APAC 2017

Hello all,

I wanted to start a thread in summation of the recent Asia-Pacific Championship, held in Rotorua, New Zealand. We’d like to share what we can with you, of what was really a successful event, even if there were a few hiccups along the way.

First off, I’d like to apologise for a lack of information being available earlier. It turns out running a 200+ team event with multiple countries, the largest ever robotic competition in the southern hemisphere, is no easy task. It has required every waking hour of an army of volunteers for the last 5 days, as well as the undying dedication of those responsible for organising it over the past few months. I don’t believe it could have gone much better without the commitment from both Kiwibots and ARL (Asian Robotics League). I’d like to thank everyone who helped, especially those on VEXU teams AURA and RAVE, without whom, the event would have not been possible.

For those who are not aware of New Zealand geography, we are a very geothermally active country. Nowhere more so than Rotorua. Rotorua is a mix of traditional Māori culture and a thermal wonderland. It is a unique place and a perfect example to anyone visiting our country of conflicting ideas in a harsh and unstable environment working together in symbiosis. It’s a humbling location and probably the perfect place to hold a competition such as this. As a side note, I would recommend visiting to anyone who was thinking of coming to New Zealand.

The competition itself was a mixture of VRC, IQ, BDS and Humanoid. The latter two are Chinese competitions that are always interesting to watch. I won’t go into details of in match performance, because I know @Jij will have a thoroughly in-depth statistical analysis in the coming days. There’s a lot of data to get through and quite frankly, we are all exhausted.

Things were a bit rocky on the first day of competition with a plethora of technical issues and rulings that didn’t seem to translate clearly in the Chinese manual. We worked through these the best we could and were on time by the start of the second day. The ruling confusion was addressed on the second day with an extra drivers meeting which resulted in much smoother sailing for everyone involved.

The third day was not a day I would like to repeat anytime soon. For the most part things went well, although unfortunately some teams felt it was ok to bend the rules to give themselves an unfair advantage. They were found and dealt with appropriately. The win at any cost mentality is not conducive to the kind of competition that nurtures a learning experience and has started to become more commonplace in recent years. Regardless of these setbacks, the competition continued as normal where possible.

That last paragraph sounds pretty negative, but I’d like to point out that this is a small percentage of teams. Over the week I started by judged then during finals I helped with refereeing. Being a judge is refreshing as you get to see the things that are important that sometimes don’t get seen when on the field. You learn that enthusiasm and positivity are universal, regardless of language.

As for the referees, one of the things of the largest concern was on-field sizing. Even after multiple times where a team was caught out of size, they would repeatedly tell us they’re ready to go with an illegal robot. This is a huge waste of time and put matches behind schedule on several occasions. It was apparently coincidence that the autonomous routines didn’t work as well once the robot started in size. Other common problems were with SG3- loading and not moving hands away from the cones, SG10- with contacting the opponents 10 point zone, and SG11- pushing mobile goals into the opponents goal zone, for which there was a DQ for this in the semi-finals.

Slightly less relevant to this forum, but still of interest, the IQ Refs noted the largest problems with sizing on field and not swapping drivers in time. The sizing complaint is consistent with EDR which shows that teams are pushing boundaries and probably hoping not to get caught.

Robot design was similar to what’s already been seen online. A lot of tall RD4Bs and Scissor Lifts with secondary arms and internal stack capabilities.

I’d like to apologise for the lack of live stream. It’s something we pride ourselves on doing well with. The level of complexity with this event and infrastructure required unfortunately made the live stream impractical. As mentioned previously, we will work on getting the elimination matches uploaded.

All VRC information is available on RobotEvents(HS, MS) and VexDB(HS, MS).

Congratulations to all the teams who competed over the week, it was successful and rewarding for many of you.

