Ro­bots ready for world dom­i­na­tion

Central Leader - - News - By Carly Tawhiao

Avon­dale Col­lege’s ro­bot­ics team is ready to take on the United States with its racing ro­bots.

The team, Bi­nary Blitz, won New Zealand’s in­au­gu­ral VEX Ro­bot­ics Com­pe­ti­tion us­ing a com­bi­na­tion of strate­gic al­le­giances and robot de­signs that mem­bers de­scribe as sim­ple, fast and re­li­able.

The three-day event was held at Massey Uni­ver­sity’s Al­bany cam­pus last month, and the win qual­i­fied them for the VEX Ro­bot­ics World Cham­pi­onship in Dal­las, Texas, at the end of the month.

Mem­ber Chris Stan­ton says since they formed last July there have been plenty of late nights pre­par­ing for the com­pe­ti­tion.

“We didn’t ex­pect to win but our ad­van­tage was speed and un­der­stand­ing the full im­pact of the rules,” he says.

“When we get to the States we’ll find out how good we re­ally are.”

In the na­tional com­pe­ti­tion, 31 teams from 18 schools in the re­gion de­vel­oped re­mote-con­trolled ro­bots, or sin­gle grip­pers, for the VEX game, El­e­va­tion.

The ro­bots had to place three­inch cubes into half-me­tre tall tri­an­gu­lar boxes to score points.

For ex­tra points they per­formed moves of vary­ing dif­fi­culty.

Physics teacher and team coach Bruce Tet­ley says the year 13 stu­dents ex­celled in a com­bi­na­tion of dis­ci­plines, from com­puter pro­gram­ming and en­gi­neer­ing, to de­sign and strat­egy.

“I’m in­cred­i­bly proud and im­pressed by their com­mit­ment and tal­ent. They’ve done a fan­tas­tic job and worked their socks off.”

A home school team that part­nered with Avon­dale Col­lege in the event will also travel to Dal­las with the help of Massey Uni­ver­sity and the Ro­bot­ics Char­i­ta­ble Trust.

Photo: JA­SON OX­EN­HAM

Bi­nary Blitz: The Avon­dale Col­lege ro­bot­ics team, from left: Veeren Kark­era, 17, Chris Stan­ton, 16, Grace Ng, 17, Scott Good­hew, 17, and Cameron Ed­wards, 17.

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