Archive | Robotics RSS feed for this section

Gulf Coast MakerCon 2014 Fun & Successful!

11 Apr
Click to see our Gulf Coast MakerCon 2014 Album!

Click to see our Gulf Coast MakerCon 2014 Album!

Gulf coast MakerCon, Tampa Bay’s  3rd Annual Celebration of the DIY Inventive Spirit brought everything from Blacksmith Artists, to Electric Race Cars fireand fighting robots to the Florida Fairgrounds Special Events Center West, at 4800 Highway 301 North in Tampa, on April 5 & 6.

Gulf Coast MakerCon was an Affiliate Event of the USA Science & Engineering Festival, as well as a recognized National Robotics Week event, and a recognized International Tabletop Day event, co-hosted by Suncoast Skirmishers, where tabletop gaming enthusiasts  tried out everything from Dungeons & Dragons to board games and card games.

Over 550 guests enjoyed browsing 50 technical, creative and professional exhibits blacksmithscovering everything from patent development and the inventive process, to 3D printing, programming, mechanical and electrical design, green tech and open source technologies, with a special Young Makers section for kids and families helped along by the great folks at the Community Innovation Center in downtown Tampa, and Sarasota Scientific Instruments.  The Tampa Tribune and Fox New 13 came gave us some nice coverage, too!

robot battlesIn the Robotics Showcase, guests enjoyed student built robotics by FIRST teams, and the University of South Florida Robotics Interest Group 15 lb. and under class fighting robot competitions. We also had a Makerspace Makers Corner, a Florida Inventors Showcase hosted by the Tampa Bay Inventors Council, Electrathon of Tampa Bay student built electric race cars, and some energetic chemistry demos by Mr. Home Scientist, Dan Flisek.  The Florida Artist Blacksmiths Association was a huge hit, working their magic to turn iron rods into roses and other art.

Many many thanks to our great sponsors Hillsborough County, Gabotronics and Learning is for Everyone, Inc. and to our in-kind partners, DEX Imaging , Mity-Mo Creative, Studio 7 Communications and F5 Live Refreshing Technology electrathon racerswho broadcast live from Gulf Coast MakerCon all afternoon on Saturday!

We’ve already got our amazing planning team in place and the Special Events Center at the Florida State Fairgrounds reserved again for next spring, so stay tuned for Gulf Coast MakerCon 2015!

gamingAnd in the meantime, stay connected on our Facebook page and through Twitter, send  us your events and announcements, and join the Gulf Coast Makers Consortium and keep the momentum going in building our Gulf Coast Makers Community!

 

Visit Plughitz F5 Live Refreshing Technology to see more great video and interviews from Gulf Coast MakerCon 2014!

Day One, Awesome Fun!

5 Apr

flickr We had a terrific first day at Gulf Coast MakerCon 2014! The weather was gorgeous, making for picture perfect runs of the Electrathon racers, breezes under the trees where the blacksmith artists worked, and generally a perfect Florida spring day to celebrate innovation,  creativity and invention!

The battles raged at B.A.M., with some awesome robot matches,  and we got some nice press from the Tampa Tribune, Fox 13 News and Plughitz F5 Live Makercon schedulecoverage throughout the day.

Check out our Day 1 photo album on Flickr, and some of today’s videos and stories.  The fun resumes tomorrow at 1oam.  The presentation schedule’s been changed up a bit – check out the latest line up here.

TBO video 2

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

f5 live 2

Gulf Coast MakerCon 2014 Program Now Online!

2 Apr

Program cover The Gulf Coast MakerCon 2014 Event Program is be printed as we write, and available here online for you right now, to download! (Many thanks to MityMo for stylistic support and to DEX Imaging for printing services!thumbs_tabletopday2014_600x500

Check out our great line up of Makers, and our list of pre-scheduled workshops and demos.   Many more demos will be posted on-site Saturday and Sunday, by Makers running presentations at their booths.

Saturday we’re celebrating International Tabletop Day all day, in our Gaming Corner.  There will be a National Robotics League competition – Battle at MakerCon – underway throughout the day, as well, in the Robotics area, thanks to USF-RIG, with 15 lb. and under fighting robots duking it out.  Sunday look for some smashing fun with bigger robots and the demise of old electronics.Gulf Coast MakerCon Makers and Floorplan

The weather’s looking fine, and there will be something for everyone to enjoy all weekend long!

