Portland Area Robotics Society

Regular Meeting Minutes

January 4, 2009, 10:30AM 


1.    Welcome – Fred Stevens

2.    Show and Tell – w/ Introductions

3.  Club Business

4.  December Line Maze Challenge


1.    Happy New Year!  

2.    Special Election next Meeting for P.A.R.T.S. Vice President

·       Fred Stevens has assumed the office of President after the resignation of former P.A.R.T.S. President Robert Scheer.

·       In accordance with the club bylaws, member Donald Davis has accepted temporary appointment as P.A.R.T.S. Vice President.  Formal assumption of office is pending a vote of current P.A.R.T.S. members scheduled for the February 2009 P.A.R.T.S. regular meeting.

·       All P.A.R.T.S. members are requested to attend the February meeting to complete the required voting process.

3.    Line Maze Challenge, March 2009 P.A.R.T.S. Meeting 

·       Get your maze solving robots ready! 


Club Business

1.     It’s time again for membership dues for 2009.

·        By a vote of the club membership in December 2007, payment of dues is now on the “Honor System”.   Paid membership is encouraged, but not required for club participation.  Suggested membership price is $20/year, but $1 qualifies for a paid membership.  Dues of $40 or more qualifies as a “Sponsoring Membership”.  Dues support club activities, such as to cover the monthly rental for meeting room and the P.A.R.T.S. website. 

2.     Donald Davis was appointed by the club Executive Officers to fill the open office of Vice President. 

·        Final approval will be put to an official vote of the club membership at the February P.A.R.T.S. meeting.

3.     Fred Stevens, P.A.R.T.S. President, opened a candid discussion of what the membership wanted for the future direction of P.A.R.T.S.  The following are the ideas and direction that was discussed.  This discussion is not closed and will be posted on the P.A.R.T.S. Yahoo group for further commentary.

·        Most members present like the current meeting format that showcases member show and tell.  It is good to see what others are working on and to see projects.  It provides motivation for further robot development.

·        P.A.R.T.S. will not be sponsoring a large scale Robot competition in 2009.  PDXBot was last held in 2007 and will not be held in 2009.    

o       Botfest 2008 was a success but should P.A.R.T.S. spend resources to put on another one?  Botfest 2008 involved lots of effort and was coordinated almost solely by Pete Skeggs.  However, there was limited club member participation in the competitions.  Most competitors were from outside the P.A.R.T.S. group.  The general feeling was that P.A.R.T.S. should work to raise the level of Robot development within the club.

o       P.A.R.T.S. Outdoor Challenge 2008 – Had a good response for member participation.  A future event similar to this may be considered if members are developing robots for these events.

o       Line Maze Challenges – These will continue at future meeting to help promote maze solving robot development among interested club member.  The next challenge is at the March P.A.R.T.S. meeting.

·        There was interest in a robot building challenge at a future P.A.R.T.S. meeting similar to what was coordinated by Steve Davies at a meeting in 2007.  Members were broken into team and given a box of surplus parts with which to build a robot to complete a simple challenge; all within a 2 hour meeting.

·        One suggestion proposed a robotics collaboration among club members to design and build robots to solve previous years FIRST Robot Challenges. This suggestion did receive some positive feedback from the members present at the meeting.

·        Start a club development project similar to the development of the MKIII controller board previously developed by P.A.R.T.S. members.  There was no discussion of what this project would focus on but it would not necessarily be a new controller board.  This collaboration project may leverage Open Tech Space.

§        Any volunteers to coordinate a collaboration project?

§        Project suggestions?

4.     It was discussed that P.A.R.T.S. needs greater visibility to the general Portland Tech Community.  To achieve this we will be taking steps to advertise upcoming meetings through various free venues as shown below.  If anyone has any suggestions bring them to the next meeting.

·        http://calagator.org/

·        http://upcoming.yahoo.com/

·        http://portland.craigslist.org/


No Formal Presentation


Show and Tell

Scott Winner – Talked with Free Geek, Toured the Free Geek building.  He is working on providing BEAM robots for their store display and hopes to have something to take to High School Robotics clubs fro display.  Free Geek specializes in recycling used computer hardware and refurbishing older hardware into usable computers.

Dominic - Voice actuated R2D2 – Demo of new toy.

Member - Surveyor Web Enabled Robot – Open Source robot.  Current Goal – Line Maze using front Camera and special front mount for camera.

Jeff – Programming the 3Pi for line maze.  Current Algorithm has issues with amount of memory in SRAM.

Jamie – New, First meeting, interested in Robots and Building Robots.

Pete – Lessons on fixing problems with Laptops.  Lessons so others will not have the same problems.

Steve Davies – DorkbotPDX. 

Monty Goodson – Line Maze Challenge.  He showed a miniature RC Tank conversion using his new version of the Megabitty.  Solarbotics will distribute the new Megabitty when it is available later this year.

Pierre – Visiting Portland, Visiting P.A.R.T.S. Welcome Pierre

Wim – Techshop Portland – Opening in Beaverton.  Open Tech Space – http://opentechspace.com/. 

Donald Davis – Surplus Gizmos is now supplying the Arduino Dork Board.  Arduino Cult Induction.