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SRS Meeting: January 20th, 2001

Renton Technical College, Room H102.

President: Ron Nucci r.nucci@worldnet.att.net

VP/treasurer: Ron Provine ronprovine@telesphere.com

Secretary: Tom Dickens thomas.p.dickens@boeing.com


Attendance is about 60 plus, with over 10 new people.

Robothon - Doug: http://seattlerobotics.org/Robothon2001/index.html   Only 3 months away, start building those bots! There will be great prizes. We just added two more sponsors; Zorin and LynxMotion. There will be space at Robothon for SRS members to display and have demos. Contact Doug ASAP to coordinate this. There will be a Sumo trial contest at our February meeting, which will be held at the UofW in conjunction with a FIRST robot trial (see below). Will will be allowing vacuum and sticky wheels for sumo this year (like the Japanese rules) as long as the robot does not damage the sumo ring.

At the February meeting we will have: - Raffle tickets (I need to buy these) - T-Shirts - Posters Also, for the raffle this year you can target specific prizes. And don't forget the Robothon hack-session the night before Robothon from 6 to 10 pm.

Ron: AAAI contest in Seattle in August 2001. http://www.aaai.org/Conferences/conferences.html   The 2001 International Joint Conference on Artificial Intelligence and Innovative Applications of Artificial Intelligence Conference August 4-10, 2001 in Seattle, Washington. Information about the conference is located at the IJCAI site. http://www.boeing.com/nosearch/ijcai/  

Also, the 2001 RoboCup soccer contest will be in Seattle in conjunction with the AAAI/IJCAI conference: http://www.cs.cmu.edu/~robocup2001/  

SMART is a new club (Seattle Mindstorms...) which meets at the Bellevue public library. Check it out. (sorry, I don't have a link for them yet)

Kinsey Fobes, a RTC instructor, is starting a robotics club at RTC and wants to tap into the SRS. Welcome, glad you were at the meeting and are getting involved!

Doug: Showed a small barcode scanner which he found at Vetco. They have a couple of models in the $5 to $10 range. He also was reading Karl's "Build Your Own Robot Now!" book and got interested n the modem-hacking article. He is working on a version of this.

Larry: There will be a FIRST pre-competition event February 17th at the UofW. The SRS discussed this and agreed to hold our next meeting in conjunction with this FIRST event, and will hold a sumo warm-up contest there. Check the SRS list server for details. http://www.usfirst.org 

Frank: Brought in a small computer which Karl will detail later. He also brought in a Mechano frame with custom tires for the Mechano pulleys (about $6 each). See Frank for his contact for these. February 3-4 there is a hobby expo at the Puyallup fairgrounds. He also knows of a development position at SEA for 68HC11. See Frank for the details.

Karl: Resources Unlimited (advertised in Nuts-N-Volts) has a nice ruggidized computer. A '386, 1M RAM + 2M RAM card, RS232, PCI, RF-modem, etc. They have 2 models, both at $50. The newer model is what you want and it had the RF modem. It also ha a 80x25 backlit LCD screen and will boot DOS 5.0. The old ones cannot boot DOS. See Karl Lunt's web-site for details. http://www.seanet.com/~karllunt/   The 68000 version of Karl's SBASIC has a new updated release. Also, on February 23, 7-8, Karl will have a booksigning at the Alderwood Barnes & Nobel. Bring your bots and support Karl.

Linda: She is combining quilting with sensors and LEDs (from Electronic Goldmine) to create a new mixed-media art-form. She will bring in some samples to demo when done.

Rob: Mentioned eBay deals for Palm Pilots (people who got new ones for Christmas) with Palm IIIs going for under $50. Great for robot controllers.

Pete: Has an old NeXT computer and an old (working) VCR for give-away after the meeting.

Lance: Working with RC car parts and is wanting to find micro switches which can handle 25 amps. See Lance if you have a solution for him.

Steve: The latest Design News magazine has a robot replication tetrahedron, a GA-designed robot. Also showed data for the Dragan Fly helicopter which can be used for indoor flying. It ha 4 horizontal rotors--costs about $600. Also brought in examples of LED flashlights built fro RadioShack parts, and mentioned a deal on X-10 modules. See http://www.x10.com

Jeff: He is building a new line-follower robot and has gotten a 64-rev quad gearhead motors from Jamco. He found some great encoders on eBay to track the distance traveled. These sell at DigiKey for $50 each. He has extras and will sell them to SRS members after the meeting (they sold very quickly!) Thanks!

Martin: Showed a Tini system which has a 8051 at 40 MHz, 1M Ram, and runs Java (all for $55). With the developer board you can get ethernet, set up a server, etc. Check out http://www.ibutton.com 

Donna: Mentioned the Circuit Cellar on-line version. http://www.circellar.com/  November 2000 has information on scheduling which is useful for our projects. She is also building a line-maze robot based on my TRP article. http://tomdickens.com/68hc11/trp2/trp2.html   She has modified the design to use 5 sensors with a BASIC Stamp. She is working to have it running for Robothon.

Gene: Sears is making a '486 version of the computer mention above by Karl (for $200). It will be available through Nuts-N-Volts.

Terry: Brought in catalogs for give-away after the meeting. Also brought in a Yellow-Ball RC toy (about $25) from All Electronics. It has 2 good motors, controllers, and the RC. He showed it after the meeting and it was very quick!

Bill: Wanting information on servo hacking for torque-porportional control.

Doug: Showed a 128x128 pixel graphing LCD, about 2" square, for $10.

Mark: His 68332 boards are available. Very nice systems; see Mark for details.

That's it, thanks for a good meeting. It was discovered that GodFathers was closed, so no pizza. Ron will check out alternatives for future meetings.