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Monthly Meeting Recap – 7/14/13

Robot Show & Tell:

  • Mike Dvorsky brought the manual for his OneTesla singing Tesla coil which he backed on Kickstarter. Mike recently received the majority of the kit and was very impressed with the quality of the included documentation. Mike also described his experimentation with the ultrasonic sensors we hope to use for our RoboMagellan entry. It has proven difficult to get a reliable sensor reading from these sensors due to environmental issues and false triggers. Mike plans to continue his experimentation with other sensor models and configurations.
  • Peter Campbell demonstrated his work getting ROS to talk to the ArduPilot board enabling GPS location and heading sensor readings, waypoint heading and distance calculations, and real-time display of the robot position overlaid with Google Maps. Peter even made custom graphics to communicate Wheel-E’s heading on the Google Maps plot.
  • Curt Boirum demonstrated a custom Python application he wrote that allows for a display output to be broken up into multiple windows intended for creating a single massive display across multiple monitors.
  • Dan Toborowski brought an FPV ground station he assembled which uses a diversity tuner to automatically select the strongest video signal between an omni-directional short range antenna and a long range patch antenna. This system allows for first person view piloting of a quadcopter using the strengths of two separate types of antennas. Dan showed his most recent FPV quadcopter flight video. Dan also brought the upgraded Wheel-E RoboMagellan chassis he’s been working on. The upgraded frame features steering control of each individual wheel, weight reductions throughout, and overall better servicability.


  • Next monthly meeting is August 11th
  • CIRC bi-weekly build sessions will be replaced with RoboMagellan build sessions until August.
  • Check out the September/October 2013 issue of ROBOT Magazine for an article about the 2013 Bot Brawl!

Upcoming Events:

  • ChiBots RoboMagellan Competition – May 18th & August 3rd
    • Location – Moraine Valley Community College
  • Possible RoboGames successor – Late October?
    • Dupage Community College?
    • Details still be sorting out, this is a tentative date and location
    • Event is planned to include combat robotics, autonomous robotics, UAVs, Mech Warfare, and more…

Club Business:

  • Community Event Opportunities
    • FIRST LEGO League
      • Peoria-area FLL season kicks off in late August
      • Practice scrimmages will take place in October / November and regional tournaments scheduled for December
      • If you’re interested in volunteering as a judge contact
  • 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?
  • RoboMagellan:
    • Several members stayed until 4:30 discussing the club’s RoboMagellan project
    • Majority of the time was focused on defining the necessary ROS nodes, determining the inputs and outputs for each, and assigning an owner
    • All club members are still welcome to join the Wheel-E development team although the August 3rd competition date is rapidly approaching

July 14, 2013 at 8:47 pm | Monthly Meeting Recaps | No comment

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