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Event Coverage: Austin, Texas - South By Southwest 2012 LEGO MINDSTORMS RUMBLE

LEGO MINDSTORMS and the Google Developers mixed again for another awesome event that reminded me of the movie "Running Man"..and I was Arnie. Rolling into Austin, Texas for SXSW was like driving a tornado in fast-forward. The trip squeezed in on short notice and immediately the darkening skies started raining windy oceans. Probably brought in by LEGO's Steven Canvin and crew flying in from some place with water...helping the rough drought year here in Texas. So, Thanks LEGO! With help from Steven 'The Human Vice' we 4-hour force-created the race table center-piece that helped rock the SXSW experience for the large turnout that braved the rain to join this event. The reward ... Beautiful Sunshine and high-stakes prizes...Android Tablets!

SXSW is a Music, Film and Interactive festival encompassing downtown and normally drawing huge numbers of all kinds from everywhere. The festival is something that lasts over a week and provides way more cool happenings than human mortals should ever attempt to experience safely. This year may have gotten off to a slower very wet start than in past years. But the clouds cleared to blue sky and the sun fired the festival into full-speed driving folks to the SXSW 2012 LEGO MINDSTORMS RUMBLE! A day-build/night-race at the Google Dev House...with a no-kit-pieces-barred fight through a nasty obstacle course to the finish. This year, LEGO MINDSTORMS and the Google Developers orchestrated another party that exceeded every expectation. The MINDSTORMS RUMBLE began at 10:30am, teams formed, and they were handed fresh NXT kits. Some had more prep-time than others before the race started well after dark. Many contestants and spectators claimed to have ditched speaker sessions and other parties to come to ours.

The whole event was live-streamed all the way to the big screens in adjacent rooms and the whole other-world webbernet thing too. Something that wasn't clear through the tornado to warn possible spectators before-hand. Those that were there know the level of coolness this event exhibits every year. Those that missed the event and the Live feed can still wonder at the wildness that keeps Austin Weird...EVENT VIDEO HERE...tubed just for you! Spot me wearing the brown shirt and hat dashing under Tyler's arm at 1:36:10.

The video is long but covers the contest completely, so grab some popcorn and get that beer robot to keep'em coming! The whole storm really was "unbelievable" and the running man made it back home.

2011's LEGO MINDSTORMS SXSW event video is available HERE. If you notice anything similar in this video...please, comment below for extra points.

Christopher R. Smith

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