Portland Area Robotics Society

Regular Meeting Minutes

Mar 3, 2007, 10:30AM


  1. PDXBot Update

  2. Presentations

    1. Line Maze Challenge %G–%@ Monty Goodson

    2. Nano Bots and Other Fun %G–%@ Paul Barton

    3. PDXbot.07 update %G–%@Larry Geib

  1. News & Reports

    1. Show-and-tell



Line Maze Challenge %G–%@ Monty Goodson

The third in a series of progressively more challenging mazes is a simple maze where the robot must explore the maze and find the finish point. Monty demonstrated his robot, which successfully navigated this maze.

Dave Hylands website (davehylands.com) has video of last years SRS Line Maze winner, completing an 8x8 maze in about 20 seconds.

Nano Bots and Other Fun %G–%@ Paul Barton

Paul started developing small robots several years ago, and took 2nd place in Micro Sumo at PDXBot.05. Paul Barton brought in two nano-class sumo bots.

Pauls Micro sumo programming uses a simple strategy:

The robot has two floor sensors in front, and one in the back. There are no opponent sensors. His initial challenges were to avoid overrunning the edge of the ring %G–%@ being unable to stop and change course in time to avoid falling out. The motor drivers are 7400 series Octal buffers, driving pager motors through a hand-built gearchain.

Pauls prototypes used ZipZap RC car motors and gears. Several kits were required to complete a single bot.

Pauls latest Nano robots are custom-designed PCBs fabbed by Express PCB. There are 4 pannels per robot, arranged in an open-sided cube. Each board contains logic, motor drivers, or sensors. The motors are pager motors with rubber-band belt drives to the wheels. The pager motors are from Solarbotics, and include planetary gear reduced output.

Robotmaker.co.uk is a vendor of components for nano-sized robots.

PDXbot.07 update %G–%@ Larry Geib

The PSU Smith Ballroom is not available for PDXBot.07. We are now looking at the DoubleTree Inn as substitute venue. It has about twice the floor space of the Smith Ballroom, but a lower ceiling.

With the added space, we can run multiple competitions in parallel.

Some changes for this years competition

The next planning session is Wednesday Mar 7 at the west-side Lucky Labrador -- 1945 NW Quimby, in Portland.

Roger Ray met with representatives of Intel Corp. We have acquired an application for corporate sponsorship from them.

News and Show-and-tell

Dave Hyland recommends a small ARM processor evaluation board offered by luminary_micoros.com for about $60. It provides 4 ADC channels and multiple PWM channels. It is programmable over USB.

A delegation from the OSU Robotics Club visited the meeting today. There are about 30 members in the club. They are involved in Sumo competitions, currently focusing on the Japan class competition. They had a competition of about 8 robots a couple of weeks ago. All the contestants produced different designs and strategies for their robots, even though they are all based on the same chassis.