PBL ROBOTS dice & card game

William Hessian and John „Sighless“ Supinski have spent the last year creating a brand new strategy card and dice game called PBL ROBOTS! „The game is a interesting mix of Risk and Magic the Gathering, except this game has giant 100 foot Robots!“ William said. The card game challenges each player to collect cards in a draft format in order to build their deck. When the battle begins each player slide their pilot card into the robot card, courtesy of a die cut cockpit in the center of the robot. Then players lay armor cards on the robot to watch the robot grow stronger and boost up the attack and defense. When players start attacking they roll dice to determine if the robot will blow of an arm, a leg or a head. Each pilot has a powerful critical form when you are down to one remaining limb, which gives the losing player a chance to make a comeback, but when a robot has lost of four limbs the game is over.

William and John have spent their free time at their apartment on the East End of Portland, Maine developing this intense card game consisting of 113 unique cards and 3 different game play modes. William is a local visual artist and activist, working at Preble Street, teaching at Rivertree Art in Kennebunk and volunteering at the Meg Perry Center. William did all of the artwork and design for the game and originally invented the concept for the game over ten years ago in Minnesota, but did not start finishing it until meeting Sighless in 2012. Sighless is a local musician in the Bumbling Woohas and works at the Maine People Alliance, and was the host of Turnstyle Thursday open mic at CTN Channel 5 for over a year. Once Sighless began working on the game he created a business plan, invented characters and began writing back stories. A group of artists called the Hidden Ladder Collective, which William and John helped start, began play testing the game in-between hosting art shows, art making gatherings and busking out on the streets. Other members of Team Robots, Abbeth Russell and Kara Oster made important contribution to the game.

Thursday, October 23rd the collective has launched the Kickstarter hoping to raise the $22,000 they need to print the first edition versions of the game. As of November 1st they have raised $7,000 towards their goal. Over 100 letters have gone out to game stores across the country. William and Sighless and PBL ROBOTS fans have been playing PBL ROBOTS demo events weekly at R Choice 2 Gaming Thursday Nights which is a free event open to the public. The group has been travelling to Louisana, New Orleans and the Midwest to demo the game.

While the game itself is optimal for players 12 years and older, due to the high level of strategy, the game is also very appealing to a younger audience. William teaches art at Rivertree Arts in Kennebunk and his 4th to 6th grade students have loved the PBL ROBOTS cards. „The kids come back the next day demanding to have another glance at the game, and their parents follow right behind curious to see what the kids are so excited about,“ William remarked. Because of the kids persistence William and Sighless invented a new way to play the game that makes it a little easier for a younger audience, but retains the fun and excitement of the longer game. The popularity of the game is already growing with over 900 Twitter followers and over 200 Facebook likes.

To check out their Kickstarter visit their website at: https://www.kickstarter.com/projects/robotcardgame/pbl-robots-dice-and-card-game (started at 7pm Thursday 10/23). The group is hoping to play the game with as many new players as possible all around the country while hoping to hit their goal by December!

VEX IQ – A STEM Education Revolution

What is VEX IQ?

VEX IQ is a robotics platform designed to transform STEM learning for young students and their teachers. Students as young as 8 can jump right in and snap robots together using the intuitive, toolless platform while educators can utilize the free VEX IQ Curriculum to help teach students valuable lessons and skills that are needed in today’s changing world. Complete VEX IQ Starter Kits start at $249.99 and contain everything needed to build a drivable robot. The VEX IQ Super Kit, at $299.99, includes everything found in a Starter Kit plus a full array of sensors.

What is the VEX IQ Challenge?

The VEX IQ Challenge, presented by the Robotics Education & Competition Foundation, is a brand new STEM program for elementary and middle school students (ages 8-14). Students, with guidance from their teachers and mentors, will build a robot using the VEX IQ robotics platform to solve an engineering challenge presented in the form of a game. VEX IQ Challenge teams will work together scoring points in Teamwork Matches, and also display their robot’s skills individually in driver controlled and autonomous Skills Challenges.
In addition to building robots, the VEX IQ Challenge encourages students to actively learn about science, technology, engineering and mathematics with a STEM themed research project that consists of a written or media presentation. Registration for a VEX IQ Challenge team costs $100. Additional teams from the same schools can register for $50. Tournament entry fees vary by event.

What software & programming options are available for VEX IQ?

VEX IQ robot kits come pre-programmed with built-in default functionality. The Robot Brain contains a Driver Control program that allows students to drive their robots as soon as they’re built, and each Smart Sensor will perform a default action when plugged in to any of the Robot Brain’s Smart Ports. For example, the Gyro Sensor will always keep the robot facing forward, which creates a great learning opportunity for a curious student – how does a gyro work? How else can we apply this technology?

For advanced opportunities, the VEX IQ Robot Brain can be programmed using one of two software options from VEX partners. Robomatter’s ROBOTC 4.0 is a C-based programming language supported by Carnegie Mellon University’s Robotics Academy, and the free Modkit for VEX is a graphical dragand-drop programming environment inspired by MIT’s popular “Scratch” language. Autodesk has also created a design package, VEX Assembler, that brings the modern principles of computer-aided design (CAD) into an easy-to-use drag-and-drop interface.

How can educators use VEX IQ?

In addition to the VEX IQ Challenge, educators can access a free online curriculum designed for classroom use and mapped to US national STEM standards for grades 2-8 (NGSS, STL, and Common Core). With student handouts, teachers’ guides, and custom projects, the flexible VEX IQ curriculum can be scaled for everything from an after school STEM club to a dedicated class period. By exciting and inspiring students through robotics, the VEX IQ curriculum instills proper engineering practices from an early age, while maintaining the fun and excitement that comes from playing with VEX IQ.

Is VEX IQ available internationally?

Yes, VEX IQ is available worldwide.

For more information, visit:

www.vexiq.com

www.vexiq.com/compete

 

Robot pictures taken at museum of technoloy, Vienna

The following pictures were taken at the robot exhibiton at the museum of technology in Vienna.
More information: http://www.technischesmuseum.at/ausstellung/roboter

My new roommates

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RoboCup German Open 2011 – Magdeburg – TechUnited Video Streaming – Live from RoboCup

The guys from TechUnited are doing video a live video stream from RoboCup 2011!

Streams are here:


Free live streaming by Ustream

and you can also see the team area:

Stream videos at Ustream

a Chat for the viewers is available here: