Hero photograph

Third Time is a Charm

Katana Dunn —

After three attempts and numerous disruptions due to Covid, the Burnside Robotics Team 4067X is finally going to compete in the Vex Robotics World Championships in Dallas, Texas in the USA.

Burnside team, 4067X (Alex Cutforth, Alex Rickard, Ajax Guo, Ryan Moynihan) travelled to Glenfield College, Auckland on the 19th of February to compete in VEX Robotics Nationals. The team allied with King’s B From Kings College and won the finals, receiving the Tournament Champions Award for the first time in Burnside history as well as qualifying for the VEX Robotics Worlds Championship

Tournament Champions Banner — Image by: Katana Dunn

The team along with Katana Dunn, John Creighton and Mike Cutforth ( parent of Alex) will be travelling to Texas on the 2nd of May to compete against over 800 robotics teams from around the world in the Kay Bailey Hutchinson Convention Center. There are five teams from New Zealand competing. They are from Auckland (2 teams), Palmerston North, Tauranga and of course, Christchurch. 

This trip would not have been possible without the generous donations from our sponsors, Tait Communications and Shout Media. The team are also very appreciative for the help and support of the Burnside High School's Board of Trustees and Senior Management, and the BHS Digital Department to make this trip a reality. 

The Burnside High School Robotics Club has 22 members this year. Numbers are a bit down due to the various disruptions and difficulty planning regional scrimmages. The robotics students make robots designed for games created annually by VEX Robotics, which is managed by the Robotics Education and Competition Foundation (REC). This year’s season from 2021-2022 features Tipping Point, a game where two teams of two robots compete against each other to score the most points within a 2 minute round. The students utilise skills such as programming, engineering, driver skills and team collaboration within areas of STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering and Maths). 

Practising in X-Block on field donated by Tait Foundation  — Image by: Katana Dunn

Until we leave for the USA, the team is practicing every spare time they have as well as ensuring that the robot is super reliable. 

The Competition Robot — Image by: Katana Dunn

The team’s robot focuses on the elements of speed, agility, and reliability, rather than complex high scoring elements. This is achieved by using small numbers of mechanisms designed in ways which make them faster and less likely to succumb to damage induced by overuse or other robots. The motor are geared up 1.66 times the normal 200rpm speed, giving the wheels a speed of 333 RPM (Rotations per minute) which is significantly faster than most other robots.

The robot also has a clamp which utilises two pneumatic(pressurised air) pistons to pick up mobile goals. These pneumatics became very beneficial for the robot as compared to standard motors, they are much stronger with less strains. As a result, it created a very strong and reliable clamp and it is difficult for other robots to take them off our robot. As the number of motors used are limitted to eight motors, they can be used elsewhere, as the clamp no longer requires them. 

We have an experienced team and a really good, solid robot to compete in Dallas. I wish them all the best and for many years I wished for a team to be good enough to take me to the Worlds. It finally happened!