Aws’ for 2018

Place discussions about upcoming events here in this thread.

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razerdave
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Aws’ for 2018

Post by razerdave » Wed Dec 27, 2017 10:11 am

Hey guys
Sorry I’ve been a bit quite, been busy:

So, because we fell behind our usual schedule last year, due to other commitments of some roboteers and/or lack of volunteers, I was hoping we can arrange 4 AWS’s this year to bring it back into normal sync (it doesn’t screw up our 20 year anniversary which is coming up soon).

I have spoken to quite a few folks who are interested in hosting, Harry DT (with a bigger venue and antlog), myself, Chris Malton, Gareth Anstee, but if anyone else wants to jump in or make suggestions for locations (to maximise entrants), I’d like to hear it.
Harry suggested his venue could be available for March, providing RW doesn’t clash.
Anyone willing to host an AWS this year, please let yourself be known.

AntRoboteer
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Re: Aws’ for 2018

Post by AntRoboteer » Wed Dec 27, 2017 12:29 pm

All sounds excellent Dave, good job asking around. Sounds like a good year for antweights if we do manage 4 AWS events. :D

cmalton
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Re: Aws’ for 2018

Post by cmalton » Fri Dec 29, 2017 9:31 pm

Just a quick note to make public my continued support for hosting an AWS (which, despite the insane cost of doing so at the University last year, was so worth doing).

Dave and I have spoken and I am continuing to investigate options for venues in relation to an AWS towards the back end of 2018 (Oct/Nov) and get the room booking in as early as possible to maximise the chances of a cheap/free venue. Repeat use of the space we had last year is not out of the question - but I need to wait for 2018/19 committee elections to happen for student societies (somewhere between March & June) before I can get their approval to support the event in that location.

Hopefully between myself and Dave, we can get a provisional date sooner rather than later for that though.

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atomclub
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Re: Aws’ for 2018

Post by atomclub » Fri Dec 29, 2017 10:53 pm

Hey all
I've just opened my own STEM education centre in Dorset (https://atom.club) and now the Robot Wars themed Engineering Zone is complete we have begun planning a 2-day antweight championship.

Provisional dates:
Saturday 17th November - Schools only
Sunday 18th November - General public

I'd be very open to having the Sunday as an AWS event. Depending on numbers, these can be held at the centre or a nearby venue we're just in discussions with. Ideally we'd squeeze it into the centre as there's a lot of handy equipment (laser cutter, 3D printer, solder stations, computers, fire extinguishers, etc) and we'll already have an arena and obstacle course in place.

Either way, we have various smaller events being scheduled at the centre, so I'll keep you all informed.

Let me know your thoughts :-)
Dorset Science & Tech Centre
Dorset Robot Championships November 2018: http://dorsetrobots.co.uk

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Shakey
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Re: Aws’ for 2018

Post by Shakey » Fri Dec 29, 2017 11:09 pm

@atomclub

Am I allowed to vote yes purely because you are literally 20 mins down the road from me? :P

It looks like a pretty awesome place you've set up!
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AWS 44, 45, 49 & 51 Winner - Far too many robots!

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atomclub
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Re: Aws’ for 2018

Post by atomclub » Fri Dec 29, 2017 11:18 pm

Thanks Alex - to be honest, I was hoping I could get you involved with some of our activity aimed at the local schools... you're near Yeovil right?

I'd love to show you round - it's a bit of a mess at the moment as we're building the planetarium and putting a suspended ceiling in, but you'll get the idea. We have a new app and are re-launching the youtube channel in Jan, so are also trying to hook up interviews with roboteers and you'd be a great one - would you be up for that at some point?
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Dorset Robot Championships November 2018: http://dorsetrobots.co.uk

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Shakey
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Re: Aws’ for 2018

Post by Shakey » Fri Dec 29, 2017 11:30 pm

atomclub wrote:
Fri Dec 29, 2017 11:18 pm
Thanks Alex - to be honest, I was hoping I could get you involved with some of our activity aimed at the local schools... you're near Yeovil right?
That'd be another of the Team nuts members! I'm on the other side of Sturminster to Yeovil.

Drop me a PM sometime!
Nuts And Bots - For all your components and ready built antweights!

Alex Shakespeare - Team Shakey / Nuts And Bots / Team Nuts:
AWS 44, 45, 49 & 51 Winner - Far too many robots!

cmalton
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Re: Aws’ for 2018

Post by cmalton » Sat Dec 30, 2017 8:35 am

@atomclub - Apologies in advance for the long reply - this is a slightly rambling set of thoughts having now caught up with the posts from last night.

