Portland Area Robotics Society

Regular Meeting Minutes

January 5, 2008, 10:30AM 


1.      Welcome 2008 and Announcements

2.      Presentations: 

a.       RoboMagellan BOOTSTRAP Project %G–%@ Robert Scheer

b.      Tilt Invariant Compass Design and PDXBOT Suggestions %G–%@ Mark Gross

3.      Show and Tell


1.  New Officer Introductions

            Robert F. Scheer %G–%@ President

            Fred Stevens %G–%@ Vice President

            Mark Gross %G–%@ Treasurer

            Larry Ossowski %G–%@ Secretary

2.  PDXBOT 08 Update

            We have the Doubletree Hotel reserved for Saturday, May 17th.  Sunday, May 18th will be the RoboMagellan Competition.  Promotion of PDXBOT.08 will begin soon.  Anyone interested in leading the planning and organization should contact Robert Scheer.

3.  Membership Dues / Renewal

            Payment of dues is now on the Honor System.  We encourage paid membership, but will paid membership is not required for participation.  Dues support club activities, such as to pay for our meeting room.  The suggested membership price is $20/year, but $1 qualifies for a paid membership.  Dues of $40 or more qualifies as a Sponsoring Membership, entitling the member to choose the main discussion topic at a club meeting.  We will conduct pledge drives as needed, should membership payments be insufficient to meet club expenses.  This dues structure will be revisited in one year.

4.  Smalltalk Users Group Meeting %G–%@ Tuesday, January 8, 2008.  Follow this link for more info: www.scheerstuff.net/tarzan/Squeak01082008 .

5.  We need meeting topics and people willing to present topics of interest.  If you have a good idea for a topic, please contact Robert Scheer.


BOOTSTRAP RoboMagellan Project %G–%@ Robert F. Scheer

The goal of the BOOTSTRAP project is to design, build, thoroughly test and document a $500 RoboMagellan so that virtually anyone could order up the parts, put it together in a week or two and have a working robot that could make it around an SRS RoboMagellan course successfully.

The first BOOTSTRAP(s) would debut at the May 2009 PDXBot here in Portland.

The project will be divided into 4 parallel projects:
1. The chassis (frame, wheels, motors, shell....)
2. Sensorimotor board(s) (along with sonar, touch, encoder interface, motor drivers, battery supply...)
3. AHRS (IMU-compass)
4. Main navigation and vision code for the main processor

The overriding goal is to generate more interest into the SRS RoboMagellan contest and allow more people to participate. Over time this will raise the level of hobby robotics as a whole.

Separate groups will be forming around each of the above 4 sections of the project. An overall organizational meeting will be announced soon. Stay tuned to the PARTS Yahoo Discussion Group. Anyone interested in helping with any stage of this project should contact Robert Scheer.


The full presentation will be added to the PARTS Website and a link will be provided. Check Back Soon..


Development Progress %G–%@ Mark Gross

- PDXBOT Suggestions


Mark discussed his current progress on development a testing of a 3-axis tilt invariant compass. This is part of the Attitude and Heading Reference System suggested for use in the BOOTSTRAP Project. Mark has all the necessary components and should be sampling data soon. After successfully sampling data hell begin writing software to integrate and filter the data.


PDXBOT should add educational workshops to help promote the hobby. These workshops would provided tips and techniques for the beginner and advanced alike. We may not be able to implement this by PDXBOT.08. However, the Demo Table could easily be changed into workshops where more formal presentations are given at scheduled times. This suggestion was met with some enthusiasm from the members present at the meeting.

Show and Tell %G–%@ Highlights

Dale Weber gave an update on his Robot, W.A.L.T.E.R., and his experiences to date using the Hammer processor from Tin Can Tools. The Hammer is an ARM 9 development system in a 40 pin DIP from factor.


Don Domes, a Technology Education Instructor from Hillsboro High School, came to here what was being planned for the RoboMagellan BOOTSTRAP project and to see how it would complement his many educational programs. Don is also looking for volunteers to help with his many programs. Don can be reached at domesd@hsd.k12.or.us .