The Orlando Science Center will host its annual Otronicon conference in February permanently.
The museum had held the event on MLK Day weekend in January for its first 15 years. However, it will now instead devote that weekend to more diverse programming, spokesman Jeff Stanford said.
“Ultimately, we felt it was better to move Otronicon to Presidents Day weekend and spend MLK Jr. Weekend focusing on celebrating that holiday,” he said. “And using that to celebrate the values we embrace for inclusivity, diversity, equity and access.”
Otronicon has grown into one of the Central Florida region’s most-celebrated and anticipated technology-related events.
Because of its reach, large businesses partner with the science center every year to introduce what they are working on to the community.
In the past, that has meant access to technology being built by Walt Disney World, Lockheed Martin, Electronic Arts and many others.
While there is no Walt Disney World presence this year, the other companies have returned as sponsors.
Lockheed Martin has several flight simulators in place.
In addition, Advent Health has large surgical tools available for visitors to try out, as well.
Also, the event continues its support for startups and Orlando’s tech community with programming and booths hosted by small video game companies.
For instance, one company – Captilight Studios – used the event as a kickoff for a crowdfunding campaign.
“We are super nervous but excited at the same time,” Captilight founder Deana Galbraith said before the event kicked off Friday.
Otronicon 2021, which opened on Friday both in person and virtually, will run through Monday.