Dublin Maker here we come!

The TU Dublin RoboSlam gang is alive and kicking!

Nearly 20 of us met in February to start planning our exhibition for Dublin Maker 2020. The big event is to be held on the 27th of June in Herbert Park, on the south-side of Dublin.

Last week, a portion of our team reassembled to get different people’s parts working together in a coordinated way. I’ve created a little video of that second prep session for you to enjoy.

One thing that worries me, though, is that all the stuff my colleagues have made looks so very cool, so incredibly professional, that visitors to our Dublin Maker booth will think they BOUGHT this ready-made. Not so.

For instance, Keith Colton (in the video with the bandaid on his thumb) used a 3D printer to make the car he’s holding. He made it from scratch.

Shane Ormond combined a whole bunch of cutting-edge technologies to get a tiny camera on top of his race car to feed video into the VR headsets and TV monitors, all the while controlling the car’s behavior from a hand-held device. He’s been sending us video updates from his house and it’s been cool to watch his car speed under sofas and chairs and around his lovely home.

When I tired driving, I couldn’t control the car too well–and I’m pretty used to driving sporty cars! In this case, the car didn’t quite have the handling of my 2004 Nissan Z350. The car was racing around at top speed and the VR googles made it all seem much too real!

Note in he video how Paul Leamy’s stomach turned when his car flipped over. Seemed real! You can see on the TV monitor, but viewed through VR goggles it’s all the more gripping.

So, see for yourself!

Come on out on June 27th to see where all this leads. Our team is just at the start and we plan to build a plethora of buses, stop lights, trams, and Dublin city sites for our cars to whizz though on Dublin Maker day 2020.

Making Videos, Making Fairs

Producing robot-building events requires warp-speed learning.  In just the past few days, helping with a Dublin Maker event, I learned:

  • to quickly make and post educational videos
  • to setup and run a RoboSlam educational booth
  • how to teach teenty-tiny tots to build robots
  • what “Makers” are, what they do, and how they talk (it’s a whole new language to me!)
  • about 3-D printing and how to build (and even invent) your own machines using laser cutters and 3-D printers

I’ve posted links to two videos I made as well as some photos from last Saturday’s Dublin Maker event.

Here’s the edited video we posted to introduce RoboSlam.com to website visitors.  I am really quite proud of it!

Here’s the short promo video we posted earlier last week to advertise the fair:

I wish I could convey the excitement of seeing little four and six year old girls build their first robots… and tiny little boys jump up and down with glee as they discover the difference between remote-controlled and autonomous robots!

Although I captured some behind-the-scenes images of set up and take down with my still cameras (posted below) they don’t come anywhere close to showing what it was like to be there.  Fortunately, I was able to capture some video of the kids building and operating robots so we can learn from it and create even better programs in the future!