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We are a group of students from the University of Auckland, aiming to compete at the highest level in a number of robotics related areas, while supporting robotics in our community.

We compete in the University Division of the VEX Robotics Competition. In 2015 we competed in the VEX Robotics World Championship, where we won three of four World Champion titles and were runners up in fourth (the tournament), and we look forward to attending again in 2017. We are part of the Kiwibots contingent of New Zealand high school and university teams. An international competition with participants from 40 countries including China, Canada, Puerto Rico, Mexico, Egypt, the UK, Australia and the US, the VEX Robotics Competition tests our understanding and ability to practically implement engineering concepts through a sports-inspired game.

More recently, AURA has become more and more involved with combat robotics. We applied to participate in the 2016 season of Battlebots, but were declined at the final stage of selections. Not to be discouraged, in August two members from AURA traveled to Canberra, Australia, where they were crowned RoboWars National Champions (and runner-up too!) after demolishing the competition. AURA are gunning to start a Mini Robot Rumble competition in New Zealand too – more details to be announced soon!

We have also competed in the National Instruments Autonomous Robotics Competition (NI-ARC). A team of students representing the University travelled to Australia in September 2013. Featuring the use of the CompactRIO, NI-ARC requires robots to navigate a maze and complete a task fully autonomously.

In addition, we compete in New Zealand’s Robot Soccer competition, winning the competition in 2015 and reaching the semi-finals in 2016.

We compete in the RoboNZ competition, as a platform for our members to develop and trial new sensors, processors, and algorithms.

We mentor high school robotics teams and volunteer at local competitions. We mentor several high school robotics teams in the VEX Robotics Competition, and help run the monthly scrimmages and national championships. Additionally we volunteer at FIRST Lego League (FLL) competitions in the Auckland region.

For all enquiries, please don’t hesitate to contact us.

VEX 2017 Nationals (2/28/2017)

Another year, another successful VEX Nationals.

Last weekend, a few dozen volunteers, 70 high school teams and hundreds of students, staff and parents took over the Massey University Recreation Centre in Albany for the annual national competition.

This is the event many teams have been working all year towards, attending the scrimmages supported by our dedicated AURA volunteers, spending time with AURA mentors and pouring their creative efforts into their robots.

AURA provided the bulk of the volunteering force, with over 20 volunteers working over the four days ensuring the competition ran smoothly. It was great to see both some of our graduate members taking time away from lawyering and engineering to volunteer, and some of our incoming undergraduate members giving back to the competitive community they’ve been part of for so long. With new members like these, AURA will continue to be a powerhouse for both volunteering and competition efforts for years to come.

While all of our volunteers did a fantastic job, special commendations must be given to:

Jess Chase, our Volunteer Officer, who was officially recognised as the Volunteer of the Year, and who organised all of the volunteers for this years competition.

Nathan Allen, whose technical expertise and competition software integration efforts made all of our efforts so much more efficient.

Rui Wen, for his help in communicating with visiting Chinese teams.

George Gillard, who was on the organising committee for nationals.

We’re happy that so many great high school teams will be joining us this year when we travel to the VEX Robotics World Championships this April in Louisville, Kentucky. Hopefully, we will continue New Zealand’s outstanding performance and bring home another stack of trophies in both the High School and University division.

AURA’s Battlebots 2016 Application (6/26/2016)

As a competitive robotics club, AURA always gets asked “Do you building fighting robots??”. Usually the answer is no, however late last year we had the opportunity to design a Battlebot and apply to be on the rebooted ABC show.

The robot we designed, Mango is a ring spinner. Mango would have weighed 115kg, and the outer ring would have spun at 600rpm!

Unfortunately our application was rejected in the final stage of selection due to there being too many similar designs, so for the moment Mango is still only on paper. But we ended up with a lot of design experience, and some awesome looking renders!

We are already thinking about our 2017 submission and working on smaller scale combat robots, so we have exciting news regarding combat robotics to come soon.

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Design Drawings

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1. Mangō top view

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2. Mangō – weapon mechanism

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Robogals / AURA joint workshop (7/8/2015)

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Thanks Robogals Auckland for inviting us to an awesome robotics workshop at Auckland Girls’ Grammar School. Lots of our members turned out to assist the Robogals, so the kids could have a great time learning with Lego Mindstorms robot kits.

Thank you to Robogals president Sweta and to our volunteers: Oliver, Jack, Jess, Barney, Ellen and Karan.

Check out the Robogals’ Facebook page here:
https://www.facebook.com/pages/Robogals-Auckland/816129961742270

Auckland Kiwi Challenge season “Missile Mania” concludes (6/3/2015)

This weekend volunteers from AURA ran the 2015 Auckland Kiwi Challenge regional competition at Unitec Albany.

This was the final event of the Kiwi Challenge season, which included three other scrimmages (also run by AURA volunteers) over the last two months.

All 34 teams did well. These videos show the elimination matches:

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