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Monthly Meeting Recap 1/10/2018

Meeting notes from the first meeting of 2018.

  • Attendees:
    • Peter
    • Karl
    • Bruce Stott
    • Mike
    • Manish  – New member
  • Show & Tell:
    • Peter had several items:
      • He recommended checking out the LG robot fails at CES 2018:
      • He received a communication from Jsumo regarding their latest product, the Xmotion robot controller on indiegogo. This is an arduino-compatible controller with integrated high-current H-bridges. Good for sumo and other small robots.
      • He reported that he installed ROS2 on Windows. Basically it works, but is arduous to install and limited compared with ROS for Linux.
      • He brought a 3d-printed container that opens only after being manipulated to solve a maze.
      • He brought a book he recently read called Invent It, Sell It, Bank It! by Lori Greiner from Shark Tank. It reminded him that he prefers product design over sales/marketing/business.
    • Karl had made much progress on Wheel-E, which he demonstrated.
      • He had the Leddar mounted and communicating over CAN with the Raspberry Pi.
      • He had dead reckoning functioning based on encoders and a yaw rate gyro.
      • He drove Wheel-E around, showing the Leddar point cloud in Rviz. It could show Wheel-E moving in a fixed frame of reference (based on position from dead reckoning), or show Wheel-E as stationary and the point cloud moving around.
      • He demonstrated startup of the ROS system, which involves many steps in a particular order. During the meeting he created a launch file that automated some of the steps.
      • Here is a link to videos of the robot driving around and its Leddar output displayed on a laptop.
    • Mike showed some 3d-printed filament cleaners/oilers that he printed to use up a couple meters of filament at the end of a spool. The interesting thing about them is that they are a hinged box with clasp that print as a single piece.
  • Presentation:
    • We ended up talking a lot about Wheel-E, so we saved the technical talk till next time.

January 18, 2018 at 9:14 pm | Announcements, Monthly Meeting Recaps | No comment

Monthly Meeting Recap 12/13/17

  • Attendees:
    • Peter
    • Karl
    • Bruce Stott
    • Mike
  • Show & Tell:
    • Karl – Showed progress on Wheel-E CAN bus architecture. He has removed the BotBoard and replaced it with an Arduino and CAN shield. He also added a CAN hat to the Raspberry Pi and created a CAN protocol for communication of Wheel-E parameters. The Arduino reads RC pulses, encoder counts, etc., and transmits them over the CAN bus to the RPi. He brought Wheel-E and demonstrated remote control operation using the new CAN architecture.
    • Peter – Shared his 3D printed creations. Among them were a double slider crank mechanism, and a “straight pole curved hole” illusion (
    • Bruce – Showed his stripped down Battle Wheels bot to be used as a wedge RC Antweight, though it weighs 15.6 oz now without the wedge. There are opportunities to reduce the weight some, but not much.
  • Presentation:
      • Officer Elections.
        • President
          • Bruce Stott
        • Vice President
          • Vacant
        • Treasurer
          • Peter
        • Secretary
          • Mik
        • Webmaster: Website, Slack & Facebook administration
          • Bruce Stott
        • Librarian
          • Mike
        • Other? No.

    See more from the January meeting

December 16, 2017 at 5:56 pm | Monthly Meeting Recaps, Uncategorized | No comment

Bot Brawl 17 Results


Bot Brawl 17 was hosted on August 12, 2017 at the Peoria Civic Center in Peoria, IL.  This event was part of Ignite Peoria and the Midwest MakerFest.  The Midwest MakerFest is the largest MakerFest in the Midwest, and the Bot Brawl is the largest hobby robotics contest in the Midwest!  There were art exhibits, dance performances, maker demonstrations, and maker exhibits going on all day long in addition to the Bot Brawl.

