On October 31st members of Nolan’s RoboVikes team attended Southwest Airlines’ Annual Halloween festivities! The theme for the area in which the Demonstration robot (Demobot) thrilled participants was based on The Nightmare before Christmas. The Demobot was outfitted as Zero the dog, one of the main characters. It was specially redesigned and constructed for this event by the RoboVikes team and Kevin LaPerriere, a SWA employee and Robotics Team Mentor. This event allowed the RoboVikes to showcase their hard work, the Demobot. During this event, the RoboVikes and the Demobot had the opportunity to interact with the employees and their families and land a meeting for sponsorship with Southwest Airlines. The RoboVikes along with the Demobot have been invited to participate at future engagements with Soutwest Airlines and Nolan’s Mardi Gras event.
Before the Demobot’s big day began, RoboVike team members were putting on finishing touches to ensure that the Demobot would be perfect. The RoboVikes broke into teams that would operate and explain how the Demobot functions. As the team set out, people were fascinated by the different capabilities of the Demobot. Team members would ask families if they would like candy from our Demobot dressed as “Zero.” When they said, “yes,” the real demonstration began!
The Demobot was constructed to hand out candy in two ways, by either pushing its head down or pulling its leash. Once these actions were taken the trunk would open up. Many people were afraid that the trunk would slam down on their fingers as they went to get candy, but there were no tricks here. Children and adults would quickly grab the candy and move away from the Demobot, only to see that there was no need. Curiosity set in and sparked interest, the families began asking questions about the demonstration robot. Jennifer M. a SWA family member stated, “That is the coolest thing ever! How did you do that?” The more information that was learned about the Demobot, the more impressed they became with it and the RoboVikes. It allowed for others to see the possibilities of robotics. Throughout the day we received many compliments on the Demobot and the RoboVikes hard work. Many people were surprised that we were in high school and had created such a wonderful robot. The compliments and the joy on their faces were great rewards for all of the hard work and effort of the RoboVikes with an extra added perk of getting a meeting with Southwest Airlines for the possibility of sponsorship. The RoboVikes are so very excited that they have been invited to attend the Soutwest Airlines Christmas event on December 5, 2016 to demonstrate new adjustment to the demobot. These adjustments will also be demonstrated at Nolan’s Mardi Gras