I love robots, I mean who doesn’t (a-HEM do you hear that Skynet?). I also love fire and destruction, so I was of course thrilled to discover that RoboGames would be descending not only upon the Bay Area but in my town. I attended two of the three days of fighting, fire, and excitement (did I mention the fire? Because it was really cool). On Saturday I attended with my son Seth who, like his mom loves robots and explosions (I’m pretty sure we are safe, right?). We got there around 11:15 and made our way through to the stands; stopping at a few of the booths, taking photos of robots and chatting up both old and new friends.
All Seth could talk about was whether there would be a robot with a flame thrower. The second or third bout in was up against Texas Heat, who yes, has a flame thrower. After that he looked at me very seriously and declared “when I grow up I want to be a Robotics Engineer”. I was so proud.
It is LOUD so we made sure to bring ear plugs. And after a while as more and more people showed up Seth got irritated, hot and tired so we went outside to get some air. That is when we ran into R2-D2 and his Droid Security. We spent the rest of our time (another hour and a half) following R2 around and keeping him safe. R2 is like the robo-pied piper, as soon as he was recharged the kids came swarming, and then followed him everywhere.
Sunday I arrived less one Seth plus one Bonnie Burton (who I might add did an excellent job of live tweeting the event on the RoboGames Twitter account, go check it out there is a picture of me tweeting). And while it is quite a lot of fun to attend with the little one, encouraging his future career endeavors, it’s an equal if different kind of fun, to mix robots and beer and grown up time.
To be honest I wasn’t entirely paying attention to the names of these metal gladiators, I was too busy yelling and cheering. Not until the final fight in the heavy weight class. The winner was Sewer Snake, a beast of a machine with a, you guessed it, flame thrower. YES! FIRE!
There were teams from all over the world including the Japanese teams, who were able to attend despite the earthquake. Another thing that was very cool was the number of ladies and young girls in the crowd. There were little girls who were just as excited and cheering just as loudly as Seth was. In the pit I came across quite a few females, operating the bots, on the teams that built them, etc.
There were film crews from the Science Channel there filming a miniseries on the event. It will be aired on Memorial Day, so those of you who couldn’t make it can still see what happened. I made it a point to hide from the cameras if I saw them so you don’t have to worry about seeing my goofy mug on your screens.
Go here to see all 369 photos I took over 2 days.