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RoboGames 2010 Coverage

By Shalin Shah

This was my first RoboGames and what an experience! Jameco was proud to be a RoboGames sponsor, which attracted 181 teams from 17 countries, representing 508 robots in 59 events. Over 15,000 people turned out to watch the three day annual competition.


The Jameco booth at RoboGames 2010

RoboGames is a collection of the electronically creative, the technically clever, and some downright weird minds. The single largest attraction is the battle cage - an enclosed cage with a solid steel floor, wherein robots literally battle for their lives to the cheers of those who enjoy watching robots destroy other robots.

The expo floor was filled with wonders. There were humaniod robotic displays, new game development tools and software, and even celebrity TV personality Grant Imahara from Discovery Channel's MythBusters.

Check out these highlights





A life-size freestyle humanoid



Participants preparing for the GPS-controlled RoboMagellan competition



From left-to-right, Jameco team members Ryan, Angela, & Noreen, Mythbuster Grant Imahara, show organizer Simone Davolos, and yours truly

The Games

RoboGames plays host to many independent games, including combat events. Here's the site to check out for more details on these games. Here are a collection of photos from the show.

Combat:

Two saw-wielding RC robots settle for nothing less than total destruction of their opponent


Soccer:

Kicking the ball through the net proved to require much more skill compared to when I play soccer.


Androids:

A break dancing Android built by the Indian team.


Hockey:

The orange puck slips into the goal while the Brazilian team cheers


Interview with Team Late Night Racing's Gary Gin

I also had some time to sit down and talk with Team Late Night Racing's [Ranked #1 by Botrank.com amongst heavy weight combat robots] driver Gary Gin about his future plans for his combat robots.

Here's some background information on the team:

Late Night Racing
San Leandro, CA

Members:
Gary Gin
Christina Gin
Dave Needle
Stan Shepard
Jason Cheung
Eric Gin

Entries:
Original Sin [220 lbs. / 100 kgs.] & The Big B [60 lbs. / 27.3 kgs.]


Why do you participate in combat robot fighting?
I always considered myself as an expert RC car driver. One night while I was watching television, I saw a show about Robot Wars. I saw all of the competitors and felt that I had superior driving skills than many of the competitors and could essentially beat them in terms of driving ability. I thought that it'd be fun to form a team and build a robot in order to compete in such an event.

What do you consider to be the best part in competing in such events?
Obviously, driving and maneuvering my RC-controlled combat robot, but I also enjoy smashing into other robots and viewing the many bigger bots and their explosive weapons.

What is the most difficult challenge you face in participating in such events?
There are two big challenges really - one in terms of design and the other in terms of the actual competition. In terms of the design, I find making all of the right compromises a big challenge - i.e., Knowing when and how to compromise weight vs. durability vs. fabrication style. In terms of the actual competition, I find that preparing for quick and effective repairs after a fight a big challenge. You are on a time crunch to make any repairs and add the appropriate alterations in design so that you can beat the next opponent.

What, if any, future plans do you have for your combat robots?
You know, many people ask us if we're planning to install an active weapons system on our robot, such as a flame thrower or what not, but we choose not to simply because of the cost factor. But some things that we are considering altering are rebuilding the frame, installing a new battery, and perhaps replacing the motors (since we've been using the same motor controls for the past 4 years!).

Jameco iPad Winner


Jameco was pleased to award an Apple iPad as a door prize to Long Nguyen of Santa Rosa, CA. He was kind enough (along with thousands more) to drop by the Jameco booth at RoboGames this year and enter our drawing.

Long Nguyen is currently an interior designer. He has a passion for Fashion Design and is currently attending college in Santa Rosa, CA. You'll be sure to see him at RoboGames every year. Again congratulations Long!