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Signs of Robot Life in Austin, Texas

Posted 1 Dec 2002 at 17:26 UTC by steve Share This

Many Texas robot builders remember the Robofests that were held in Austin Texas by The Robot Group in the early 1990s. Sometime after Robofest 7, an ominous silence fell over the Austin robot community and little more was heard of them in the outside world. Austin area robot builders with disparaging news of Austin frequently began showing up at meetings of the Dallas Personal Robotics Group (creating an unofficial "Austin branch" of the DPRG). Today I was made aware of a new, Wiki-based website put up for The Robot Group on an alternate URL. The group has been holding regular meetings this year, with a variety of interesting guest speakers. Could this be a sign of a pending resurgence of the Austin robotics community? We'll have to wait and see. The website indicates an upcoming meeting on December 5th for the election of new officers. Austin robot builders - stay tuned!


The Robot Group Is Alive and Well, posted 5 Dec 2002 at 00:29 UTC by elundquist » (Master)

The Robot Group has been meeting almost every Thursday night from about 1989 to the present. Those sending email inquiries to the http://www.robotgroup.org or the new http://www.robotgroup.net web site have been informed of meeting locations after the long time meeting place, Ted's Greek Corner restaurant, disappeared from the Austin scene. Active members have never stopped meeting.

They have been focused on building more robots rather than putting on large public displays. The RoboFest shows consumed all their time and resources and they decided to focus more on building robots rather than spending all their time putting on what was amounting to an ever growing trade show.

In the years since RoboFest 7, the RG has had a booth at the South by SouthWest multimedia festival as a yearly public exhibition. This event is widely covered in the media and the RG gets quite a bit of media attention due to this show.

Additionally, the group has had displays at local art galleries, as well as, one showing in a New York City art gallery. The group has been involved in creating robotic creatures for "live" theater for the Sam Houston State University drama department, as well as, supplying numerous props for the very active motion picture industry in the Austin area.

Members have given talks and presentations to various groups as outreach.

The group has done work on a large robot for the Sci-Fi Channel.

Since Robofest 7, the Robot Group has been featured in the print and electronic media in the Austin and San Antonio areas, as well as, nationally on the Travel Channel. The Robot Group receives and responds to queries made to the robo@robotgroup.org contact address on the website from those in the U.S. and numerous locations around the world.

Not sure where the idea that nothing was heard from the Robot Group since RoboFest 7 came from.

New members are always welcome. For more information the Robot Group can be contacted at robo@robotgroup.org

Thanks!
Eric Lundquist, President
The Robot Group
Austin, Texas

News from Austin, posted 6 Dec 2002 at 21:26 UTC by steve » (Master)

Thanks for the update Eric! Sounds like more has been going on down there than we knew. I suspect the perception of inactivity is partially due to Robofest being the main point of contact that most folks outside of Austin had with the group. Using a Wiki on the new website is an inspired idea, by the way. That's a great way to get everyone involved in website development and maintenance.

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