for Mecha-Mayhem 2008
In the 21st Century, technology is an
ever more integrated and essential part of our world.
Nowhere is this truer than in entertainment and education,
which are rapidly becoming intertwined as our culture
continues to embrace technological advances as a vital
component of everyday life. That fusion of the present and
the future of learning and excitement is at the core of the
electrifying “cyber-sport” of robotic combat.
Robotic combat is a sport pitting
radio-controlled robots against one another in battles often
leading to the spectacular destruction of the losing ‘bot by
the winner. Television programs such as BattleBots, Robot
Wars, Robotica, and pay-per-view events have featured these
fascinating, fast-paced events since the 1990s and have
reached huge audiences. Robot “warriors” use many methods to
defeat their opponents, including fire, pneumatic hammers,
saws, drills, ramming, heavy spinning blades, launching
their foes into the air sometimes as high as 8–10 feet, and
crushing mechanical jaws. Robotic combat is truly an
“ultimate fighting” contest between not only the robots
themselves, but the teams of engineers and creators who
build these complex machines.
However, robotics is not merely the
domain of geeks and computer junkies. Extreme contests such
as the mixed martial arts in the Ultimate Fighting
Championships, part of the ultra-popular “reality”
entertainment trend, are drawing huge crowds and massive
viewership. Robotic combat is the technological equivalent
to those endeavors, but is open to almost everyone, not just
Every year, tens of thousands of
spectators gather at events around the world to watch
thousands of competitors, from grade-school students to
elite engineers, face off for glory, prizes, and sheer
enjoyment. These contests are covered in all types of major
media outlets—NBC, CNN, The New York Times, USA
Today, The Discovery Channel, and ESPN have all reported
on robotics competitions, reaching an audience of millions
on every continent.
On October 16–19, 2008, the Chicago
Robotic Combat Association is bringing this fast-paced,
action-packed spectacle to a whole, new audience in the
Chicago area and the Midwest. The CRCA plans to become not
only the first major robotic combat organization in Chicago,
but also intends to develop one of the foremost events of
its kind in the country. The CRCA’s Mecha-Mayhem 2008 will
be the second of an annually recurring extravaganza of robot
builders, electronics enthusiasts, and mainstream audiences
enjoying the exciting pastime of competitive robotics.
From the tiny 150-gram (1/3-pound)
micro-‘bots to 340-pound juggernauts battling it out,
spectators will have the chance to see more than a hundred
spark-spitting, metal-crunching matches featuring some of
the most amazing action imaginable. It’s a thrilling
spectacle not to be missed!
Alongside the CRCA, the Chicago Area
Robotics Group (ChiBots) will be running their Chibotica
autonomous robotics problem-solving competition. At this
annual event, dozens of the brightest amateur and pro
robotics engineers will compete in “thinking robot”
challenges—escaping mazes, robot combat sumo, and other
complex tasks—showing yet another dimension of this
Mecha-Mayhem 2008 will run during Hobby Manufacturers Association’s
iHobby Expo. Held at the 840,000 square-foot Donald E.
Stephens Convention Center in Rosemont, Illinois from
October 16–19, the iHobby Expo is now in its 24th year, with
a projected attendance of more than 20,000 for 2007. This
four-day trade show and publicly accessible event is the
largest event of its kind in the world, and is covered by
major news sources in television, radio, and newspapers.
Spectators coming for Mecha-Mayhem not
only get to see some of the most spectacular robotic combat
happening anywhere, but also get to attend the iHobby Expo,
as well. The iHobby Expo is the international showcase for
the newest electronic hobbyist technology, models, and
valued miniature collectables.
The iHobby Expo features some of the
most fascinating and fun hobbyist attractions imaginable.
More than 300 exhibitors will be displaying their
top-of-the-line products throughout the 200,000 square-foot
iHobby show area. Major hobby and toy companies such as
Great Planes, Horizon Hobbies, Lionel Trains, Mattel, and
Empire Hobbies will be represented at the Expo, providing
numerous opportunities for hobbyists of all sorts to find
the perfect souvenirs. Make-and-take model kits, airplanes,
rocketry, and trains are featured, along with hundreds of
displays of die-cast, collectibles, slot cars and tracks,
tools, educational games, and videos. There’s something for
And there’s more, too! Attendees of
Mecha-Mayhem at the iHobby Expo will be able to marvel at
the more than 60,000 square feet of amazingly detailed model
train and railroad exhibits in multiple locations around the
Expo. There are miniature-scale monster truck demos, a dirt
track for radio controlled cars and trucks, slot car,
tracks, and more. Also featured at the iHobby Expo is an
indoor flying cage for demonstrations of model airplanes and
helicopters, as well as flying competitions to be held
throughout the Expo.
A variety of hotels for visitors are
available in the Rosemont area and adjacent to the Donald E.
Stephens Convention Center, so no matter what budget and
hospitality needs are required, accommodations are no
problem. Many hotels offer discounts and benefits for iHobby
Expo attendees, so check their Website for special Expo
registration and travel information.