The day was a success with 49 robots going at each other.  There were 20 Antweights and 14 Beetleweights competing.  A couple of robots had to drop out due to not passing safety inspections.  A few Beetleweights could not get ready in time and dropped out at the last moment.  The Mini (500g) Sumo event had 10 competitors that produced a few surprises with the upstarts taking on the veterans.  The Mega (3 kg) Sumo had only 2 competitors.  Two of the pre-registered robots ran into technical difficulties the night before and dropped out.  Still, the 2 entrants that were able to compete put on a good show.  The Line Following and Line Maze events were held as demonstrations due to a low number of entrants.  Checkers on a Sumo Ring had 3 competitors, with the victor upsetting last year’s champion.  The RC Combat Rumbles held at the end of the day were a great roar of fun.  The Antweight victor was chosen by audience applause since there were at least 6 bots still moving at the end of 4:00 minutes.  The Beetleweight victor was a surprise and left no doubt as to who was in charge of that rumble!

Live streaming videos are available at

Here is a table of the final results.

Bot Brawl 2017 Final Results 
500 g Mini Sumo
Place Robot Team
1 Blooman dbots
2 Newman dbots
3 Orthos dbots
4 ExSpurt Brooksbots
5 Zoom-O CoolWHip
7 Zuman dbots
3kg Mega Sumo
Place Robot Team
1 Executioner Brooksbots
2 Turf Andrew & Todd
Place Robot Team
1 Ignatz VBT Robotics
2 The Snip Rad Robotics
3 Pushy Wushy Rad Robotics
4 Taster Bleach Boys
5 Ignition Haven
5 Betula Anthracnose
7 The Krave Monsters Hurd Robotics
7 This is a Test TML Productions
9 Spinook CoolWHip
9 10 Days Til Destruction Warwick Robotics STL
9 Ygritte The Northerners
9 Some Putty’s In Trouble Warwick Robotics STL
13 Holy Joe Scrappy Angels
13 Peter Pan Hurd Robotics
13 Circular Reference Arch Reactor STL
13 Stretcher Bleach Boys
17 Wombatchewed Loos Cannon
17 Sky Shark Black Lightning Robotics
17 Calamity Jazz Hands Rampage Productions
17 Odium Widows Peak
Place Robot Team
1 k-too HtG Robotics
2 Phantom II Black Lightning Robotics
3 Catalpa Anthracnose
4 Boomzilla Rampage Productions
5 Cyanide VBT Robotics
5 King Googly Hurd Robotics
7 TripOut Team Cerberus
7 From the Top of Skyscrapers Warwick Robotics STL
9 Death from Above Endgame
9 Al6bb1 Al6kar
9 Dandelion Rampage Productions
9 Icky Mouse Widows Peak
13 Elepha-Flip Dan The Robot Man
13 Honorable Mention HtG Robotics
Checkers on a Sumo Ring
Place Robot Team
1 Coaster Central Illinois Robotics Club
2 Triple Jump Team tOBOR Combat Robotics
3 King Me dbots
Antweight Rumble
Place Robot Team
1 Spinook CoolWHip
Beetleweight Rumble
Place Robot Team
1 Icky Mouse Widows Peak


Many thanks to our sponsors for 2017!!  Without them, our prize selection would not have been possible.  With all the great prizes we were able to offer, our victors had a hard time selecting which prizes to take home.


August 9, 2017 at 4:10 pm | Bot Brawls, Uncategorized | No comment

Rules Finalized for Bot Brawl 17

Rules for Bot Brawl 17 have been finalized.  The changes made were minor.  Our goals was to loosen up some areas and get rid of ambiguities in other areas.  Rules can be found on the “Bot Brawls” page.  Just click on the event you are interested in.

June 21, 2017 at 10:10 pm | Uncategorized | No comment

Bot Brawl 17 Antweight and Beetleweight Categories All Full

For Bot Brawl 17 both the Antweight and Beetleweight categories for our RC competition are full!  We limited these events to 20 entrants each.  This is done so that we can get all events completed in a timely fashion.  At this time there are no plans to expand the number of entrants.  If you would like to get on a wait list, please email Bruce Stott at  I will put names on a list in case people cancel or we somehow find more room to allow more entrants.  I will need the robot name, weight class, and valid email address.  If a slot opens up, I will contact people in order to see if they are still interested and able to compete.

