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Monthly Meeting Recap – 12/11/11

Robot Show & Tell:

  • Steve brought a mini sumo robot he’s constructing to use as a learning tool for an electronics course at ICC. The robot uses an Arduino-based microcontroller, continuous rotation servos, Sharp infrared proximity detectors, and a Mark III chassis. Steve’s main goal is to keep the design affordable so that he can provide several robots for his students to use. Steve is looking for suggestions on low cost opponent detection sensors that have better range and would also like to find a better power solution instead of single-use standard batteries.
  • Mike Dvorsky brought a collection of servos and stepper motors he recently acquired to share with the group. He also showed some of the recent additions to the club library including a few books suggested by club members.
  • Curt Boirum demonstrated robot control using a powerful open source 3D modeling and animation program called Blender. Curt imported a full 3D model of the actual robotic arm and used the software’s built-in inverse kinematics tools to provide real-time control of a servo-powered robotic arm.
  • Peter Campbell brought his motion platform from last month’s meeting which he has since modified to pan left and right instead of tilting. Using a Phidgets servo controller and a netbook computer placed on top of the platform, Peter can remotely see with the netbook’s built-in webcam and pan the camera back and forth all through the web.
  • Dan Toborowski brought a DIY LED display project featured in issue 26 of MAKE Magazine. The display uses LED dot matrix boards from SURE Electronics. He used MicroRAX to built a custom enclosure. Dan plans to use the display to announce competitors at the Bot Brawl event.
  • Karl Kirsch described his inverted pendulum project which he simulated using Matlab.


  • We have received new discs and install keys for SolidWorks 2011! This software package is available to any club member interested in utilizing this powerful computer-aided design program for their robotics projects.
  • EVENT RECAP: 2011 Central Illinois FIRST LEGO League Regional Tournament, Bradley University, 12/10
    • Big thanks to Curt Boirum for running the CIRC display and to Bruce Stott for organizing the tournament!

Upcoming Events:

  • Central Illinois Bot Brawl – Saturday, March 24th
    • LakeView Museum
  • DuPage Engineers Week – Saturday, Feb. 25th
    • IIT Rice Campus in Wheaton, IL
  • ISU Family Science Day 2012 – Sunday, April 22nd
    • Illinois State University Horton Field House
  • 2012 RoboGames – Fri-Sun, April 20-22
    • San Mateo, CA

Club Business:

  • Bi-Weekly Build Sessions scheduled to resume in 2012
  • 2012 monthly club meetings will continue to take place at the Peoria Public Library North Branch
  • Website Update
  • The CIRC website is going to be moved to a new server with a new domain name. This will provide us with more space and will provide a better site interface allowing more club members to contribute content.

2012 Officer Elections:

  • President: Dan Toborowski
  • Vice President: Curt Boirum
  • Secretary/Webmaster: Joshua Whitley
  • Treasurer: Peter Campbell
  • Librarian: Mike Dvorsky

2012 Bot Brawl:

  • In order to accurately time the line following competition we will be building a timer system. If you’re interested in helping out with this project reply to the discussion already started on the Yahoo mailing list.
  • We will also be making a new line following course to accommodate the timer system and to provide a fresh new challenge for competitors.
  • Club members voted to add the new event “Checkers on a Sumo Ring” to our 2012 event. We also decided to drop the LEGO Sumo class in order to free up time in the schedule for this new competition.

December 11, 2011 at 11:41 am | Monthly Meeting Recaps | No comment

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