NEWS AND UPDATES 2004
Missed the Action?
There's a complete blow-by-blow of the Junkyard Mega-Wars special at:
The BioMechs Robot Ships
Well, I've been working with the students from Richmond High School again (also known as "The BioMechs"), building a robot for the FIRST compeition, a national task-based (i.e. non-combat) robotics competition for high school students. We just shipped our robot to the Sacramento Regional Competition, which will be Mach 18-20. You can find out more about the team and the robot at: rhsrobotics.com. To find out about this year's challenge, go to: www.usfirst.org.
This Sunday! Giant Fighting Robots!
Tonight I'll be on an episode of Junkyard Mega Wars that pits Team ILM (Industrial Light and Magic) against fellow effects shops Jim Henson's Creature Shop and KNB EFX in an effort to build a robot to battle aliens and stop them from taking over the world. Along with ILMers (L-R) Rob Clot, Mark Anderson, and Geoff Heron, we build a 13-foot-tall R2-D2. Tune in at 8pm on TLC and find out how we did! You can go to www.junkyardwars.com to check for other show times this week.
Ya know what I did last summer??
For eight months last summer, I wrote a book about (guess what?) building combat robots. The idea is that this is a fresh visual approach to explaining the robot-building process, hence the name: Kickin' Bot: An Illustrated Guide to Building Combat Robots. I've kept the techno-babble and jargon down to a minimum, so that the book is easy to understand and follow. It's packed with tips and information for beginners, including detailed step-by-step instructions on how to use power tools you can buy from the hardware store to work with metal. There are 9 projects that lead the reader to a finished robot. (You can check out the supplemetary website at www.kickinbot.com. Veterans will find advanced chapters on radio programming, IFI programming and (oh, yes) pneumatics. It's now available on bookshelves and through Amazon.com.
I'm now working on a movie for Universal called Van Helsing. It stars Hugh Jackman as the title character (Van Helsing, the famous vampire hunter) and Kate Beckinsdale. The ILM Model Shop is doing some minatures for the show, and I will be doing miniature lighting and some mechanical effects.