There is still room in the sumo and line events.  We suggest registering early.

For those that did register already.  If for some reason you know that you will not be able to make our Bot Brawl 17, please cancel your registration so that we can allow someone else to compete.  Thank you!

April 13, 2017 at 8:26 pm | Uncategorized | No comment

Bot Brawl 17 will be August 12, 2017

The date is set for Bot Brawl 17!!  It will be on August 12, 2017 at the Peoria Civic Center as part of the Midwest MakerFest as part of Ignite Peoria.  The events we plan on having are the 1 lb (Ant) & 3 lb (Beetle) RC Combat, the 500g (Mini) & 3 kg (Mega) Sumo, the Line Follow & Maze, and Checkers on a Sumo Ring.  The exact times for each event still need to be determined.  We may add or remove some events.  If you would like a particular event that is not listed and you would think it good to add, email the club at  If we don’t get enough people pre-registered for an event, we will not hold that event.  So, please register early at  Rules for each event can be found on our Bot Brawls page.  We look forward to seeing you there!!

March 24, 2017 at 12:20 pm | Uncategorized | No comment

Meeting Location Is Changing!

The club meeting location will be moving from AutonomouStuff to River City Labs for the foreseeable future starting for the March 2017 general meeting!  This will give CIRC and RCL a chance to collaborate more easily.  Meetings will stay on Wednesdays.  The monthly general club meetings will continue to be the second Tuesday of the month and start at 5:00 PM.  The Wheel-E build meetings will continue to be scheduled as time and interest abounds.

Many thanks to AutonomouStuff for hosting the meetings for so long!!!  It’s very much appreciated!

Address:  River City Labs, 1213 SW Adams St, Downtown Peoria, IL 61602

Parking is along the street.  The meeting will be on the second floor.

March 6, 2017 at 5:55 pm | Uncategorized | No comment

12th Annual UNI Mini-Sumo Smackdown Competition

The organizers of the UNI MiniSumo Smackdown invite you to compete in their mini sumo competition to be held on Friday, April 21, 2017 from 9:00 AM to 11:00 AM at the University of Northern Iowa.  The unique nature of this contest is that competitors can mail their robot entrants to the organizers and they will assign someone to operate the robot as per the owner’s instructions.  Pretty cool, you don’t have to even be there, which is nice on the budget.  The only downside is that the owner does not get to see their robot cream the competition.  Another upside is that the owner does not get to see their robot get creamed by the competition.  I guess it depends on how you look at it.  ?

Here is a link to the site with the announcement.

February 21, 2017 at 1:11 pm | Announcements, Competitions | No comment

Josh Jacob’s Meccatana Project – G15B

Josh is working on a humanoid type of robot.  He has a lot going into this creation of his.  He is merging Meccano’s Meccanoid G15 Robot with Microsoft’s Cortana AI and Intel RealSense.  Here is a link his web page for this project.


February 21, 2017 at 11:59 am | Announcements, Projects | No comment

Engineering Day 2017 and CIRC

We had a fun, exciting, and long day at Peoria Riverfront Museum as part of Engineering Day.  The event lasted from 12:00 PM to 5:00 PM.  Different organizations, clubs and companies put on interactive displays to expose and excite children about engineering.  We brought our line following and maze solving table, sumo ring, 3D printers, and bots to share with people.  Quite a few people came by our display in the main lobby to ask questions.  The kids got a kick out of watching Mike’s line maze solving bot learning the line maze course and driving the shortest route to the end.  The 3D printers got lots of questions.  There were lots of questions regarding how to get started.



February 20, 2017 at 6:48 pm | Community, Uncategorized | No comment

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