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SRS Meeting: November 20, 1999. 


Renton Technical College, Room J314.
   Ted Griebling - President
   Ron Provine - Vice President / Treasurer
   Tom Dickens - Secretary (editor of these meeting minutes)

New people today?  About a dozen.  Welcome!  Attendance is
about 50+. 

Mark Tilden has an exhibit through next week in downtown Seattle.  This is worth seeing. 
Location is Consolidated Works.  See:
http://www.conworks.org
http://www.conworks.org/life.html

We have a Boe-BOT which we will be giving away in a drawing today. For details of a Boe-BOT, see:
http://www.stampsinclass.com/products.htm

We had quite a few new people at the meeting today.  We went
around the room and had them introduce themselves.  Here is
a brief cap of what we herd:

Mark.  Had the anamtronic robot at Robothon.  He's from Portland
and attends PARTS.  http://www.rdrop.com/users/marvin/
He brought a few robots to show today.

Eric:  Just graduated from PLU.  Interested in what we're doing
with robots and is looking for a job in the robotics field.

Father & 2 sons:  Interested in earning more about robots.

Patric and his sister:  Attended Robothon and is inspired to be
a contestant next year. 

Husband & Wife team:  He works with PICs and the hardware,
she does software.

Father & son:  Working on mini-sumo and the BOTBoard+.

Tom:  Disabled construction worker with borg-like devices.
He had an excellent demonstration at Robothon and took
first place in the floor exercise.

Bart:  Looking for direction.  Has 2 sons and they've been
using the Lego MindStorms.

For the main part of the meeting, members have 5 minutes to
discuss or show anything they wish.  Here is a recap of
what was presented:

Mark:  Showing off a few robots.  Harold is a rope climbing
robot, 1989 vintage, climbs a 10 meter (30 foot) rope.  It can
do this in about 2 minutes, it took second place, it was beat by
a balloon.  In 1993 he build a flame-thrower for a robot.  It
clamps onto a can of WD-40 and ignites the spray.  This was
build out of polycarbonite, a very hard plastic.  You can glue
using PlasticWelder glue.

Tom:  Electrician & mathimatition.  Brought in a good variety
of robotics.  Talked about pizo shock sensors from DigiKey. 
You can cut them into smaller shapes and use them for many
things.  Also showed a 6-legged walker using 2 servos, pencils
(erasers down) for the legs, and lots of hot-glue.  Another
robot was an ornothoptor; I'd love to see how it flies.
He has a good lesson to remember:  Don't hook 5 volt circuit
up to 12 volts!  Also talked about pre-programmed PIC chips,
$3 each, to do 4-channel 8-bit A/D conversion in an 8-pin DIP,
available from Professor Pete Anderson: 
http://www.phanderson.com/

Steve:  Offering himself as a focal to help document projects
in the SRS for the Encoder.  If you have a project which you
haven't documented and don't think you can, contact Steve for
his help.  Contact Steve at stk6772@yahoo.com    We want to
capture and share this information with other.  This can also
be done to capture information that passes through the SRS
list-server.

Mark:  Showed his modified gear-box on the Maxum motor, from a
1 HZ to 7Hz axle-speed.  See Mark for details on how to do this.

Larry:  ATMEL AVR.  Has the gnu C compiler up and running. 
He is very impressed with the resulting code, very tight! 
There is an ATMEL for dummies web-site,  http://members.xoom.com/volkeroth/index_e.htm

Garrett:  4-legged walker, just 1 servo  motor.  Very well done!
It uses a BOTBoard with the 68HC11, 4 AA batteries. 

Tom:  Is planning on bringing a working MicroMouse robot next
meeting along with part of the maze for a demo.  If you also
have a MicroMouse robot, bring it alone for the demo.  We are
planning on adding MicroMouse as an event in the next Robothon.

Doug:  Robothon leftovers.  A few award certificates and prizes
which didn't get picked up.  One prize is a Pacific Science
Center yearly family membership which we will be raffled off
today.  If you were a 1st, 2nd, or 3rd place winner at Robothon,
you have won a subscription to Robot Science & Technology. 
They have a list of names, but need your address to send your
subscription.  Contact them at:
http://www.robotmag.com/
Next year's Robothon we will be adding 2 contests; MicroMouse
and a Line-Following Maze.  We need to get a set of rules for
the Line-Following contest soon so we can start building robots
for it.  For the MircoMouse rules and web-sites of well
established MicroMouse contests, see:
http://www.uel.ac.uk:80/faculties/tech/mrru/uelmice.htm
http://www.ece.ucdavis.edu/umouse/
http://www.eecs.wsu.edu/~ieee/mouse/
http://www.bekkoame.or.jp/~ntf/mouse/mouse-e.html

Bryan:  A report about rechargeable batteries.  Nickel-Metal
Hydride batters last 2 to 3 times longer.  There are now
chargers on the market which offer low-cost chargers ($10) that
can charge Alkaline, Nickel Metal Hydride, and Nickel Cadmium. 
He found this at Toys-R-Us, and it is also available elsewhere.

