Robots to invade book store


NEW HARTFORD — Over a dozen robots will be running around the isles of the Barnes and Noble store on Nov. 7-8. It’s not an invasion, it’s all a part of the first Nationwide Mini-Maker Faire taking place at Barnes and Noble stores.

Locally, the RoboSpartans 4082 and JavaScouts 9984 FIRST Tech Challenge (FTC) teams will demonstrate their competition robots along with a large assortment of LEGO robots and 3D Printers at the Commercial Drive location on Saturday from 10 a.m. to 8 p.m. and Sunday from 10 a.m. to 6 p.m.

Maker Faire Presentations on Saturday include: Building LEGO Robots at 1 p.m., FTC Robots at 5 p.m., and 3D Printing Prosthetic Hands & Quadcopters (Drones) at 7 p.m. On Sunday: FTC Robotics at 1 p.m. and 3D Printing at 5 p.m.

The 3D Printing presentations will include information on prosthetics created by robotics teams on behalf of e-NABLE/, a group of Worldwide volunteers who create “helping hands” for those in need.The RoboSpartans introduced e-NABLE to FIRST Tech Challenge teams this season and recently joined forces with 19 teams in the U.S. and Australia to produce hand components that will soon be assembled by engineering college students at SUNY Polytechnic Institute in Utica for volunteer projects in 3rd-World Countries. The RoboSpartans are also involved in the e-NABLE Matching Project where they are matched with those in-need on a more local basis.

In addition to the ongoing weekend demonstrations, the two New Hartford based robotics teams will be hosting Bookfair fundraisers during the Maker Faire. The teams will receive donations based on a portion of purchases made at the store and online from customers using Barnes and Noble Bookfair Codes. Coupons will be available at the robotics demonstration areas around the store and online on both team’s Facebook pages and websites.  

The RoboSpartans are the area’s oldest and longest running robotics team. They’ve competed in the 2013 and 2015 FIRST Tech Challenge World Championship where they received Finalist recognition for their league’s top prize, the Inspire Award. As the senior team, they offer mentorship to those interested in learning robotics and facilitate a Worldwide engineering collaborative of over 150 student robotics teams. Their FTC TEC Network Community gives robotics teams a platform to share their knowledge and gain valuable contacts that can last through college and beyond. Teams meet through Google Hangouts, community postings and independent online chats. More information on the RoboSpartans can be obtained through the website: or by emailing

The JavaScouts 9984 are a rookie FIRST Tech Challenge team formed through Boy Scout Troop 4 in New Hartford. This is their 3rd year competing in the FIRST competitions, but the first in FTC. Before robotics, the JavaScouts had been camping and Scouting together since 2009. In the 2013 FLL competition, they won the prestigious Project Award for the proposed design of an anti-tsunami wall. In 2014’s competition they won another FLL Project Award for a Virtual Reality teaching aid.  2015 is their rookie year in FTC and they have high hopes, but just want to follow the scout mottos: “Do your best” and “Be Prepared”. More information on the JavaScouts can be obtained through their Facebook page at: or via email at


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