Intrigued by something called combat robotics, Shannan gathered a handful of keen students and had a go at building a bot. The team had such a good time, they decided to bring the fun to Hamilton.
The journey so far...
Prototyping a simple radio control kit, they created a fun tournament and called it Boxbots. Primary school teams enjoyed challenges such as sumo, rob-the-nest, and relays. Boxbots has become an annual event, operating even through the pandemic.
Building on the ongoing success of Boxbots, Shannan created a local combat robotics club. A small arena was built and Tronbots began!
Initially at the Chartwell Scout Hall with 7 members, Tronbots was later hosted by The Hamilton Libraries Makerspace and Wintec before settling into its current location at the University of Waikato School of Engineering.
Tronbots continues to innovate and explore new avenues, including holiday programs and exhibitions like this stand at Big Boys Toys. Tronbots continues to receive warm reviews from students and parents.
Initially intended for students, Tronbots continues to evolve and has become a brilliant parent and child activity. The combined life experience of a parent with the enthusiasm of their child has proven to be a powerful combination.
Apart from Shannan, Tronbots has four staff.
Three patient and capable high-school students - Emily, Eva, and Reubin - mentor members on the night; while Mei - a Business student - works behind the scenes to ensure Tronbots grows sustainably.
Tronbots is all about inspiring tomorrow’s engineers. Members are encouraged to model their ideas before getting hands-on with real materials and equipment.
Of course, the tournament is the grand finale where spectators and our young engineers get to enjoy the show.