Minutes of the PARTS meeting on February 2nd, 2002

Pete Skeggs opened the meeting by introducing Bob Pearson, whose son’s (Bobby) LEGO Robotics League team “CTR” (Creating Terrific Robots) won the Director’s Trophy award at the recent ORTOP competition in December. Bob reported that this was the first LEGO League competition in the Northwest. One of the goals of the competition was introducing youngsters, especially girls, to robotics. Team coach Bill Ludlam described the competition, and led the team in showing the various functions that the robot had to perform. Bobby Pearson introduced the members of the team and explained which function each was responsible for programming. He then showed how the LEGO “brick” controller was programmed via icons.

Following the LEGO demonstration, Pete made several announcements. He reported that the Portland State University Electrical and Computer Engineering department will sponsor our use of the Smith Center Ballroom on May 19th. This facility has approximately twice the square footage of the OMSI auditorium used for the past two events. This year’s event will feature minisumo, microsumo and line following competitions, as well as technology demonstrations and exhibitor and vendor areas. The planning committee unanimously selected PDXBOT.02 as the name for the event. Pete encourages anyone who wants to help with the planning of the event to attend the next planning meeting on February 18th at 7:00 pm at Pete’s office.

Pete announced to the many first-time visitors at the meeting that many of our interactions take place in a Yahoo discussion group, and encouraged them to follow the links on the club web page to sign up. Pete pointed out that you can subscribe for just critical announcements via email rather than receiving all emails. This might be helpful to people that get too much email, but still want to know important things -- like the meeting being moved or cancelled.

Pete announced that Richmond Elementary School (at 41st and Division) is conducting a Discovery Fair on Saturday, March 2nd from 11:00 until 3:00. They are asking for members to bring robotic projects to share. Corey and Jonathan indicated that they could be possible exhibitors, but noted that the school’s event happens concurrent with our monthly club meeting.

Dana reported on our club’s need to raise funds. He said that registering our club with the State of Oregon will cost $20, and that the IRS charges $150 to register our club as a non-profit organization. He passed the hat for donations, and over $240 was collected to pay for these costs and other expenses approved by the executive board.

Pete reported that a new club logo is needed, and announced a competition among members for logo submissions. He urged members to submit logo files to Warren at least a week before the next club meeting. No copyrighted material should be included in the logo. Logos need not be perfect; Warren said that we can do final clean-up on them if necessary.

Following the announcements, a brief demonstration of mini-sumo robotics competitions was conducted. A prototype of this year’s design (Mark III) proved itself against a Mark II model from last year, and even held its own against Daryl’s Goliath. The show-and-tell portion of the meeting followed the mini-sumo demonstration.

The next PARTS meeting will be March 2nd, 2002.