Frequently asked questions
Do I need to know anything about STEM and robotics to get started?
The short answer - no! We believe that a spark of curiosity and an eagerness to learn is all you need to get started.
If you are looking to run VEX programmes to introduce robotics into your teaching curriculum, there are plenty of free resources VEX have created that also have supplementary materials by Kiwibots mapping it to the NZ Teaching Curriculum.
For students, parents and others looking to get involved, there's a huge community across NZ and the world that help each other on the forums - everyone is always more than happy to help with each others questions especially for those who are just starting their Kiwibots journey.
How old do I need to be to get involved?
There is no minimum age, however most of our teams are approximately intermediate school age onwards as this is often when the programmes are in place at schools to support the teams.
That said - we are on the lookout for keen parents and teachers who would love to help create independent teams for our younger Kiwibots students, so let us know if you want to!
The competitions run with the Northern Hemisphere school calendar, and so competition levels are split by contestants age at the time of World Championships of that season.
Students who will be 12 or younger at the time of World Championships are classed as Elementary in VEX IQ, 14 or younger as Middle School VEX IQ, and 18 or younger as VEX VRC High.
How many people do I need to start a team?
Teams require 2 or more students to register for any VEX competitions.
When does the competition season start?
Competitions run with the Northern Hemisphere school calendar. The new challenge season is released in May, and runs through to the following April.
NZ Nationals for VEX IQ are held in Nov/Dec, and VEX VRC approximately Feb.
World Championships are held in April in the USA.
How do I register for events?
If you have a team and are looking to register for scrimmages, head over to robotevents.com to find the event you would like to attend and register there (for a shortcut, click the Events tab in the menu!)
We use these registrations as the 'roll' for our events, so it is important that you register theere prior to attending to participate at a scrimmage.
Note - reminders to register are also sent out from Kiwibots. Make sure you subscribe to our mailing list to not miss any announcements!
We don't have VEX at my school. Can I still take part?
Absolutely! VEX equipment is available through our store to all, and as a Charitable Trust, we price all of these as affordably as we can.
Many people have purchased VEX equipment to dabble in robotics intheir leisure time, as a fun weekend project, or as a stepping stone to getting involved in the VEX VRC competitions later on with an independent team.
If you want VEX in your school, feel free to
get in touch with us or check out our
VEX in schools info, designed for educators with supplementary resources and tools.
How can I get Robotics Equipment?
Check out our store (store.kiwibots.co.nz) to see our range. We do our best to bring on new robotics lines that remain accessible to all, however if you or your organisation is not in a position to invest in equipment, get in touch with us at firstname.lastname@example.org.
We are currently working on alternatives such as a library of gear that can be loaned and new exciting products, so do get in touch if this applies to you or you're interested!
Our partners at Central Robotics Regional Trust also run a selection of loan robots and kits for new schools and teams in the Central North Island regions - terms and conditions apply. Please get in touch with us at Kiwibots and we will direct you to the Central Robotics team and provide any other support we can.
I need a refund or exchange of faulty item
No problem - please get in touch with our team at email@example.com and we can help you with that :)
Please include in your email tthe order number, faulty part and issue, and we'll be in touch as soon as we can.
Which VEX Competition am I supposed to do?
You can find a details guide here. As a guide (and there are definitely exceptions to this!), primary and intermediate schools should participate in the VEX IQ Challenge (plastic robots) and High Schools in VRC (metal robots).
Advanced younger students can do VRC as there is no minimum age requirement, however we advise that primary and intermediate teams wishing to participate in VRC consider the financial step up involved, and the dexterity required with metal robots.