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Author Topic: Growing Kilobots  (Read 3267 times)

FingerTech

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Growing Kilobots
« on: April 27, 2015, 02:22:55 pm »
Since Valerie drove for some of the road trip back from RoboGames, I had time to think about promoting Kilobots and chatted with Bryan Gallo about it at the same time.  He is one of the Miami builders and is planning to attend our Spectrum event but only if we make it SUPER AWESOME.  So let's do that!  Here is my brain dump of ideas we came up with.  Please read through and respond!  Let's drum up a ton of new builders for Spectrum!

1) Robot Rentals at all events: For new builders - rent a robot for an entire tournament! Sign up in advance so I know how many to bring. $50 Spinner, $40 Lifter, $35 Wedge. (Maybe you guys have old bots you can get running too?  I can make a site page with all the bots listed and prices.) We can pair them with mentor veteran teams who tell them how to win and what repairs to do.
2) Discounted purchase price for the rental bots so rookies hopefully buy them and come back!
3) Free Kilobots t-shirt for renters (and ourselves). We could attend Al's next t-shirt workshop to crank them out. (Get size with rental bot deposit).
4) Raffle off a Viper kit. One ticket with every robot entered, and new builders get an extra ticket. (I'm not sure about this idea.  Needs development.)
5) Contact Bamboo Shoots for filming SaskExpo and Spectrum.
6) Do radio interviews to advertise upcoming events and Bot Rentals.
7) Put up posters at UofS/Siast/Express Hobbies and where else? [Added: Kijiji ad]
8) Have Albert's Bot Bash arena running at our events.
9) Remember win pogs? Those were lasered by an expensive place in town.  But now we have access to the laser at TechWorks!  Thoughts?
10) Remember the etched beer mugs?  I still use mine!  We could do that again.
11) Kilobots banners!  I'm getting a TechWorks banner made and will get a Kilobots at the same time.  What should it look like?
12) Trophies! Travis got there before me and his are looking good.  Keep it up!
13) Prizes from Big Blue Saw, RobotMarketPlace, FingerTech, SparkFun, where else?  Check out some of the Bot Brawl sponsors.
14) Gallo will live stream Spectrum if we want. Is there a wired internet drop in Hardy lab?  I doubt wireless would work well.
15) SaskExpo sponsor sign for the top of the arena.  Ethan, how are the sign holders coming along?  Need help?

What else can we do!  Ideas ideas ideas.
« Last Edit: May 01, 2015, 03:58:42 pm by FingerTech »
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Travis7s

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Re: Growing Kilobots
« Reply #1 on: April 27, 2015, 02:35:08 pm »
If Battlebots is back on TV again this summer that will be really good to get people interested, thats pretty much how all of us got hooked.

Then up to us to get out the word that you can fight robots in Saskatoon too. Kijiji ads are one thing that comes to mind that is easy and free.

thesaxmachine

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Re: Growing Kilobots
« Reply #2 on: April 28, 2015, 10:57:37 am »
Bot Bash is coming along.  Need to make some robots along with the other ones I have to repair/redesign.

FingerTech

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Re: Growing Kilobots
« Reply #3 on: May 01, 2015, 04:01:02 pm »
I added Kijiji ads to the main post.  Good idea!

Any thoughts on the Kilobots banner?  I would like to get it designed and order it and the TechWorks banners soon.  Should it just be like the back of our trailer?  A logo on either side with the website in the middle?  Or one big logo on the left?  Other text or tagline?
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Travis7s

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Re: Growing Kilobots
« Reply #4 on: May 02, 2015, 11:57:22 am »
I think its important that we spell out what it is we do clearly. Kilobots is too vague and the logo text can be hard to see. I would say having large "Saskatoon Combat Robotics Club" in big text, or go even simpler with a "Fighting Robots!" or something.

ACME

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Re: Growing Kilobots
« Reply #5 on: May 23, 2015, 03:29:06 pm »
Here are the next events:
June 20 -  Express Hobbies
September 10 -  Egnatoff School Demo
September 19-20 -  SCEE
January 14-17 - Spectrum

FingerTech

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Re: Growing Kilobots
« Reply #6 on: June 08, 2015, 06:25:30 pm »
Travis's ideas from the flamethrower thread:

Also, other ways to be more entertaining:
- build more robots
- build robots with weapons *coughkitbotandzimcough*
- have dedicated demo bots to fill in when we've had a block of wedge fights. One thing I want to do is build a beetle/mantis bot that is just for smashing electronics and whatnot. vertical sawblade, big battery, simple and reliable. Its not for fighting other robots so weight or armour don't really matter.

Do you really think the problem is that *we* don't build enough robots?  I think more builders would be a better solution.
Demo bots are great for filling between-fight time.  Go for it!
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Travis7s

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Re: Growing Kilobots
« Reply #7 on: June 08, 2015, 09:29:35 pm »
 We only had 11 full combat robots last event (4 beetle, 7 ant). Its hard to get people excited when we barely have fights. Battlebots took flack from the audience for only have 1 fight per hour. We only do 3 per hour and that usually includes rookie wedge matches and postponements.

We seem to have a problem with keeping new builders around or graduating from the rookie class and I'm not sure why.

Veteren robots have definitely been on the decline for new designs and robots. I'm genuinely curious why, are we too busy now? Are we burnt out a bit?