Discount tickets good for the full weekend are available through Friday evening online at Eventbrite.

eventbrite button

Tickets at the gate on Saturday and Sunday are $15 for adults, for the day, and $8 for kids 6-12.  Children ages 5 and under are free.  Fairgrounds parking is $6.

Meet the Makerspace Makers and Attend our 3rd Annual Makerspace UnConference

1 Apr

It’s an exciting time in Tampa Bay!  When we held our first “Makerspace UnConference” at our first Maker festival in 2012, there were no full scale makerspaces in Tampa Bay.  The Faulhaber FabLab at the GWIZ Science Museum in Sarasota and Familab in Orlando were our two closest maker neighbors.  Learning is for Everyone was exploring the idea with potential collaborative partners, and a couple of other efforts were under consideration.

This year, we’re joined by four groups who have various programs underway and are excited to share their success and programs with Gulf Coast MakerCon attendees.  We’re happy to introduce them to you! They’ll be exhibiting at Gulf Coast MakerCon all weekend, and leading our 3rd Annual Makerspace UnConference on Sunday, April 6, at 4:30 pm, where you can learn more about these spaces, and how you can work to build more of them in your community.

Community Innovation Center at the John F. Germany Library 

new logoThe Community Innovation Center (CIC) at John F. Germany Library is a collaborative effort between 1939934_482287221897921_725617154_oLearning is for Everyone, Inc (LI4E.org)  and the John F. Germany Library,   the flagship library of the Tampa-Hillsborough County Public Library System.   At 10,000 square feet, the CIC is the largest such facility in Tampa Bay and in Florida, and will function as a public Makerspace, an Entrepreneurship Center, a proving ground for Invention and Exploration, and the ultimate Creative Space,  providing the tools and human capital for fostering active creation, as well as the necessary knowledge for that creation.  The CIC, scheduled to open at the end of April,  is arranged into eight distinct, but flexible sections:

  • TechMasters Center
  • Entrepreneurial Center
  • Robotics Centers
  • Hands-On Workshop
  • Machine Shop
  • Media Lab & Studio
  • Arts Center
  • Computer Lab

CIC staff will be sharing some fun activities for our Young Makers section, and showcasing a little of what will be available in the space when it opens.

Faulhaber Fab Lab

Fab Lab logo

The Faulhaber Fab Lab is the oldest space in the area, currently moving to a new location in Sarasota, it bring high level manufacturing capabilities to the Gulf Coast area.  “A fab lab, ” explains representative, Eric McGrath, ” is a non-profit entity that has collaborated with the Massachusetts Institute of Technology to assemble a diverse collection of state-of-the-art equipment and computers into one workspace as a community center for innovation, entrepreneurship, and STEM education.”

fablab WorkshopsDr. Fritz Faulhaber and his wife Ping and through the Faulhaber Family Foundation are collaborating with the community of Sarasota to open the fab lab and be a central resource for invention and fabrication by individuals, entrepreneurs, students, teachers, retirees and business. The staff and volunteers in the community workshop instill the confidence for members to learn, design and safely operate computer-controlled machinery.

“The aim of a fab lab,” says Eric, ” is to teach advanced skills in design, innovation and how to make “almost anything”. These skill sets learned through nurturing the inventor in all of us can be applied in many careers. Business collaboration, workforce development and community innovation is an integral part of the Faulhaber Fab Lab.”

Visit www.sarasotascience.org for updates and information

Tampa Hackerspace

tampa hackerspaceTampa Hackerspace is a local community workshop organized to enable learning of technology skills by providing tools, space, equipment and classes.

“We are a non-profit, membership based institution, ” explains Tampa Hackerspace president, Bill Shaw. ” A broad selection of classes and workshops are open to both members and non-members.

“Every week we open our doors to the public and get together to build some cool projects and meet some very cool people. Join us to work on your stuff, bounce ideas off of members, check out the 3D printers and other equipment and socialize. Occasionally, we’ll throw in a small workshop or class. This is our best attended event and is a great opportunity to see what we do and meet our community.”

Tampa Hackerspace also hosts a Kid’s Open Make on Sunday Afternoons for crafts, electronics and technology projects, Minecraft, programming activities and more! Every month, they have a new theme and a host of new activities geared towards elementary and middle school students. Space is limited so they ask that you RSVP on Meetup.com to reserve a spot.

