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Monthly Meeting Recap – 4/15/12

Robot Show & Tell:

  • Dan Toborowski brought a collection of hardware he’s been acquiring for FPV (first person view) quadcopter flight. FPV flight refers to piloting RC aircraft using point of view video that is transmitted from an on-board camera to an LCD display or video goggles worn by the operator. This allows for flights that exceed normal visual range or even non-line of sight. Most of the hardware Dan showed came from ReadyMadeRC.
  • Mike Dvorsky demonstrated a logic analyzer tool from Saleae Logic which is very powerful and easy to use but lower cost than many of the other logic analyzers on the market. Mike demoed the tool by reading the outputs from an SC-32 servo controller and showing how the actual serial string can be read and deciphered. This is a very useful tool for troubleshooting problems in any circuit or just to confirm that the communicated messages between your devices are correct.
  • Peter Campbell brought a MakerBot Replicator which is a relatively low-cost 3D printer for hobbyists. The Replicator is the latest 3D printer model from MakerBot and is available with dual extruders to allow for printing with 2 different colors simultaneously. The Replicator “prints” 3D models by extruding melted ABS plastic in thin layers that stack up to create the complete model.
  • Nick Sturm recently acquired a HAM radio license and brought a hand-held transmitter device he’s been experimenting with. He also mentioned a unique opportunity to take a Stanford course on Autonomous vehicles which is taught by researchers responsible for Stanford and Google’s autonomous vehicle programs. This course can be taken online and is FREE!


  • Event Recaps
    • Bot Brawl 3/24 – Pictures, videos, and links to media coverage have been posted on the competition page
  • Sponsor Updates – Several sponsors of the Bot Brawl provided offers for support or potential collaboration that extend beyond the Bot Brawl:
    • Solutions Cubed: 20% Robot Club Discount
    • ROBOTIS: 7X OLLO Bug Kits – Now available to club members through the CIRC library
    • DSP Robotics: FlowStone Copies for Event Volunteers – If you volunteered at the Bot Brawl and want a copy of this powerful software please contact the club president.
    • Digilent: They are interested in collaborative projects, beta testing, products evaluations/reviews, etc… Let me know if this interests you.
  • Bi-Weekly Build Sessions
    • Next build session – 4/19

Upcoming Events:

  • ISU Family Science Day 2012 – Sunday, April 22nd
    • Illinois State University Horton Field House
  • 2012 RoboGames – Fri-Sun, April 20-22
    • San Mateo, CA
  • FIRST Championship – Wed-Sun, April 25-29
    • St. Louis, MO
  • Ohio Robotics Club – Saturday, May 19th
    • The Gate, Indoor RC Racing Club – Brunswick, OH

Club Business:

  • Monthly Meeting Location
    • We are going to try moving our monthly meetings to the Lakeview Library. This was a first choice when we left the Lakeview museum last year but the library was closed for renovations. It will be reopening at the end of this month so we’re going to confirm meeting room availability and try to make the move for our May monthly meeting.
  • CIRC Group Event – Riverfront Segway Tour
    • We are going to try to setup a group Segway tour for CIRC club members at the Peoria Riverfront. They offer a 30 minute tour which is perfect for anyone who wants to try out riding a Segway and it only costs $25 per person. I’m still waiting for details on maximum group size and if they offer any group discounts but let us know if you’re interested in participating.
  • Online Club Library Listing
    • With the new website now live we hope to have the full library list published soon so club members can browse and check out items.
    • SolidWorks install CDs are now available through the club library.
  • 2012 Bot Brawl Recap
    • The Bot Brawl overall was a huge success but we discussed a few areas where we need to made improvements for future events. If you have any other suggestions or comments let us know.
    • With the Lakeview Museum closing this fall we’ll need to identify a new location for our 2013 event. We’ll continue discussions on this at future meetings.
  • 2012 RoboMagellan
    • ChiBots SRS RoboMagellan Competition – 8/4
    • We ran out of time to discuss the project in detail but we identified what we will be focusing on to get Wheel-E ready for the competition.
    • If you’d like to get involved in this group project let us know! There’s plenty of work to be done on a project as complex as RoboMagellan.

April 15, 2012 at 3:49 pm | Monthly Meeting Recaps | No comment

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