This weekend (6th December) I was lucky enough to attend http://piwars.org/ at the Institute of Astronomy, Cambridge. I wasn’t entirely sure what to expect but it was a robotics event outside London so it was worth the risk.
I took my young ish son and a friend on the trip with the promise of robots and hopefully some robot wars style fun. We arrived a little bit early and had time to have a look around and chat to some of the exhibitors and robot owners before the competition kicked off.
The first that struck me was how friendly and happy to talk everyone was. Everyone was there to learn and even if they didn’t realise it, teach. My son was very impressed with http://www.cannybots.com/ these are small 3D printed bluetooth controlled like cars that could with follow a black line on white paper or be controlled manually. My friend and the guy running the display happily traded 3D printing stories while my son and I raced two little robot cars around the table.
All the robots taking part were Pi powered and varied in size. There were a number of different courses and challenges. The assault course below was a good watch with enough varied surfaces to challenge most of the robots.
The drag strip and the sumo fights were also great to watch. Some of the sumo matches ended up being a bit one sided.
It was a well organised and entertaining event. The boy and I intend to return, hopefully with a robot.
The venue was also very interesting, we went for a quick stroll for lunch and found an awesome old style telescope, well at least the container for it.