Tech or Treat

Wednesday, October 30, 2013 - 5:00pm


This page is for our past event. Click here for our 2014 Tech-or-Treat which will take place on October 29th.

This hauntingly memorable event for children featured Halloween fun-themed technologies developed by students and faculty at the university from a variety of disciplines. This event took place in the state-of-the-art performance facility, called The Cube, and allowed children to learn more about science, technology, engineering and math.

Features will include:

  • The Labyrinth: This installation creates a responsive environment with many opportunities to creatively engage and learn about interactive technologies. Explore the many paths of the labyrinth and interact with the monsters trapped within it. Experience the space of the surrounding forest, where lurking creatures await, and play hide-and-seek with the trees in a forest that will find you. (The concept for the project has been developed within the frame of the course Textile Space, taught by Paola Zellner - School of Architecture and Design, in collaboration with Tom Martin - Electrical & Computer Engineering. Students involved in Concept Design: Nikole Branch, Esther Chang, Heather Davis, Rick Fischl, Chris Morgan, Jon Runge, Paul Toler, Ben Turpin, and Lily Xiong. Students involved in design development and fabrication: Jon Runge, Paul Toler, Nikole Branch, Shiba Patel, and Katlyn Econom). Additional lighting supported by Chris Strakus, Matthew Francom, Andrew Horin, and Graham Day.
  • CASPER: The autonomous robots that can do a lot more than just patrol the skies scaring those below. Cable robots like CaSPER can be seen every week at professional sporting events filming the action. CaSPER is just one of the many novel robots being researched in the Robotics and Mechanisms Laboratory (RoMeLa) (Designed by John Seminatore, supported by Taylor Pesek (Mechanical Engineering), Jack Netwton and Mike Hopkins (Computer Engineering) and Chris Nogales (Software Engineering).
  • Monster Quake!: A hands-on demonstration of resonant frequencies and the mechanics of earthquakes. Participants can build a tower and watch as monsters shake it down! We will discuss mass, acceleration, stiffness, and ductility, and why they matter to structural designers. (Supported by Cris Moen, Lucas Cotterell & Andy Phillips – Structural Engineering and Materials)
  • BEAM Robot: courtesy of Virginia Tech’s Innovation Space, and run by Blake Sawyer (Computer Science)
  • Simon Says: A 3D printed skeleton hand that is actuated by wires. The printed hand will be an interactive design that can be controlled by sensors which the users can handle. (Developed by ICAT graduate assistants Deba Saha - Electrical Computer Engineering & Emily Mikkelson - Mechanical Engineering & DREAMS Lab)


  • Tilt: A physics based game where in the player controls a 3D environment with a WII-mote to guide a ball into a destination through a set of obstacles. (Developed by Justin Fine - Creative Technologies)



  • Pumpkin Catch: An interactive video game using an Xbox Kinect to control a skeleton and catch pumpkins dropping from above. (Developed by ICAT graduate assistants Chao Peng & supported by Run Yu - Computer Science)



  • Scary Faces: An interactive exhibit where users can manipulate scary face animations using 3D projection mapping (Developed by Thomas Tucker - School of Visual Arts & Reza Tasooji - Creative Technologies)
  • Earthquake: a small scale earthquake shake table, which simulates the effects on building models...overtaken with mini monsters. (Developed by Cris Moen and Lucas Cotterell - Strcutrual Engineering and Materials)
  • Art Mural: a fall design created with multicolored fallen leaves by kids at our workshop. The leaves are pasted and varnished with natural glue filled, on a pre-designed outline with variations of colors and shapes. (Developed by ICAT graduate assistant Jackie Pontious, Den Bento & Herb Schneider - Kubo Studios, and Paula Bolte & Janine Kniola - Children's Museum of Blacksburg)

Free & open to the public