Let's Make Robots!

Sad story about Chopstick Junior and Campus Party Berlin 2012

Well, let me begin with an introduction of the robot and the event but you need to promise me to read it to the end...or just the end if you don't have time.

The beloved Chopstick Junior got the chance of his live to attend the Campus Party 2012 in Berlin. His mechanic Lumi carried him all the way from Shanghai/China to Germany, nearly 10000km, got past all those security gates on the airports, just to be there in Berlin to see his buddies from Letsmakerobots and the other robot communities.

After arriving at the old airport Tempelhof where the Campus Party 2012 was held we got a tent and our survivor package after a bit of waiting...10000 people attending...there can be a slight delay, we understood.

Getting to our tent, and then right away looking for the robotics area. After a short search we found the place and claimed it :-) Shortly after that more fellow LMRians arrived and made the robotics area to a cool hacking place between some other more serious roboteers. Also we met a lot of our German friends from roboternetz.de just on the other side of that 30 meter table :-)

Ok, before I sink into more details about that, you can see all the content of our presence there in the related posts here on LMR.

This story is about Chopsticks Junior and his walk to fame.

One evening we were called to attend the robot competition. Several robot builders presented their robots...so I introduced Chopstick Junior to the jury...well with a slightly increased heart rate since Simone Davalos from RoboGames and two other judges watched me and Chopstick Junior with eagle eyes and Angel counted down the minutes I've left for my presentation. The FAQ part passed silent...no questions from anyone...Chopstick Junior and me just left the stage thinking..."We're the losers of the evening".

But it came different as we assumed. Chopstick Junior got the third prize in the hardware oriented category "hooray"

Chopstick Junior made it aqnd we are all proud of him. As a child of the even cooler Chopstick from OddBot the little one too proved that it does not need fancy materials, precise laser cutted parts and 3 months work to get something done. 

Maybe I should not have mentioned that all the parts are cheap and easy to get...maybe then I would have gotten that 250 Euro already. I did not yet tell Chopstick Junior that we did not receive that money...it would simply break his heart.

After waiting for the year 2012 to end (you remember the 2012/12/21 thing) I contacted the robot area organisator Deniz and Angel (two very cool people which helped a lot before and during the Campus Party) and they forwarded my question when we winners will get our money to Isabel. There we got stuck with answers like "should be paid in a couple of weeks" in the end of January 2013 and "everything will be solved by 31st March" in the end of February and April 5 I got this "wires will be made by next week".

I am not sure what went wrong but seeing all those big events after that in Berlin, all these people still waiting for money (not only winners also salary is still missing as I read on several websites). I am just feeling sorry for Chopstick Junior, the world of man is just unfair to the little money. VIP's travelling business class where 250 Euro are not getting paid for people who make the Campus Party to what it is...a big and cool party. I wonder who got his/her pockets filled with OUR money and I wish they will stand there alone during the next Campus Party and no one is coming. Maybe I should write Sir Tim Berners-Lee and ask him if he got paid...probably yes...i am sure he was smart enough to got paid in advance.  

To round that long post up (sorry but I needed to write something around in my anger) let me just say this:

I and all the other winners want our money.

One day after that post and another contact with the Campus Party admins I already received the money wired to my bank account.

No one of the robot competition winners on the picture got paid yet.

I promised to donate some of the prize money to LMR to support this community but the organizers of the Campus Party just give a S*** about the people who make this event to what it is...

Case closed!!!




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i remember sitting in the audience watching you and all the other roboteers present their robot, and i must say i was, and still am, really impressed that you won the prize! my first tought of the competition was like, oh no, whats gonna happen, none of us will ever have a chance, but seeing you win with this simple, yet awesome robot really gave me hope!! :D 

well im glad it all worked out in the end! :D

Thanks for that review Drakuni. I had the same feeling after my presentation. I did not have much hope since I did not know the jury and their rating system. 

Finally there was a good mix of winners. The ones with a lot of advanced gear, sophisticated programming and then Chopstick Junior :-) My goal was to present a robot which you can build with a low budget and simple material within one weekend. People need to know that this hobby is not only for rich and super smart people but also for all the DIYer out there. I guess this approach finally got Chopstick Junior pushed up to the winners section :-) 

A lot of credits also going to OddBot and his original Chopstick, where I got the inspiration. 

PS: Chopstick Junior is officially retired but got another assignment. He will be in the Shanghai Library for a 4 weeks exhibition by next Monday. Now I will repair him to make him pretty again. I guess he can be called "Ambassador Chopstick" and represent all the DIY projects out there. 

I still have the original chopsticks although he needs a good dusting off. I'm not sure what condition he's in as someone else was demonstrating him and tweaking his code.

I'm glad to hear that his legacy is going strong.

Right OddBot, you shoud un-dust him to keep him in good shape. I will repair Chopstick Junior and show him of as an example. I would be very happy when we get the chance to display both of them together as "father" and "son" LOL...

It's RobotFreak not RoboFreak.

Thank you Lumi for supporting us to bring this sad story into the bright light. I have contacted CP Europe via their Facebook page a few days ago. They answered very quickly that they will check this. 

Hope that all comes to a good end. CP in Berlin was a lifetime experience for me and I really want to visit CP in London later this year.

I think I'd like to go too!

Yes, CPEU3 will be in London in London, O2 Dome, 2-7 September 2013. 

Hm, that's tempting...perhaps I am in Germany in mid August...should I extend my stay and meet you guys there?

I think it was a *ypo

Corrected :-) Sorry, i missed the "t".

I am in contact with them since January but now I started posting my experience. Before I was waiting and hoping they come by what not happened. I assume we get this setteled now.

Update: Just checked my bank account and already received the money!!!