Monday, July 17, 2006
Readers 'n' stuff. Weird. I didn't want to post about RoboGames a couple of posts ago simply because I wanted to talk about the magnetometer. I forgot to come back and post about the games. I'll try to make up for it now:
So in June I went to San Francisco to play in the RoboGames. I brought Felix, my new RoboNova and Uno, the vernerable old mini-sumo. As you can see above Felix won 2nd place in the Robo-One Demonstration contest! (Uno got his ass kicked.. he is now retired.) Matt Bauer was kind enough to make a video of Felix's performance. Thanks Matt!
Anyway, RoboGames was quite interesting. Boy howdy its a big event. I'll bet there were 200 or 300 people in the building at once at some points. Anyway, I had never seen combat robots (RC) in person. They are actually quite something to watch. They make one hell of a racket and the noise really pulls on your rubber necker strings. You feel what the spectators in Rome must have felt at the coliseum.
Nonetheless, the most fascinating contests, the ones that I still think about after the contest is over, were the autonomous navigation contests: RoboMagellan and Trinity FireFighting. The whole magnetometer thing below is all about RoboMagellan. I had never actually seen a Fire Fighting Contest. I had heard about them, but they didn't register as being very cool to me. Once I actually saw one and saw that it was really all about indoor robot localization, I became pretty interested. It would be a great opportunity to implement the 2-D-webcam-laser-range-finder concept that I saw at the SRS website and have been itching to do ever since.
The other majorly cool thing about RoboGames were the winner awards. Rather than give prizes as we have done in ChiBots, RoboGames gives electronic medals like the one you see pictured above. I LOVE MY MEDAL! I like it better than any prize I have ever won. At this month's ChiBots meeting I asked the members if they would like to drop prizes and switch over to something like the RoboGames medals. They heartily agreed! So, now we are in the process of designing an electronic medal that is specific to ChiBots. Compared to the Combots logo, our logo is pretty expensive to make so we'll just have to wait and see what it finally looks like, but I'm excited about it!
Anyway, overall I had a blast at RoboGames 2006! There is a pretty good chance I will return next year.