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June 3, 2012

Robothon 2012

Filed under: Robots — Bob @ 4:33 pm

Went to the SRS Robothon 2012 this weekend in Seattle. Same as in the past few years I helped organize the event, although most of effort is just doing stuff with the website and online activities; participating from Vancouver is otherwise a bit challenging.

I ran the Robo-Magellan contest this year, and I had a great time. I wasn’t able to finish a robot for the contest myself, but several others made a valiant attempt. The entries were a bit less than stellar, but its encouraging to see people continuing to build for this challenging event. I want to figure out a way to inspire more people to enter, as it is a big leap ahead in complexity and should therefore be a logical “upgrade” from other events.

I did enter two robots in the Minisumo event, and managed to place 1st overall with The Thin Man. This robot is definitely a bit old now but still remains reasonably competitive. The second place finisher was a robot named Ram that is very competitive and even older than mine! My take-away from this was that: (a) not a lot of people are building new minisumo robots; and (b) state of the art hasn’t progressed much beyond what was good a few years ago. Bill Harrison made an appearance with several minisumo robots of his own, and although he didn’t place in the top three it was great to see the “father of minisumo” involved again.

The other two events Line Following and Line Maze got decent turnout as well, and as usual the crowd was great. The renovated facilities as Seattle Center are a big improvement, and the “tech fair” atmosphere that weekend was great to see.

Everyone seemed to have a great time, and the current committee was enthusiastic about another event next year. Right now it seems likely that there will be a Robothon 2013 next June! Hope to see you there.

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