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Robogames a crowd pleaser in Nelson
Nelson Tech Club (NTC) hosted its annual Robogames Saturday afternoon at Selkirk College’s Mary Hall.
About 60 people were on hand getting techie as 19 entrants in the robot showdown competed for prizes.
With names like Seeker, Event Horizon, Terminators and the Tricky Twin Bots, creations were the culmination of NTC weekly meetings and some extra evening work.
“This is basically a show and tell of what they’ve been able to build over 6 weeks of our Hackerspaces,” said club president Brad Pommen. “Anywhere their imagination leads them, we can support what they want to build.”
NTC is an inclusive club started by Pommen in 2010. It focuses on computers, programming, electronics and robotics — all under the umbrella of technology.
Since its inception, NTC has grown exponentially as more people are turned on to the fun that can be had.
“About 40 per cent of the people here haven never been to a Hackerspace,” said Pommen looking around the crowded room at the event on Saturday. “About half will show up to next week’s meeting.”
Dion Jonkheid is an 11-year-old Trafalgar student who loves attending the weekly Hackerspaces held by the club. His robot ‘Tank’ was inspired by Lego and was fun to build, he said.
“Lego is pretty much what I like best of all my toys,” he said.
Dion’s mother, Jackie is pleased with her son’s NTC involvement as it furthers an interest and talent he’s always had.
“He’s always experimented at home, even as a small child,” she said. “He really likes all practical stuff and has a great imagination.”
Even as the robots went head to head in the finale — Robot Battles, the participants cheered each other on.
“There’s a lot of good humour in it,” said Jackie.
Throughout the day, robots were judged based on how they handled an obstacle course, their programming and logic, design and assembly, creativity and problem solving and just plain awesomeness. Yes, that was a category.
First place design came with the name Dragon Shredders and was created by Gavin Dean and Henry Craven-Shreenan. Second place went to the youngest participant Emily Stass who named her robot Robo Emily.
Nelson Tech Club holds Hackerspaces every Wednesday from 6 to 8 p.m. at the annex building at Selkirk College Tenth Street Campus.