You can connect with Tampa Hackerspace:
Web: http://tampahackerspace.com
Twitter: https://twitter.com/HackTampa
Classes & Events: http://www.meetup.com/Tampa-Hackerspace

Land O’ Lakes Library,  Pasco County Library System

The Lanedgar allan ohmsd O’Lakes Library in Pasco County has been exploring the idea of opening a makerspace in its library system for the past year, and made a name for itself this year, Pasco County Library Cooperativewhen it became the first library in the country to field a FIRST Robotics Competition (FRC) team – the Edgar Allan Ohms! – who competed at the Orlando FRC Regional in March.  The Library is a trend setter, home to
one of the largest battle of the bands in the state (Rockus Maximus) and a popular anime convention (Lamecon) . A makerspace isn’t far behind!

The Land O’Lakes Library will be demoing their FRC robot, and showcasing free services and opportunities for job seekers and entrepreneurs. And you can apply for a library card, too!

Makerspace UnConference

Our 3rd Annual Makerspace UnConference will be held on Sunday, April 6th, at 4:30 pm at the Gulf Coast MakerCon stage.   As an “un” conference, it’s a casual opportunity to join in open discussion with these four very different spaces, that share a common interest in providing public creative spaces to build, learn and develop skills for hobby, personal satisfaction, and academic and career enrichment.   Join us to get ideas, share insights and find ways to collaborate in bringing more of these great spaces to Tampa Bay and the Gulf Coast!

 

Meet the Robot Makers!

8 Mar

Robots are a big part of any maker event, and Gulf Coast MakerCon is no exception.  We’ll have a variety of robots on hand – bouncing balls, flinging frisbees, butlering and battling to the (near) death, a grand kick off for National Robotics Week, and just plain old fun for our 3rd Annual Celebration of the DIY Inventive  Spirit!

BAMThe USF Robotics Interest Group is hosting B.A.M.  - Battle at MakerCon – at GCMC.  The USF- Robotics Interest Group (RIG) focuses on sharing knowledge about designing and building robotic devices, promoting robotics at USF, and representing USF in robotics competitions. One of our major focuses is on combat robotics. Popularized by the TV show Battlebots, combat robotics involves a competition where two robots enter an enclosed arena, and fight for a set period of time or until one of the robots has been disabled. Through designing and working on these robots, students learn the principles of design, manufacturing, and programming. RIG will be hosting NRL (National Robotics League) 15 lb and under class fighting robotics competitions at Gulf Coast MakerCon, similar to the video.

Lego mindstorms nxt CNC-FräseThe Fun with Bots group will feature a variety of LEGO Mindstorms projects courtesy of the youth Lutz Robotics Club, who is also building a LEGO CNC lathe (who knew right?!)  that they’ll be fwblogodemonstrating.

And we’ll have a veritable army of FIRST robots, including FIRST LEGO League, FIRST Tech Challenge and FIRST Robotics Competition teams , with student built robots guests can learn about and drive, like the robots 

FIRST in FL logoyou’ll see in the video below from LI4E’s ROBOCON Tampa Bay event back in October.

So if you like robots, Gulf Coast Maker Con’s the place to be April 5th & 6th!

Advanced, discounted tickets are on sale now!

 eventbrite button

Kick off National Robotics Week at Gulf Coast MakerCon Robotics Showcase!

11 Feb

NRW at GCMCWe’ll be helping kick off National Robotics Week with a Gulf Coast Makercon Robotics Showcase, front and center at  our 3rd Annual Celebration of DIY Inventive Spirit.

We’ll have K-12 FIRST robotics teams from around Tampa BayFIRST_vert.  With support from a comprehensive network of Fortune 500 corporations, educational and professional institutions, foundations, and individuals, FIRST provides more than $18 million in college scholarships for participating students. Programs include FIRST® Robotics Competition (FRC® ) for students in Grades 9-12;FIRST® Tech Challenge (FTC® ) for Grades 7-12;  FIRST® LEGO®League (FLL® ) for Grades 4-8; and Junior FIRST® LEGO®League (Jr.FLL®) for Grades K-3 and you’ll be able to see most, if not all, of these programs strutting their awesome robotic stuff at GCMC.

We’ll also be featuring 15 lb. and under fighting robots in   National Robotics League demo competitions, a combat robot program with a focus on manufacturing related careers. Organized by the University of South Florida Robotics Interest Group, we’ll have high school student competitions all day Saturday, April 5, and NRL exhibition NRLrobots throughout the weekend.

We’ll also have a variety of hobby and personal robotics projects and displays, and related mechatronics exhibits., and we’ve got room for more! If you’re interested in joining us with your robotics projects, complete our Maker Application and join in our National Robotics Week Celebration!

 

Follow

Get every new post delivered to your Inbox.

Join 242 other followers