MassRobotics brought together the robotics community for the 3rd Annual #RobotBlockParty on October 20th to help celebrate the Massachusetts Statewide STEM week. The event attracted over a thousand attendees, from preschoolers to high schoolers, university students to teachers, families and seniors, to celebrate all things robotic.
The Robot Block Party kicked off with a Ribbon Cutting and welcoming remarks from James Peyser. Secretary of Education, Carolyn Kirk, CEO at Mass Tech Collaborative, Eric Krotkov, Chief Science Officer at Toyota Research Institute, and Tom Ryden, MassRobotics Executive Director.
The large tent at 11 Drydock Ave was filled with over 2 dozen companies and universities showcasing their research and the latest in robotics with demos and interactive exhibits. Several FIRST Robotics teams also showed off their bots.
The Army National Guard’s Urban Search & Rescue Robotics Challenge trailer participated for the 3rd year in a row. Attendees could navigate a unique obstacle course, driving a robot with a mission of finding and removing an object. They also had a couple of fun robots that captured the attention of adults and children!
Several Autonomous Vehicles were on site for the public to get a close up look and speak with the scientists and developers of this technology. Toyota Research Institute, Aptiv, and Optimus Ride all showcased their self-driving vehicles. Both Aptiv and Optimus Ride vehicles can be spotted on the streets of Boston in the Seaport area where they have been testing for almost 3 years.
Drone companies showed a variety design and applications. American Robotics, Cleo Robotics and GreenSight all had their drones at the event and GreenSight flew in the Mass DOT drone net.
Several FIRST competition robot teams brought former competition robots that were designed and built for past competitions. Teams included the Nutrons, Hi-Tech Hornets, Team Technado, Aztechs and Needham High School. Their demonstrations were definitely a crowd pleaser!
The variety of hardware, applications and solutions seemed endless, from consumer and in-home robots to sports, education and research. There was something for everyone.
A big thank you to all the companies and universities who participated: Analog Devices, American Robotics, Aptive Autonomous Mobility, Ava Robotics, BrainCo, ChartaCloud, Cleo Robotics, FLIR Unmanned Ground Systems, FIRST Robotics teams, Franklin Robotics, GreenSightAG, Harmonic Drive, Harvard, iRobot, MITRE, MVP Robotics, National Guard, NextShift Robotics, Northeastern University, Optimus Ride, RightHand Robotics, RSE, SMC, SoftRobotics, Thinking Robotics, Toyota Research Institute, Tufts University, UMass Lowell, Waypoint Robotics, and Worcester Polytech Institute
The event was made possible with a grant from the Massachusetts Technology Collaborative and through the support of our event sponsorship: The MITRE Corporation, Toyota Research Institute, MassTLC, Worcester Polytechnic Institute, Vecna Robotics and Arrow.