National Competition 2005
3-4 September

We flew down to Sydney on Friday and stayed in the Gemini Hotel. The robots were all working when we got there, which was a relief.

Initial testing at UNSW on Saturday morning showed that both robots' sensors had long distance vision due to the fluorescent lighting. Not long after that though, we found that Boris's kicker wasn't winding in at all. We quickly dissembled the robot and found that a 24-tooth Lego gear had been stripped. With not long to go before the first game, Jack ran outside and sanded down a replacement gear on the grip on the building's stairs. The robot was then hurriedly put back together.

We were lucky to win the first game 6-3. In the first half there hadn't been time to program a direction into the striker, so it was shooting sideways. This was fixed at half time, but the robot still struggled to find the right direction and was doing very weak kicks all the time.

For the second game, the kicker was fixed by moving the aluminium sides of the kicker further apart to get a clean release. We also asked the organisers to move the table as there were magnetic fields in the ground and our compass was only reading between 290° and 315° across a full rotation. With these problems sorted, we won 10-5. The third and final round robin match was won 13-4.

We can't remember the score in our first knockout match, but we do remember Boris managed to grab another robot in the dribbler and drive off with it. The following knockout was against the WA champions, the Vindaloovians. They had us very worried at half time when we were down 6-4. But we had a big second half comeback to win 13-8.

Our quarterfinal was against a team from Mackay, and we won 13-3. This match also saw the striker's dribbler pull off the other robots' wheels twice. In the semifinal we played 'The Group' from St Peters, who knocked us out in the Queensland competition. We were down by a goal or two in the first half, but made a comeback to win 9-6. 'The Group' won third place and the Encouragement Award.

The grand final was against 'The Dominators' from Cranbrook School in NSW. Their striker also has a kicker, which was weaker than ours but could fire much more frequently. They had the lead at half time when the score was 4-3. They got an early one in the second half, but then Boris made four goals to gain a lead of 7-5. Cranbrook got one more before the end, but the final score was 7-6 to us.

We were given a silver trophy to keep and a wooden trophy for the year. We also got a medal each and a $300 Educational Experience voucher for the school. As well as winning the competition, we were awarded the Savit Family Award for "innovation in programming and display of deliberate gameplay". This consisted of a certificate and $50 each.

You can check out the highlights from the Australian Open in our Videos Section.

Back to Competitions