Sunday, May 20, 2007

Maker Faire '07 - Part 6.

Finally... the Robots!

If you look back through my blog, you'll see I've been covering robotic events for years. Truth be told, my dream job would be a robo-event reviewer.

Some years, I have been fairly irritated by the events. Which is why I never even bothered to post most of my pictures from this year's CES, including pictures of iRobot CEO Helen Greiner at their CES booth. And - I'll try not to be bitter the marketing guy stood me up.

My problem normally revolves around companies making products without the tiniest thought of why people might buy the item. They only know robotics are going to be popular, so they just try to put out something with the word "Robot" in it. From year to year these products fade away.

Luckily an iRobot Create team was there. Good job, iRobot. And, unlike CES, most of their toys were actually working.

There was the Hacking Roomba guy. Tod Kurt.

Roomba Spirograph.

However - there was a standout for me this year. A product from Revell.

It had a very good grasping arm.

It also had a video camera. In this case the combination worked very well.

I didn't take any pictures of the Robogames. I couldn't get close enough to the arena to get a good shot. They have an event in San Fransisco next month anyway.

But - I'm hoping they were able to recruit enough participants from Maker Faire to make it a more interesting event. Especially since the Battlebot craze is becoming less popular. Things are trending more towards FIRST Robotics competitions.

Microsoft was also there.

Below is a robot bartender, programmed using the MS robotics sw.

And of course what would a robotics show be without some celebrity cameos?