Maxym Polyakov And His Noosphere Have Organized A Technofest In Ukraine
On 2-3 of June, Association Noosphere led by Max Polyakov held one the largest festivals of robotics, technology, and innovation – BestRoboFest. It is a huge annual event for the whole family, which familiarizes visitors with the latest in the world of engineering inventions. This year BestRoboFest took place at Bartolomeo Best River Resort, Dnipro, and assembled more than 25,000 attendees of all ages.
BestRoboFest is another educational and entertaining creation of Max Polyakov, founder of Association Noosphere. This tech event was founded in 2016 and since that time the scope of ideas, participants and engaged spectators has increased manyfold.
The idea of BestRoboFest came up from the belief that socially-oriented organizations should increase awareness and interest in technology and engineering among young people and children. According to Max Polyakov (Maxim Polyakov), founder of Association Noosphere, when kids have the opportunity to get acquainted with and test the newest engineering devices, they are more likely to understand this fascinating high-tech industry and commit themselves to be part of the fast-growing technological revolution.
What is the best way to show children these new technologies and allow them to interact with robots? The concept of a tech event full of edutainment and practical activities is ideally suited for the young generation to begin creating their first useful engineering inventions.
To increase awareness of modern technologies among young people and attract talented children and students, Max Polyakov’s Association Noosphere created the Noosphere Engineering School. This year, the student space tournament Star Track organized on under the school involved ten teams from leading Dnipro-based universities. During the tournament, participants showed off their projects related to the space industry. One of the most exciting projects was a research rocket system for exploring the lower atmosphere and delivering a payload to a height of more than 10 miles.
The point was that Ukraine has great scientific and manufacturing potential in the engineering and technological industries, and Max Polyakov’s BestRoboFest is aimed to reveal the abilities of Ukrainian creators. This huge tech event gathers innovative solutions from a number of spheres, like robotics, wearable devices, rocket production etc., and gives participants the opportunity to gain valuable knowledge and share best practices.
Taking part in engineering workshops, competitions and other activities, BestRoboFest attendees are able to understand what kind of technical devices they can potentially create. Beyond that, an exhibition of the main Ukrainian achievements in the field of engineering and robotics provides insight into what level of the industry people may become a part of.
Also, Max Polyakov’s BestRoboFest is a helpful ingredient of the engineering environment which Maxim Polyakov and Association Noosphere built in order to support qualified and responsible engineering enthusiasts who are keen to create world-changing projects. More than that, BestRoboFest has become a great example of the Maker Movement that inspires educational and inspirational events worldwide. Organized by Association Noosphere, BestRoboFest became the primary Ukrainian event of its kind.
How the first robotics festival came to be
Max Polyakov, Founder of Association Noosphere, initiated the first BestRoboFest in 2016. The festival for robotics was hosted at the Makarov National Aerospace Educational Center for Youth.
BestRoboFest 2016, which gathered more than 3,000 spectators, surprised spectators with not only robot competitions, but also with speakers, workshops from inventors, an exhibition of technical novelties and an art-zone.
The competition program was divided into 5 categories:
- Scratch – animated robots or ones built from sets of WeDo / Arduino
- Robo Race – a robot race on the black line
- Robo Sumo – a contests where robots push each other out of a ring
- Copter Race – drone racing
- Freestyle – any robots and robotic mechanisms
134 participants from ages 6 to 60 amazed the audiences, including Max Polyakov (Maxym Polyakov). On behalf of Association Noosphere, he divided the prize pool of 30,000 UAH between the first three places in the Freestyle category. The main prize went to the team from Dnipropetrovsk National University, which presented their Mars Rover project.
Even the legendary Star Wars character, R2D2, didn’t miss the event. BB-8, Disney’s WALL-E, the robot NAO, a robot-artist, robot-greenhouse, robot garbage sorter, and many others also joined him in the expo zone.
