2017 Otronicon STEM expo returns to Orlando Science Center January 13-16

Otronicon V.12

VR and video games take center stage during Otronicon V.12 at Orlando Science Center on January 13-16, 2017.

The long-running Otronicon event returns to the Orlando Science Center in January 2017 with new experiences designed to ignite kids’ interest in STEM — science, technology, engineering, and math — through cutting-edge video games.

One of Orlando Science Center’s largest events, Otronicon is an annual four day hands-on expo that offers access to cutting edge technology rarely available the public. From January 13–16, 2017, participants can fly a real-world military simulator, operate a surgical robot or get a preview of tomorrow’s technology by engaging with local up-and-coming start-ups and established players.

For the 12th consecutive year, Otronicon will connect visitors with the creative professionals and technology that are turning Central Florida into a hub for innovation. Otronicon is a celebration of Orlando’s technology leaders, including the latest from Lockheed Martin, Walt Disney World Resort, Florida Hospital for Children, University of Central Florida, and Bohemia Interactive as well as a cross—section of our region’s top indie game developers.

During the event, participants will discover the potential for exciting STEM careers in Central Florida’s growing tech industry while they experience the future of games and design, see the latest in medical and military technologies, check out workshops and panels and more.

Otronicon 2016, photo by Roberto Gonzalez

New and unique experiences at 2017’s Otronicon include:

Talon Simulations: Talon Simulations is a local Orlando company that specializes in high end virtual reality experiences and their flagship product is the Atomic A3 full motion simulator. Using innovative-patented technology combined with near limitless adjustability and unrivaled software support, the A3 is re-writing the rulebook for affordable motion simulation.

UCF Florida Interactive Entertainment Academy: A showcase of computer-based, tablet and virtual reality student games will be available for all to play and interact with at Otronicon! FIEA faculty, students and staff will be in attendance to talk to anyone and everyone interested in the various aspects of game development and game education.

Synthestruct Conduit – Interactive Sound Installation: Conduit is an interactive sound installation designed by Synthestruct (Artist Ginger Leigh) that invites visitors to explore and control sound through tactile interaction with water. Visitors are presented with an arrangement of pedestals, each with dish of water representing an unique sound. As individual sounds are triggered, visual patterns project within the space, reflecting characteristics of each sound.

Engineering & Computer Simulations (ECS) Advanced Learning Technologies: ECS has combined its expertise in game-based training with the newest generation of Virtual Reality hardware to create an immersive training demonstration to show how these technologies can be utilized to train workers in all industries, from military to medical, and from classrooms to corporations.

Tabletop Gaming: New to Otronicon, they are going back to the basics with tabletop gaming! Video games have definitely dominated the decade and though they are played on a different platform, many of the game mechanics remain the same between tabletop games and video game. Both video games and tabletop games each have their own appeal, but Otronicon will showcase how the two are intertwined and how they can teach valuable skills.


On Saturday, keynote speaker Mike Ambinder, Senior Experimental Psychologist at Valve Software, will discuss the future of game design and share how designers are pushing the boundaries of what gaming. Ambinder has worked on DOTA 2, Team Fortress 2, Portal 2, Left 4 Dead, Left 4 Dead 2, Counter-Strike: Global Offensive, and Alien Swarm. In addition to these keynotes, Otronicon hosts speakers daily that will provide an open dialogue for visitors to engage with industry experts. Topics range from start-ups to holograms to empowering kids with coding.

Hands-on workshops taught by industry professionals will cover topics like coding, virtual reality, robotics, game development and more. Workshops are first come, first serve so sign up online or arrive to sign up early.


Giving a whole meaning to “shock rock,” ArcAttack returns to Otronicon to grace the stage with guitars, drums and singing Tesla coils. Watch this band rock out as visually stunning sparks emanate from the coils in conjunction with the music. The jam session produces what looks like lightning and interacts with a Faraday cage that visitors can stand safely inside during the show. As if that wasn’t enough to get you “charged up,” see sparks tangle with a chain mail-wearing guitarist and drums played by a robot! ArcAttack has appeared on “America’s Got Talent,” at SXSW in Austin and designed the Tesla coils used in an endurance stunt by illusionist David Blaine in 2012.

Other returning favorites include Walt Disney World Resort, which will showcase how they use simulation to design rides and attractions, and Lockheed Martin, a partner since the first Otronicon in 2006, offering an immersive helicopter flight simulator for the first time. And Florida Hospital for Children invites you to operate the da Vinci Xi Surgical System, a technological leap forward over previous models of the robotic-assisted surgery system.

Otronicon’s third annual Indie Game Developer Showcase will feature the burgeoning indie game community as nearly a dozen teams bring their games for guests to play. Visitors can meet the innovative entrepreneurs that are changing the tech landscape in Orlando and learn how to embark on the same path.

Plug in and jam with the 4th Otronicon Game Jam presented by the UCF School of Visual Arts and Design. It will challenge game designers to create a playable game from scratch. Competitors will begin on Friday and conclude on Sunday. After just over 30 hours of creative design and implementation, Game Jam judges will pick a team whose game best utilizes the Google Daydream VR headset. Each member of the winning team will receive their own Google Daydream and a Nexus phone to get each member ready to develop their own mobile games for VR.


For a unique date night experience, check out Science Night Live, an adult evening program on Saturday, January 14th from 8 p.m. to 11:30 p.m. It’s an evening for adults to enjoy Otronicon after hours with their friends or significant other. Attendees will have the entire Science Center to yourself while enjoying adult beverages, small food bites and Otronicon presenters… all without kids. You must be 21 or older to attend. Rock out with ArcAttack, challenge your friends to laser battle under the night sky (weather permitting). Keynote speaker Charlie Blackwell-Thompson Launch Director for NASA’s Ground Systems Development and Operations Program will present a Countdown to Mars. Please note that Science Night Live requires a separate ticket to attend.

Admission to Otronicon is $19.95 for adults, $17.95 for seniors and students, and $13.95 for youth (ages 3-11). Science Center members can experience Otronicon for free. All attendees are encouraged to pre-purchase their tickets at otronicon.org/attend for pre-sale prices and to experience extremely reduced admission lines. Admission to Science Night Live is $15.95 (you must be 21 or older to attend Science Night Live).

Otronicon is open 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. Friday, January 13 to Monday, January 16. For more information, call 407-514-2000 or visit otronicon.org, and get warmed up for the event with our video from Otronicon 2016:

See all the latest technology during Otronicon at the Orlando Science Center

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