A brief history of everything.
My name is Kurtis Wanner. I'm an Electrical Engineering grad of '05/'06.
I organized a R/C sumo competition for Spectrum 2001.
In 2001 I resurrected the IEEE Robotics Club from its dormancy and held BEAM workshops until we decided combat robots would be more fun. I organized the IEEE Kilobots events and built an arena. Our first event was March 2003.
In 2003 I worked at Space West Science Camps as the Robotics Coordinator developing their robotics programs. This is also the year I started my home business selling robot parts.
For Spectrum 2004 we held a Kilobots tournament which was the biggest draw of all the displays. There were 21 entries in the 1kg weight class and over $500 in prizes. High numbers were achieved by disconnecting from the university and becoming the Saskatoon Combat Robotics Club (http://www.kilobots.com
Spectrum 2007 was our tenth event and by now there were people coming to Spectrum solely to watch our fights. We had expanded to four weight classes and had 47 robots entered.
In 2008 Albert convinced me to rejoin the robotics club (he was the past president and was already helping out). I attended meetings to help with the mechanical side of things and also built a sumo robot for their events.
In 2009 I quit my engineering job to run my business FingerTech Robotics (http://www.FingerTechRobotics.com
) full time.
For Spectrum 2010 Chandler (president of the robotics club) and I held Kilobots XVI side by side with the robotics club's display. We saw a drop in combat entries (down to 25) but a rise in other entries (sumo competition and line followers).
Chandler and I attended RoboGames 2010 (http://robogames.net/
) in San Fransisco and competed in the mini sumo event (because it was cheaper to compete than to just attend). We had a 1-2 record and spent the rest of the time exploring the amazing robots, meeting the builders and planning our entries for next year.
We also attended Calgary's WCRS 2010 RobotGames (http://www.robotgames.com
) with Albert and took home 2nd and 3rd places.
That's the past. The future will see FingerTech Robotics opening a robotics center to host autonomous and R/C robot events in conjunction with a Tech Shop for hobbyists and builders to construct their creations. I'm excited about this hackerspace because it is showing me there is a real interest in this kind of thing right here in Saskatoon. I look forward to helping it grow.