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 has been meeting almost every Thursday night from
about 1989 to the present. Those sending email inquiries to the
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
Members have given talks and presentations to various groups as
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
firstname.lastname@example.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
Eric Lundquist, President
The Robot Group
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.