New Zealand Excellence Award Recipients 2918A - Robot Reveal

Team 2918A just received the 2012-2013 New Zealand VEX National Championship Excellence Award (High School). Here is a quick reveal of the team and the robot we used for the competition.

The robot was an original design developed by a few of our team members that we are yet to see anywhere else (please link us photos if you’ve seen others!)
In the collective team 2918 – GCEC we have 6 teams (A-F) who range in age and ability from 13-18 years old and 0-2 years of competition. This will be the first time 2918A attends a World Championship. (Our only other attendance was 2918B in 2010)
Each year GCEC hosts a series of interactive demonstrations and workshops at approximately ten primary and intermediate schools (elementary and middle) in the area, along with a couple of kindergarten classes (children aged 3-4). We take along six or seven robots to a class, do a quick presentation, and then take the kids through having a go at driving the robots and scoring with the previous year’s game elements.
We also keep a design book which is updated at least weekly, sometimes daily, throughout the entire season. This includes written entries, photos, CAD diagrams, and anything else relevant we come across. The judges all gave great feedback about the book and praised how frequently it was updated and how thoroughly it documented the design process.

We believe these were the main factors that contributed to our receiving the Excellence Award today, and we are extremely grateful to the judges involved for talking to us and choosing us as their Excellence Award winners for 2013.

We ranked 21st at the competition (mostly due to bad luck and VEXnet disconnections) and were lucky enough to be picked by 2921B (Freerange Robotics) and 2941B (Oats Robotics). Between the three of us we made it through to the Finals and met an unfortunate demise against 2941A and D (Oats Robotics) and 2915A (Lynfield College Robotics)


  1. The robot was designed as a Descore/Rescore robot. It collects the sacks it descores into a basket so they can easily be rescored into our own trough.
  2. The lift runs on a 1:15 ratio. It is a little slow, but it has the power we need to lift and score 20-30 sacks at a time
  3. The robot runs on an X Holonomic chassis with 4" omni wheels. Originally it ran on 2.75" wheels, but these sank into the field tiles too much with the weight of the sacks in the basket.
  4. The descorer lifts and drops using pneumatics, and the “intake” mechanism on it is sprockets, tank tread and stand-off beams. (No, it doesn’t damage the field elements)
  5. A spatula style ground intake is also present, on a 1:5 ratio, which can pick up 2-3 sacks at a time from the ground. However, the robot is predominantly filled by descoring.


As per our speech after receiving the award, we would like to extend our thanks to a few people who have made the journey so amazing.
To Jack (2915A) for his encouragement, support, and friendly rivalry throughout the season;
To Steve (2915S) for the enthusiasm and excitement he shared with us on and off the field, and the alliance at various points of the season;
To George (2921B) and Seumas (2941B) for giving us a shot in eliminations – we hope you’re as pleased as we are with how far we all made it;
To Chris Hamling, Johan Potgieter, Hayden, Nathan, Chris, Matt, Andrew, and countless other volunteers for investing their time and energy into these events and being such great organisers;
To David Aston for being such a great teacher in charge, and investing so much time, effort, and money into the VEX program at Glenfield College;
And to all the other teams we have met and befriended at events (Cuthbots, K-Force, SymbiOHSis, Wingus & Dingus, W.H.A.T and others I’m sure I’ve missed) for the constant support and entertainment you provide us.

A very solid robot :slight_smile:

It has a beastly descore, you guys have done so well this season. Congrats on your excellence, you guys certainly put up a good fight in finals - well played strategy and robot wise.

Thanks for the great season and competition throughout the year, glad to see you fixed it so i cant drive over your scoop now :wink:

Good job! I predicted that you would get that award. It was clearly well deserved and matched the definition of excellence award :smiley:

vids or matches or just practice? :slight_smile:
looks very unique!
great job!

I’m so happy for you guys to have won the excellence award, you truly deserved it. You are a brilliant team, so nice and fun to be around, with an epic beast of a robot. When I heard that you guys were in fact going to Worlds I couldn’t help but interrupt the conversation that was going on in that car between a few of my other teammates on the way home, and tell them with huge excitement that you were going.

It was a great pleasure to align with your team at NZ Nationals, our allaince of you guys, Seumas from 2941B and me were really strong in my opinion and if everything had gone to plan in finals (I.E. if I plugged my power expander in… and a few other mishaps) who knows. Perhaps we could have won! It would have been tight at the least.

I wish you guys all the best at Worlds, and to my knowledge the Free Range team are in fact also going to Worlds now (provided we can gather the funds quickly) so I’m looking forward to seeing you guys there! And we will only be two pits apart because of our team numbers! :smiley:

Congrats again,


I believe that the live stream from NZ Nationals (yesterday and the day before) was recorded so maybe you will have some luck if you have a quick search for that (I think it is under “Kiwibots” on


[quote=Jij;327616 if I plugged my power expander in… and a few other mishaps) who knows. Perhaps we could have won! It would have been tight at the least.
Oh… so that’s what happened? I was watching the finals, and half of the time wondering what happened to your lift…

But still, a great final from all the teams involved :slight_smile:

Looking forward to see you guys in Apr :slight_smile:

I’m just clearing it with the Driver, but he should be fine with it, will hopefully get some videos up soon! :slight_smile:

Thanks George, that means a lot coming from someone so amazing! Can’t wait to go to Anaheim with you guys, this time we’re gonna beat Lucas and Jack! :wink:

Thanks! We’re looking for some decent videos (most of what we have is Driver/Programming skills) But Steph will post some by the end of the week for sure.

Steve!! :smiley: You predicted very well, we appreciate your confidence in us, the team certainly weren’t as convinced as you!

You’ve been amazing this entire season Jack, we wouldn’t have gotten here without you. So glad we found that problem with you at Onehunga and not at Nationals! It was a nice easy fix thankfully :slight_smile:

The concept of this robot is stunning.
The descoring ability rivals every team in the world that I have seen.
Wonderfully built to me because the robot is clean and everything appears symmetrical.

This will be an intriguing design at Anaheim. I would propose that this design has a high probability of getting picked or even picking during alliance selection because of its unique abilities and effectiveness.

Good luck for your first time competing at Worlds. Well Deserved.

Thank you so much for your comments! We are all very surprised and pleased by the things you and others above have been saying. It really means a lot to us.
Symmetry is one of the things our builders have a bit of an obsession with. We like to build nice clean robots and it’s great that others have noticed it :slight_smile: