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Monthly Meeting Recap – 6/9/13

Robot Show & Tell:

  • Brian Oleson demonstrated his Pololu Zumo Sumo Robot Kit using the built-in compass and accelerometer to make the robot follow a specific heading. While driving across the floor Brian bumped the robot a few times and it quickly returned to it’s original heading. This demonstration spurred some conversation about the importance of calibrating the compass before running and whether or not our RoboMagellan robot should include this calibration routine as well.
  • Mike showed us the plaque that he received from the University of Northern Iowa Minisumo Invitational which his robot Orthos took first place at. This competition included entries from all over the country, many of which were mailed in and run without their builders present. Congratulations to Mike and his first place victory!
  • Peter Campbell demonstrated our first operational ROS node for our RoboMagellan robot Wheel-E. We are transitioning to ROS to make use of it’s collaborative environment, purpose-built features intended for autonomous robots, light weight hardware platforms, and strong online community. Peter was successfully able to adapt example code to read the output from Wheel-E’s BotBoard and display the output of the R/C commands to a custom GUI.
  • Dan Toborowski demonstrated the LEGO excavator project he built for use at public events as a hands on activity for younger kids. Dan took a stock LEGO excavator model and built a custom Arduino-powered controller that uses joystick inputs to provide a more realistic operator experience. Dan reverse-engineered the LEGO IR wireless protocol to send commands using his Arduino controller enabling variable speed control. Dan also demonstrated the Parallax X-Band motion detector which uses microwave signals and the Doppler effect to detect movement even through walls. Dan is experimenting with the sensor to see if it could be used as an obstacle detector for our RoboMagellan robot.


  • Next monthly meeting is July 14th
  • RobotShop 5% discount has been reactivated and is available for any club members’ use. Contact to obtain code.
  • CIRC bi-weekly build sessions will be replaced with RoboMagellan build sessions until August.

Upcoming Events:

  • RoboRumble @ Peoria Riverfront Museum – June 29th (11AM-3PM)
    • Organized by local FIRST teams
    • Will include robot demonstrations, interactive displays, LEGO Mindstorms & VEX robots
  • ChiBots RoboMagellan Competition – May 18th & August 3rd
    • Location – Moraine Valley Community College

Event Recap:

  • Great Burr Oak Science Club Meeting – May 25th
    • CIRC was invited to present at their May meeting along with representatives from several other local science groups
    • The group meets once a month on Saturday evenings at the Speakeasy Art Center in Pekin (353 Court St. Pekin, IL)
    • Their next meeting is Saturday, June 29th from 6PM-8PM
    • Meetings start with general discussion on current events in science then a presentation is given by a member of the scientific community
    • Refreshments are also provided

Club Business:

  • Community Event Opportunities
    • HOI Fair Invitation – July 12th-20th
      • CIRC invited to display at Heart of Illinois Fair in air-conditioned Opera House on any day of fair
      • Anyone interested in volunteering?
  • Club Donations
    • Previous club member who lives in Gurnee, IL has offered to donate 4’X4’X2′ combat robot test chamber, anyone able to pick up from member?
    • Donation Paypal option now available on “About Us” page of website
  • Bot Brawl Recap:
    • ROBOT Magazine Article (Sept-Oct issue)
      • Brian Oleson has finished his draft of the article, it will be shared with officers for review before submission
  • RoboMagellan:
    • We discussed what our next steps should be on the project and assigned specific tasks to project members
    • We plan to meet again as a group on Thursday, June 20th

June 9, 2013 at 4:56 pm | Monthly Meeting Recaps | No comment

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