Otronicon interactive tech expo returns to Orlando Science Center

Otronicon science festival encourages “hands-on” participation through robots, virtual reality, simulators, workshops, and more, from February 18-21.

Photo by Roberto Gonzalez

If you’ve ever wondered what it was like to operate a highly specialized surgical robot, or go “behind the scenes” to see how Walt Disney World Resort uses science and technology throughout the parks and resorts, Otronicon is the chance to do it.

The four-day festival brings the brightest minds in Central Florida together in a celebration of innovation and lifelong learning, offering visitors a unique opportunity to experience and explore a vast array of scientific and technological devices and advancements.

Photo by Roberto Gonzalez

Hands-on experiences include robotics, VR, simulators, and video games. Explore an immersive VR nature park through the University of Central Florida’s CAVEs exhibit, with the feel of Star Trek’s holodeck, and deconstruct technology items at “Take it Apart.”

The expo also offers workshops, live shows and demonstrations, the chance to enter competitions, and the chance to discover more about STEM career opportunities.

New for 2022, the event has expanded into a community-wide science festival, with a focus on promoting groups that have been historically underrepresented in STEM fields, through workshops hosted by Black Architects in the Making, Black Orlando Tech, and the Society of Women Engineers, among others.

Otronicon girl with laptop computerPhoto by Julie Fletcher

Live shows will also have a greater prominence at Otronicon, including performances by WeFlip Entertainment, who use acrobatics to enlighten viewers about physics. Additionally, art, science, and magic combine in the Spheres Bubble Show.

“Science Fiction, Science Future” is this year’s new exhibit. Harkening back to Star Trek shows in the 1960s, which presented the concepts of tablet computers, global positioning systems, automatic doors, and health data tracking, this exhibit explores innovations in classic science fiction, and possibilities for the future.

Otronicon virtual realityPhoto by Julie Fletcher

The foundation of the expo during its debut year of 2006 was video gaming technology and its impact on everyday life. This year, video games also play a role, from game developer showcases to competitions by Powder Keg Games.

The festival runs from February 18-21 from 10 a.m. – 5 p.m. and is open to all, whether you work in the tech industry or are just curious about science and technology.

Teamwork at Otronicon expoPhoto by Julie Fletcher

The event is free for Orland Science Center members, $21 for adults, $19 for senior and students, and $15 for ages 2-11.

For more information visit osc.org.