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Monthly Meeting Recap – 7/8/12

Robot Show & Tell:

  • Dan Toborowski brought his R/C Quadcopter that he equipped with FPV (first person view) hardware allowing him to fly using point-of-view video feed displayed on video goggles. Dan also recently added OSD (on-screen-display) hardware that adds information on top of the video feed to see GPS location, speed, altitude, battery voltage, current, and more. You can see an example video of HD video recorded using the on-board GoPro camera here.
  • Joshua Whitley showed us a Rasberry Pi board he recently acquired. This device is essentially an ARM GNU/Linux box computer complete with video outputs, USB and LAN connections, and I/O pins. The board is available in 2 configurations that cost only $25 or $35! Josh plans to use this board to build his own RoboMagellan robot that uses OpenCV for vision and ROS. We look forward to hearing about Josh’s experimentation with this board.
  • Peter Campbell recently removed the Mini ITX computer from Wheel-E and installed a netbook computer. This was done to improve GPS performance which we’ve suspected has been negatively effected by electronic “noise” from the ITX. Peter pointed out the new mounting brackets and other hardware he fabricated to facilitate this change which was constructed from materials such as MicroRAX and 3D printed ABS plastic made using a MakerBot Replicator.
  • Mike Dvorsky brought a few test bed platforms he’s constructed to help him experiment with wheel encoders for our RoboMagellan robot. Mike’s focus will be on his Dagu Rover which he had running under R/C control at the meeting using a Pololu TReX Dual Motor Controller board.


  • A representative from Funtrench Limited contacted our club looking to partner with robotics organizations in order to run academic programs in high schools across Kenya. If you’re interested in learning more let me know and I’ll forward the information.
  • Bi-Weekly Build Session Reminder – Next meeting 7/12

Upcoming Events:


Club Business:

  • CIRC Group Event – Riverfront Segway Tour
    • Planning for this is on hold until after the RoboMagellan competition has passed.
  • Community Event Opportunities:
    • HOI Fair – July 13th-21st – Expo Gardens
      • CIRC will not be participating in the fair this year due to a lack of 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
    • After the meeting we headed to the grassy field in front of the museum and library for a field test of Wheel-E
    • Our testing found that the steering PID control loop needs to be tuned as right now the robot wildly swerves back and forth while attempting to hold a heading
    • At the end of the test we tried out the GPS and found it was working very reliably. Using primarily GPS data and the camera for cone tracking Wheel-E was able to travel between 3 cones twice with great success despite the poor steering performance.

July 8, 2012 at 6:24 am | Monthly Meeting Recaps | No comment

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