Craft Lake City Introduces the Sumobot Tournament for the Annual DIY Festival!

News Release
June 24, 2013
For Immediate Release
Contact: Angela H. Brown –, 801-487-9221

Craft Lake City Introduces the Sumobot Tournament for the Annual DIY Festival!

At this year’s 2013 DIY Festival, Craft Lake City will be holding a Sumobot Tournament as part of the DIY Engineers area, giving electronic and robotics artisans a chance to compete for prizes and test their technological skills with handcrafted robots. The tournament will be conducted sumo-style, where two opposing bots (some remote controlled by their creators, and other autonomously running in the ring themselves) will fight to push each other out of the ring.

The competition will consist of three classes of bots: Humanoid, Lego and Mini, each with their own size and weight restrictions. This will give builders and experimenters a both a chance to show off their creative skills as well as an opportunity to overcome mechanical restrictions and challenges. In order to help make the tournament fair and competitive, Craft Lake City has partnered with engineer Peter Reed and robotic builder Michael Anderson, who will both be overseeing the rules, submissions and gameplay throughout the festival.

“A sumobot is an excellent robot to start with if you’re looking for a way to get into hobby robotics,” says Anderson. “Building one provides an opportunity to gain a basic blend of mechanical, electrical and programming skills. They’re easy to build due to their simplicity and the fact that there are several kits and tutorials available for beginners. Of course, if you’re a more experienced maker, you can increase the challenge by designing and building your own from scratch. The fact that Craft Lake is willing to host this sort of competition shows that they are willing to expand their niche to cater to the engineering crowd and bring attention to a different sort of craft.”

The event will award prizes to the top three bots in every class, as well as raffle prizes and juried awards during the competition. For a complete set of rules, classes of bots, specifications, registration and more, visit the link below.

About Craft Lake City: Craft Lake City is a 501-C3 charitable organization. Craft Lake City’s mission is to educate, promote and inspire local artisans while elevating the creative culture of the Utah arts community through science, technology and art. In an effort to keep the community active, educated and aware of the local DIY culture, Craft Lake City hosts monthly workshops, gallery shows, fundraisers and an annual DIY festival to promote regional spending with independent artisans and businesses. The 2012 Craft Lake City festival welcomed over 200 vendors and 15,000 attendees at the Gallivan Center in downtown Salt Lake. Craft Lake City will expand the fifth annual gathering into a two-day format on Friday, Aug. 9 and Saturday, Aug. 10, 2013. Craft Lake City was recently awarded “2013 Best of State” in the “Fairs, Festivals and Events” category.

About Peter Reed: Reed has always had a fascination in gadgets and anything involved with engines and motors. Originally from Lowville, NY, Reed moved around as part of the U.S. Navy and his career to San Diego, Japan, Denver and Flagstaff before settling in Utah. A technician and engineer by trade for nearly 20 years, Reed has been involved with automated systems, including robotics, for various organizations. His accomplishments include developing propulsion controls for warships while in the US Navy, as well as modernizing the performance monitoring systems to the steam engines, and designing and rebuilding the automated heating and air-controlled system for luxury trains for Grand Canyon Railroad. In his spare time, he is a volunteer with the Utah Beardsmen Alliance as well as Salty Saints Social Club & Facial Hair Society, he plays bass in Utah bands The Howlin’ Rails and Jackwagon, and he plays Minecraft. He currently teaches at SLCC, educating students in the basics of automated systems, electromechanical devices and robotics.

About Michael Anderson: Anderson’s obsession with robots started when he was 11 years old after he read a Popular Science Magazine article about MIT’s Robot Insect Lab. For over 22 years, he has been working in several engineering fields both professionally and as a hobby, specifically mechanical, electrical and software engineering. Having lived in Korea for a time, as well as served a tour in Iraq, Anderson worked as a helicopter mechanic for the Army. Anderson has developed several robots over the years, currently developing his bots out of the EnjiGo makerspace in downtown SLC, which he helped found and organize. His latest project is a robot dubbed the “Mowbot,” which will be capable of self-sustainment, autonomous navigation, mowing, edging and fertilizing one’s lawn. In his spare time, he holds a meetup group called Robot Fanatics of Utah where they explore robotics at a hobbyist level by helping each other build new robots and learn new skills. He’s also a participant in the annual Robogames in San Francisco.