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Monthly Meeting Recap – 4/13/14

Robot Show & Tell:

  • Dan Toborowski demonstrated the Pixy (CMUCam5) which is a color tracking sensor he backed through KickStarter. The sensor is capable of recognizing up to 7 different color signatures and will output the X/Y coordinates of each through SPI, I2C, UART Serial, or analog output. The sensor can be connected to a PC by USB allowing the raw video feed to be monitored along with the sensor’s real-time recognition of signatures. Dan demonstrated using the Pixy with a pan/tilt rig and using the analog output to communicate with an Arduino. Dan also brought a copy of MultiRotor Magazine which is a new magazine from the publishers of ROBOT Magazine focused specifically on multirotors, FPV, and UAV systems. Only one issue is currently available.
  • Peter Campbell brought his Checkers on a Sumo Ring robot, “Coaster,” which won first place at the April 5th Bot Brawl competition. The robot is built off a VEX chassis and uses a Pololu Orangutang controller and drive motors. Peter fabricated and 3D printed several custom components for the robot. The robot starts in manual RC operation but is then switched to autonomous mode to deposit the checkers in the white area of the sumo ring all on its own.
  • Mike Dvorsky explained the updates he made to his Checkers on a Sumo Ring robot which mostly consisted of an exciting light display. Mike arranged a collection of red LEDs underneath the checkers which would illuminate in a variety of patterns during operation. Mike also demonstrated the Pololu wheel encoders which he recently added to his line follower/maze robot. Mike created a custom Python script with PyQT that utilizes the wireless XBee system to communicate the encoder information from the robot to a PC and plot the measured course. Lastly, Mike demonstrated his line following robots one of which he’s installed softer Banebots wheels on. Mike is planning to do more testing before deciding if they enhance performance over the stock Pololu wheels.
  • Joshua Whitley brought a NanoLight LED light bulb which he backed on Kickstarter. This light is unique in that it does not feature any large heat sinks common on most LED light bulbs.


  • May monthly meeting will be replaced by 2014 RoboMagellan season kick-off event
  • Next monthly meeting will be June 8th
  • University of Northern Iowa Mini Sumo Robotics Camp – June 23rd to 27th

Upcoming Events:

  • National Robotics Week 2014
    • April 5-13
  • Summer ChiBots RoboMagellan Competition: August?
    • Moraine Valley Community College
  • Mecha-Mayhem 2014 – October 4th & 5th
    • 150g, 1lb, 3lb, 6lb combat robots
    • Held during iHobby Expo
  • 2015 Central Illinois Bot Brawl – April 11th
    • Date has already been selected for 2015 event!

Event Recap:

Community Event Opportunities:

  • FIRST LEGO League Head Judge Needed. Responsibilities include attending state organizer training, signing up volunteer judges and referees, and providing official table competition rulings at practice scrimmages and regional tournaments. If interested in helping please contact


  • Migrated website to new host, old host was problematic and unresponsive when trying to resolve technical issues
  • We would like to add more content to the CIRC website. If you’re interested in providing product reviews, event recaps, getting started tutorials, or other content please provide to Josh, our webmaster.

2014 RoboMagellan Season Kick-Off

  • Will determine date and time through Yahoo Group email discussion
  • Most likely will be on a Saturday at PROBOTIX
  • Formal announcement will be made through Yahoo Group

2014 Bot Brawl Review:

  • The group discussed what improvements and changes should be made for next year’s event.

April 13, 2014 at 4:46 pm | Monthly Meeting Recaps | No comment

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