Noosphere Engineering School, a joint project of Max Polyakov and Ukrainian universities, presented their social projects at the festival, such as the My Police application and the ArtOS artillery fire control system. The School also conducted free seminars and lectures dedicated to robotics and how to create your own projects. The smallest visitors were entertained with rocket modeling, space twister, face painting and other interesting activities.
Max Polyakov’s BestRoboFest 2017 significantly raised the bar for family techno-picnics. To house all the activities that were planned, the event was relocated to the sports complex Meteor. About 10,000 guests came to see 187 diverse models of robots.
In addition to the established competitions, the first exhibition of monster machines in Ukraine, MonsterCarsUA, made a showing. Unique motorcycles, choppers, giant cars and other incredibly creative works gathered crowds of visitors.
For prize-winners of the exhibition, Max Polyakov & Association Noosphere established special monetary prizes. Among the 17 applicants, the jury selected three winners: 3rd place went to the “Beckman” bicycle; 2nd went to the fire-breathing car, “Thrasher”, inspired by Mad Max; and the steampunk bike “ZbochinetS” became 1st place. The creator of “ZbochinetS”, Anatoly Eremeev, also won the pimp-my-ride online voting and received a grant to create a new project, a Jeepers Creepers style truck.
The Art Zone this time allowed each viewer to become a part of the history of BestRoboFest. The highlight of the event was a giant canvas, created from a collage of small drawings and inscriptions, which anyone could leave.
Max Polyakov’s Noosphere Engineering School presented its improved inventions, as well as new items – the PowerBox charging service and the SenseBridge tactile information transmission device.
Max Polyakov (Maxim Polyakov) himself shared that he was pleased with the significant increase in participants and viewers compared to the previous year. This once again proved the importance of such events for Ukraine and was the impetus for Association Noosphere to continue working and prepare something new and incredible for BestRoboFest 2018.
For the third year in a row, Max Polyakov and Association Noosphere decided to organize the event in order to gather robotics admirers from all over the country. As usual, BestRoboFest 2018 took place over 2 days in Dnipro, Ukraine. Bartolomeo Best River Resort – where the event took place, opened its doors to more than 25 thousand guests and participants of BestRoboFest, many more than previous years).
According to Max Polyakov, for BestRoboFest 2018 Association Noosphere had found a lot of sponsors, partners and other people, to support all phases of the event. Among them, were a number of media organizations and various innovative and technological companies. Many partners supported the event with their prizes and others helped BestRoboFest to get wide publicity in social networks.
All visitors had the opportunity to attend different workshops and visit the expo zone and art zone at the event. The kids were excited to use their hands in creating crafted hydraulic arms, designing robots, testing 3D pens and expanding their knowledge about automated robotics technologies. Moreover, at BestRoboFest 2018, they learned more about programming, mathematics, engineering, and the basic laws of physics. Max Polyakov noticed that kids enthusiastically listen about cosmic bodies, the laws of gravity, about the emergence of natural phenomenon and how optical illusions work.
For the two days of the festival, the youngest guests drew over 400 drawings of robots, monster cars, superheroes and other characters. Also, they spent much time playing with busy boards – educational indoor toys that interest the toddlers and help them to develop their motor skills. There were also a lot of great places for photo ops with the whole family.
Representatives of Max Polyakov’s Firefly Aerospace also attended BestRoboFest 2018. The private airspace company with American roots builds real rockets similar to SpaceX. Engineers shared information with young engineers about new technologies for space exploration and the work being done at the company’s R&D center in Dnipro. After the visit of Petro Poroshenko, the President of Ukraine, to the Ukrainian branch of Firefly Aerospace, the company has received more attention from the public and media. Kids took photos with the company’s prototypes of their Alpha and Beta rockets.
Additionally, at BestRoboFest 2018, visitors had an opportunity to visit the amateur rocket master class where they learned how to build simple rockets, which they could launch. Max Polyakov confirmed that for two days of BestRoboFest more than 1200 rockets were created.
Organizers were impressed with the number of visitors and the excitement that was seen at the workshops and expo-zone.
