The night before the Get your bot on demos

If the first day of Get your bot on was about shaping an idea and putting all the pieces together, the second day was all about the hustle. We wrapped up the first day of the hackathon a little past midnight. We left the Mozilla offices after having seen some of the robots being demo-ed and practically completed. Of course the difference between a robot that is completely done and ready for a demo and a robot undergoing a beta test is night and day!

The second day of the hackathon saw teams sprinting for the finish line hoping and praying for no hardware failures and miracles. I saw my fair share of teams asking for an extra hour or the pushing back of the demos to later in the afternoon. We had a hard stop at 1 PM and as 1 PM got closer, the building and testing frénésie was surreal!

We had 19 robots completed which was going to make the judge’s work pretty though. Each team had 2 minutes to present its robot, discuss its salient features and explain what was used to create the robot. I have to say that being witness to the last ditch efforts to get some of the robots performing, I was expecting a large number of failures during the demos but no, pretty much every robot performed its tasks – some better than others – but overall: I was DAMN impressed at what could be built with what seemed to me bits of hardware duct taped together! Well, not really, since we had an awesome kit to start with, but there were a lot of improvisations.

As some participants were building their robots,

and others started testing their robots,

some decided to wrap up their testing and call it a night!

while others still decided to make the best of the last few minutes of the day

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