Our third Expand event was a huge success with even more thought-provoking on-stage discussions and demos. We welcomed some dancing robots, Bas Lansdorp, CEO & Co-founder, Mars One who talked about his plan for putting humans on Mars in 2025, Paul Eremenko, Technical Project Lead, Project Ara, Google ATAP who showed off Google’s latest modular cell phone, Arati Prabhakar, Director, Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency (DARPA) who talked about the Department of Defense and their quest to uncover new tech — and we had a conversation followed by a DJ set with RJD2, music producer and musician and a live drummer that melted our faces.
The fun didn’t stop at the 2 days of stage programming — we also had an exciting show floor with installations such as Sand Noise Music Device who delighted attendees with their augmented reality musical sandbox, and Best Buy’s Geek Squad who taught our attendees about circuits and programming during 2 days of interactive hands-on sessions. LEGO® MINDSTORMS® held a robotics competition in which participants created a machine that either saved or destroyed Manhattan, and demonstrated their bots on stage to a panel of expert judges. LEIF Technologies showed off its electric freeboard, Matterport showed off the possibilities of virtual reality beyond gaming by letting attendees 3D map physical spaces and “visit” them via Oculus Rift, and Kor-fx had its immersive haptic gaming vest on hand for attendees to try on and literally feel the impact of every shot, vehicle drive-by, and explosion.
We crowned two winners in our third successful Insert Coin competition. Poursteady, a robot that gracefully automates pour-over coffee, was our Judge’s Choice winner, taking home $10,000 to take the company to the next level. Noke, the world’s first Bluetooth padlock, walked away with the $15,000 Reader’s Choice prize. Our expert judges panel was joined on stage by co-host Benjamin Heckendorn, Master Modder and host of element 14’s The Ben Heck Show.