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Friday, April 23, 2010

Day 6: First Day of Competition

Hello all,

We had another early rise, around 6am, in order to leave at 7 to drive to the Convention Center, which takes half an hour, ready for the doors opening at 7:30. When we arrived, we registered and went to our allocated pit area to set up our equipment and sponsors banners. We proudly turned on ‘Kraken’ ready for the first practice, only to discover that our robot was shorting out constantly and refused to work! After a frantic search, we tracked the fault, one of the connecting wires had a break in it, but luckily we were able to fix the problem fairly quickly. We then headed to the inspection area so the officials could check that our robot is within the size range of 18 inches by 18 inches; we were millimeters in. We went off to practice with our ‘certified legal’ robot, only to find that it was shorting out again, after another frantic search, we found that one of the motor pins was bent out of shape, we quickly rectified the problem with a new motor.

During our scouting of allies and opponents, we saw many amazing robots and met many people from all over the world: Jorge, a Puerto Rican who thought we were his alliance partner but we were in fact his opponent in one of the matches, after greeting us he enthusiastically started to discuss tactics, strategies and other in-depth details about his robot. We broke the news to him that we were in fact his opponent soon after, we felt that a friendship beginning with deception was not a good idea. Jorge was cool with it. We have noticed that there are many Mexican, Puerto Rican and Columbian teams, but the teams from the USA are the most numerous. Within our division, there are 7 New Zealand teams with a large number of US teams, and a mixture of Mexican, Puerto Rican, Columbian, Chinese and a few teams from Singapore.

Our practice round
...was against the Rangitoto C robot; Rangitoto's partner forfeited, while our alliance partner's robot got stuck on a green ball... so it was in fact a one on one. We had problems with balls being jammed in the basket and we ended up losing the practice match. After making modifications to the basket, again, the qualifying rounds began.

Qualifying Round 1
...Our first game was against two dumper class robots from the US. Our alliance partner forgot to plug in a cord, rendering it unable to move in that match, this time it was a 1 v 2... the MAGS team forged on, keeping a constant flow of balls onto the other side of the field. 30 seconds left on the clock, we blocked an attempt by the opponent to dump a load of balls onto our side. However, our intake got tangled in their basket, and they reversed away from the wall, stranding us with our basket across the wall, rendering us immobile. We watched with despair as their robots continued to dump balls over our wall. As the match finished, it looked like the game could have gone either way. We waited tensely for the results of the match, "Red Team:86, Blue Team:83" MAGS won by 3 points!!! This extremely close win shot us straight to the top of our division due to the special points we earned.

Qualifying Round 2
...Our second qualifying match was against another New Zealand team, Kristen College. Our alliance partner had rebuilt their robot in between their first and second matches, but failed to complete it, thus rendering it immobile. Once again, it was a 1 v 2. Kristen College had problems with their drive, resulting in another win for MAGS.

If you watch the video, we stop scoring towards the end. This is due the winning team being allocated points which is the oppositions score. So for a high score, you need to win and allow the opposition to get a high score. So tactically, it's very difficult as you need to ensure the win, but make also help the opposition get a high score....

By the end of the day, we were first in our division. It was an awesome but nerve-wracking day of competition, but an excellent start to the competition.

The Kiwibots (New Zealand robotics teams) did extremely well, winning the vast majority of their games, only one team suffered a loss and that was to another Kiwi team! Already the commentators and the rest of the world are beginning to talk about the strength and quality of the New Zealand teams.

We are expecting another hard day of competition tomorrow, once again we are getting up in the early hours. But with some hard work and a little luck, we should continue to do well.

Enjoy your weekend,
The MAGS Roarbotix Team in da USA


  1. Wow, great start you guys!! Mum's gotten really excited!! Hope you guys do really well tomorrow!!

  2. Feel exhausted just reading the day's competition news... Well done, boys! Enjoy the moment of being first in your division - long may it last! Get some sleep now!

  3. Well done guys!!!

    It's great to hear that you're top of the division. Keep your heads high and keep pushing on!!! MAKE MAGS PROUD!!!


  4. Well done! Pretty nail biting stuff....

  5. so did you kiss kraken is happiness? *smirk*

  6. OMG. well done guys, that's fantastic!

  7. Fantastic start guys! Keep it up. Looking forward to seeing some photos of the scrimmages.

  8. Brilliant Work Guys! Keep it up. We all wait in anticipation of your progress back in NZ