For AWS53 we had a number of participants arrive by public transport (if memory serves) - not sure how good your public transport links are. To maximise the number of participants in an AWS, good accessibility by all modes of transport is important (for Southampton we had road, rail and air all covered) and good advance notice is also really useful. Not all AWS participants have access to cars (many do though). Having nearby hotels also improves things for those who have very long journeys.

For me, being Southampton based, your venue's location would be fine - however: It is an hour and 12 (or so says Google Maps) from Southampton which will mean that it would extend a fairly large number of people's journeys by at least 30 mins (and I know Southampton was already starting to push the limits for some people). The only people I can immediately think of that it would shrink journey times for is Tim Rackers et al, Shakey and Rory (glad to see you've found Shakey - he will be able to introduce you to Rory and can help you a lot).

If you do want to host, I would strongly encourage attending an AWS first (by the sounds of it, there should be plenty opportunity for that) and if you need help hosting - please do ask! I've never seen quite such a helpful community. I'd encourage putting up a new thread in this forum asking for opinions on whether people think hosting an event at your venue would be something they could attend (include location details) and see what uptake you get from the community. Running an antweight event is something I would definitely encourage - especially if you have ways to get new people involved with this. Please do shout if you need any help - I've been through it once already and made some of the mistakes that event organisers make. Feel free to drop me a PM.

From a purely selfish previous event organiser perspective, the dates you've picked are very close to the date I would be looking at - 3rd November next year - as finding valid dates with the University is insanely difficult and it's a lot easier to ask for a repeat of last year.

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Re: Aws’ for 2018

Post by atomclub » Sat Dec 30, 2017 9:54 am

@shakey - thanks, will do :-)

@cmalton - thanks for the tips, really appreciate it.

We have a bit of flexibility with the date and could definitely move back a week or two (but not forward). Mid November fits best with the rest of the activity and school calendar.

The centre's public transport link is not great although we do have our own mini-bus that we use to shuttle people from the town centre at scheduled times. There are buses from there to Gillingham train station.

I will create a post in the next few days with the full info and see what you all think. The events website is nearly ready so I may just hold off for that but watch this space... Basically, we're doing the 2-day event anyway with the aim of getting more people into it, so it's literally up to you lot whether it's AWS or not.

Thanks again
Dorset Science & Tech Centre
Dorset Robot Championships November 2018: http://dorsetrobots.co.uk

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atomclub
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Re: Aws’ for 2018

Post by atomclub » Mon Jan 01, 2018 8:34 pm

Thanks again for all your help and advice everyone (including on pm and email) - I really appreciate it.

We've agreed a change of date which based on the feedback received, we believe will work better for AWS regulars.

The schools only day is confirmed for Friday 23rd November 2018.

Meaning the main open championship can be on the Saturday 24th November 2018.

I'll create a new topic now.

Thanks again
Dorset Science & Tech Centre
Dorset Robot Championships November 2018: http://dorsetrobots.co.uk

cmalton
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Re: Aws’ for 2018

Post by cmalton » Tue Jan 02, 2018 7:29 pm

In order to free up November for Chris (atomclub), Dave has asked me if I can do June. This should be doable.

Before I go and start the ball rolling on my side: Any immediate objections to June 2nd?

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GeorgeR
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Re: Aws’ for 2018

Post by GeorgeR » Wed Jan 03, 2018 7:05 pm

Well I don't think I'd be able to make June 2nd, but I'm certainly not important enough to arrange it around. For the record the other weekends in June or at the end of May would be fine.
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AntRoboteer
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Re: Aws’ for 2018

Post by AntRoboteer » Tue Jan 09, 2018 10:55 am

I'm think that for most people, early/middle of June is not a great time (clashes with exams) and early July would be better if can be arranged.

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limpet
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Re: Aws’ for 2018

Post by limpet » Wed Jan 10, 2018 7:15 pm

I`d be interested in joint hosting an AWS if needed, somewhere in the Midlands - Leicester/Coventry or south Birmingham.
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cmalton
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Re: Aws’ for 2018

Post by cmalton » Fri Jan 12, 2018 8:30 pm

Given the general preference for "Not early June" - I will see what can be done. My ability to just "borrow" venues gets significantly harder after about mid-June.

Working on it..... it may not be Southampton if the date moves.

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