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Monthly Meeting Recap – 12/9/12

Robot Show & Tell:

  • Dan Toborowski has been mostly occupied with performing the role of Head Judge for the Peoria FIRST LEGO League tournament and making initial preparations for the 2013 Bot Brawl so he just brought a Nexus 7 tablet to show which is a 7 inch Android tablet device.
  • Joshua Whitley demonstrated speech synthesis with his Raspberry Pi using a distribution of Debian Linux optimized for Raspberry Pis known as Raspbian. For the actual speech synthesis he was using a Linux package called Flite. This package is capable of several different types of speech synthesis that Josh demonstrated that range from different genders and accents as well as various levels of quality using higher or lower resolution audio libraries.
  • Mike Dvorsky brought a new book he recently acquired titled “Probabilistic Robotics” which is all about using mathematic probability analysis to accomplish robust autonomous navigation and positional awareness. One of the authors of this text is Sebastian Thrun who was the team leader for the Standford University DARPA Grand and Urban Challenge entries. Mike mentioned that the book does a good job of deriving the math completely which makes it both a useful resource and a slow read.
  • Brian Oleson brought a copy of the October issue of WIRED magazine which included an interesting article about 3D printers including the MakerBot Replicator 2. Brian also showed us a few new tablet applications developed by AutoDesk. These simple 3D modeling and sketching tools demonstrate that CAD package developers are very interested in reaching out to the hobbyist and individuals. As low-cost 3D printers become more popular the demand for affordable 3D modeling software options will grow.


  • Bi-Weekly Build Session
    • Build sessions are cancelled during the holiday season since attendance usually drops due to holiday activities and travel. We will resume build sessions at a yet to be determined date in early 2013.
  • VEX Robot Competition
    • 10 grants are available to any middle-college schools interested in starting a VEX robotics team. The grant will provide the academic group with a complete VEX robotics kit. The team would only be responsible for paying the competition registration fees ($50-$75) and proving that they are continuing to use the kits each year in order to retain use. Contact Dan ( to get a copy of the application form.

Event Recap:

  • December, 8th FIRST LEGO League Peoria Qualifier Tournament – Bradley University
    • Club members Bruce Stott and Dan Toborowski volunteered as the main event organizer and head judge for this event
    • Today Bruce and Dan explained the event and showed pictures from the tournament

Upcoming Events:

Club Business:

  • Community Event Opportunities:
    • Peoria Riverfront Museum National Engineers Week Event – 2/17
      • CIRC has participated in this event for the past few years when it was held at the Lakeview Museum
    • Boy Scouts Spring Rendezvous – May/18-20
      • Largest outdoor youth experience in Illinois (attendance 1200-5000 people)
      • Wolf Creek State Park (South of Decatur, 2 1/2 hours from Peoria)
      • Audience mostly boys and girls ages 10-18
  • 2013 Monthly Meetings:
    • Will remain at Lakeview Library
    • Preferred dates selected, announcement will be made when dates are confirmed
  • 2013 Officer Election Results:
    • President – Dan Toborowski
    • Vice President – Curt Boirum
    • Treasurer – Peter Campbell
    • Secretary/Webmaster – Joshua Whitley
    • Librarian – Mike Dvorsky
  • Bot Brawl 2013
    • April 13th at ISU Redbird Arena in Bloomington, IL
    • Event page will be up soon
    • Registration now open on BuildersDatabase
    • Event will be held in conjunction with ISU Family Science Day
    • Dan met with ISU event organizers last week at arena to discuss our requirements and what is available to us
    • Mike Dvorsky will take the lead on repairing/building a new 3kg Sumo ring

December 9, 2012 at 7:40 pm | Monthly Meeting Recaps | No comment

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