Portland Area Robotics Society

Regular Meeting Minutes

March 7, 2009, 10:30AM 


1.    Welcome – Larry Ossowski

2.    Show and Tell – w/ Introductions

3.  Line Maze Challenge – MARCH 2009

Show and Tell

Pete – Discussed progress on his wheel commander and showed some control system drawing done in Open Office Draw.  Other option mentioned for open source drawing were xfig and inkscape.

Jeff – Showed his current progress on his Maze Solving 3Pi robot.

Tim – Rocket Nose cone retainer.  Update on the Portland State Aerospace Society.

Don – Demo’d the current state of his robotic drummer project.  Discussed inroads and parts for a new RF project using Nordic parts.  Passed around an AVR647 board

Line Maze Challenge

The Line Maze Challenge was held.  Several robots tried out the line maze but most were only at a line following and corner phase.  A good display none the less. 

·       Jeff tried his 3Pi

·       Pete showed that his micro sumo robots could track around corners

·       Monty demonstrated his mini-tank and line maze robot.


Club Business – Put off further discussion until April

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.     In January, 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 will be continued at the March 2009 meeting.

·        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?