Robolution: Fire Breathing Robots, Vortex Cannons, and more!

Article by Ishani Sharma

Robolution 2018 featured more exhibits than ever, incorporating the Science Club, Astronomy Club, the Visual Arts Club, and of course, Robotics. Raina S. (11), one of the main organisers of Robolution, says that there’s a lot more enthusiasm and excitement for robotics this year. “We have more participants than ever: Astro club brought in the Van Der Graaf generator that makes your hair stand up. Science club is doing some cool reactions with liquid nitrogen, acids and bases, and colour changes–both of those events are huge successes with the ES kids! VAC is helping kids build their own robots out of newspaper, and we have tons of arcade games, and exhibits, that all of us in Robotics have worked super hard on.”


Some highlights of Robolution include FireBot–a fire breathing robot using deodorant cans as fuel, an extremely realistic R2-D2, and the ever popular Vortex cannon that shoots out perfect rings of smoke. “My favourite thing at Robolution is definitely the Vortex cannon. It’s just so nice to see the ES kids crowd around it and try to catch the smoke rings, plus it looks pretty cool too!” says freshman Pavan M. Sophomore Siddarth P. agrees, saying, “The Vortex canon is pretty simple: it uses air and a ring but it still looks really impressive. I really like the fire robot and R2-D2 as well though!”

“Arena time is great,” Raina says. “All the lights dim and the focus is in the centre of the LT where we get to show off R2-D2, FireBot, and Darth Vader. Plus when the lights dim, people can actually see my hat!” She gestures to the glow-in-the-dark stripe on her hat. Sure enough, when the lights dim, ES kids and teachers alike gather around the centre arena to see the spectacle of robotics. A group of ES girls giggle and scream when FireBot breathes fire next to them, and the Little Theatre fills with ‘oohs’ and ‘aahs’.

Kylie C. (10) says her favourite part is seeing all the different kinds of people involved. “There’s so many people that I didn’t even know were in robotics. Being able to see them express their passion and love for robotics is a truly wonderful experience.”

Some other cool events include a turntable arcade game, as well as a to-scale model of ISM. Jason C. (10) say that building the model took half of his spring break but it was worth it to get a chance to display his hard work at Robolution. “It’s nice to see everyone come out here and appreciate all the efforts that we have put into the events. I worked pretty hard on my model; it’s scaled 1 to 700 and powered by Arduino and LED lights, and it looks pretty cool when the lights dim! I’m really hoping we can inspire some new people to maybe join robotics next year. After all, the aim of Robolution is to celebrate robotics and science!”

“I’m hoping we can spark the interest early, so kids will join the clubs in the future,” agrees Raina. “Personally I don’t see a lot of females in robotics, and a lot of the time, I’ll be the only girl in a room of 20 guys. Not that I don’t love the company of my male peers, it’s just that I think girls might be shy or intimidated by joining robotics, and hopefully events like these will help break those barriers.”

Robolution is an amazing celebration of science, art, and robotics. One can truly see the amazing impact the hardworking robotics students have on the larger ISM community.