Pssst! Want a free robot? -

Pssst! Want a free robot?


I tell you, I really love the robots my chums at Synapse Wireless have created as giveaways for the forthcoming Embedded Systems Conference (ESC) in Boston, 13-14 April, 2016.

Just to remind ourselves, this is all part of our ESC “Hello There!” collectible badge project. These badges will form a wireless mesh network that will allow their owners to play individual games like Breakout and multi-player games like Rock-Paper-Scissors, and also easily identify other attendees who share the same areas of interest (Hardware, Software, Analog, Digital, STEM, and the IoT).

The idea is that we will be giving out 100 of these little badge beauties at the conference. All you have to do to be in the running to receive one is to tweet the following phrase sometime between your reading this and 11:59 p.m. Eastern Time on Tuesday, March 15, 2016:

Find me at #ESCbos this April in this cool #wireless mesh network #LED badge: ESC: @ESC_Conf

FYI, I probably shouldn’t be mentioning this, but tweeting the above multiple times will improve your chances of winning. The main thing to note is that you have to be registered to attend ESC Boston and then you have to actually be there to pick up your badge. Also note that the chance to win a badge is open to all attendees, including those holding FREE Expo-only passes.

In addition to the badges, we will also be giving away four of the “Hello There!” robots as shown below. The interesting thing about these robots is that each boasts its own “Hello There!” badge, which means you can use your personal badge to control the one on the robot.

(Source: Synapse Wireless)

We've designed the “Hello There!” badges to be hackable. As part of this, we've included Arduino-style headers. In the above image we see a standard Arduino motor-control shield plugged into the “Hello There!” robot's “Hello There!” badge.

There are going to be three “Hello There!” badge-related sessions in which we will be giving away “Hello There!” robots as follows:

  • Introducing the ESC 2016 Hello There! Badge: This is where we will be giving out the badges to the lucky tweeters. Also, we'll be giving away one of the badge-controlled robot (the badges will vote between themselves to determine the lucky winner of this little beauty). 
  • ESC 2016 “Hello There!” Badge Meet-Up: This will be an informal get-together for anyone who is interested in learning more about the badges, including how to make one of your own and how to hack into them and program them. We'll also be giving away another badge-controlled robot (you don’t have to already own a badge to win this mechanoid marvel because it will be accompanied by a free-standing badge). 
  • Tech Trivia Quiz: This will be a fun event to close out the second day of the conference, not the least that one of the prizes will be one of our badge-controlled robots (once again, you don’t have to already possess a badge to win this cybertronic creation because it will be accompanied by a free-standing badge).

But wait, there's more, because we will also be giving away a robot along with a free-standing badge as part of the Passport Program on the afternoon of Wednesday April 13.

So, there's no more time to delay. First, bounce over to Twitter and send the tweet shown above, and then — if you've not already done so — bounce over to the ESC Website and register to attend. (That “boing” sound you hear is the ball landing on your side of the metaphorical court.)

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