Antipodes was invited to represent FIRST at the 2011 Abbott Vascular Technology Expo in Santa Clara, CA. The girls demonstrated their robot and maglev, and let Abbott engineers drive their robot, Rubi. Many of the engineers rooted around in Rubi's innards, peppering the girls with questions. Later the girls gave a presentation to hundreds of Abbott engineers, making the case that they would be ideal candidates to mentor other FLL, FTC or FRC teams.
The girls got to hear and meet keynote speaker Ray Kurzweil. Dr. Kurzweil spoke on the numerous aspects of human progress that have been following an exponential growth curve; Moore's Law being the most famous. However, Moore's Law is only one phase in a continuum of exponential growth in the field of computer information. Likewise, many fields swap paradigms as the returns from preceding approaches begin to diminish. This applies pressure to research fundamentally different approaches. Regardless of paradigm shifts, recessions, booms, wars, etc. historical data shows that the pace of exponential growth remains remarkably stable. Dr. Kurzweil explained that our early ancesters were hardwired to perceive their surroundings with a linear filter, and that that same hardwiring is why we have a difficult time recognizing exponential growth around us. That is why many things seem to explode onto the scene, like the Internet, when actually the measure of interconnectiveness (in the case of the Internet) has grown remarkably steadily, in exponential terms. Dr. Kurzweil is also a big fan of FIRST, and met briefly with the girls.