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.
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.