McMaster Outreach!

Today we went to an outreach event at McMaster! We were invited by 1309A to McMaster with 2188A to present our robots! We spent the day promoting VEX and the Starstruck game to kids and parents. There were fields set up for us, so we played matches with 2188A and 1309A, while explaining robotics to parents and kids. We talked to some parents interested in getting their kids into robotics and answered their questions about the competition and what the robotics world is like.


We also let the kids play with and drive the robots! For the parents and more academic people who came, we showed off our autonomous programs and our skills runs. Overall, it was a pretty fun time, and it seemed like quite a few of the kids became more interested in robots!


Toronto VRC!

Yesterday was the Toronto VRC Qualifying Event, our next big tournament. 70 teams came from various parts of Ontario, and the challenges were tough. Our alliance (consisting of ourselves, Team 1246 the Agincourt Lancers, and team 1509E Rmageddon) faced off against teams 1104Z The Discobots, 1114 Simbotics, and 188C Woburn Robotics in the finals. Both alliances were so evenly matched that the very first game was a tie, 70-70. After one of the most intense robotics matches that we have ever seen, our alliance barely won, with the final score in the match 76-72! These were some of the greatest matches we’ve ever seen. In addition to a stellar few tournament matches, we managed to win Excellence! AND the Think Award! Not to mention that we’ve managed to officially set the bar for Robot AND Programming Skills! What a day!

-The Pilons

Let the Games Begin!

4 months of hard work was finally put into effect yesterday, as we competed in the National Capital VRC Qualifying Event, all the way in Ottawa, Ontario! It was probably the smallest event we’ve ever been to, with only 14 teams competing, but it was exciting nonetheless as we got back into the swing of VEX competition, making new friends and meeting old ones. We left the arena with the tournaments excellence award and tournament champions, with Quebec based team 9663, Rikitik! It was a great experience, but it’s nowhere near over yet! In less than a week we’ll be off again for the Toronto VRC Qualifying Event! If you see us there, don’t hesitate to chat with us. We’ll update you guys once again after the tournament!

-The Pilons

We’re Back!

After half a year of silence, we have finally returned to fight on for another season of VEX robotics! A lot has happened since our last post, so I will briefly go over what’s happened:


In a qualifying event for the World Championship in California, all the best teams from Ontario were brought together to fight for their spot. Although we had already previously secured our spot, the chance to practice for the Worlds against the best in the province is too much to pass up. And so, we found ourselves up early at Governor Simcoe Secondary School in Saint Catherine’s, ready for our final Canadian competition. The qualification matches passed quickly and with limited stress, leaving us undefeated  in first place with 280 sp’s heading into the elimination matches. Our alliance with teams 472A and 356B worked to great effect, earning us the Tournament Champion’s award, and later, the Design Award.


After a month of adjustments and planning, we headed off to Anaheim for what would be our final competition of the year: The World Championship. As with every year previous, day 1 is a day of downtime. After registering and having our robot inspected, we tried to make the most of it. The next days had us fighting for our lives against the best teams in the world in the qualifiers. By the end, we were 8 wins with 2 losses and 309 sp’s, putting us (just barely) in 8th place. We chose our alliance of teams 177X and 6966B, and steeled ourselves for the upcoming elimination matches. Together, we pulled through to the semi finals, but were eliminated by teams 44, 2158M, and 40A. We were given the divisional “Build award,” and then later we were honored to be presented with the ‘Inspire Award!” Overall, our third world championship’s experience was a great success, and we looked forward to the next game that was announced: VEX Skyrise.

End of one season, start of another:

The end of a VEX season is always a bittersweet time for us. Participation in VEX robotics requires that you been in high school, and every year we have members graduate, and move on to the next stage of their lives. This year we said goodbye to the head of our media team Sam Rasmussen, and Our Head Builder Amanda Rampertab. We wish you the best of luck in their your future endeavors! As for us, we have started on the newest season of VEX robotics: Skyrise. This new game is very  unique and poses many difficult tasks for the robot to complete, and we have a lot of work ahead of us. Here’s to another great season of robotics fun!

We’ll see you on the field!




-The Pilons




Getting Ready for Worlds

We may have one competition left – the Ontario Provincial Championship- we are already getting ready for the VEX World Championships. The robot is getting its final touches, the program is being fine tuned, and we’re doing everything we can to make sure we understand our strategy inside and out.

