Portland Area Robotics Society

Regular Meeting Minutes

March 1, 2008, 10:30AM 


1.     Welcome

2. Presentation

- Outdoor Robot Challenge

3. Business

- PDXBot 08 Should it be cancelled?

4. Announcement: 

- OpenAHRMS is up and running

5.      Show and Tell



Outdoor Robot Challenge %G–%@ (Mark Gross)


No presentation was given but we had a lively discussion concerning the proposed outdoor robot challenge for PARTS. We discussed the David P. Andersons Posts from the Dallas Personal Robotics Group that we forwarded to PARTS by Robert F. Sheer. The Post can be found on the PARTS Yahoo mailing list.

The proposed events for the outdoor challenge are:

1.      Straight Line Out and Back %G–%@ Level Course

2.      Square %G–%@ Return to Origin

3.      Straight Line Out and Back with Obstacles

4.      RoboMagellan


No date has been set for the first PARTS Outdoor Challenge but the initial response is promising. One comment was made today that should be notes:


        Define the events so as not to rule out alternate methods and technologies. For instance, on the square, mark the corners so visual navigation could be used instead on pure odometry.



PDXBOT 08 is at Risk!

            We have the Doubletree Hotel reserved for Saturday, May 17th.  Sunday, May 18th will be the RoboMagellan Competition.  However, to date, we have no one who can lead the organization effort required to plan, promote, and execute PDXBot.08. The possible options we discussed:


1.      Hold PDXBot 08 with very little planning and only minimal volunteer effort. This would result in low quality event that could tarnish the history and public memory of PDXBot in general. (We still have no volunteers to who can lead and take charge of the effort)

2.      Hold more informal event with fewer, or possibly zero, sponsors, t-shirts and prizes and whatnot. This would provide a venue for robot builders in the area to test and compete but would be more in line with BOTFEST held in 2006.

3.      Cancel PDXBot 08 and hold no formal competitions this year.


Based on the discussions in today's meeting, people are overwhelmingly in favor of having some sort of competition to provide a venue for testing robots. Option 2 above seemed to be the general consensus from today's PARTS meeting.


Three things are needed to move forward:


1.      A general consensus from PARTS Event Yahoo Mailing List about which option above we should pursue with regard to PDXBot.08.

2.      An understanding of the current contract with the Double Tree Hotel. We need to discuss option for possible different venue better suited to a BOTFest style competition with both indoor and outdoor competitions on the same day.

3.      We still need a volunteer or volunteers to lead and drive the effort to organize, plan and execute a BOTFest competition.


All comments and discussion are welcome to help steer the course for PDXBot.08 or BOTFest.08. If you want to have a robot competition in Portland in 2008 or are willing to volunteer to help or lead the effort the join in the discussion on the PARTS Events Mailing List.




OpenAHRMS is established and working.


OpenAHRMS is the Open Source project to develop an Attitude and Heading Reference and Measurement System for Personnel Robotics. The details and goals of this project were presented last month by Mark Gross. For those interesting in participating in the project the project link and mailing list link are below:




Show and Tell