What to Expect

If you are building a robot, planning one, or just curious about robotics, you’ve come to the right place. If we’re meeting in person, come on down to our venue, and meet the gang. We are on an exciting journey and welcome you to join us at a monthly meetings (currently online). Meetings are free and open to anyone who would like to attend. We also have a Meetup group page where you can RSVP and set a reminder for yourself. Here’s a link to the pre-meeting slideshow that explains many details that won’t be covered during the meeting announcements to save time. It will advance automatically every ten seconds and repeats every couple minutes.

 The Seattle Robotics Society has had meetings nearly every month since 1982. We had a hiatus in early 2019 due to COVID shutdowns, but are now meeting every month online.

Schedule and Venue: The Seattle Robotics Society meets on the third Saturday of each month. Our in-person meetings were at the FIRST Washington Fieldhouse in Kent, WA, however this facility was vacated in early 2021. A new location should be selected sometime in late Fall 2021 or early 2022. Details will be posted here when a new meeting location has been established.

The online meetings will try to include as many elements of the in-person meetings as possible, but direct personal interaction will be limited to what’s possible through Zoom. Robot Discussions may continue after the monthly meetings.

 whichWhat happens at a meeting

Our regular meetings officially start at 10am PT (11am MT, 12pm CT, 1pm ET) on the third Saturday of each month, with Zoom being up 20-30 minutes before hand. Thanks to responses to COVID-19, our meetings have moved online and been pretty consistent. We plan to run online meetings while meeting in person for the benefit of those who prefer remote attendance.

Welcome: My name is Steve and I usually run the meetings. Jump online early and introduce yourself. Meet the other people attending. We have new people all the time as well many faithful, longtime members who have been attending for years. Use the Zoom Chat during the meeting to share useful information to streamline the information gathering process for me. This will be posted along with the video and meeting slides on the website after the meeting. 

Club Business: The meetings are friendly and informal but do follow an agenda. We’ll start by addressing any club business (related to the club’s mission and purpose, what people are interested in, etc.), and share about news of upcoming robotics events in the area, the upcoming presentation schedule, and anything else related to club operations or activities.

Show-n-Tell/Round-the-Room/Web: This in an opportunity for anyone to show-n-tell about  their project. The style is informal demonstration or presentation. Attendees have the opportunity to share what they are working on and this is a great time to ask questions to and seek help from other club members. Because this portion of the meeting is  unscripted, it can last 15 minutes or exceed an hour. This is also an opportunity to consider sharing about your project as a formal presentation at a future meeting if you find the time too limiting. Contact me at the club email and I’ll get you scheduled. Generally though it will be cut off by 11 (PT) or so. Then After this comes a mid-meeting break (~5-10 mins depending on how late the R-the-R runs) prior to the presentation. At in-person meetings, this is an opportunity to follow up with people, mingle, meet others, and rummage through the swap meet items. 

Presentation: After the break, I’ll call everyone to their seats to begin the formal presentation which begins with an introduction of the presenter. The presentation will until noon (PT) or so, can go longer, but will not go past 12:30pm PT. They can be an invited guest speaker sharing his/her experience on a robotics or a technology-related topic, an open discussion on a pre-defined topic facilitated by me or another club member, or a member presenting on his/her robot or other interesting project. While not doing in-person meetings, all presentations are online which enables presenters from any reasonable time zone on the planet. Sometimes we have past presenters back for an update on their work or research. Anything interesting is a possibility.

Afterwards: After the presentation the meeting officially ends, but feel free to hang around and chat during the Robotics Discussion. In person, you  can chat with people, follow-up on questions about things shared, meet more people, see demos of things people brought, etc. Since this is currently happening online, the meeting will continue until people are done and leave.

Workshops

The monthly workshops may start up once in-person meetings happen and will take place wherever the meetings are located. If you have questions or just want to have company while you work, the online meeting will continue at least for a while. If you’re stuck or don’t quite know where to begin, perhaps we can provide just the impetus you need. The meetings and workshops are free and open to anyone who would like to attend and participate.

The current club robots are the SRS Arduino Boe-Bot Kit and the Activitybot Kit which you can buy at any meeting or reach out to the club at via the SRS email: SeattleRoboticsSociety(at)gmail.com. When in-person meetings start, bring them back to future meetings for help, to share what you’ve done, to get questions answered, to work on them, and to prepare for and do contests. These kits were designed specifically for the SRS by Parallax President Ken Gracey and SRS member and published author Carol Hazlett. They come with extensive, excellently written documentation and a special selection of sensors well suited for building robots to compete in our Robothon events and other contests. Additional sensors and sensor kits can be purchased from Parallax or other places on the web. 

The SRS Workshop Robot kits: This kit was built especially for the Society and is not available as sold from Parallax. It can only be purchased at SRS meetings. This means that when you buy this kit you hope and intend to participate in our workshops, come to meetings, compete in contests, and work on your robot along side other SRS members. We don’t want to compete with Parallax by selling these kits to just anyone so we don’t sell them through an online store. They are designed to support the mission and purpose of the Seattle Robotics Society and we wish to respect and support Parallax as our thanks for their extraordinary generosity and support of the Society.

SRS Workshop Robot Resources: