21 Feb 2022

Monday 21 February 2022

King’s had two teams at the VEX Robotics Nationals on Saturday. The teams had mixed results during the qualification rounds of the event, in which the lack of preparation and competition time for Auckland schools this season was apparent. 

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The games were mostly very evenly matched and came down to small differences in the skills and strategy of the team, and the reliability of the robot.

At the end of qualifying, the teams were placed 5th (2923B - Gerry Wang (Year 13, Averill), Ethan Huang (Year 12, Greenbank), Derek Peng (Year 12, Greenbank) and last (2923A - Sam Anderson (Year 12, Marsden), Max Jiang (Year 12, Parnell). 

For those not familiar with robotics, students are given a new challenge annually, and must design, build, program, and drive a robot to compete with others to see who can score the most points during a match. The match is separated into two parts, the autonomous period where robots cannot be controlled by their players and scores points based on just coding.

After this brief 45-second period finishes, robots start the intense driver control period where they battle it out to see whose team has the best robot matched with the best driver. The robotics teams that consistently display exceptional mastery in all of these areas will eventually progress to the VEX Robotics World Championship.

The B team formed an alliance with a team from Burnside High School for the knockout phase of the competition and were seeded 4th going into the knockout round. They had a close win in the quarter-finals and proceeded to the semi-final. Facing the 8th seeds, who had knocked out a very strong first seed alliance in the quarter-finals, the team had a tough challenge but came through with a good win. 

The best-of-three final series was against a very competitive second-seeded alliance. However, with a win by a very narrow margin in the first game and another hard-fought victory in the second match, the King’s and Burnside Alliance came out victorious to take out the championship.

This qualifies them to take a spot representing the College and New Zealand at the world championships in May.

Congratulations to Gerry Wang, Ethan Huang and Derek Peng for their outstanding result.

John Bennet 
Teacher in Charge of Robotics