New Event in Brighton?

Place discussions about upcoming events here in this thread.

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BeligerAnt
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New Event in Brighton?

Post by BeligerAnt » Sun Oct 31, 2010 5:03 pm

Just floating an idea...

Ian Watts offered the possiblity of a hall at the University of Brighton for free.
For a while I had been thinking that it would be good to have an event close to Brighton within a few months of Modelworld. We get a lot of interest at Modelworld, but without any really local events I think many people are put off.

So my idea is to run a beginners-friendly event, probably in April, avoiding AWS, RRC and Easter.
The idea is to make it like RRC used to be before it became something of a victim of its own success. Focus on a non-spinner competition, run spinners because everyone likes to see them, and make time for mingling and questions, maybe even some quick "how-to" demos?
Also some sort of whiteboard fights to give people the chance to fight robots that they particularly want to.
It would also be good if people could bring spare robots and transmitters for beginners that have not completed their first robot to drive for the day.

So...
Is the idea any good?
Would you come?
Any dates to avoid in April/May?
Any suggestions for competitions/activites?
Any other comments?
If you are (relatively) new, what would you like to see at such an event?

Please add your 2p's worth, even if you don't think you will be able to come.
Gary, Team BeligerAnt

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Post by haz » Sun Oct 31, 2010 5:39 pm

that is a goood idea as brighton is a good distace from me and i like informal events, i can come to most if i can get dates in advance, i think any time from march onwards would be good

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Post by Remote-Controlled Dave » Sun Oct 31, 2010 6:22 pm

Some sort of educational aspect could be a good idea Gary. I like the idea of how to demos, maybe some kind of workshop or (for want of a better word) lecture to let complete novices who show interest know where they can start. Antweight building explained in the simplest terms - "These are the motors, they make it move", "this is a speed controller, it tells the motors what you want them to do" that kind of thing. With a little prep, a functional chasis can be built in a couple of minutes in front of a small crowd, to show how easy it all is, and then have info on where to buy the essential bits and pieces available too.
If Ian Watts is involved in any way, I'm sure it would be easily promoted, though like you say, there is probably a limit before it becomes a little too big.
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Post by Jonny » Sun Oct 31, 2010 6:39 pm

sounds good
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Simon Windisch
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Post by Simon Windisch » Sun Oct 31, 2010 8:21 pm

Sounds good.

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Back on 29th November 2003 we went to a robotic event at Cockcroft Hall University of Brighton (Ian Watts was there) they had about 10 sets of make-your-own robot kits, two wheels, receiver, battery, motors scissors and tape and old margerine tubs etc. It would be cool if they could still dig these out: the organiser was Domino Wall.

We'll be there is we can make it.

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Post by joey_picus » Sun Oct 31, 2010 8:31 pm

I'd be all in favour of it, I'd certainly love to come if it didn't clash with anything (although after yesterday I'd probably try and make it an overnight stay!) and a lecture would be good, provided you got enough members of the public to attend...antweight football should be a nice crowd pleaser as well if that's possible within the time?
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BeligerAnt
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Post by BeligerAnt » Sun Oct 31, 2010 9:02 pm

Perhaps I need to explain better...

The idea is not to get people interested, it is to get interested people started.

At Modelworld we typically get several people expressing serious interest. We spend a long time talking to them, showing them robots, parts lists, explaining the AWS, RRC etc and they go away with one of our flyers with links to the forum, RW101 shop, other websites, and possibly also a set of Pants plans.

One stumbling block is where we get to the bit about when and where to compete. For a newcomer Reading may seem a long trip, and the forthcoming AWSs are not always nearby.

So the idea is to give them a local event to come to, then hopefully they get hooked and decide that Reading isn't so far after all :wink:

Publicity isn't really an issue, as we generate the publicity at Modelworld. I think the event needs to be kept to a sensible size anyway. If it gets too big the competition takes over and there is no time for talking/asking questions/learning - much like our other events!

We were at the event in 2003, James won one event as I recall. The kits belong to Setpoint Sussex, and AFAIK are still used in schools.

Having kits could sort of work against us I think. It would be better if people turned up with their own robot. I think advertising the availability of kits at the event would certainly discourage people from building their own robot. Also the Setpoint kits do not include a weapon servo, so you can only make a servo-powered pusher with them. We advertise PeteC's kits at Modelworld.

The difference between this and a "normal" event to my mind is that it provides time for the more experienced roboteers (who are often organising the event) to talk to newcomers, look at their robots, discuss problems, offer advice, are available to answer questions, etc.

Thanks for the input, keep it coming. We just need to converge on the same wavelength. It's difficult if you've never been to Modelworld. Hopefully I've explained where we're starting from.
Gary, Team BeligerAnt

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D0ntstare
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Post by D0ntstare » Sun Oct 31, 2010 9:30 pm

All though I am new myself and have only competed in 2 events, I think this would be great idea, and I would love to come to express how easy it is to fall into this money pit of doom :O

I would be happy to bring some pre-made templates made on adobe illustrator for people to cut around with polycarbonate :D

Could I come along?

It may also be an idea to bring some spare bits and bobs, so people can create a working robot, try it out and if they love it so, give them parts lists for what they have selected including prices. ( Let others design your robots for you muhahahha)

I would be interested on behalf of spinners as I wish to create one for my secondary robot, I have already planed cut outs that are all workings, its just finding someone who could help me with the blade design as its a little tricky :P
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bitternboy
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Post by bitternboy » Mon Nov 01, 2010 8:45 am

Great, I can come and show how not to do stuff. :D

Seriously though, it sounds like a great idea.
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Post by peterwaller » Mon Nov 01, 2010 9:35 am

That does sound like a good idea especially as at the Brighton show people always ask about a local event. Ian mentioned he could probably get some of the student interested as well.

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Post by alasdair » Mon Nov 01, 2010 9:38 am

You might be able to sell off a few pants kits- That is a fairly cheap and easy way of starting.

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Post by muchalucha » Mon Nov 01, 2010 6:42 pm

personally this would be fantastic for me as this isnt too far away from me at all so my parents should hopefully be willing to take me along. if nlot i can always work out how to get there on the train.

So IMO a great idea :D
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