The bosses of local tech firms still got to be the ones driving on Saturday night, but it was the kids who were really running the show.
That’s because the younger generation are the experts when it comes to robotics battles.
Underneath the massive rotunda at the B&O Railroad Museum, companies teamed up with city school robotics teams for RoboCEO. The event pitted the companies against each other (in friendly competition) in Nothing But Net, the official 2015-16 VEX Robotics game that requires robots to navigate the court with a ball, and put it in the net.
The robots must traverse the 12-by-12-foot court on converging paths, so collisions are inevitable.
On the school side, the event drew teams from Digital Harbor High School, Baltimore International Academy, Hereford High School and James McHenry. They taught tech leaders from AOL, BGE, Tenable and UMBC Training Centers.
The event, which was part of the Maryland STEM Festival, is one of the big fundraisers of the year for Baltimore City Robotics Center, which is located in space owned by the Abell Foundation just down the street from the B&O Museum.
“We wanted to do something like RoboCEO so businesspeople could meet the Baltimore city kids,” said Ed Mullin, who runs the Robotics Center. “We realized we could potentially turn this into a fundraiser over time so we explored that this year.”
Events at the Robotics Center are normally financially sustainable, but Mullin said he is also exploring the possibility of starting a regular Friday night session at the Robotics Center where kids could hang out, play video games and learn about robotics from coaches in the meantime. Like RoboCEO, it’s an effort to reach out to the community in Southwest Baltimore.
The Center is also set to host the robotics state championships this year, which Mullin said would also give the competition a neutral site.
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