Commentary by S.D. Kaehler
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1/20/18: This month's meeting was a blast and well attended. About 50 people showed up to talk about and build robots. The meeting started pretty close to 10AM in spite of switch to a different meeting location. I didn't get everything done that I wanted but got things off to reasonable start excpet that WiFi at WIT apparently shuts down on the weekends. Jim K. will look into this for next month's meeting. Fortunately an enterprising SRS member (Steve P.) made his phone a hotspot for me and saved the day. Except for a couple bad emails automatically sent out by the YG server, things seemed to go okay. I am owner of the Seattle Robotics Yahoo Group but CANNOT change Events in the calendar! This is not just my problem but one many people have voiced and apparently Yahoo isn't in any hurry to fix it so I'll have to remember to send a correction email out after each reminder hits.
I continue to encourage everyone at the meetings to build robots. In fact, we will be ordering a bunch of the new Activitybot kits so fewer people will have an excuse not to. We will continue to support the original Arduino Boe-bot along side the new kit at the regular monthly workshops so bring yours back and work on it with us.
I have been posting details about my robot Omicron on the SRS Weblog and hope you'll stop by now then to see how I'm doing. I have made great progress recently and hope to have him moving around (or doing something) by the next meeting. I hope we can continue to gain robot-building momentum and use it to to compete in Robothon and the intervening events. The Useful Links page is a recent addition I hope you'll check out and help make useful to everyone. My thought is make one-stop place you can go to find helpful robotics resources.
Wil, Rob, the Frogers, and Steve shared during the Round-the-Room.
- Wil showed us his latest toy, the Google AIY Vision Kit. He's planning to 3D-print a nicer enclosure for it and hopes that more apps will be released for it soon.
- Rob showed off his pixy CMUCam5 smart-camera running pixymon which can track numerous colored objects and interfaces via I2C directly to Arduinos so the processing overhead for the controller is very low. It is available for about $75 from Adafruit among other suppliers. He added a servo pan/tilt mount to it which the camera can drive to keep an objects centered in its field of view.
- The Electric Frogies shared their coming Space Elevator Competition that will happen at the Museum of Flight this summer. They are looking for help figuring out how to build it and where to get parts. They want to use an Arduino-based platform. Each of the four team members did a great job sharing a part of their presentation.
- Steve showed the latest progress on his robot Omicron. He briefly talked through some details, what he's done recently, and what he hopes it will eventually do. You can find lots of technical details and a progress report about Omicron on the SRS Weblog.
Steve Kaehler facilitated an open discussion around "Why We Have Robots in Our Lives". The discussions were lively and interesting. I believe everyone enjoyed the interchange. Here are the slides with all the links including many we didn't have time to visit.
About probably 20 hung around for a while during the afternoon Workshop including the Electric Frogies who were brainstorming their "Ribbon Climbing Robot". We still have a couple Boe-bots for sale and one older ActivityBot. I hope more of you will come in future months and bring your robot(s) to work on and show off. The next Special Contest Day will follow the May meeting so get busy. I hope to see lots of you at next month's meeting!
If you have comments or opinions on this writing, please email me at SeattleRoboticsSociety (a) Gmail.com.
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