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Monthly Meeting Recap – 1/16/11

  • Robot Show & Tell:
    • Curt Boirum brought Buzzkill, his 1lb combat robot which he’s going to repair and upgrade for our April 2nd Bot Brawl competition. He also demonstrated a prototype drive mechanism he plans to scale up for a 120lb combat robot entry for the RoboGames competition. Curt showed us some of the components he’s thinking of using for this ambitious project. We look forward to seeing his progress!
    • Peter Campbell demonstrated a “math quiz” program built using LabView. FIRST FRC teams use this programming application for the competition and Peter is a mentor for the local team Robot Casserole. Peter commented that the LabView software is very powerful and the graphical programming format can be easier to learn and troubleshoot compared to text-based programming applications.
    • Dan Toborowski brought a device he built using MicroRAX to compare different wheels by measuring their potential pushing force. This will be used to select the best wheels for a 3kg sumo robot. Dan also mentioned a fun book he’s currently reading called “How to Survive a Robot Uprising” which presents a great deal of information about robotic technologies and how they work along with humorous suggestions on how to evade and overcome their abilities if robots rise against humans one day.
    • We also saw several new faces at the meeting! It was great to meet more people interested in robotics and we look forward to seeing them at future meetings and events.
  • Presentations:
    • Dan Toborowski delivered a presentation about the 2011 FIRST FRC competition; “LogoMotion“. The new challenge was unveiled on January 8th kicking off the 6-week build season. Peoria is home to 4 FIRST FRC teams and they’re always looking for more mentors. If you’re interested in volunteering let me know and I’ll get you in touch with the team captains.
  • Job Opportunity:
    • I was contacted by a new special effects company in the Chicago-area who is looking for individuals that can help develop animatronic and electrical systems for puppets, costumes, and various props for film work. I don’t have any more details but I can give you the contact information if you’re interested in learning more.
  • Upcoming Events:
  • Lakeview Museum National Engineering Week Event – February 20th, 1:00-4:00
    • This event will take the place of our February monthly meeting
    • CIRC has once again been invited to participate in this event (Pics from Last Year’s Event)
    • We need volunteers to bring robots for display/demonstration and to answer visitor’s questions
  • Club Business
    • Club Brochures – We need good high resolution pictures (> 300 DPI) for the new brochure design. Please look through your personal collection for any possible candidates.
    • Arena Repair – Before the National Engineering Week event next month we plan to pull out the combat arena and see if it needs any repair such as sanding and painting the floor. An announcement will be sent out when we pick a time to work on this.
    • Potential Club Project – Dan suggested building a microcontroller-based match timer system for the combat arena complete with tap-out buttons, timer clocks, match start lights, and automatic control of the trap door. Dan was planning to work on the trap door system first but was looking for others interested in working on this project. Another project idea suggested was a automatic timer system for the line following/maze events. If either of these projects sound interesting to you be sure to attend one of our bi-weekly build sessions to discuss your ideas.

January 16, 2011 at 12:11 pm | Monthly Meeting Recaps | No comment

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