If you always wanted to build a robot or you tinker in electronics, mechanics, microcontrollers or software, then we have an awesome weekend for you! Get Your Bot On! Robotics Hackathon is a chance for newbies, hobbyists and pros alike to come together, build a robot and have some fun.
Our 2014 Hackathon is presented in partnership with the Ontario Science Centre November 14-16, 2014. This year the these is:
Positronic: Robots and Brains
- Robots that think for us
- Robots that take care of us when we have trouble thinking
- Robots that leave us free to think
What’s the difference between a robot and a machine? Robots have a brain, sometimes rudimentary, sometimes advanced, and they can make decisions about what to do, be reprogrammed, and some can even learn new things.
Positronic is an exploration of robotics and brains.
At the Get Your Bot On! Robotics Hackathon students, adults and corporate teams will creatively apply their innovation, design and prototyping skills to conceive of and build a robot. You and your team are provided with a kit of tech including hardware, electronics, and building materials as well as online resources and are supported by a team of mentors – everything you need to build your robot.
On the Friday evening you’ll meet fellow robohackers, form a team (if you don’t have one), and come up with ideas. All day Saturday and on Sunday morning you’ll be building, testing and rethinking your ideas. By Sunday afternoon everyone will get to see your awesome creation, and prizes will be awarded based on design, innovation and technical wonder.
This is a BYOC event (bring your own computer). We will provide a basic kit of robot tech for each team, but you are welcome to bring your own parts, if you have them.
There are only 5 rules for all robots that will be built:
- the robot must move in some way
- the robot must use a microcontroller
- the robot must be able to sense something in its environment or receive input
- the robot must be demonstrated on the final day of the hackathon
- the robot must in some way relate to the theme of “Brains”
You don’t need any technical background. Just bring your creativity and your ideas!
We haven’t worked out all the details for prizes yet but here is an idea of what we are looking for:
- Design – This is the “You look fabulous baby!” and ” What a sexy robot!” prize
- Innovation – This is the “What Genius!” and “How come I didn’t think of that!” prize
- Technical Achievement – This is the “How did you do that?!” and ” Robots will bow down to you.” prize
ABOUT THE GET YOUR BOT ON! ROBOTICS HACKATHON
Get Your Bot On! is a not-for-profit organization that organizes robotics hackathons. Robots are increasingly a part of our everyday lives and we believe everyone should have basic literacy in this exciting field. We also believe that anyone can make robots with the right tools and a little help. By bringing together unlikely collaborators from different backgrounds we have seen innovative and exciting ideas come to life.
Prototyping is a key theme in all our events. Other hackathons have you sitting solemnly behind your computer screen, plunking away at your code. Get Your Bot On! will have you rolling up your sleeves and getting sweaty trying to get your bot to Bust a Move!
We, the team behind the hackathon, love robots, are passionate about building things, and wanted to meet some people who feel the same. We are all volunteers and have been working hard hammering out the details of the weekend so you can have fun.
Adriana Ieraci, Co-Founder, Hackathon Director
Adriana started the robotics hackathon with cofounder Nick Stedman because she loves to work with hackers. Adriana is founder of Conveyor Built, an innovation skills and design firm that helps product teams work better together and build their product ideas. Conveyor Built collaborators can be found hacking away on Wednesday evenings on a new wearable product. As founder, Adriana has developed workshops that guide participants in designing and building their own digitally-enabled objects using rapid prototyping tools, electronics, open hardware and software platforms and techniques from sculpture and art practice.
Adriana leads her team of collaborators including software and hardware engineers, artsists, instructional and industrial designers to develop these workshops and Conveyor Built’s own products. You can find Adriana on Twitter @adrianai
Daniel Mirmilshteyn, Technology
Daniel is a second-year mechanical engineering student at the University of Toronto. He has worked with the University of Toronto Robotics Association (UTRA) Autonomous Rover Team, which competed in the International Autonomous Robot Racing Competition in Vancouver. He designed the software algorithms used, as well as developed communications systems to work with the on-board sensors. He continues to work with the team, co-leading the mechanical team and leading the software team. Daniel also has a passion for game development, developing exciting online multiplayer games in his spare time.
Christine VanWalraven, Equipment, Communications
Christine is a librarian, educator, artist, designer, and advocate for kid and family friendly maker spaces. She can paint edible portraits, dress herself in traditional Japanese kimono, is a fantastic storybook reader, and can organize just about anything. A graduate of the U of T Master of Information program, she currently works at the Caledon Public LIbrary as a reference and children’s librarian. She is also a member of the Kwartz Labs maker community in Kitchener-Waterloo where she helps out at events like “Ada Lovelace Day”, “Hacky Halloween”, and “SoOnCon”.
Justin Scherer, Equipment
Justin is an interdisciplinary designer based in Toronto. He has a B.A. (Hons.) from McGill University and a masters degree (M.I.) in Information and Knowledge Media Design from the University of Toronto. His past and current clients include Scotiabank, MasterCard, General Motors, WIND Mobile, MSN, UEFA, and others. Justin has also collaborated as a Arduino technician and data wrangler for a SSHRC-funded performance art piece called Thresholds of Legibility and built a Twitter-controlled generative art score for telematic, electroacoustic art performances.
Justin gets really excited about human experiences of physical/digital hybridity in the built environment and design’s role in the ways we make meaning (with)in rapidly changing information ecosystems. Barbecue, German, and esoteric Wikipedia entries also reside within the increasingly unmanageable purview of his interests. You can find him on Twitter @jgscherer.
Nick Stedman, Co-Founder, Advisor
Nick started the robotics hackathon with Adriana and is excited to see what amazing robots are built. For the past decade, Nick has been designing and building electronic devices. These range from artworks to products to tools that enable others to be creative. Nick does electronic and mechanical design, programming, and fabrication. In recent years he has made several robots that physically interact with people. These have been shown around the world, including on a Japanese game show. More recently he founded Steddy Robots, a company that develops tools that make it easy to develop robots and animatronics. Nick also teaches at Ryerson University and York University.
Nick Yee, Advisor