Our Excellence award winning teams have now qualified for worlds, these are teams:
MS: 8192A (Shanghai Huangpu Teenagers S&T Activity Center)
HS: 4815A (Weo Chang Pui Chung Memorial School)

The Tournament Champions:
MS: 8736A (Shanghai Jiading District Nanxiang High School), 8193E (Shanghai Yongchang Private School)
and 15566C (Shanghai Fengzhuang Middle school of Jiading District)
HS: 7618C, 7618B (Shanghai Xiangming High School) and 8192B (Shanghai Huangpu Teenagers S&T Activity Center)

If you have any questions, we will do our best to answer them. Please do not ask about the teams who were found breaking rules, we will not elaborate.

This is truly disgusting on how teams have that “Win at any cost” attitude. Also, did 8059 take part in this competition?

Nope. We didn’t.
I couldn’t managed to get the approval and funding for it.

But we do wish we were there. We thoroughly enjoyed the last APAC that was held in NZ during Sack Attack.
You can count on the kiwibot and the group of volunteers to do a great job.

Is APAC the nationals competition for your area?

Sadly this is happening. I believe that STEM should be accessible for all and should not come as fee to have fun.

We have our own nationals. In Singapore, our is Singvex (in June).
NZ has their own nationals as well - NZ Nationals (I believe it is normally in Feb).

Most of the time, the main bulk of the cost is the traveling cost. It is not cheap for us to fly to anywhere. Eg. For worlds, it normally cost us abt US$1700 to 1800 just to get an air tIcket for one.

But let’s not derail this thread… I can’t wait to see the statistics and the videos :slight_smile:

I would like to acknowledge the volunteers and officials who handled a pretty extreme situation very well. From a competitor perspective having even a small number of teams gaining unfair advantage really did skew the event outcome since this small percentage of teams competed in 10 qualifying matches prior to their departure after quarter finals. One or 2 extra losses during qualifications changes everything as we all know and it was a rather unpleasant experience knowing your teams dropped in rank after losing matches to illegitimate robots. I hope RECF consider full season disqualification for this disgraceful behavior.

Despite all this we managed to keep smiling to the end with 7682S receiving the Amaze Award and 7682E Skills Finalist.

was a fun event, but the pits area for edr hs were extremely hot, also we somehow managed to move from 63rd to 59th on the last day after losing our last qualifying match, lol

@meng Here’s a skills run video. We’ve got a few qualification match videos we’ll share soon and I think someone has posted MS and HS finals matches, although given there were teams cheating with motor mods throughout quals I don’t know how legit the overall outcome really was… To be clear all teams in the finals had been fully re-inspected and passed.

Nicely done. I like the route that you guys used. Think it is a very gd run for a non-skills focus robot.

Sad that APAC is still facing so many issues. I believe APAC has the potential to be one of the best competitions around.

Agreed. It was so clean

Thirded. Incredibly effective and efficient. Not a movement Wasted.

Going to show my teams this and why they don’t need to diverge their work into making skills only robots when if they focus on making their main robot and practicing the heck out of it, they could be effective.

Yeah, I saw that skills run last week and was mightily impressed. Wingus and Dingus never disappoints!

Well done!

I had managed to record the finals, some of the semifinals matches were either not run or have to reason to not be uploaded due to teams playing unfair. Here are the links.


After enjoying summer over here for a bit, it’s definitely time I posted some statistics from APAC. As you may be aware, I post a bunch of results from our Auckland scrimmages here on the forum in the NZ In The Zone Scrimmage thread, and these have been done much the same way for APAC. Data is collected in a spreadsheet on a tablet after each game, so we’re able to have a look at a little more than what we can squeeze out of the regular data collected for Tournament Manager. Statistics discussed here are only for the High School division.

On the whole we saw somewhat higher scores at APAC than what we have previously seen at our local scrimmages. The median single alliance match scores were 63 and 84 points for qualification and elimination matches respectively, or for the combined alliance match scores (the summation of red and blue scores for each match) there were medians of 125 and 172 points for qualification and elimination match scores respectively. As per usual, a significant jump up for the elimination match scores (roughly 35% higher this time). Maximum match scores for a single alliance were 137 points for a qualification match or 131 points for an elimination match.

