Parallax Insider News

Parallax attends the 2014 USA Science and Engineering Festival in Washington, DC

  • By: Jessica Uelmen Published: 05 May, 2014 0 comments

Two years ago we attended the USA Science and Engineering Festival in Washington DC where we taught 1,500 kids how to solder. In our eyes, the event could not get bigger or better the second time around - boy were we wrong!

This year’s USA Science and Engineering Festival held at the Walter E. Washington Convention Center was a free three-day event expected to draw over 250,000 attendees. Words cannot adequately describe how enormous this convention center actually is, and the festival took the majority of the center! Ken and I had a consistent stream of traffic through the Parallax booth, where we entertained thousands of kids and parents with our Arlo and ActivityBot robots.

As mentioned in our preparation post, we had six patriotic Arlos roaming a 20x20-ft area, avoiding people and remaining within the confines of our invisible robot fence. Our hacked dog collars worked amazingly well, and the robots only escaped our pen three times when the fence was accidentally unplugged or the wire broken. Let’s all give three cheers to Daniel for designing and coding such an efficient system!

Our successful display would not have been possible without some key individuals. First, major thanks Vale Tolpegin and members of the Chantilly High Robotics Club for helping in our booth, encouraging visitors to engage with the robots and explaining how they work. Vale’s character was particularly commendable, as he bounced between telling parents about the best robotic kits for their children to fixing fallen robots as the show progressed. We certainly would not have had a successful display without them!The Parallax booth was also located inside the greater RoboFest area, and we would be remiss to not thank Gary Mauler for helping to arrange our space. He also went above and beyond to provide us with a small robot table for displaying our ActivityBots. Thank you so much Gary!

Parallax is happy and hopeful to support USASEF 2016!

- Jessica Uelmen, Director of Strategic Operations, Parallax Inc.