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Monthly Meeting Recap – 6/10/12

Robot Show & Tell:

  • Dan Toborowski provided an update on his work developing a brushless motor upgrade for the club’s RoboMagellan robot. Brushless motors often provide greater performance than brushed motors while weighing less and drawing less current. Dan’s hope is that the new motor/gearbox combination will provide increased performance and top speed while reducing current draw and adding no additional weight. His latest work involved mating the brushless motors with Banebots 64:1 P60 gearboxes and programming the electronic speed controllers to provide fully symmetrical speed control.
  • Peter Campbell showed us a custom program he made that uses a Labjack data acquisition device and temperature probe to monitor the temperature and voltage level of a battery pack while charging. Peter observed that the Nimh packs used for Wheel-E got considerably warm during charging and he wanted to monitor this temperature while charging to see if he could detect an issue. The group then spent some time discussing different battery chemistries and the preferred charging method for each. We could not find an issue with Peter’s method for charging but plan to investigate this further at this week’s bi-weekly build session using a more capable smart charger and larger power supply.
  • Mike Dvorsky brought a Bot Board and custom power supply to hand off to Karl so he could test Wheel-E’s ultrasonic sensors without needing the actual robot. Mike developed a custom microcontroller board for our RoboMagellan robot that takes the inputs from most of the on-board sensors and send this data to the Mini-ITX computer as a concise serial string.


  • All monthly meetings for the remainder of 2012 will take place at the Peoria Public Library Lakeview Branch instead of the North Branch location. The Lakeview Branch is a more central location for our members and we’re no longer faced with a scheduling conflict that requires us to vacate the meeting space by 3:00.
  • Bi-Weekly Build Session Reminder – Next meeting 6/14

Upcoming Events:


Club Business:

  • CIRC Group Event – Riverfront Segway Tour
    • We are going to try to set up 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. We will work on selecting a date and determining who will be attending through an email discussion on the Yahoo Group.
  • Community Event Opportunities:
    • HOI Fair – July 13th-21st – Expo Gardens
      • Organizers would like to include CIRC at this year’s fair
      • CIRC would be provided space and equipment inside the air-conditioned youth building
      • Volunteers would get free tickets for the fair
      • Any days and times during the event is acceptable for CIRC to participate
      • Any volunteers?
    • Boy Scout Illini Jamboree – September 15th – Champaign, IL
      • CIRC has attended this event for the past three years (2009, 2010, 2011)
      • Any volunteers to represent CIRC this year?
  • Online Club Library Listing
    • Mike is still working on this. We hope to have a full inventory list available on the site soon.
  • 2012 RoboMagellan
    • ChiBots SRS RoboMagellan Competition – 8/4
    • We are currently in the process of developing the next generation of Wheel-E for this year’s competition. Most of our development takes place at bi-weekly build sessions.
    • 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.

June 10, 2012 at 5:40 pm | Monthly Meeting Recaps | No comment

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