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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.

  • Treasurer’s Report: Treasury
    • Balance: $2284.28.
    • Activity: Received dues from Lee and Gene.
  • Wheel-E status and plans:
    • Status: Karl has made great progress.
    • The electrical architecture is being changed to use CAN bus for communicating parameters between BotBoard and the Raspberry Pi. Karl has replaced the BotBoard with an Arduino and CAN shield. The long-term plan is to develop small CAN nodes that will form a distributed control network. Benefits:
      • Allows a redundant deadman that does not depend on the RPi.
      • Simplified wiring. The only wires needed are power, ground, CAN+ and CAN-. CAN nodes will be placed near where I/O is needed and the I/O will be serialized and sent over the CAN network.
      • Can use the same CAN bus for the Leddar.
    • Next Meeting: Not needed at this time. Will meet to do integration stuff.
    • Mike will plan a road trip to AS after CES to pick up a box of Wheel-E parts found there. Should happen sometime in mid to late January.
  • Club Activities Past:
    • Nothing recent.
  • Club Activities Future:
  • Meeting Doug Bergeron from 4H to hand out extra robots
    • After initial email discourse, received this – My name is Doug Bergeron. I am the leader of the Mason County 4H STEM SPIN club. Currently, we have about 7 students from Mason and Fulton Counties participating in the club. The main thrust of the club is to introduce the students to what being an engineer is about. Much of this includes practicing concepts like requirements gathering, teaming, research and investigation, developing well reasoned solutions, writing technical documents, and presenting solutions to customers. Our projects tend to come from the communities we live in so that the students can have a tangible impact on those communities. However, we thought it would be fun and challenging to see if we could do a project from problem definition through to delivery. The students asked about battling bots so I have been having them research local groups to find project requirements and potential subject matter experts.
    • Do members have anything that they want to give away to this group?
    • Bruce will meet Doug at the Havana University of Illinois Extension office on Monday, December 18th to give him a box of bots and pieces received from Rob last year.
  • Random Discussion:
    • Ways to get people interested in club
      • Wheel-E project can be used as a way for people to learn desired subjects and skills.
      • Engineering Day not working as intended. Not doing this year since Bruce not attending and no one else wants to really do it. Probably won’t do in future since only generates interest from kids with no commitment and does not get new members.
  • Meeting Presentations: Any ideas for lecture or instructional presentation at a future meeting?
    • Formal or informal. About 15 minute talks.
      • January
        • Mike – PID Control
      • February
        • Wheel-E status update overview
      • March
        • xx
      • Potential ideas
        • Sam – AI methods applicable to hobby robotics
        • Wheel-E system and sub-system updates and past methods
          • Vision
          • Possible methods for sensors
          • Etc.

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

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