Alaska Robotics

Archive for the ‘Alaska Robotics News’ Category

Alaska Strong!

Thursday, February 27th 2014 by Pat

alaska strong
We got our Alaska Strong bracelets today, also a nice long letter from Rep. Johnson’s office about our work isn’t a legitimate press activity.

If you’d like an Alaska Strong bracelet of your own, please send us a proposal for a great big, Alaska-sized boondoggle of a mega-project.

You can email We’re also on Facebook and Twitter or you can always just drop a comment below!

The Goot

Friday, February 14th 2014 by Pat

PUBLIC APOLOGY TIME: We’ve been mispronouncing Representative David Guttenberg’s name these past couple episodes! So embarrassing!

It’s GUT-en-berg, not GOOT-en-berg.

Of course, to us, he’ll always just be… The Goot.

the goot

AKRN – Episode 2

Tuesday, February 11th 2014 by Pat

Let me just say right up front that the coolest thing we discovered in making this episode was the Alaska Constitutional Convention Recordings made available by state archivists. It’s a magical bridge to the past, you can sit in and listen to the framers of our state constitution.

Fog Introduction

Fog wafted through the capitol during the first week of the legislative session and pinned down travelers. Maybe you’re not a fan of fart joke but flatulence humor has a rich, billowing history and we’re proud to contribute to such a time-honored art.

Education Interviews

This has been labeled the “Education Session” but many Alaskans are critical of the proposed SJR9 which would allow a vote to change the constitution and put public funding directly towards private and religious schools.

Pick. Click. Give. – The Pebble Mine

Photos for this segment were provided by several people, we need to thank Eric McKittrick and Hig Higman from Ground Truth Trekking as well as Bob Waldrop.

If you aren’t familiar with Erin and Hig, they are the subject of “Journey on the Wild Coast,” a documentary produced by local filmmaker Greg Chaney. Erin has also written a couple books about their trekking adventures which include a 4000 mile walk from Seattle to the Aleutians.

DJ Kit provided the amazing voice over. You can hear her show on KXLL 100.7 on Mondays 6-8pm.

Beth Kerttula Resigns

Beth Kerttula, our representative here in District 32, resigned on the first day of the legislative session. In addition to the satire bit, I had the opportunity to sit down with Beth for a lengthy interview in our companion series, Boring Talk, which I don’t expect a lot of people to watch but was very pleasant and educational.

Parkin’ Wild Alaska

Jamie K. is eating Pel-Meni. Last episode he had a Triangle hot dog. Who knows what feat of digestion he will perform next!

The exploding igloo was made of sugar cubes and baking soda, but unfortunately the video did not capture the resulting and accidental 4′ vertical flame.

Andy K. provided the voice over and the 1992 Saturn S-Series.

The scream is the famous Wilhelm Scream used in hundreds of movies:


Dron-e, The Digital Robotic Omnipresent News Entity, the latest addition to our news team. He had a little accident this first time out but we’ll get him back in the air soon!

The HUD elements used in creating Dron-E came from an After Effects pack provided by Roland at Graphic in Motion.

If you’re interested in Drone policy in Alaska, you’ll want to track HB255, SB136, and possible HB159 which seems to have stalled in committee last session.

The basic issue at hand seems to be what can be done with all the information drones gather and if it will be admissible in court without a specific warrant. This ties into the broader question of personal privacy pushing up against always-on surveillance.

Rural Beat

Jack Dalton is a real-life Yup’ik story teller, writer and teacher who has performed all over the state. He’s currently the only member of the writing team outside Juneau and we’re quite honored to have him aboard for Rural Beat.

The Quinhagak dance group is a real story and you can learn more about them in this article, Kuinerrarmiut Elitnaurviat students dance for their village since 100 + years.

Here’s a video of the actual Quinhagak dancers performing, quite moving when put in context. Even the coughs in the background contribute to the meaning.

Video clips in the opening title segment came from a trip to Kotzebue and the totem can be found on the UAS Campus. The font is of course the official font of Thai restaurants and indigenous peoples around the world, Papyrus.

