Friendly Vengeance Takes a Swing at Injustice in "KO Bots" for LA Kitchen


Five-day charity event supports L.A. Kitchen by allowing players to control robot actions with tweets.

Last Updated: December 19, 2016 5:47 pm GMT
(Los Angeles, CA--December 19, 2016) Los Angeles-based interactive agency Friendly Vengeance is putting up its dukes to “Knock Out Injustice” with the five-day Twitter fundraising campaign KO Bots to benefit L.A. Kitchen and its mission to reveal the power of food and community. The classic beloved toy “Rock ‘Em Sock ‘Em Robots” are ingeniously employed by the agency behind Doggy MD for a charity boxing match where Twitter users call the shots. Participants tweet @KO_Bots with the hashtags #RedBot or #BlueBot to prompt the robot of that color to take a symbolic swing at issues including ageism, food waste and recidivism, then watch the impact of their tweet by following the “match” live on the KO Bots website.

Punches are thrown with the help of a set of servo motors connected to an Arduino microcontroller capable of reading simple inputs (such as a tweet) and generating an output (in this case, a punch). After playing, users receive a thank-you tweet and a link to make a donation. Thanks to the generosity of an anonymous donor, all donations up to $1 million will be matched through 2016. “At the end of each year, Friendly Vengeance reaches out to existing and potential clients, collaboration partners and friends with an experience that is both fun and meaningful,” shares Friendly Vengeance CEO Steve Tiseo. “KO Bots allowed our agency and its creative partners to support an amazing organization.”

The match streams on the KO Bots website from December 19 to December 23, 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. PST, though tweets can be sent to the robots at any time during the event.

Founded by Robert Egger, L.A. Kitchen addresses many societal problems through one operating kitchen. The kitchen first rescues produce that would otherwise be discarded for not meeting cosmetic standards, then invites emancipated foster youth and adults transitioning out of incarceration to a 15-week culinary job-training program run from their headquarters, where recycled food is prepared in each class. Meals are distributed to social service agencies and graduates from the culinary program are placed with industry partner restaurants and local businesses, addressing multiple community needs through one cyclical process.

“Our research and outreach led us to talks with L.A. Kitchen and we immediately felt it was a great fit,” says Tiseo. “Like us, they are a relatively new organization whose team members don a lot of hats and are very passionate about our work.”

Why robots? Tiseo notes, “We like to mix play with purpose. We made the decision to incorporate Rock 'Em Sock 'Em Robots before we actually had the campaign details entirely hashed out. Not only are they an iconic toy, but also serve as a subtle tongue-in-cheek nod to the bots craze that is really hot in tech.”

To learn more about the charity match and how to donate to L.A. Kitchen, visit the KO Bots website.

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About Friendly Vengeance
Friendly Vengeance is an interactive agency dedicated to making a positive impact on the world through engaging experiences and activations. By integrating design and technology, Friendly Vengeance develops projects with the capacity to inspire users and influence action. They collaborate with organizations and brands to generate a measurable impact.

About L.A. Kitchen
L.A. Kitchen believes that neither food nor people should ever go to waste. By reclaiming healthy, local food that would otherwise be discarded, training men and women who are unemployed for jobs, and providing healthy meals to fellow citizens, L.A. Kitchen empowers, nourishes, and engages the community.


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