Meet Maya and her dad, Thomas. Maya builds robots like the two she’s showing in this photo. The one she’s holding came from a kit but the one on the table next to her is a hacked toy that, when it was new, just rolled back and forth. Now, Body not only rolls back and forth but also moves his arms and head via voice command. Not to shabby for a 6 year old, eh? Her dad, smiling proudly in the background, also builds robots. He built Robot Betty9 and Elvis Robot, both of which are going to sing at the OC Mini Maker Faire.
Thomas invited me, Bequi, to attend a meeting of the Robotics Society of Southern California and talk a little bit about the OC Mini Maker Faire. I accepted his invite and had a great time.
I was introduced to Walter, the President of RSSC, and he explained to me the day’s activities which included open meet and greet time, invited speakers, a robot competition and a show-and-tell at the end.
There were about 30 people at the meeting and during the meet-and-greet I spoke with several of them about various projects they were working on. There was a two foot tall manufactured robot that a gentleman had hacked and replaced the arms on for better functioning ones and added cameras and sensors so that it can guide it’s self around a room.
Another gentlman is working on a wheelchair that can be used for Ballroom Dancing! He showed me video of the prototype and I was impressed.
My favorite part of the day was a the Robot Competition. Five robots were challenged to traverse a long T-shaped hall end to end passing open doorways and other anomalies in the wall; making three turn-arounds, including one at a glass door, and ending in the same spot that it started.
Being that it was purely for fun it was a bit chaotic and I’m not sure exactly who the winners were but, here are some photos of the contestants.
The day ended with a show-and-tell, unfortunately, I could not stay so I only caught part of the first one which was of a CNC machine.
Before I left the club voted and decided unanimously to move next month’s meeting to a different date so that the whole club can come to the OC Mini Maker Faire and run a booth as Makers! I’m excited to see what they bring to share, I hope that Maya brings her wonderful creations and inspires other kids.
Next Saturday I’ve been invited to the Riverside Robotics Club, it should be another good time!