With the second day of this outstanding Robotics Hackathon coming to an end, and the robohackers one step closer to victory, many memories have already been made and greatness made possible. Many participants walked into the weekend with absolutely no experience and have already learned so much, making them one step closer to becoming Arduino experts. We have seen many talents put together and unbelievable achievements made, and we still haven’t heard the full story of each robot! Having said that, everyone could not be more excited to watch all the presentations tomorrow and crown the winners of each category.
To many, hackathons are a way for experienced attendees to expand their prior knowledge by getting their hands dirty. Get Your Bot On! Is trying to abolish that mentality by creating a hack environment where all people of various career or educational backgrounds, and no experience necessary, can get their hands dirty in order to learn new things. Akit Guglani is a prime example of this who never got his hands on Arduino until he attended the 2012 Get Your Bot On! Robotics Hackathon. Ankit stated in a recent interview with me the following:
“At that time, I had absolutely no Arduino experience and it was something really cool, so I just wanted to learn. What I enjoyed the most about it was that it was different than other Hackathons; it wasn’t just on you as a person, but there were mentors at hand to help out.”
Get Your Bot On! thanks its corporate sponsors for their contributions to the upcoming robotics hackathon “Positronics: Robots and Brains” (November 14-16 at the Ontario Science Center).
We’re very pleased to announce that InteraXon — the Toronto-based brainwave sensing technology company — will be lending 3 Muse brain sensing headbands to participants of “Positronic: Robots and Brains.” This is a special chance for robohackers to explore the leading edge of human robot interactive technology. Teams will be able to incorporate Muse into their robot prototypes and investigate new ways of controlling and interacting with robots. InteraXon representatives will be available on site to help teams integrate Muse into their projects.
InteraXon | Brain Sensing Technologies has been in the news a lot lately. After a successful 2012 Indiegogo campaign, which raised nearly $300,000, they’ve shipped their first prototypes to users. To learn more about InteraXon, Muse, and CEO & Co-Founder Ariel Garten see this recent article in the Globe.
Robohackers can view the Muse specifications and developer kit here.
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE – Get Your Bot On! is thrilled to have the Intelligent Assistive Technology and Systems Lab (IATSL) as our Gold Sponsor for the Get Your Bot On! Robotics Hackathon “Positronic: Robots and Brains” ( http://www.ot.utoronto.ca/iatsl/ ).
The IATSL’s goal is to develop zero-effort technologies that are adaptive, flexible, and intelligent, to enable users to participate fully in their daily lives. The IATSL is located in the Department of Occupational Science and Occupational Therapy at the University of Toronto and at Toronto Rehabilitation Institute as part of the Artificial Intelligence & Robotics in Rehab Team. One area of research at the lab is exploration of the use of robotics for ageing in place. The team develops intelligent, mobile robots that can engage elderly adults and help them stay at home and live independently while dealing with the challenges of the onset of dementia or loss of abilities.
As part of their commitment to this growing field, and in support of the GYBO theme for 2014, the IATSL has offered the winning team of robohackers an internship at the lab, which includes a $5000 stipend.
To qualify, robots should relate to the theme of the hackathon and complement the lab’s focus of technologies for ageing in place, mobile social robots, and assistive technologies.
The winning team will work at the lab and have access to mentorship and expertise from the lab’s director Alex Mihailidis as well as his outstanding team of graduate students and professionals.
Get Your Bot On! “Positronic: Robots and Brains” is presented in partnership with the Ontario Science Centre. That’s right! This year’s theme is brains. Robots have brains. And robots help people. This year we’ll pay special attention to the types of robots that will help us as we grow old, enable us to live independently, keep us company and help us as our brains fail us. This by no means will limit the types of robots you can build but we’ll have special experts helping us understand the challenges and opportunities for robots in this area.
We are thrilled that this event will be hosted at the Ontario Science Centre and that the Centre is simultaneously presenting their Robots Rule festival, the largest celebration of robotics in the region.
Registration is open – and we are offering early bird rates until October 1. You can register here.
We also have a number of new partnerships we are working on and will announce details shortly:
- The Intelligent Assistive Technology and Systems Research Lab develops zero-effort technologies that are adaptive, flexible, and intelligent, to enable users to participate fully in their daily lives. Check out the great work at IATSL here: http://www.ot.utoronto.ca/iatsl/
- XYZ Interactive has joined us as our first partner in the new Technology Partner program. Check out their technology incorporated into the new MIP robot by Wow-Wee and the Lexus RX350 demonstrator vehicle: http://www.gesturesense.com/
Preparations for Get Your Bot On! 2014 are well underway but we haven’t even told you which teams won last year and what bots they made.
We had over 60 participants for the 2012 hackathon. Artists, engineers, designers and programmers all came together for the weekend to build prototypes of their robot ideas. The weekend kicked off at the Idee offices where participants had a preview of the kit, shared their robot ideas and formed teams. They worked Saturday and part of Sunday on their bots with the help of our mentors and with help from each other. The collaboration was amazing.
Thanks to our sponsors there were delicious meals, snacks, and beer. Our numerous volunteers made sure everything went smoothly and everyone had what they needed.
The bots were judged based on three categories, Design, Innovation and Technology. Every team, regardless of previous experience and skill, created a moving bot. It was truly impressive!
The Design category was dominated by Lady Sterling, who may be the world’s first cocktail party robot created by Stefanie Hutka (@StefanieHutka) and Ross McKegney (@rossmckegney). Lady Sterling uses sensors and motors to listen and react to the environment around her. Stefanie a neuroscientist, explained the team was trying to explore the processes by which we filter multiple audio sources in an environment such as a cocktail party in order to focus on specific interactions. During the building phase, Lady Sterling was already the life of the party with Stefanie providing live music to help with debugging.
Get Your Bot On! 2012 took months of planning and the ingenuity and dedication of a great team. We want to especially thank the core group of organizers and volunteers that made the entire event possible. They worked tirelessly to ensure the event was a success.
Without mentors there would be no hackathon. We thank them all for their time and for working closely with our participants. We received amazing feedback from all the robohackers, all were grateful you were there. Many of them would not have been able to demo on Sunday without your guidance.
We hope you will join us again in the future!
Thanks to our fantastic judges Nora Young and James MacLean who had the difficult job of selecting winners for each of the Design, Innovation, and Technology categories. They spent hours reviewing the robot demos and debating in order to make the selections. With so many wonderful robots it wasn’t easy.
Thanks as well to Norman White who shared his expertise with our teams and helped them with their creations.
This event could not have happened without them!