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Monthly Meeting Recap – 3/10/13

Robot Show & Tell:

  • Dan Toborowski showed the progress he’s made on the custom timer and lighting system upgrade for the combat arena. Dan had two 32X16 LED dot matrix displays from Freetronics mounted on a MicroRax enclosure and demonstrated the result with a sample countdown program. Dan also showed the LED light strips he plans to mount inside the arena which the timer control system will also operate. Dan also passed around his copy of MAKE: Ultimate Guide to 3D Printers which he used to help decide on which printer to get. Dan ultimately chose the Afinia H-Series. Lastly, Dan brought a new heat gun he recently acquired from Sparkfun. This heatgun is well designed with electronics work in mind featuring a metal stand and protective cover around the hot parts.
  • Brian Oleson showed us an article about MakerBot’s announcement that they are working on a prototype for a home 3D scanner. More details such as pricing and availability are unavailable at this time.
  • Curt Boirum discussed his ongoing project to create a robotic combat simulator game using ultra-realistic physics modeling tools such as BeamNG. With these simulation tools it would be possible to model damage in real time creating a useful tool for testing robot designs or just for having fun with. Curt has been using the open source application Blender extensively to create 3D models and run the simulations. Curt mentioned some of the limitations of these existing physic modeling tools and described some of his ideas for addressing these such as using SPH (smoothed particle hydrodynamics) solid simulations.
  • Joshua Whitley brought his BeagleBoard XM which he is very close to getting ROS running on. Josh has done a tremendous amount of work deciphering how to make ROS functional on this particular hardware and will communicate this to the other club members once finished so to enable concurrent development of new the Wheel-E software.
  • Mike Dvorsky brought his Jog It! open source controller pendant for CNC routers using EMC2 or MAch 3. This product was the result of a Kickstarter project.
  • Peter Campbell brought his BeagleBoard XM and a copy of the Misumi catalog which is a large supplier of industrial hardware including extruded T-slot components similar to 80/20. Peter donated the catalog to the club library.

Interesting Kickstarter Projects:


  • No April monthly meeting due to Bot Brawl. Next meeting will be May 12th
  • Bi-Weekly Build Session
    • We have not yet selected a date for when build sessions will resume in 2013

Upcoming Events:

Event Recap:

  • Peoria Riverfront Museum Engineers Day – 2/17/13
    • Pictures and videos posted here
    • Big thanks to Bruce Stott, Mike Dvorsky, Peter Campbell, and Brian Oleson for helping with the display!

Club Business:

  • RobotShop 5% Discount
    • Coupon code has expired. Waiting to hear back from RobotShop to determine if they’ll be extending the discount or if we need to remove their logos and links.
  • Bot Brawl 2013
    • We have mostly defined our planned layout but some details will likely need to wait until actual setup
    • Majority of setup will take place on Friday afternoon/evening, more details to follow on exactly what time.
    • Please register your robots ASAP if you have not done so already!
    • Dan will communicate plans for combat arena repairs and upgrades. This will have to be done in a single weekend to avoid disrupting operations at PROBOTIX.
    • We ended the meeting going through the entire Bot Brawl roles spreadsheet. This spreadsheet will be made available to all event volunteers for reference.
    • Some action items were identified and these will be individually communicated.

March 10, 2013 at 6:02 pm | Monthly Meeting Recaps | No comment

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