The Resolution Robotics team, from left, William A’Court, Josiah Bull, Rahul Bhati, Sarah Thomson and Lachlan Davidson ready to take on the world
Just getting to the Vex World Championships in the USA last month was a big challenge for a small robotics team from Stanmore Bay.
The team, which operates from the coach Phil Davidson’s home, became NZ champions in March and had just a few weeks to put together enough funding to get to Kentucky for the worlds (HM March 13).
There, they came face to face with 600 top teams from around the world.
Phil says the team won eight out of 11 qualification matches thanks to a focus on strategy, match planning and execution.
“The only bad luck was in our final qualification match when our alliance partner drove into us accidentally at the start of the match, damaging our robot and leading to a loss,” Phil says.
The team’s efforts came to an end in the semi-finals when they were beaten by the eventual division champions.
“Our team had many hurdles to overcome as a small self-funded team and yet we were able to represent New Zealand on the world stage showing that we are among the best, often outperforming teams from schools with a mature and well-funded robotics programme,” Phil says.
He says Resolution Robotics built a strong reputation. “From day 1 we had ‘groupies’ coming to our pit area to meet the team, and have a selfie taken – not with the team but with the robot,” he says.
The team’s result ranks them as one of the top 48 in the world. At the end of the tournament, they were approached by the director of robotics from Hawaii, who invited the team to compete in an exclusive world signature event in July.
Phil says the team is taking a break and is yet to make a decision regarding the Hawaiian offer.
“The team as it stands can’t compete in next season’s college competition, as they will be too old, but there is the university division to consider, and they are also considering passing on their knowledge and experience through mentoring junior teams,” Phil says.