Copter Race Show: star of the festival
During the two days of BestRoboFest, a family robotics festival organized by Association Noosphere and it’s founder Max Polyakov (Maxim Polyakov), more than 25k visitors attended different areas of the festival. One of the most interesting areas for the guests of the festival was the Copter Race show, visited by more than eight and a half thousand people. All guests had the opportunity to see the drones of the pilot’s eye view. This was thanks to the “Eyes of drone” attraction which let people fly thru a special drone racing track accelerating up to 150 km in a second and a half. During the 2-day festival, more than 2000 people saw how professional pilots fly their drones with special helmets with built-in video screens with a live stream from the cameras installed on the drones. Guests who watched the flight through the helmet, say that it resembles virtual reality and gave them a feeling of real flight.
One of the main difficulties faced by the organizers lead by Max Polyakov (Maxym Polyakov) was that the area for the competition was quite small, but this did not prevent the pilots from performing crazy tricks. This year’s Copter Race Show was even more interesting and spectacular, because the drones were piloted by professional pilots, and made flybys with colored smoke trails.
The average age of the guests was 30 years old, but there was a huge number of children under 10 years old who also wanted to experience the feeling of flight. This shows that Association Noosphere headed by its founder Max Polyakov, is on the right track.
At the festival, each guest was able to find entertainment according to his interest. While the younger participants learned about robotics and took part in different competitions, and the very young spent their time in the art zone fantasizing about the best way to draw the robot of their dreams, their parents were able to see real monster cars.
Max Polyakov’s Association Noosphere gathered together more than 20 custom cars in Dnipro for this year’s competition, MonsterCarsUa 2018. Several great car enthusiasts competed for the main prizes of the festival including technical designers and engineers. According to the terms of the festival, the winner with the best car received $5,000, place $3,000, and the bronze medalist $1,000.
This year, the festival was rich in strong participants. Each of them presented projects worthy of a place in the top three, so the judges had to make a very difficult choice. After counting the jury votes, the guests were finally able to hear the three best custom projects of this year.
1st place was taken by Vyacheslav Didenko’s project “Teshchevoz” from Dnipro. Teshchevoz is a completely refurbished soviet car GAZ M20, complete with sharp-toothed plates and numerous elements from a BMW, a Mini and other modern cars.
2nd place went to last year’s winning team, who enter this year’s competition with a totally new project called Z-Max. Ruslan Korobkov presented this work of art to the jury, saying that Z-Max was a rethink of a classic racing car of the 1930’s.
The 3rd place went to a luxury BMW 340 Phantom, assembled on the basis of the old BMW body 1938. The author Serhiy Nazarenko spent 10 years creating this car.
Among the other contestants were projects such as an SUV with solar panels, built by a Ukrainian enthusiastic. A unique solution in the direction of electric cars was named the Sunny Electric Samurai, presented at MonsterCursUA2018. This SUV is able to run without fuel at all. This car is equipped with solar panels that allow it to charge its batteries anywhere. As Rafik El-Halabi, the creator of the Samurai, says, this car is convenient in every sense – “it moves for free, and also powers the house for free when I need it.”
One of the most entertaining shows at MonsterCarsUa 2018, organized by Max Polyakov’s Association Noosphere, was the Ukrainian all-terrain vehicle called “Thor”. First Dnipro made an all-terrain vehicle which crushed an old soviet car “Moskvich” with its huge wheels in front of hundreds of spectators and then just parked on top of it.
Traditionally, one of the most complex parts of BestRoboFest is the robotics competitions.
Participants usually represent IT schools or robotics hobby groups, but many of them are also ordinary amateur robotics enthusiasts. Max Polyakov insist the BestRoboFest competitions remain free and open for participants of any age groups. This time the youngest participant was 9 years old, and the oldest one was 41.
Young and mature people from all over Ukraine prepare for months to participate in four kinds of robotics competitions:
- Robo Race – the race of lego and handmade robots on a special racing track with a black line. Two categories of robots took part: below and above 1kg. The Robo Race took place on June 2nd. Ihor Sopin from Zaporozhye, Robot School from Poltava and the Fast Line team won three cups and various prizes with robots below 1 kg and the Vsesvit team from Zaporozhye, Opossum team from Kharkiv and Robo City team from Dnipro won with robots above 1kg.