Going into APAC I had expected that there’d be enough cone scoring to finally push the contribution from mobile goal scoring to below 50%, and I’m quite surprised that didn’t quite come true. Mobile goal scoring was stronger at APAC than a regular Auckland scrimmage which was to be expected, but I find it curious that points from stacking cones wasn’t higher than it ended up being. Mobile goal scoring made up for 58% of points in the qualification matches and 52% in elimination matches, excluding the points from the autonomous bonus (which isn’t considered here).

From the green bars on the right of each chart we can see that in a typical match we’re seeing one mobile goal in the 20 point zone, two in the 10 point zone and sometimes one in the 5 point zone.

As indicated by the green bars in the previous charts, we can see that particularly in the elimination matches we’re expecting one mobile goal in the 20 point zone and two in the 10 point zone. Sometimes the fourth mobile goal makes its way into the 5 point zone, although oftentimes it remains unscored, which shows how there is always room for improvement (or alternatively, some defensive strategy being played).

Again, here we’re seeing more cones stacked at APAC than at a regular Auckland scrimmage – a median total number of cones stacked (between both alliances) of 14 cones for a qualification match and 28 for an elimination match. That’s still very low, considering how many cones are available on the field. The most cones ever stacked in a game was 49, out of the possible 80.

The stack heights on mobile goals were also surprisingly short, with the majority of stacks only being one or two cones high for both qualification and elimination matches. Having said that, we also had some terrifically high stacks, up to 18 cones high.

As you might have noticed at a lot of other events, stacks in the 20 point zone tend to be quite short, at least in comparison to other stacks. The higher stacks are generally in the 5 or 10 point zones, or sometimes left entirely unscored, as there isn’t the same risk of it all falling over with the big drop over the pipe leading into the 20 point zone many robots face. Stationary goal stacks again are typically shorter, presumably due to the goal itself being higher creating some restriction, along with the lack of ease of stacking straight off the loader or from internally stacking as the robot drives around. However, we did see a few cases where robots were transferring cones off a mobile goal they had been stacking on over to a stationary goal, which was quite awesome to watch.

Other details:

  • Highest single alliance score of the event: 137
  • Highest combined alliance score of the event: 231
  • Highest stack of the event: 18
  • Qualification matches with an autonomous bonus: 152 (78.8%)
  • Qualification matches with a match affecting autonomous bonus: 31 (16.1%)
  • Median difference in qualification match scores: 30

Finally, I decided out of curiosity how many highest stack bonus outcomes could have been changed by stacking cones differently within a zone, such as by merging stacks from multiple mobile goals rather than splitting cones between multiple goals within the same zone. For example, if in a 10 point zone the red alliance has a mobile goal with 5 cones on it, and blue has two in theirs with 3 cones each, red would win the highest stack bonus for the 10 point zone although blue could have, if they’d stacked their cones together. To simplify matters I only looked at the qualification matches and I ignored the possibility of transferring cones between zones. The result from my analysis was that in 6.7% of games a highest stack bonus was lost this way at APAC. It’s worth noting that if my analysis considered transferring cones between different scoring locations this number would likely be much greater.

Bear in mind that whilst a highest stack bonus is worth 5 points, it has the potential to cause a 10 point swing (red won the highest stack bonus in my example, but blue could have removed those 5 points from red and increased their own score by a further 5 points by simply shuffling their cones around). At APAC, about 18% of games had a difference of 10 points or less, so it’s worth being mindful about – just as much as how the autonomous bonus can be match affecting in close games.

APAC was an event enjoyed by a great many, including myself. We’re now only a few weeks away from our National Championship here in New Zealand, so we’re heading into another big exciting event soon!