We’ll keep you updated as we get closer to the competition date.

-The Pilons

A New Beginning

It has been a while since we last posted here.

A lot has happened since the amazing experience at the World Championship event last April. We had the pleasure of partaking in an episode of TVCOGECO’s F.Y.I., we held an open house to present all our progress for this year, and our achievements from last year, and now we are gearing up for our first event, which will be happening in just a few weeks. Promotional and Animation videos are coming along very well, and everything is in high-gear to get ourselves set up for a brand new season.

We will keep you posted as the season carries on, good luck to all the teams participating this year, and we look forward to competing for our third year.

The Pilons

The End of a Season, The Start of A New One

Coming back from the VEX World Championships, it is hard to believe how far we have come in such a short time. Last year, we were just a rookie team, with next to no knowledge with how VEX worked. Now, in only our second year, we are VEX Excellence World Champions.

Day one started out as last year. Those of us who arrived early brought in our equipment, banners, buttons, and maple candies to set up the booth. We promptly split off into our designated groups of drive team and scouts to start maximizing the downtime that we were given for this one day before competition.

Day two begins, and the opening ceremonies commence. After, we head down to the pits to start scouting and preparing the robot for our first match, which began very shortly after the end of the opening ceremonies. We continued to scout matches for teams that we would be facing or going to the field as allies with, as well as looking for teams who would make worthwhile allies for the elimination rounds. Throughout the day, we won all our matches, and managed to get second place in programming skills.

Moving to day three, things started to get more intense. We encountered one of our two hardest matches of the entire competition, and after a fierce match of scoring and descoring, we waited for the match following to see if we managed to pull it off. Our first match was very close, but we came out victorious, but our second match, our ally’s robot experienced difficulties, and we were defeated, stopping our perfect run. Despite the loss, we were still determined to do the best that we could do, and ended the day just below the top eight in tenth place. We also presented for the Excellence award, and our presentation couldn’t have gone better. They loved what we were doing, and seemed very interested in what we had to say about our story getting to the worlds.

The final day of competition. Our last two matches before the elimination rounds. We were incredibly nervous, as losing one more match would drop us down far below the top sixteen teams. Despite this, we still persevered, and won both our last matches, and ended the qualifiers in the top eight.

Going into the eliminations we were confident in our alliance selection. We managed to make it all the way through to the semi-finals, where we were unfortunately eliminated by the first seeded team. Despite that, we were deemed the Divisional Excellence winners, therefore qualifying us for the World Champions Excellence Award! We also received notification after receiving the award that we had, for the second year in a row, won the Programming Skills World Champions Award, making us even more excited!

We headed into the VEX Dome to watch the Round Robbin matches, and then the closing ceremonies. When it came time to announce the Excellence Award winners, we were all at the edges of our seats. The team they were describing sounded very much like us, but also much like a few other teams. Then, the announcement is made: Team 5225a is the winner of the VEX World Championships!

It has been an amazing season for our team. In this season alone, we have won 15 different awards from 5 different events, defended our title as Programming Skills champions, won first place in the Animation Challenge, and became the WORLD CHAMPIONS for VEX 2013. We look forward to seeing what challenges other teams will bring for the next season, VEX Toss Up, see you on the fields.

- The Pilons


Full World Championships Update Coming Soon

Hello everyone, we just got back from California where the VEX World Championships were held. We’re super excited to announce that we have won the Excellence Award, making us the World Champions for this year! We also won Programming Skills Champions for the High School division, divisional Excellence, and the Amaze award!

Check back soon for a full update with loads of pictures and videos!

The Date Has Been Saved

Two days remain. The equipement is ready to be packed, the programming is coming to a close, and documentation has been finalized. Banners are in, buttons have been pressed, presentations finalized, and all our work is coming down to these last few days. On Wednesday April 17th, 2013, the Anaheim  California VEX World Championships will begin, and a winner shall be crowned.

Assuming that there’s internet at the hostel we’re staying in, I, Sam, will attempted to keep those of you at home reading this up to date on the goings-ons on a day-to-day basis. Otherwise, we’ll tell you all about it when we get back.

Thank you for reading, supporting us, and to those who are competing with us, the best of luck,

- The Pilons