How technology fans can get their groove on in the Funk Parade - DC


Apr. 30, 2015 10:19 am

How technology fans can get their groove on in the Funk Parade

The ROBOTDISCO @ Funk Parade will feature cool DYI tech — like LED Throwies, robot costumes and a 3D scanner.
Robots of D.C., prepare to take over the Funk Parade.

Robots of D.C., prepare to take over the Funk Parade.

(Photo via Facebook)

This year’s Funk Parade will feature funk music, R&B, hip hop — and an army of dancing robots.

D.C. technologists want to “create a massive robot army to take over the funk parade,” said Laurenellen McCann, who is joining forces with Matt Bailey and other members of Code for DC to set up the event.

The ROBOTDISCO @ Funk Parade (set up outside Howard University Theater at 620 T St. NW, from 2 to 5 p.m.) will be an opportunity to place innovative technology into the hands of children and adults who don’t necessarily attend tech meetups.

“They can just build something and they don’t have to depend on being in the app store,” said Bailey.

The disco will offer “a pop-up makerspace for designing the future,” added McCann. Playthings will include:

  • A 3D scanner, which will include a Lazy Susan that users can stand on top of.
  • (Possibly) a 3D printer, which will spit out mini-action figurines of the scannees.
  • LED Throwies, the pinnacle of DYI tech with their futuristic look and simple make-up: LED lights, a battery, a piece of tape and a magnet.
  • The DC Music Project survey, in which longtime or newbie residents can describe a musical event they attended in D.C., and how it made them feel. All the information will be collected in a searchable, mappable database.
  • There might be an appearance by the DC Dino, whom we last saw roaming around on election night last year.
  • After putting together their costumes (all necessary material will be available) at 5, the robots (and their human allies) will begin the takeover.

The disco is a joint collaboration between The Curious Citizens Project, Code for DC, Funk Parade and New America’s Open Technology Institute. Last year, a similar event brought in about 400 attendees, said McCann.

After the disco, she also hopes to create play spaces at the neighborhood level, where residents can interact with technology and local technologists. “It’s about ownership [of the] high-tech tools that you could use,” she said.


Companies: Code for DC
Projects: DCDino

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