What’s Up with CGW: April 2016 Edition

It’s springtime (though you might hardly believe it some days), and Gadget Works has some exciting events coming up. Some ongoing projects will be getting their start, and we’ll be attending events in the community, making April a great time to meet some CGW folk and see what we’re about.

STEAM Carnival

Columbia Gadget Works is excited to part of the Columbia, MO STEAM Carnival at Battle High School on Saturday, April 9th, from 3 to 5 pm. Come meet us at our booth alongside other local groups to celebrate what we can do in the world of Science, Technology, Engineering, Art, and Mathematics. We’ll have some demonstrations of cool technologies, a showcase of our cardboard battle bots, and even exhibition matches in the Chamber of Robotic Aggression.

Sparkfun Autonomous Vehicle Competition

CGW has taken part in competitions before, but this could be our most ambitious attempt. The Sparkfun AVC is a fun and open competition for makers and robot enthusiasts from all over the world. The 2016 event will be September 17th at the Sparkfun Headquarters in Niwot, CO and it includes some fun new classes for vehicles.

We hope for field more than one entry in our first year, so we will be starting this month to give ourselves plenty of design and build time. As with all our competitive teams, this will be open to CGW members and guests at multiple skill levels. This month, we will designate one of our Open Hack Nights to go over the rules and classes for anyone interested in participating. If that sounds like you, watch for more announcements or contact us to get more information.

Creative Spaces LLC Open House

Creative Spaces LLC, the maker-friendly building CGW currently resides in, will be holding an open house to showcase some of the creative businesses and organizations local to Columbia, MO. The event will be at the 1404 Grand Ave space and is tentatively scheduled for April 21st.

Game Nights

Starting April 8th at 7 pm, Friday nights will be game nights at Columbia Gadget Works. Relax with other members at the end of your week by playing some fun tabletop games. Lately, we’ve been interested in Firefly, Fluxx, and Exploding Kittens, but we’re always open to learning something new. Game Nights will be open to the public until the end of May.

Open House and Cardboard Robot Fighting Recap

Thank you to everyone who came out last weekend for CGW’s first open house. We hope you had a great time and learned just a little more about hacking, making, and building.

We also hope that everyone had fun at the first ever (as far as we know, still) cardboard robot fighting tournament! In case you are interested, here is the complete tournament bracket. Be sure to check out the recap video, which has every fight in the competition, and the winning bot’s build video to see what kind of hackery goes into cardboard robots.

Excellent job to all of our competitors, who worked hard to build their incredible cardboard contraptions:

  • Sneaky Wild – David
  • Spinny Thing – Luc
  • ‘ OR 1=1 — – Matt
  • Cheesebot – Ryan
  • Paper Machete – Zach

And huge thanks to our judges, Brad and Trevon, and our timekeeper, Cassie, who gave up a Saturday afternoon to make the whole competition work.

We plan on hosting more cardboard robot fights, so you still have a chance to build your own bot and compete. Keep watching our Twitter, Facebook, and this site for more details. In the meantime, see our combat robot wiki page for competitions rules and more information about building a cardboard combat robot.