The first ever Campus Party (#CPSG) was held in Singapore at Expo over the weekend, featuring a bagload of speakers and guests from around the world who came to share their knowledge and passion for all things tech, entrepreneurial, and story-telling.
Attendees – some of whom camped out over the 3-day affair – were treated to talks, presentations, and hands-on workshops ranging from drone racing to cyborg-making. It was a huge, open space for anyone to get their geek on, and chillax on the countless bean bags strewn around the hall.
It’s not often you get to see a workshop on cyborg-making – this hands-on neuroscience workshop hosted by Bill Reith of Backyard Brains showed us how we can make roaches go left or right simply with our smartphones. Since live roaches weren’t allowed at Expo (it would freak out most attendees), we saw first-hand how our own muscles can generate enough energy to manipulate things like a mini robo-claw, and make someone else’s muscles twitch beyond their control. Perhaps it’s not a stretch to say that one day, we can start harnessing this technology to power our own mecha.
There was also an entire workshop segment dedicated to making things, with bandsaws, plastics, and other raw materials just waiting to be made into something. There were workshops on robotics, IoT, and even wooden toymaking. There was also a special showcase merging robotics and cosplay on stage, based on the game Nier: Automata.
Drones were also a big highlight: there was an entire drone-racing arena for those who want to try it out. While these drones are tiny (some fit in the palm of your hand), they sure can zip around – but what’s more challenging than controlling a tiny drone within an enclosed area full of tunnels and obstacles is doing it with VR goggles on. To add to the fun, there were drone races held throughout the 3-day event.
Not everything at the event was all about science: some of the entertainment showcased put the ‘Party’ into Campus Party. There was a Star Wars presentation… in the form of wayang kulit, and there was even a ukulele performance that featured pop songs like Sam Mendes’ ‘Stitches’ to get us all grooving. Those wanting to chill out had a whole dome in which to relax in (on bean bags) and enjoy a visual projection. Even gamers were catered to – games like PUBG, Dota2 to CSGO kept folks happy for the entire duration of the event at the ESports arena.
There was also a huge segment of the event dedicated to storytelling – many of the presenters at the Sandbox arena were filmmakers and storytellers. Topics ranged from the rise of K-Pop to a presentation on refugee children in Indonesia. There were also talks about personal development and ikigai, as well as presentations on the DC Universe and Lucasfilm.
Campus Party was more than just about tech and innovation – it was a space where everyone could come together to share their ideas, explore new ones, and have fun while doing so.