Coast robotics team takes national title

The Resolution Robotics team, from left, Josiah Bull, William A’Court, Rahul Bhati, Lachlan Davidson and team captain Sarah Thomson.

The team’s robot was designed to precisely launch balls at a target.

A small robotics team based out of the coach’s home in Stanmore Bay has been crowned national champions.

In the NZ National Robotics Championships last month, the five-person Resolution Robotics team came up against 59 college teams from around the country.

Over two days, a total of 150 qualification matches were played, followed by a sudden death knockout stage.

Resolution Robotics was crowned tournament champions after winning the final match in the last five seconds.

The team also received the coveted Design Award for their logbooks, which judges referred to as “beautiful” and “stunning”.

Coach Phil Davidson says the club has only been operating for a year. Its members come from different schools and have prior experience in Vex robotics.

He says forming the club was about bringing friends together around a common interest.

One of the objectives of this year’s competition was to precisely launch balls at ‘flags’, causing them to flip. Resolution Robotics team member Rahul Bhati says their design included a fast moving flywheel that launched balls and a feeder system that moved the balls up to the wheel.

“We coded software that allowed us to perfectly launch two balls in under half a second to hit two separate targets,” he says.

Another challenge was helping out when rival teams had technical issues. Team member William A’Court says that Vex robotics is a tight-knit community and teams are always willing to help each other out.

“Before our semifinals, our opponents had a severe electronics failure,” William says. “We rushed to their pits to help them to diagnose and fix the issue before we competed against them. We wanted a fair match for everyone.”

First prize was a place at the Vex World Championships, which take place in Kentucky, USA, next month. In that event, Resolution Robotics will face competition from 600 other teams.

Phil Davidson says being an independent team is financially challenging and they will be up against many larger, and better-resourced teams. They are in the process of fundraising to help cover the cost of getting to Kentucky and their givealittle page is called 5 Kiwi Students Heading to the World Robotics. Info: email


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