Robot Invasion of SXSW: Success

by Joey on March 23, 2011

Just got back from SXSW in Austin. What an awesome trip – and awesome city! Going there was an experience in itself. I took a ride on the StartupBus – a bus full of entrepreneurs trying to launch a company in 48 hours on the way to SXSW. There was a lot of the same energy you find in robot building, especially the pit area.

Bots High at DorkbotAs for SXSW adventures, the first day after landing we were at Dorkbot – a “science fair” full of geeky projects. Bots High had a booth there, in the middle of roaming robots, egg drop contests, and electricity orchestras. Met John Funk, who is working on a sci-fi series shot with miniatures and robot toys. He even built a robot out of toy parts.

Over the weekend I found out Google was sponsoring a LEGO sumo robot battle – on a rooftop at midnight! Had to check it out. Talk about madness – a bunch of teams had been building for four hours, programming LEGO MindStorm kits and building autonomous robots to battle it out in table top sumo wrestling.

Pit repair

It was a great event – and afterwards the LEGO’s were donated to local schools.

Then came the big event – the Bots High screening. It was great – lots of laughs, great reaction. And a really great Q&A/discussion afterwards. Best question – why didn’t SXSW play it!

University of Texas looked awesome, I wish I had more time to explore. As I was leaving I got a peak through a window to see The Vislab, a giant wall of 75 connected Dell monitors creating a single 307 megapixel display. Should have played the film there!

All in all a great trip. This will not be the last time the robots invade Texas!

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