Robots reach for the sky at the VEX Tournament

This year’s VEX Robotics Tournament, held at ASIJ on November 14-15, saw 23 teams from around the world battle it out to build towers, move blocks and score points in VEX’s Skyrise game. Played on a square field, the object of the game is to score the maximum amount of points by scoring colored cubes in the floor goals, building towers of Skyrise sections and placing cubes onto the posts around the perimeter of the field. Teams took a wide variety of approaches and competition was fierce, especially during Saturday’s elimination rounds.

This was the fifth competition hosted by ASIJ and many teams returned to take part again this year. Schools represented included Tianjing International School, Waiakea High School from Hawaii, Taipei American School, Thai Chinese International School, Chadwick International from Incheon, Kinnick High School, KAIS International School, Senri High School from Osaka, and Aoba Japan International School. Andy Lee, the president of IFI Hong Kong, who oversees VEX in Asia, also stopped by the tournament and was impressed that we had two competition fields running and an additional practice field in use as well.

ASIJ’s Ninjabotics teams faced stiff competition from the visiting robots and the tournament champion was an alliance of two of Taipei’s teams (4194A & B) with 1056B from Waiakea. The excellence award was won by the 4194A team from Taipei.

ASIJ’s 901T team took the Sportsmanship Award and 901A received the Energy Award for their performance in the competition. The other Japanese teams to score awards were Aoba who took home the Judges Award and Senri High School from Osaka, who took home the Think Award. The two teams from Taipei American School put in a very strong showing during the tournament and were rewarded with the Programming Skills Award and Design Award.

The competition was streamed live on ASIJ TV, allowing supporters in Hawaii and beyond to follow their team’s progress. The event is now archived so if you want to see our robots in action, head to

Thank you to all of the parents and National Honor Society students who supported the event. We would also like to thank Karyn Watt and Kevin Randell for organizing the event, high school principal Rick Weinland for emceeing and the 16 other faculty and staff who helped with judging, refereeing, transportation, hospitality and event production. (Matt Wilce, Director of Communications)