That being said, 2015 is shaping up to be a golden year if we play our cards right. (Battlebots on TV, several good venues for Kilobots)

I hope we can get more discussions going on here as we also do much less of that as well these days.


FingerTech

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Re: Growing Kilobots
« Reply #8 on: June 13, 2015, 02:09:33 am »
Decisions/notes from the June 12 meeting:

1) We will test out Robot Rentals starting with the Sept SaskExpo event.  Kurtis will bring a signup sheet to the June event and the SCRC will take deposits.
This will have to be advertised to the media and by the event announcer. Albert will make a signboard for above the arena. 
We will pair renters with mentor veterans who can give advice and dictate repairs.
Discounted purchase price for the rental bots.

2) Kilobots t-shirts for club members so the audience can tell who's a builder.  Team names on the back!  We will attend Al's next TechWorks t-shirt workshop. Wait for new logo.

3) No more using registration and membership fees for prize money.  Big push for donated prizes.
Top "X" prizes (2 or 3 dedicated to each weight class) are in a pool that winners get to choose from.
The rest are raffled (one ticket per team) until they are all gone.
Contacts for Travis (keep the suggestions coming!): Luke's Machinery, Albert La (I forget what?), FingerTech, Princess Auto, Ethan (I forget what?), CanadianTire/Rona/HomeDepot gift cards, Jaltek, B&E, Express Hobbies, OTV, Big Blue Saw, RobotMarketPlace, SparkFun,

4) Kurtis will send press release to radio and tv stations, contact SaskTel Max for filming SaskExpo and Spectrum.  Set up tv/radio interviews for Albert+James.

5) Event posters are useless, but permanent ones are okay for Express Hobbies and TechWorks.  (Where else?)
Travis will post to Kijiji every week for upcoming events.

6) Have Albert's Bot Bash arena running at our events.  (Needs name ideas)  No more audience driving in the big arena.  Builders do all demos from now on.
Al will borrow Lift and Dirk's cardboard bot.  $5 per person per 3min match.

7) Win Stickers - Kurtis will print/cut for the June event.  James will research pricing for future events.

8 ) Etched beer mugs for yearly SaskExpo events (top 3 places for each class, or 1 per team?) Make a TechWorks workshop for this.

9) Kilobots banners.  Albert can make them.  James will ask his graphics design friend for a new logo traded for a robot.

10) Trophies/medals.  Travis will have them ready for Sept Expo.  Bring back the AGoD prize?

11) Live stream tabled until we have a dedicated announcer and good internet.

12) SaskExpo sponsor sign for the top of the arena.  Albert will make - Kurtis to get him plastic board.

13) Dirk will test hazard motors.  Al's Ampflows are backups.

14) Ethan will email WD Plastics (after event) for new lexan for the Sept Expo event

15) Travis will (hopefully) bring a dedicated demo bot.  Kurtis will bring a bag of cans.

16) Ethan to contact Visions/Audio Warehouse for a big TV for Sept event.  James's 32" is the backup.

17) James will bring the PA system and be our announcer - he will gather background info from builders

18) Albert will bring copyright-free music for fight time.

19) For Sept flamethrowers, we need to do a smoke extractor test and lexan flame test.
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Travis7s

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Re: Growing Kilobots
« Reply #9 on: June 14, 2015, 12:47:28 am »
If we do Can Clearing Challenge I have a ton of rinsed cans available as I have given up going to sarcan.


On a different note, I'd like to see us using judging scorecards and recording the results, if no one objects I was take this on myself.

I also think we should do pre-fight weighins. (IMO I think this should just be a SPARC-wide rule)
« Last Edit: June 14, 2015, 12:54:31 am by Travis7s »


FingerTech

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Re: Growing Kilobots
« Reply #11 on: June 14, 2015, 02:41:48 pm »
Yay Travis!  Those ads are great.  Hopefully they reach lots of people.
Yeah bring your cans!  How many do you have?  Like a big black trash bag full?  Do I need to bring any or are we good?

I agree with the weigh-ins and have no objection to the judges scores being recorded.  When I judged in Miama, I would often go to teams after who looked like they thought they had won and explain what they could have done to get more points.  I noticed improvements the next time they fought.

So how many fights will there be?  This is important for scorecards (x3) and for the win stickers.
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ACME

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Re: Growing Kilobots
« Reply #12 on: June 15, 2015, 02:31:26 pm »
Reddit post worked. CBC radio contacted us! Nicely done, Travis.

FingerTech

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Re: Growing Kilobots
« Reply #13 on: June 15, 2015, 04:43:18 pm »
Regarding #18, Albert I have been listening to this Copyright-free playlists all day and they would be fine for our events:
Drums&Bass: https://youtu.be/L-pqDqfQf1k?list=PLRBp0Fe2GpgnzYdHtTCoBYPyIJG9_opMn
Trap: https://youtu.be/L-nYQ0ZlfWc?list=PLRBp0Fe2Gpgm0WF6DEGmb7ab4qHAGlPzg
There are download links with each song.
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Travis7s

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Re: Growing Kilobots
« Reply #14 on: June 15, 2015, 05:35:30 pm »

~350 views on the Kijiji ad in 2 days, 2 people replied wanting more info. I think I will just change the info and post  a new one each week.

FYI, virtually all songs are allowed by Youtube as long as you do not monetize the videos, they even have a list you can search. Dirk is the video guy so this would affect him if he gets money from his channel.

Also, Guile's theme goes with everything!