Dan:  A small robot named Kludge.  2 hobby servos, bump switch,
photo resistor, BASIC Stamp, 4 C batteries.  Uses old (AOL) CDs
for the top and bottom of the chassis.  Can glue to the CDs with
Liquid Nails, which provides a good flexible bond.  Uses a 555
timer with the photo resistor and monitors the resulting 555
pulses with the PIC; a good A/D type of converter.  Demo after
the meeting.

Lance:  Brought in some old (very old) cases from hard drives,
as large as a large shoe box.  He has a few of these if anyone
can use them.  Also brought in a chassis from an old 8" floppy
drive.  If you want to use it for a very beefy robot base,
contact Lance.

Ron:  Brought in a small box demonstrating a voice recognition
chip/board.  This is very easy to use and interface to.  Next
month he hopes to have it fully working.  It was working in a
standalone mode.  You can create the voice templates it uses, up
at 15 words or short phrases.  Chip is from Sensory Inc. and is
available from Jameco.  When used by computer, you get 4 sets of
15 words to use.  The kit costs $50 for the module, good
instruction and easy to use.    http://www.jameco.com

Ryan:  4-legged walking dog, Rodney.  9 servos, PIC processor. 
He won the Robothon Grand prize with it, the Newton Labs
Cognachrome Vision System.  He spent about 5 months building
this robot, and has been working on robots for about 2.5 years. 
His plans for the vision system is to use it on a new large
walker, possibly an elephant with a trunk which can pick things
up.

Ron:  Robothon financing.  Still working through the receipts
and expenses.  It looks like we about broke even.  We did have
to borrow money from SRS members to help float some of the
financing.  For future Robothons we really need to have more
capital in the bank to make it work.  We still have T-Shirts
available, $15; contact The images is:
http://www.seattlerobotics.org/robothon/T2.pdf
Ron to get one.
We also plan to compile a Robothon video for sale.

Pete:  He is organizing collecting videos of Robothon to create
a composite video from Robothon.  The SRS will make these
available for sale to help finance the next Robothon and to
help share the technology and gather interest for the next
Robothon. 

We held an official nomination of Doug as the SRS event
coordinator.  The club concurred and Doug agreed to accept
the position.  Thanks Doug!!!

Rick:  Brought in some vacuum ideas for the Japanese class of
the Sumo.  He took one prototype, turned it on, and stuck it to
the ceiling.  The fan is from a can vac using a high-performance
RC car motor (a 5-40).  Another prototype used a diaphragm-based
suction pump from Electronic Goldmine.  Also brought in a bunch
of other fans he tested which didn't work very well. 

Pete:  A robot base which is 1' high, 2" in diameter a 31-amp-
hour battery.  No name yet, but a good start.  An idea for
working with 12 Volt robots.  Parts (circuit breakers, etc) can
be found at marine shops and also RV stores.

Isa:  Brought in a off-the-shelf robot ball from Toyoko.  It is
currently a remote-control toy.  In the future it will be an
autonomous robot.  This can be found in robot catalogs for about
$70.  Also brought in a book, The Unofficial Guide to LEGO
Mindstorms Robots, O'Reilly press.  Isa runs the Eastside
Robotics Club which follows the SRS meetings and is held at
Isa's house in Woodinville.

Gene:  Still working on casting, aluminum, bronze and brass. 
Hasn't gotten into plastics due to ventilation and poising
concerns.  Contact Gene if you're interested in learning the
technology.  He is working to set up a demo here at RTC at a
future SRS meeting.

Bill:  Brought in a Lego Wars robot which won 1st place.  They
got the SAM robot kit, a BASIC stamp inside, 2 servo motors. 
Also brought in two line-maze robots.  Bill is now promoting
robot-sumo teams (3 or more people) to try to compete with the
Japan sumos.  We are planning a NW-Robot Sumo contest, targeting
sometime in May, which will also include MicroMouse. 

Dick:  Comments about running the clubs meetings.  They are made
up of show-&-tell, technical demonstrations, and administrative
items.  It would really help to have 1-2 page write-ups of your
projects to pass out at the meeting and/or include in the
Encoder. 
Technical items:  Java on a processor (Dick, can you post
a good URL for this?).   Motor questions about old floppy
drives.  Isn't the motor in floppy disks a high-quality
brushless DC motor?  Contact Dick if you want to help him
investigate this.  Dick will be attending other local club
meetings to see how they are run, like the Linux meeting. 
The goal is to find how to have SRS meetings more productive
and how to handle the continued growth of the SRS meetings. 
Let's plan on discussing this during the next  SRS meeting.

Ted:  Showing his mini-sumo robot.  Molded silicon rubber
wheels, very good friction!  Get the silicon rubber from Tap
Plastics if you want to try it. 

Drawing straws (wires) for the Boe-Bot kit.  This is for people
who have not built a robot, and is considered a loaner.  The
winner can have this as long as they keep progressing with the
robot.  Once they are done with it, return it to SRS for another
person to use.  And the winner is:  Patrick Simon, a new SRS
member.  Good luck and have fun!

Also raffled off the Pacific Science Center  family membership. 
It went to Bill Harrison.

Great meeting, see you at GodFathers...

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Tom Dickens    thomas.p.dickens@boeing.com
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