About the SRS

Page last updated on 1/21/22

The Seattle Robotics Society was formed in 1982 to serve those interested in building robots and learning about associated technologies. The Society is a club incorporated as a non-profit entity consisting of a diverse group of technologists and tinkerers. Our collective passion is to learn about robots through educational activities and to freely share our skills and knowledge with our community through meetings, workshops, contests, outreach events, online activities, and mentoring.

One great way to learn about the Society is to come to our monthly meetings. Since they happen online via Zoom, this is super-easy.

See the SRS Programs page for information on the activities that the SRS does to help promote robotics. If you are interested in donating financially to the SRS, we can accept donations using the PayPal app at PayPal@SeattleRobotics.org.

New to Robotics?

It is our hope that we can help you on your journey to build your own robot. Several of our members have put together information about some options. 

There are now so many options for getting started with robotics compared to one to two decades ago. How you approach this depends on how much you think you can do and how much you want to purchase off-the-shelf. There are now kits available that allow as little or as much effort as you want to put into a robot. These kits can come ready-to-go, right out of the box, or having some assembly required. In most cases, once the kits are built, they will have built-in software to make the robot do something. Robot kits capable of many functions are available online, and most offer a fairly quick way to get something running quickly, but that pre-designed functionality steers the robot in the direction chosen by the kit designers. This offers less personal creativity, but quicker progress towards a working robot

SRS Workshop Robots

The SRS has a couple good starter kit robots that try to balance pre-designed functionality with builder creative license. Consider the following: Whether you’re just getting started in robotics or want to learn about more advanced topics, the SRS Workshop Robots are great choices. These basic kits enable you to explore robot design, construction, and programming within a well-documented learning environment. These kits are not sold apart from our club or on our website because these heavily discounted  kits were designed for to encourage the beginner and promote the mission of the Society to build robots. Purchasers of the kits are encouraged to bring them to meetings, attend workshops, and participate in contests. You can bring them to monthly meetings and ask for help getting started and making progress.

The Boe-bot Arduino UNO kit is simple, easy to build, and available for purchase via cash, check, or charge. The kit comes with wonderfully detailed, printed manual walking you through everything from opening the box to complete programming of the robot to use all the included sensors, so you can be productive in between workshops.

The second kit we offer is an eight-core Propellor Chip-based robot called the Activitybot, also available for purchase via cash, check, or charge. It also comes with a very detailed electronic (not printed) manual. This kit is great for folks interested in something more sophisticated than an single-core Arduino UNO-based robot. This kit supports true milti-tasking, comes with 360-count-per-revolution wheel encoder-servos, an array of other special sensors, and uses BlocklyProp for programming (based on Scratch).

The Encoder

The Encoder is the Newsletter of the Seattle Robotics Society. We hope you find it informative and useful. We’re sorry it hasn’t been updated for a while, but even though technology and robotics evolve rapidly, many things don’t change that much. People seem to be quite busy and prefer building robots to writing about them, so come to the meetings to see them. However, if you are interested in writing something that you believe would be helpful or interesting to our members, we would love to talk to you about publishing it in the Encoder. Contact us at SeattleRoboticsSociety(at)gmail.com, Subject: Encoder Article. Here’s a link to our writer’s guide to help you get started.

We have scanned and posted some pre-Internet issues of the original Encoder magazine from one member’s stash. Check these out for some SRS history and to see how far robotics have come since the club started.

Robothon

Robothon is the Seattle Robotics Society’s signature public event where we show off our robots and get to talk to lots of people about robotics. Robothon usually happens at the Seattle Center Armory in the fall, is free and open to the public, and is filled with exciting competitions, continuous floor demonstrations, interesting displays, and there are always plenty of people to answer questions about the SRS and robots. Between Robothons we sometimes have “Special Contest Days” featuring some of the typical Robothon contests. Watch the SRS homepage and visit the Robothon website for event details and contest rules.

Since we have not had in-person meetings or Robothon events, we have shifted to online technical presentations that we call Virtual Robothon Exhibitions. You can check videos of these events out here.

FIRST Washington

FIRSTWA is an amazing, energetic organization dedicated to exposing kids to the exciting possibilities of science, technology, engineering, and mathematics (STEM) wrapped together in robotics. Its primary focus is to provide opportunities for young people in Washington state to participate in the four programs (FLLE, FLLC, FTC, FRC)  and contests developed by FIRST.