Robots Roll into the Ring at Boise 'Bot Competition



While the Boise 'Bot Competition might sound like something out of the robot action flick Real Steel, the event isn't about a lust for blood, er, battery acid. David Gapen with The Reuseum—which is co-sponsoring the event with Obtanium Technology Recyclers—also confirmed that the event will be nothing like the former Comedy Central show BattleBots.

"Instead of spending tens of thousands of dollars on a robot that gets destroyed, instead, we'd like to spend $10-$50 on a robot you can keep with you forever," said Gapen.

On Saturday, April 14, from 9:30 a.m.-7:30 p.m., the fourth-annual Boise 'Bot Competition will roll into Discovery Center of Idaho, where home-made robots will imitate sumo wrestlers and use their mechanical muscles to strong-arm opponents out of the ring.

"And we're going to be making recycled robots for our younger robotic enthusiasts," said Gapen.

The event will also feature a bevy of robotics-minded groups, like the FIRST Robotics Bullbots team from Mountain View High School, Wi-Fi experts Metageek, and an appearance by the Boise Police Department's "bomb bot." The day's events will focus on connecting people with technology.

Gapen also mentioned a "reprap" project, aka 3D printing, from the Idaho Reprap User Group. They "print" out plastic pieces for more 'bots with a special machine. When paired with a three-dimensional scanner, you can replicate real-life objects in plastic robot pieces.

"You can become a robot," said Gapen.