Maximum Overdrive

“Been there, crushed that, what’s next?” is the slogan of Sudden Impact II, part of a motley crew of monster trucks coming to town to crush all manner of lesser machines, as well as to get big air, bounce tires, and spit sand.

Another one, Reptoid, with light-up eyes, ragged fins and smoke blowing from its holes, is as much a dragon as monster truck. I can hardly even tell if Reptoid has a driver.

You know, it might not. It could even be something that escaped from the International Remote Operated Vehicles (ROV) competition at the Marine Institute.

ROVs are underwater robots used to get to places humans normally can’t get to, often for science or industry. This competition is for students around the world who have designed and built their own Reptoids.

The key obstacle here is the environment. This year a simulated polar zone is being constructed in the flume tank to test them.

It’s likely the competition won’t feature any robot-on-robot smashing action, but I’m sure it will have its share of shouting, action, and fun.

Monster Madness: World Tour 2007 is on Saturday, June 9 at 7pm & Sunday, June 10 at 3pm. Tickets are $20 at Mile One 576-7657. The ROV Competition is June 22 – 24 MUN Institute for Ocean Technology. Call 778-0544 for more information.                        

— B. Greenough