How to get to do robot shows
I just repeated the same 1/2 hour show 8 times today, and gave a couple of interviews. I cannot remember what I said to whom any longer.
I have done this, because I was asked to do yet another "robot show". I am sure that I will not be asked out now any more, because I will be jinxing it by writing this, but so far, it has been quite easy to get these kinds of jobs. People simply contact me, and ask if I can come to their event and do something that they ask for, robot related.
How do I get these jobs, was the question. Well, my LMR profile has a little text about how you can hire me, but I do not think this is the way.
What I did was simply "Get started". Somehow I got my first job, cant remember which it was, but I am sure there was media, and a lot of people watching.
And that is it, really; Because when someone are calling, it is because they have something they want to promote - It can be anything from a wish to get youngsters into robot building, promote their local town as "Hi tech", or any exebition where people wants to sell something, and want a little extra to show.
And this means that there is always lots of people watching, and always media present - local or nation wide. Even on the spot people often ask me if they can hire me for this and that. A zoo that wants to show how simple rules can lead to complex behaviour, a science camp that needs a boost..
I have a name that is rather rare in Denmark and easy to remember (Frits Lyneborg, call me now if you want a robot show, thanks :) - so when the next person needs "Someone who can do something with robots", they just ask where ever the others got their "robot nerd" from, and then they find me and I get a mail or a phone call.
The jobs vary a lot - Sometimes they know what they want, sometimes they need to be inspired. But "normal" people out there in general are used to seing Segways and Pleo's, so they are easily impressed by us LMR members, because we actually made them robots ourselves - and we can teach them how to get started.
The material I use is of course some of my own robots, and I often show your work as well. But in this show that I am doing in this week, I mostly show the 3 groups: Sensors, Brains, Actuators, and tell people that if put together, they can create "life", and then I demonstrate a simple autonomous robot. Finally, my over all message is the fact, that they can get started doing this themselves.
I think many of you out there (all active members, actually) are sitting on plenty of material to become "the local robot guy".
My advice is; Keep it simple, and keep focus on the users point of view; They do not want to hear details, they just wants to get inspired, see something new and inspiring, something easy to understand - on a level as a Segway or a Pleo - so show them that, and the next arrangement will call ;)
Oh, PS: Listen, listen, listen!!! Hear what the people are saying when they talk to each other. Did one say "wow, that thing with the.. was cool" - well, then, next time drop something where they where not with you, and spend extra time on that cool thing. Modify, listen, get them involved, listen and learn from them!