SXSW Panel Discussion: FIRST Robotics: Technically You're Changing the World

Today at SXSW in Austin, Texas, mentors from National Instruments and Texas Instruments lead a panel discussion on FIRST Robotics and Mentoring.

Team 2468 was fortunate to have three of our mentors on this panel:

Joe Hershberger, National Instruments, FRC Mentor, FRC alumni,
Tim Ousley, National Instruments
Rebecca Phillips, Texas Instruments

The other two panelists were:

Erik VanWyk, National Instruments, FRC Mentor, FRC Alumni
Brian Powell, National Instruments, Panel Moderator.

I live blogged the event with CoverItLive and Ustreamed the event. The UStream is off a built-in web camera on a PC, so please accept my apologies for the poor video quality. The message comes thru loud and clear from the mentors though.

The Liveblog resides at The Ustream link is

At the end of the event, we had our 2011 FRC ROBOT “LIZ” present for demonstrations as well as our FTC robot. Lots of discussion on many different levels followed the formal panel discussion.

DaddyOh ( was present and responded to a attendees question. We had a post from MissDaisy and The Holy Cows to mention a few. Thanks to all who had a chance to listen in and watch the discussion.

Hope you can use the video and blog for your team.


I heard about this through the #omgrobots twitter stream - hope it went well!

Yeah I was trying to get in on the action but no one was reading the UStream chat room or Twitter. :slight_smile:

Pretty cool though to be raising awareness. How many people were in the room? I couldn’t tell.

At MissDaisyGirl

I was the one on the Live Blog. Your posts were coming into the Live Blog, but I did not have time to respond to the Twitter posts. I was trying to keep up with the notes and posting pictures at the same time.

We had about 40 people in attendance. They had two photographers in attendance. They took quite a few photos of the event along with our 2011 FRC Competition Robot “LIZ” holding the agenda for the Hilton Garden Inn schedule of events. They have not posted the pictures as of yet, but I hope to get links to them.

We had a one in attendance who was a FLL mentor as well as helped out at FTC and FRC tournaments as a judge and inspector. Alan Majer with was in attendance. He has a session after ours on Robot Art that was very good as well. His notes for his session will be posted at Good Robot.

Steve Guengerich, Managing Director for BroadBrush Ventures - Appconomy organized the event. Steve’s children were on Team 2468 and he contacted Joe Hershberger from National Instruments to see if they could get a panel for the SXSW Interactive portion of SXSW. Steve and I visited afterwards about the future possibilities of at SXSW. We hope to have a more of a presence in the future at the event in regards to FIRST.

Here is a comment posted on the web about it: I’m super-excited about the Robotics mini-conference on Monday the 14th - see:… The speakers are amazing - Doug Lenat, Ariel Waldman, Rich Legrand, Alan Majer, and a whole team from National Instruments working with today’s high schoolers to build tomorrow’s super-machines. This field is the ultimate in convergence of interactive, hardware, software, materials, etc. Thanks to Hugh Forrest and the Southby team for having the forsight to sign off on it.

Ah, that’s great that you had so many people! Good work!

How was it that you had your 2011 machine there? Did you already compete and are not going to another regional or championships?

Correct. 2468 competed at the Alamo Regional in Week 1 (a bag 'n tag) and is not scheduled for other regionals nor championship.

Ah, gotcha. Quite handy!

That certainly is one way to look at it. :slight_smile: I think that if you were to poll the build team, they’d rather the robot be waiting in a crate in drayage and that robots from previous years were displayed at the panel. However, it is also probably the best robot 2468 has built in its short 4 year existence, so the best to be displayed at the panel.

EDIT to my original Post -