Portland Area Robotics Society

Regular Meeting Minutes

Feb 4, 2006, 10:30AM



1.      Welcome and Announcements

2.      May Enthusiast Event

3.      Presentations:

a.       Instant OOP for HW Geeks (Roger Ray)

4.      News Reports

a.       Show-and-tell

5.      RoboMagellan Scrimmage


1.      The RoboMagellan Scrimmage planned for todays meeting will be delayed to the March Meeting

2.      Renewal of membership dues:

a.       All memberships are up for renewal this month.

b.      Renewal Fees are $12 for current members

c.       New Members can purchase pro-rated membership fees that decrease by $1 per month

PARTS Enthusiast Event (Mark Moore)

1.      Proposed (placeholder) event name: RoboTilt A reference to landing a blow in Jousting.

3.      Expectations:

a.       RoboTILT is not PDXBot 06 %G–%@

                                                                           i.      no sponsors, enhibitors, logo, T-shirts, raffle, etc.

b.      RoboTILT is:

                                                                           i.      A well-run competitive event

                                                                         ii.      Good opportunity to introduce a new event.

                                                                        iii.      Robo Sub Magellan?

4.      Venue options

a.       Portland Parks: $60 - $80 per hour. Various community centers with gymnasiums, auditoriums, etc.

b.      Other suggestions are welcome.

5.      Events

a.       Sumo: Nano, Mirco, mini, Japan

b.      Line Following: Beginning, Advanced

c.       Walker

d.      RoboMagellan

e.       Talent show.

6.      Events at other shows %G–%@ possibilities for RoboTilt

a.       Soccer

b.      Fire-fighting

c.       Balancer race

d.      Looking for suggestions

7.      Funding:

a.       Suggested donation from competitors: $8

b.      Club member competitions

8.      Discussion Notes

a.       Lack of exhibitors: Exhibitors are attractive for club members. Lack of exhibitors reduces funding for the events, and (possibly) requires participant fees. Perhaps we can allow vendors to participate on a voluntary basis, but be clear that we will be doing less promotion.

b.      Soccer competition: May require teams; some preference expressed for individual-competitor events. One-on-one soccer may be a good introductory event (good potential to reuse a sumo bot).

c.       Balancing robots are gaining popularity at other competitions.

9.      Call to action:

a.       We need volunteers for the organizing team.

b.      Immediate goals:

                                                                           i.      Events

                                                                         ii.      Date

                                                                        iii.      Venue

                                                                       iv.      Web Promotion

c.       Organizing Team meeting

                                                                           i.      Proposed for Tues, 9PM.

d.      E-mail to Mark Moore: markleemoore@yahoo.com



Instant OOP For Hardware Geeks (Roger Ray)

Slides for this presentation are available on the web at: http://sulfur.vancouver.wsu.edu/cs471 (java section)



Show-and-Tell and News

Bob Greenley & group %G–%@ first time here, attending after visiting the PARTS booth at the Lego competition


Lego Tournament Report: One competitor earned a perfect score of 400 points! The competition requires the robot to complete 10 tasks in 2 minutes. Robot builders are age 8 to 14.


Tim recommended Surplus Gismos (on of Cornelius Pass road, North of HWY 26). The local IEEE robotics group is working on a vision-based navigation project. (Roger Moore also has more info on this.) Tim is presenting an Eagle PCB seminar for a rocketry club this month. He will announce it to the PARTS yahoo list.


Greg: Recommends Make magazine for info on electronic hobbyist projects.


Rocko attended with a large display of robot designs based on amphibious animals.


Mark Moore discussed conversion to an OOPIC controller for his RoboMagellan bot.


Mike Carter (owner of Surplus Gismos) recommends http://www.robotmag.net. He brought some surplus parts from his shop. Mike discussed his start-up experience with the Eagle PCB design tools.


Jonathan Fant brought photos of his commercial robot product, a mobile humanoid design. He discussed his experience at CES. Interest in his robot included law enforcement, security, health care.


Paul recommends www.freeRTOS.org for information about real-time operating systems.


Stuart Caruk discussed his experiences in automating his machining shop. He held a door-prize drawing for a small robot arm. He also demonstrated the BipodRobot he is a distributor for. His web site (registered, but not up yet) is RoboNovaUsa. The robot performed rolls, headstands, and one-leg balance. Truly impressive was the cartwheel roll. The robot includes an Atmel controller board and 16 servos. Retail price is about $1000; less in kit form. Future enhancements may include a gyroscope balancing board and impact sensors.


Mark Medonis brought his animatronic head, Maxwell. Maxwell was a big hit with the kids at the Lego League competition. Mark discussed his mini-ITX controller and 12V (PicoPSU) power supply for Maxwell. Mark gave away 2 books on Imbedded Linux. Mark recommends the book, Building Power Supplies available from Radio Shack.