Non-Alaska Native Flute Music and drums in the intro were smushed together from sound files available on, an excellent source for low budget sound effects. Several of the sound effects are attribution and copyright free for use in your own projects.

Photos for the Rural Beat segment come from the Alaska State Library and the Library of Congress and all images are believed to be in the public domain.

Alaska Strong Supercut & Sean’s Awesome Journal

These segments both lean heavily on the 2014 State of the State address. We did order some rubber “Alaska Strong” bracelets. If you need one, let us know.

The Moderator M9000

We owe a big apology to Rep. Dave Guttenberg. We’ve been pronouncing his name wrong these past two episodes!!! It’s GUT-EN-BERG!! Although… I talked to one of his staffers and we agree that “The Goot” is a superior nickname to “The Gut”… so THE GOOT it is!

Sounds and Images

We’ve got a tiny budget, minuscule really, and we’ve spent a lot of time trying to find sounds and images to use in the show. What has really helped us are the public domain archives maintained by several government agencies. There are incredible photos, videos and audio files all produced by government employees and made available for public use.

Boring Talk featuring Beth Kerttula

Wednesday, February 5th 2014 by Pat

Welcome to Boring Talk, our exciting new talk show! On this episode I sat down with former Representative, Beth Kerttula. We talked about oil taxes, the VECO scandal, coastal zone management and Beth’s recent resignation from the legislature.

The show is available as audio or video, take your pick!

Episode 1 – Clips

Friday, January 24th 2014 by Pat

We had some requests to break up our first episode into individual clips which we thought was a good idea.

We’ll continue working towards releasing whole episodes because we think it works better from the production end of things but we’ll also continue to post individual clips for those who prefer smaller viewing commitments or might want to just share or embed a particular segment.

AKRN – Episode 1

Tuesday, January 21st 2014 by Pat

We’re happy to announce the first episode of our political satire series. We had a blast making it and hope it’s as enjoyable for you to watch!

I’m going to try to make a habit out of jotting down show notes after each episode. My goal is to make people laugh and to make them think, I hope this can help with the thinking part.


Documents and Bills

The Moderator

Les Gara + Mike Hawker = Muppety Mister Gawker
moderator-les and mike

Fred Dyson + Johnny Ellis = Uncle Johnny Dysollis
moderator-fred and johnny

Forum @360

Thursday, January 9th 2014 by Pat

Aaron, Lou and I sat down with Jeremy Hseih at 360 North for an interview last night to talk about our upcoming political satire project. You can catch it right here if you like…

Alaska Robotics News – Preparing for Launch

Tuesday, January 7th 2014 by Pat

News Crew

We had our first big writing meeting last night and generated some great segments for the show. I know you want to feel immersed in the creative process so I’ve scanned a copy of Lou’s notes to share with you…

lou notes2

The 2014 legislative session starts January 21st and we’re aiming to have a short preview episode out the door on the 20th and then begin regular reporting on legislative news within a week or two.

360 North Interview

We’re doing a big interview Wednesday with Jeremy Hseih at 360 North. Tune in online or join us in the studio for the most wonderful, awkward, uninformed hour of television this year.

More information at 360 North

Where to Watch

You can watch Alaska Robotics News right here on our website or at our YouTube Channel.

All backers who made a pledge of at least $15 will also receive exclusive access to a digital download directory via a super top secret link.


We’re sure you’re going to have feedback as we march forward and we’re happy to hear it. You are the inside circle, you supported us and we want to create something you can be proud of backing. If you have news tips related or insider information on Alaskan issues, feel free to email us anytime at:

That’s newz with a Z and the number 4. We wanted it to be easy to remember.

Thank You!

Saturday, November 23rd 2013 by Pat

Thank you to everyone who supported our project, we’re excited for the opportunnity to make Alaska Robotics News an ongoing web-series during the legislative session!

To celebrate, I drew you a picture of John Alexander Strong, 2nd governor of the Territory of Alaska. Strong served from 1913-1918 and was forced to resign when they found out he was a Canadian.


I imagine it was like an episode of Battlestar Galactica.