It was great to meet members of the New Zealand delegation in Atlanta last year. I’m sure they are very disappointed by this news, as, I think is everyone. But it is far better to take the time and “get it right” the first time than to put together a rush job.
It would be great if some of the Kiwi teams could find a way to get to a regional somewhere in North America. I know Vancouver to Auckland is about $1700 (we did, at least, contemplate the possibility of going), but maybe it isn’t so expensive to fly from N.Z. to Hawaii or L.A.? Billeting arrangements can not only help bring down travel costs, but can also create some lasting friendships.
Aww that stinks. I definitely think the teams should take this opportunity to go to the airlines to ask and see if they can get donated or discount tickets so they can compete. I’m not quite sure how all of that would work out, but it would be VERY cool if they were able to make something happen.
Hachiban I think they may be thinking something along those lines.
At the moment every month is a Vex competion.
I am not sure if any teams will go over to other regionals. It’ll depend on cost etc.
It would also depend if First holds an official kickoff here.
I don’t know if the teams would go just to watch even if they had the money.
Jason does make a good point about getting more time to learn next year with out the pressure. Hopefully they will put on some more mentor training.
We have a school year that runs from late January until early December. So may be next year we could spread the training / fund raising.
Here’s a question for you guys.
Do you have on your teams, students who have basic metal working skills such as turning metal on a lathe, milling machine operation etc. I am not thinking about the whole team but maybe a couple of people on the build team or do you tend to use mentors or outside companies?
Thanks for all your support. I must admit to being disapointed as I had hoped to be making that trip to Atlanta.
Each team is different but most teams have students working on machines. It depends on the insurance structure and school district policy. Most would agree, the maximum benefit is with students working next to mentors. It is a team after all.
I am saddened by the this announcement. It was one of those signs that First is branching out to reach all of the world’s youth. I would hope that perhaps travel for your teams might be a possiblity and I certainly look forward to meeting up with Kiwi teams in the future.
While there are teams that do amazing things with a hacksaw and a hand drill, and other teams that have mentors and sponsors quite actively involved in the production of the robot, most Canadian public high schools have some form of metal working or wood working shop with technically trained teachers and elective courses that teach students who are interested how to use machine and power tools.
The situation isn’t entirely different in the USA, I believe, but perhaps varies a bit more. Our team, for instance has access to several machine lathes, two mills, TIG MIG Gas and Stick welders, sheet metal tools, and (not that we’ve used it for FRC yet) a forge and small foundry in the metal shop, and a full wood shop, complete with CNC router. We actually design many of our robot parts out of wood, particularly baltic birch plywood, with good success. We have also done fibreglass layup in the Engineering shop, and have built our own custom circuit boards in the electronics shop.
Other teams have more, many have much, much less. It doesn’t so much seem to be what you have in your shop, but how you use it that makes the difference.
P.S. Oddly, we complain that our machine tools are so old that they are still in imperial units… doesn’t hurt so much, though, when you’re taking part in an American-based competition!
The only student on our team who knew how to use machine tools was myself… Probably because they were my tools…
Needless to say, it isn’t that hard to give people instructions over their shoulders and instruct them while they work. We only have 1 mill and 1 lathe, so it isn’t too hard for multiple mentors to supervise a single student. Even if that student has no formal training.
We have a similar arrangements at our sponsor’s shops (the students run the machines and the owners dictate what to do).
Hi im from Onehunga high school in NZ, we are not a “rich” school but we do fairly good metal working capabilities, MIG TIG welders lots of lathes band saws automatic hacksaws, CNC and allot of space. As far as metal working experience goes I am probably the most experienced in engineering and electronics, luckily I have two more years before I can no longer be on the team, but because of the way our school year works the 6th forms that are one year ahead of me will not be able to compete if this is really cancelled. Our school has done well so far in the vex (winning both unofficial competitions) but im sure allot of us will feel let down by this announcement.
Organizing a kickoff event is not much effort, unlike a full regional (where you need [experienced] judges, referees, etc…
No student so far has had advanced metalworking skills like lathe or mill experience, but some start out good with drills, saws and hand tool skills from home. We are fortunate to have a lathe, and so I teach the 2 or 3 kids each year who express an interest. Except for the rare precision work, they do it all.
The rest of the kids, we teach them at least one level of tools above where they are when they start each year (more or less). So from nothing, they go to hand tools, then to basic power tools, then to big saws, grinding cutoff saws, lathe, etc.
Some kids do know how to weld when they start, or they learn over the summer on their own. We don’t have a welder, that’s the only thing we farm out to a local sponsor.
From the person responsible for first in NZ," First robotics has not been cancelled it is being re structured at present but it has definately not been cancelled".
apparently they have got half the money they need, enough to hold the competition and to get the kits but not enough to get everyone to america. so eitherway we will all be able to build the robots and compeate which will be awesome and im looking forward too it.
It is my understanding that it will be run as if it was a regional (6 week build etc) i have gotten this information from Bill Smale. And yes as far as i know next saturady (the 11th) competition at westlake girls is still on.
Sorry i have just realised that the information may have not come from him but i do know it has come from a person assosiated with the running of the competition. The teacher running it at our school contacted them for me.