September 21, 2023

From our World winning Home Schooling Free Range Robotics team

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From the Free Range Robotics team’s blog:

Hi Everyone!Today was a very exciting day! We won all five of our matches, and we have one more tomorrow.

Free Range Robotics the Homeschool team, are coming first on the placing board! Laughing

Match one score was, 36 to 30, we had NO alliance partner , they did not show up at all!
Match two, 46 to 19, we also had no alliance partner again but managed to win convincingly.
Match three 37 to 24.
Match four, 40 to 36.
Match five, 44 to 21

We have our last qualifying match tomorrow which will be followed by the finals in the afternoon.

We also did the Drivers Challenge today, we scored well and are placed second.
We did the Programming Skills challenge as well, and we are coming second!

We were well supported during the matches by the togetherness of the New Zealand Teams, with lots of cheering, and enthusiasm from the Kiwis in the audience.

Lots of the other teams that are here are congratulating us on our performance so far.

Thanks for all your support!

Talk to you soon!


Free Range Robotics joint winners at the Vex Robotics 2009 Competition

On Saturday 21 March the home school robotics team, ‘Free Range Robotics’, competed in the New Zealand National Championships of the “Vex Robotics 2009 Competition” against high school teams from various parts of New Zealand.

The competition brief was to design and build a robot to play a game called Elevation, in which the robot collects three-inch cubes and puts them into a variety of ‘goals’.  The game is one of strategy as well as designing, driving, building and programming skills.

Free Range Robotics came up from behind to come joint FIRST with Avondale College!!!

The tournament first prize is the right to compete in the World Championships in Dallas at the end of April 2009, as well as airfares paid for six team members.

These teenagers have done something remarkable by winning the New Zealand Championship at Massey University without the financial backing or support of a school. They are a group of home-educated individuals who, with the support of dedicated parents, have worked together as a team to design, construct and programme a remote-controlled robot to take part in the game. They have done everything from robot design and building, fundraising, PR, uniform design, programming… You name it they have done it.

They have been told they have a fair chance of doing well in the World Championships. But because they do not have the backing of a school or a major sponsor, raising finances for their team to go is a very real challenge. They are now working on fundraising to pay for the rest of the trip expenses and for more team members to go.  Unfortunately the dream of the whole team going is just a dream. But the more team members who can go, the stronger the team will be. Check out their website at :

The team is now working on fundraising, and they are also looking for sponsors.

** If you know of any source of sponsorship for the team can you let us know?

** Also, if you would like to congratulate the team and encourage them please do – they would very much appreciate your encouragement.  Please send a reply to me that I can forward to the team to go on the website.

Thanks.Stephanie for this report.

Robotics competition winners will head to US

Robotics competition winners will head to US

Monday, March 23, 2009
Robotics competition winners will head to US

Twelve Auckland teenagers have a date in Dallas next month after manoeuvring their machines to victory in a fast and furious final of a robotics competition on the Albany campus at the weekend.

Two teams made up of Avondale College pupils and home-schooled children will compete at the Vex World Championships on April 30 after winning the New Zealand national finals at Massey University this weekend. The alliance was declared tournament champions from a field of 31 teams.

Competition convener Dr Johan Potgeiter, a senior lecturer at the School of Engineering and Advanced Technology, says it was a lot of fun. “The winning alliance collaborated on their software and they were both awesome,” he says. “Home school’s robot, Free Range Robotics, was absolutely brilliant. In one task it picked up multiple cubes and threw them out of the ring in a real show of strength, while Avondale College’s robot, Binary Blitz A, was extremely fast.”

The competition promotes education and skills in technology, science, engineering and mathematics, as well as critical life skills such as teamwork, project management and problem solving. The international championship is expected to draw 2000 students comprising 200 teams from 13 countries.

Westlake Girls’ High School won the robot skills championship and Onehunga High School won the excellence award. Both qualify for the Dallas finals if they can secure funding for the trip. Home school also won the programming skills section. Other schools receiving awards were Glenfield College (STEM award), Rutherford College (judges’ award) and Rangitoto College (support award).

Vex robotics competitions, which started in the United States, have been gathering momentum in New Zealand since being launched by Massey Albany last year.

Teams taking part in the national contest included Mt Albert Boys’ Grammar School, Northcote College, Rangitoto College, Glenfield College, Kristin School, Albany Senior High School, Takapuna Grammar School, Edgewater College, Westlake Boys’ High School, Westlake Girls’ High School, Avondale College, Lynfield College, Auckland International School, Rutherford College, Onehunga High School and home school teams in Auckland, as well as two teams from Palmerston North Boys’ High School and one from Nelson College.

Sponsors for the competition were New Zealand Trade & Enterprise, Fisher & Paykel Healthcare, FedEx Express, Smales Farm, Glidepath and The Edge radio.