Minutes of the PARTS meeting on January 5th, 2002
Pete Skeggs opened the meeting by discussing the results of the questionnaires that were completed at the December meeting. One area that many members favored (but which wasnt defined) was technical work sessions. Members suggested that this might include servo modification, special interest groups or post-meeting demonstrations, help for teens or newcomers and conversations with other robot builders. Most members favored mini-competitions at meetings; Warren can add a schedule of mini-competitions to the club web page. The events that most members indicated that theyd participate in include (in decreasing order) mini-sumo, line following, maze running, micro-sumo, soccer and firefighting. Members indicated that they favored adding demonstrations or displays to robotics events.
Pete announced that the planning committee for this years competition had met once already, and had decided to hold the event on Sunday, May 19th, at the Smith Center Ballroom on the Portland State University campus. Rick Farmer showed the prototype Mk III mini-sumo for this years competition using a board he designed. Pete Skeggs showed the prototype Mk III mini-sumo using a board that Tim Rohaly designed. Pete also showed the proposed wheel design for the Mk III mini-sumo, featuring cylinders cut from PVC electrical conduit. More details about both the event and the robot kits will be available in the coming weeks.
Dana Weesner reported that a federal TIN (taxpayer identification number) had been assigned to PARTS, but that registration with the state of Oregon was not yet complete.
- Ron Nucci from Seattle showed a vision system developed at Carnegie-Mellon University that features a 75 MIPS processor, and capable of following an object of a given color at distances up to 20 feet. Ron will be selling the vision system on his web site at http://www.seattlerobotics.com, and will sell to clubs at a 15% discount compared to Acroname. Additional information on the vision system is available at http://www.cs.cmu.edu/~cmucam.
- Cory reported that he has been playing with LED color organ circuits.
- Matt said that he has been working on last years Mk II robot kit.
- Warren showed his 3-wheeled holonomic robot and shared his analysis of the wheel motion necessary to move the robot in any of twelve directions. He is working on encoders for the wheels so that motor speeds can be monitored. He intends to use a 68HC11 board from Technological Arts to control his robot.
- Dana showed the latest version of his robots wheels, milled by his son on a CNC milling machine. He also showed his firefighting robot platform. He reported that he had contacted the instructor who teaches Manufacturing Engineering at the Sabin Occupational Skills Center, and our club members will be able to use the shop equipment. More details will be available later.
- Mark showed Maxwell, and said that he intends to make a kit available (perhaps by the time of our robotics event in May). Mark is currently re-doing Maxwells eyes and stiffening his chin. He suggested http://www.androidworld.com as a web site for those interested in building robots with human characteristics.
- Jonathan demonstrated his FRED platform. Jonathan prefers to prototype using plywood, because its inexpensive, easy to work with, and easy to modify. He is using Ryobi drill motors (purchased on sale at Home Depot) to power his robot. The drill handles and two-position switches serve as really large joysticks until his motor controller is completed. His current platform uses timing belts to drive model airplane wheels, but he intends to switch to 4-inch urethane skateboard wheels because they have lower rolling resistance.
- Mark brought his recently-completed prototype Mk III mini-sumo. He bought enough parts to populate both the Rick Farmer and the Tim Rohaly boards, so he had parts to swap.
- Larry showed his completed PVC wheels and his micro sumo competition ring.
- Steve showed his collection of micro-sumo robots, and inexpensive wheel disks he had purchased from Multicraft Plastics. He also shared the results of his investigation into disassembling 9-volt batteries to obtain small cells to power micro-sumo robots.
- Karl reported that some undergraduate students had scavenged parts from his robotics colony, and that he had been trying to rebuild them. He also showed an intriguing walking and turning mechanism he had designed using LEGO parts.
- Rick reported that he had weighed his prototype Mk III mini-sumo robot, and it was only 385 grams, so weights or additional components can be added. He also had 10 more Osram LED displays to give away.
- Dan showed his Picotrac robot. Since the last meeting, he has added Fresnel lenses for eyes.
- Eric brought some parts to swap.
- Ron reported that they had established the basic dimensions of their hovercraft robot platform.
- Daryl said that the PARTS member list has been provided to Parallax, so members can get Parallax parts at 25% off list price. He showed his induction motor built from an aluminum soda can, showed the current state of his holonomic robot and reported that he has narrowed his problems to communications between his various boards.
- Tim showed his first attempt at building a carbon fiber chassis and how his servos fit completely within his RC model car wheels.
- Tim showed his new blue silicone rubber wheel treads. He is using PVA as a mold release agent.
The next meeting of PARTS will be February 2nd, 2002.