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Thread: Mech Warfare - State of the Union 2013

  1. #1
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    Mech Warfare - State of the Union 2013

    Welp, Mech Warfare 2013 was a success. We had some initial interference issues on Saturday but we managed to work around them and get things rolling nicely. We had some seriously impressive bots show up this year and really put on a great show for people. Unfortunately for me I had a critical servo failure 2 days before I left and could not compete. I mean, literally only had to strap on a scoring system on Envy and I'd have been ready. That's robotics for ya!

    Big shout out to R-Team Robotics. Seriously, if there is anyone to take notes from it's these guys. They're incredibly well prepared, have some seriously impressive tech in their mechs, and showed up with THREE functional and highly competitive mechs. This is exactly what I'm looking for when I ask people to come prepared. Thanks to all of my veterans as well as the new folks who showed up and made a huge effort, you guys made this a great event.

    So the biggest news for this year is that Robogames as we know it will cease to exist. Dave Calkins has done an amazing job running RG for the last 9 years but has decided to retire. This leaves Mech Warfare without a main venue to host us.

    So, what's the plan? Well, to be perfectly honest I was getting pretty burnt out with the amount of time/effort it takes to host Mech Warfare out in California, so I'd planned on it being my last year to run the event out there.I am working with a few other of the event organizers from Robogames to bring a new robotics competition to the midwest, based out of Chicago. It will be similar to Robogames in many aspects, but without the Combots side of things. If it's not programmable, it's not going to be in this event. It will likely take 2-3 years for this to pick up steam, but I am confident that after the last 6 years of working with Dave and organizing RG/Mech Warfare, I am well suited to pick this up and run with it.

    The new event is not yet named, it will feature Mech Warfare as the primary event. In addition to MW, we'll be focusing on Humanoid, UAV/Quadcopter, Robomagellan, and various autonomous robot (firefighting, linefollowing, mazes, etc) competition as well as an artbots competition for good measure. It's a bit early to have too many details on this, but so far our venue possibilities are looking great (think big, nice, University) and I have some key players from the robotics community that are interested in getting onboard. We will be shooting for a late-summer early-fall time period to host it in. I do not know if I will be ready in time to do an event 2013, and if we do it will be small and not fully fleshed out. The official 'launch' for this would be 2014.

    We're also going to be rolling out a lot of changes to how Mech Warfare is participated in and I have some big changes for its future coming up. I'll start a new rules draft that outlines these changes in the very near future, so stay tuned.

    Please let me know if you guys have any questions, and thanks to everyone who came out!
    Last edited by DresnerRobotics; 04-23-2013 at 04:30 PM.

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    Re: Mech Warfare - State of the Union 2013

    Let me know if there is anything I can do to help!

  3. Re: Mech Warfare - State of the Union 2013

    So...is this new event going to be in Chicago? Will it start there and be copied to the west? Or....confused...

    Either way very cool to hear mechwarfare as a main event.

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    Re: Mech Warfare - State of the Union 2013

    Uh-oh. Here comes the changes that bar me from MW. If participation is going to be low, can the separation between classic and beginner leagues be removed? at least for the year??

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    Re: Mech Warfare - State of the Union 2013

    It will occur in Chicago. Which might very well be a good thing. It will possibly bring more east coast people to the event since it wouldn't be a cross country flight for them.

  6. Re: Mech Warfare - State of the Union 2013

    Quote Originally Posted by KevinO View Post
    It will occur in Chicago. Which might very well be a good thing. It will possibly bring more east coast people to the event since it wouldn't be a cross country flight for them.
    thought east had Shepherd University or was that for just 1 year

    Btw is there a main thread for 2013 mechwarfare vids?
    Last edited by Fanatic; 04-23-2013 at 07:22 PM.

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    Re: Mech Warfare - State of the Union 2013

    Hmm... it has been several years since I've taken an actual vacation, and Chicago is not that far away from Cedar Point. Plus, there are plenty of kick-ass museums and zoos there and on a round-a-bout route between the two.
    ...maybe even go laugh outside the gates of Ken Ham's abomination, since I'd be in the area.


    It would be so nice to get back north for a while. Georgia is so very depressing. So many things here make me want to stick a pencil in my ear then slam my head against a wall.
    Please pardon the pedantry... and the profanity... and the convoluted speech pattern...
    "You have failed me, Brain!"
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  8. #8

    Re: Mech Warfare - State of the Union 2013

    So many things here make me want to stick a pencil in my ear then slam my head against a wall.
    UC, Stanford, Cal Tech, and even SF Academy of Art have robotics or related programs. Also, the bay area is always hiring people who know how to tinker with things and make them work. It's totally possible to work on robotics and live in a progressive area :-)

  9. #9

    Re: Mech Warfare - State of the Union 2013

    I vote for sometime around Halloween. It gives those in school some time to get their groups back together and finalize prep. Also, people are back from vacations, moving to new jobs, etc.
    Just not, you know, actual Halloween night, for those of us with kids to trick-or-treat...

    Also, it might be useful to run a MW-only event this year with smaller attendance, as a kind of dry run? The overhead in cost might be too high, though, depending on venue.

    Finally, does anyone know whether Maker Faire Kansas City will actually have MW this year? I'm looking to put Onyx back together, and would liek some event to cut my teeth on sometime before fall 2014...

  10. #10
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    Re: Mech Warfare - State of the Union 2013

    I fully intend to run at a bare minimum, Mech Warfare and the UAV competitions this year in the fall. It's just exactly that, a dry run. The official launch when I pull out the stops will be in 2014.

    Not sure on the KC Makerfaire crowd. I don't think they've ever had more than 1-3 mechs competing, and I haven't heard anything from them in almost 2 years.

    Another thing to mention is that we'll actually have a very solid local playerbase in the chicago area soon. I have my friends from Mad Lab Industries piloting Insanity Wolf, I'll have Envy and my new biped mech ready by fall, as well as a pair of ax-12 2dof basic Issy style mechs for the other Trossen guys to compete with. We have Eric's Twitch and Ryan's OKQ1 just north of us as well as a couple of our other veterans who've expressed interest in attending this fall already. That's about 10 mechs in attendance that I can confirm.

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