We spent the day yesterday in the pits with the teams participating in the 2012 Silicon Valley Regional FIRST Competition and brought back a whole heap of pictures. Thursday is fix, check and test day at the regional competitions. Each robot has been sealed up since the end of the build season and the teams bring them out and get them certified for competition and run them through practice matches.The pits were extremely busy for most of the day, getting the robots ready for their practice rounds and repairing them afterwards. Team Gatorbotics was one of several local all girls teams. There were teams present from Mexico, Brazil, and several US states. Some pits were more organized than others. Team 115, Monta Vista Robotics had a beautiful hinged tool cabinet and storage rack with interior lighting. Tools were loaned freely between teams, and whiteboards were used to keep track of loaner tools and practice match schedules. Robots were made from all kinds of materials and with all kinds of tools. Waterjets, CNC routers, laser cutters, mills, lathes, bandsaws, drill presses, welders, soldering irons and every imaginable hand tool were used to shape plywood, steel, aluminum, PVC, polycarbonate, acrylic, and rubber. The Cheesy Poofs had some of their powder coated spare parts on display.
There was a mobile machine shop just outside the pit area. The teams could bring their materials over and have them machined to their specifications. The operator lamented that there aren’t enough volunteer machinists to help out with this service.
Some teams put a lot of effort into decorating their robots. When not in autonomous mode, the robots were controlled wirelessly through a D-link router, which was a popular place to put stickers.Space Cookies looked great on their router. They were another of the all-girl teams. Seeing the robots put through their paces in the practice matches was good fun. They’re competing Friday and Saturday at San Jose State University, so go and check them out! There are more regional competitions before the championships at the end of April, so check to see if there is one near you. You can also see many more pictures of the robots in our flickr set here.
This Saturday, we’ll be at the Exploratorium participating in the Open Make event focused on the theme “Time.” We had a great time when we participated in the very first Open Make event, and are glad to see the program continuing with a great lineup of themes this year. This time, we’ll be bringing several clock and time related projects.
The event runs from 10 am to 2 pm, Saturday, February 18, and will feature workshops, maker displays, and Dale Dougherty interviewing several makers on their time related projects. We hope to see you there!
We’re bringing along Drink Making Unit 2.0, one of our favorite combinations of tinkering and drinking. It will be serving non-alcoholic drinks during the event. Hope to see you there!
We’re hosting a fall open house, this Sunday, at Evil Mad Scientist headquarters in Silicon Valley. Please join us! Details are here.
This weekend is ComBots Cup VI at the San Mateo Expo center. This event is eloquently described over at Suicide Bots: “Dozens of robots makers from all over the globe have cast common sense to the wind and scattered the contents of their bank accounts in sacrifice to The Robot Gods in order to bring you one amazing weekend of total mechanical ridiculousness in the form of ear-searing, heart-stopping, insurance-adjuster-apoplexy-causing Robot Combat!”
The event runs Saturday and Sunday from 2 pm to 7 pm and advance tickets are available here.
We’ll be running a few robots of our own (vs. eggs and pumpkins–not an entirely fair fight) and will be bringing robots and robot accessories for your last minute Halloween decorating needs. Hope to see you there!
As a part of Portland Cocktail Week, we’ll be participating in a cocktail robotics event called “Humans vs. Robots” at the Jupiter Hotel on Saturday night with Drink Making Unit 2.0. The event runs from 8 pm to midnight.
We’ll be there with a couple of other bay area barbots, Chassis and Cosmobot. We’re happy to be helping to propagate the impending robot uprising through the human fondness for alcoholic beverages.
We’re headed to the East Bay Mini Maker Faire this Sunday, October 16th at the Park Day School in Oakland. And we have a discount code for you! Enter EGGBOT to get 15% off tickets purchased online. We had a great time last year, and are excited to be taking the Eggbot back for more fun. We’re also bringing along the Ostrich Eggbot, which can fit even larger pumpkins. The lineup of makers for the event looks great, and the schedule includes an all-star cast of presenters, lots of workshops, and three music stages. Hope to see you there!
Photo by smerlo03 on flickr under cc-by-nc license.