- Scratch – a themed creative competition, where participants created a project according to the chosen topic with the help of a Scratch or S4A developing environment. According to Max Polyakov’s latest space achievements, this year’s topic was space exploration. The Scratch competitions also took place on June 2nd. The Robot School team from Poltava won this competition at BestRoboFest 2018.
- Free Style – a technical exhibition with no limits, in hardware or software. It took both festival days for all the participants to show off their projects. A team called “Student” from Cherkassy won the Senior Freestyle cup and the RoboHouse team from Kherson won the Juniors cup. Also, a team from Poltava called Robot School gathered the most votes on a Facebook vote and won the People’s Choice Award.
- Robo Sumo – a competition of autonomous or remote-controlled lego robots, whose task is to push the opponent’s robot over the borders of the arena. It took place on June 3rd. Maksym Dmitrenko and Vlad Sopin from Zaporozhye and Sergey Derevianko from Kirovograd region won the remote-controlled competitions. Vlad and Sergey also won the autonomous competitions, among with Viktoria Hubar from Kirovograd region.
Almost half of all teams took part in multiple competitions on both days.
Traditionally, the judges mostly came from the Noosphere Engineering School, created by Max Polyakov (Maxim Polyakov) and Michael Ryabokon in 2013. Yuriy Tkachev and Zoe Villischiuk, Doctors of Science from NES, Ivan Karpovich, the team leader of the Technology Lab in NES and Helen Karpovich, a 3D printing specialist from NES, were on the Free Style jury.
Ihor Homilko, Robotic Technology and Electronics NES lab team lead and Sergiy Poslavsky, Ph D in Technology judged the Robo Race and Robo Sumo.
Yuriy Letser, CTO at Noosphere and Tatiana Bulanaya, an Engineering teacher from NES judged Scratch.
Unlike the previous year, there were no Copter Race competitions on BestRoboFest 2018, because Max Polyakov is hosting an entire Copter Race event later this summer.
Visitors could see and interact with a real robot in the center of the festival. His name — Dobrobot — was chosen by the Facebook and Instagram users. The robot is over 7 feet tall, weighs more than 397 pounds, and consist of almost 800 details. Max Polyakov ordered it in the first Dnipro Blacksmith studio.
As any man-made machine, Dobrobot has its purpose: it was created for charity reasons. Dobrobot is equipped with a cash receptacle, so anyone who passes nearby can make a contribution for the charity. During the two days of the festival, Dobrobot has gathered almost 1500 UAH. That money was sent to Dnipro’s Children Hospital ?3 for the needs of prematurely born children. Max Polyakov expresses his gratitude to everyone who helped Dobrobot in getting his first charity contribution.
BestRoboFest 2018 will also be remembered because it set a record. According to Max Polyakov, on Sunday, June 3, which was the second day of BestRoboFest, Dobrobot was registered in the official Book of Records of Ukraine as the tallest charity robot in the country.
The 3rd edition of BestRoboFest managed to beat the previous year’s record of attendances. Despite the fact that dozens of family events took place in Dnipro on the same dates, including Dnipro Triathlon Fest, that caused the temporary closing of one of the routes to BestRobobFest, Max Polyakov (Maxym Polyakov) managed to gather more than 25,000 visitors. The festival crew and volunteers were more than 100 people.
The media coverage of BestRobofest included social media, web news resources, outdoor advertising, radio and local and central Ukrainian TV channels. The reports from the location of BestRoboFest were broadcast in the evening news report, including “TSN” on 1+1 channel and “Facty” on ICTV. One of the most famous transport-related TV shows in Ukraine – “Dje DAI” on the 2+2 channel, translated the report from the MonsterCarsUA exhibition.
Keeping the tradition, Max Polyakov has strong intentions to host BestRoboFest IV on the first weekend of the summer. In 2019 it’s going to be June 1st and 2nd.