On Friday, May 23 through Saturday, May 24, 2014, the KleinBots demonstrated their competition robot for the 2013-2014 season at Comicpalooza.
Comicpalooza, for those that don’t know, is an annual comic book convention held at the George R. Brown Convention Center in downtown Houston. While comic books and other related genres are the main attraction of the convention, the KleinBots were invited to demonstrate our bot along with several other FIRST Robotics teams by Mr. Allen Gregory IV, the coach of Spectrum FRC#3847. The first day at the convention, twenty of our members braved a day off of school to participate in the event, each of them wearing their KleinBots shirts in order to further advertise our name. Throughout the day, the team spread the word about the FIRST Robotics competition to passers by and made alliances with other teams that were present. The team spent the day demonstrating our bot as it performed the task this season’s competition required: picking up a yoga ball and throwing it into goals. Minus some technical difficulties near the end day, the KleinBots remained in good spirits and hoped that the next day would bring a new group of interested outsiders and even more growth opportunities. It was not only a great experience to further our team’s reach in the robotics world, it was also a day that allowed both the new and returning members of the team to bond over robotics as well as other things that were present at the convention.
Saturday, May 24 brought some challenges along with it as our mechanical and electrical team worked to fix the technical difficulties from the day before. This, although a minor set back, attracted attention all the same due to the convention goers’ curiosity that came from high school students working on a stationary robot. While part of the team worked on improving the bot, the rest of the team once again set off to explain the FIRST competition to those that acme by to check out the demonstrations. Represented by about half of the people that attended the day before, the KleinBots still attracted attention to the display, which made the day successful in and of itself.
Much like with the prospect of future demonstrations at the Offshore Technology Conference next season, the team looks forward to participating in this event again if given the chance. The KleinBots are currently preparing for the summer season with high hopes for the upcoming year!