North is holding a VEX IQ course to help with their team's travel expenses.

Download PDF Brochure

When: Tuesday and Wednesday 29-30 September, 9AM - 3PM (optional 5PM finish)

Cost: $150 for two day programme

  • Build a VEX IQ robot
  • Compete with the robot
  • Program your robot with RobotC (graphical)
  • 3D design using SnapCad

For more information


Stephan van Haren

HOD Digital Technologies

TIC VEX and VEX IQ teams 3204, SPCBots 

Kamar Lead Teacher

St Peter's College
Palmerston North

Phone: 06 354 4198

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It is very simple to win.

Just be at one of the scheduled scrimmages below (VEX IQ and/or VEX EDR) and compete with your robot and go into the draw. A draw will be held at each event (all competing teams go into the draw) to see who will win the VEX IQ Starter Kit with Controller worth $425.

  • Auckland 19th Sept at Unitec Albany come and meet Len Brown who will be at the scrimmage.
  • Palmerston North 19th Sept at St Peters
  • Tauranga 26th Sept at Otumoetai College
  • Wellington TBA
  • Christchurch TBA

So make sure you are at one of the last scrimmages before the November exams.

Chris Hamling


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Posted by on in General


STEM (Science Technology Engineering and Maths) is essential to New Zealand’s future Knowledge Economy. We are here to help you to help your students be part of it. The Kiwibots are a Charitable Trust that was formed in 2007 with a mission “To inspire a Passion for Science and Technology”.

If you are considering introducing or already have Programming, Robotics, Computer Aided Design, 3D Printing or any other aligned subject in your school then I believe you will be very interested in the document about VEX IQ here.

The VEX Robotics competition is the biggest and fastest growing classroom based robotics competition in the World and New Zealand has been World Champions in VEX EDR for the last 7 years.

The VEX IQ platform forms the foundation of VEX in the classroom.

Now is the time for the Kiwibots to make the whole country aware of what VEX IQ is all about so more schools can benefit.

I wanted to make the document one page but the story is far too great to try to shrink it down. I know you will be impressed.

Please contact me.

Chris Hamling

National Manager


Mob: 021 664 176

Web: http://kiwibots.co.nz

Skype: chris.ham


“To inspire a passion for science and technology”

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Last night the Kiwibots won the Eric & Kathy Hertz Award for Citizen Diplomacy at the prestigious AmCham-DHL Express Success & Innovation Awards.

This award recognises how an individual or organisation has made significant contributions to strengthening the bonds between the people of Aotearoa and the United States.

The Award is not only celebrating our success but the foresight, dedication and support that we receive from our sponsors. It is due to their fantastic and selfless support that we have been able to achieve what we already have achieved and what we are yet to achieve. Without them we would not exist. So please join me in acknowledging

  • Fisher & Paykel Healthcare
  • Glidepath
  • Smales Farm Technology Office Park
  • The Lion Foundation
  • Massey University
  • The American Chamber of Commerce
  • The Royal Society
  • The MBIE
  • SMC Pneumatics
  • Autodesk
  • CPIT
  • WelTec

for their support over the years along with the army of volunteers that make it all possible.

New Zealand's knowledge economy looks very bright.

Chris Hamling

National Manager

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Hi all,

Panic over. Things have just been sorted out so the scrimmage on the 8th will still be at Unitec as planned so everything is as it was going to be.


Chris Hamling

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Posted by on in General

Just a heads up to give you as much notice as possible.

The scrimmage this weekend 8th August at Unitec is looking very uncertain as Unitec have no staff to open the venue at this point in time. We have 38 teams registered for the scrimmage. I am frantically working to resolve the issue and I need to make certain that you are all watching your emails and the event calendar for possible last minute updates.

If any school is able to host the scrimmage please email me ASAP so we can start a backup plan and get the location change out to teams if required. This is only a backup plan as I am still hoping that we will hold the scrimmage at Unitec on Saturday the 8th Aug.

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Posted by on in General

As we have finally managed to get the game elements in and the season up and running I can now look at the informal scrimmages. The dates that are listed below are the ones that were put forward as possible dates and the names next to them are those of schools that indicated that they would like to host a friendly on those dates.

  • 15th August – MAGS/Tamaki
  • 29th August – Whangaparoa
  • 5th September – Whangaparoa/MAGS/Tamaki
  • 10th Oct - ?
  • 26th Sept – Lynfield
  • 24th October – Whangaparoa/Lynfield/MAGS
  • 5th Dec - ?
  • 12th Dec - ?

Dates with ?’s have no one wanting to hold a scrimmage on that date.

I will probably not be able to personally get the game elements to the informal scrimmages so it will be up to the school who wants to host an event to arrange to get the SMC trailer the week before the event and return it the week after. This could be as simple as taking it home with you after the previous scrimmage and getting it to the next. It will be up to the school hosting the event to work the logistics out. The trailer is normally located at Smales Farm but I could get it to Massey Univeristy in Albany with enough warning.

Some rules:-

  • The trailer MUST be locked and stored in a very safe location at all times. On road is not permissible. The Kiwibots could not afford to replace it.
  • The wheel and hitch locks must be used at all times when the trailer is not being moved.
  • The school that has the trailer will be responsible for its contents and the trailer itself. Contents valued at $10,000 and the trailer at $8,000.

Given that we have 10 scrimmages that everyone can attend it may not be necessary to have informal scrimmages but that is up to you.

I will assume that the informal scrimmages are not happening until I get one confirmed by one of the schools above on a first come first serve basis. Please note that all Kiwibots Health and Safety rules apply to informal scrimmages.


Chris Hamling

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Posted by on in General

Hi all,

The following schools have volunteered to host scrimmages and have been asked to run the saussage sizzles at the Unitec scrimmages.

Scrimmage BBQ allocations

  • 25th July – Whangaparoa
  • 8th August – Kristin
  • 22nd August – Glenfield
  • 12th September – Onehunga
  • 19th September – Pinehurst
  • 17th October – MAGS
  • 19th Dec - Lynfield
  • 6th Feb – Glenfield
  • 13th Feb – Macleans
  • 20th Feb – Lynfield

As Lynfield and Glenfield College have already qualified to go to the World Champs and are going I am sure you will all agree that it is fair that they get two occasions to do some fundraising for their trip.

Please could the schools listed above confirm that they will be able to do he saussage sizzles as if you can't I have others that would like to.



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Posted by on in General

Hi All,

Please note that with immediate effect any accident/incident that occurs during a VEX event needs to be reported. In order to make this process easy and make sure that we gather all the information required in order to meet the new legislation that is coming in I have created an on line reporting form.

A link to the form is on our home page http://kiwibots.co.nz/ in red and is titled First Aid Kit Form. I will be sending out QR code cards for all the first aid kits that will take your smart phones straight there as well.

If the first Aid kit is used then this form MUST be filled in so that I will know what has to be replaced.

I will get an automated email as soon as you submit the form.

Stay Safe

Chris Hamling

National Manager - Kiwibots


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There will be a scrimmage in Palmerston North this Saturday (1st August) both VEX EDR and VEX IQ fields will be there so if you want to participate and the team in Palmerston North are not in contact with you let us know.

Event details, as always, can be found on our upcomming events page http://kiwibots.co.nz/upcoming-events-top/upcoming-events


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Fisher Paykel Healthcare   Smales Farm Lion-Foundation  DHL   Glidepath  Royal Society