Get Yer Combat Robots!

David Calkins is the founder of Robogames, the “olympics of robots,” where operators and their creations compete in over 50 different events, from fire-fighters, LEGO bots, hockey bots, walking humanoids, soccer bots, sumo bots, and even androids that do kung-fu.

David and his crew are not only bringing combots for show at the East Bay Mini Maker Faire, but he’s also doing a workshop Sunday on “How to Make a Combat Robot.” David will cover all the basics of how robots move and control their speed, as well as how to build a basic bot using cheap parts, pitfalls to avoid, and all sorts of other tips.

The Piedmont Scotbots, a U.S. FIRST robotics team from Piedmont High, is bringing their combot arena and will be letting folks operate their robots. !!!  The FIRST Tech Challenge is an exciting robotics competition designed for high school students. An accessible and affordable robotics kit is used to solve a different challenge each year. Thousands of teams from all fifty states compete in local contests to go to the annual world championship. Here’s one of their entries for Robogames last year:

Troy Mock is bringing his Rambunctious Combat Robots:  Warpig, a 1 pound bot with a powerful lifter and ultra-strong titanium armor, and Attitude, a 3 pound bot with an 8 inch titanium saw blade, designed to cut, rip, and shred!  Most recently, both these robots competed in the international 2011 Robogames.  Out of nearly 60 battlebots total, Warpig and Attitude both took a well earned bronze medal.  Check them in action:

More robots at EBmMF are coming from The Pioneers in Engineering (PiE) Robotics Competition for Bay Area high school students.   This cool program offers UC Berkeley students to mentor local high school students as they design, construct, and program a mobile robot.   A key feature of the competition is the $100 per team entrance fee, which ensures that finances are not a barrier to entry.  You’ll be able to drive one of their robots as well.

The Miller Institute for Learning with Technology hosts a wide variety of hands-on workshops, including Program-A-Robot, Build-A-Computer, and Troubleshooting 101. Their East Bay Mini Maker Faire booth will illustrate several of the workshops, and they’ll also be providing hand-on examples of robots, computers, and music.

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One response to “Get Yer Combat Robots!

  1. We are very excited to participate in Maker Faire on the East Bay, having been a regular exhibitor in San Mateo in recent years! We will probably be highlighting some robotics & computer science (C programming, mainly) work done by our high school students from Summit Public Schools. This was highlighted by KRON Channel 4 as a teaser for last year’s San Mateo Maker Faire. ( http://learningtech.org/company/mark-on-kron-21-may-2011.mov ) Our dream outcome is to generate enough interest in these types of programs to help us find sponsors enabling us to offer a Summer Camp (scheduled for next August) for free to high school students from inner city Oakland. The camp would emphasize robotics including C programming, space exploration, and STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics) in general. The grand finale would be an overnight stay on the U.S.S. Hornet followed by public demonstration of student work. Mars Society (Mars Rover replica), Oakland Military Academy and the Hornet are all committed to participate. The Oakland Raiders have also helped through a special ticket sale program. We need to be able to offer this for free in order to reach out to kids who are usually left out.

    Regards, Mark
    Mark L. Miller, Ph.D.
    Executive Director
    Learningtech.org (The Miller Institute for Learning with Technology)

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