Commentary by S.D. Kaehler
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3/17/18: This month's meeting was really fun but a little light on attendance. About 25 people showed up to talk about robots. The meeting started pretty close to 10AM in spite of switcheing AGAIN to a different meeting location. I forgot my video console but got the meeting off to reasonable start. I was able to edit events on the Seattle Robotics Yahoo Group so I removed the location reference from the calendar. In the future check the FB page and/or the website for the most up to date information.
I will continue to encourage everyone at the meetings to build robots. In fact, we brought a bunch of the new Activitybot kits and sold several. 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 to see how he's doing. I haven't made much progress recently due to my son breaking his leg, but I hope to have the robot moving around (or doing something) by the next meeting. Keep the robot-building momentum going. Robothon and the Special Contest Day are coming. Visit the Useful Links page and let me know if it's useful for building robots. My thought is make one-stop place you can go to find helpful robotics resources.
Wil, Dick, Jim, and I (Steve) shared during the Round-the-Room.
- Wil showed us ??
- Dick showed off a cool little laser range finder (VL53L0X) he bought from Pololu. He also showed some cool little prototyping PCBs that he got for cheap off Amazon. The general link provides a bunch of similar products.
- Jim K. commented on how well documented the Parallax robot kits are and that the docs are probably worth more than the robots.
- Steve highlighted Alphatronics, one of the few brink-n-mortar electronic stores left. The store is just north of the FIRST Fieldhouse on West Valley Highway across from NC Caterpillar and next to Sherman-Williams Paints. He also showed off the latest progress on his robot, Omicron (who really needs to go on a diet!). Steve recently bought a new electric bicycle so his old one will give its life-blood (LiFePh batteries) to help Omicron achieve this. You can find more technical details about the progress on the SRS Weblog.
L. Paul Verhage gave a wonderfully entertaining presentation on his balloon sats that took photos and gathered interesting data during the August 21, 2017 solar eclipse from Ontario, Oregon. He has an amazing knowledge of near space, balloon satellites, optics, and earth science. People peppered him with questions and he handled them all in stride. Here are his slides.
A few folks hung around for a while during the afternoon Workshop. We still have a couple Boe-bots for sale. 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(at)Gmail.com.
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