DPRG Events Shoptalk

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One of the main goals of the DPRG over the years has been to provide a forum for the exchange of robotics related information. Our ongoing education in these matters has been greatly enriched by the sharing of others.

DPRG tutorials continue this tradition with explanations of robot basics including theories of operation, source code examples, and help with common problems. We even offer some general advice to the robot builder in the hopes of providing a glimpse into the thinking process that converts a "pile of parts" into a robot.

We like talking about robots. If you'd like to discuss any of the concepts below or get some help with your robot building problem, join us on the DPRG mailing list!


DIY Techniques for PCBs, Firmware, and Mechanics
by Paul Bouchier, Doug Paradis, Dale Wheat, 2011
A series of tutorials presented at our monthly meetings, intended to provide all the skills needed to create a robot or other device composed of mechanical, electronic, and software components. The series starts with creating a printed circuit board and proceeds to assembling it, programming it, building a robot chassis, and then combining everything to create a working robot.
Robot Location Using 3 Omnidirectional Sound Beacons
by John Swindle, September 2010
John Swindle has spent the last several years perfecting a new method of robot location using fixed, audible sound beacons and a microphone on the robot. At our September general meeting John gave an interesting presentation explaining the science and math behind his location method.
Modding Linux WiFi Routers
by Paul Bouchier and Jonathan Pitts, August 2010
Paul and Jonathan provide a concise tutorial all about running Linux and Linux-based applications on a WiFi router. It covers why you'd want to run Linux on a router, how to install it, compares different application architectures, the GNU gcc toolchain and other considerations. There's also an overview of the Roomba robot control application Paul and Jonathan are working with.
A Simple PWM Circuit Based on the 555 Timer
by Rick Bickle, November 2005
Pulse Width Modulation (PWM) is the most common method of motor speed control used in robotics. Usually the PWM signal is generated by a microcontroller running a PWM algorithm in software. Rick introduces a way to generate PWM signals with nothing more than the ubiquitous 555 timer and a few discrete components.
DC Motor Control Systems for Robot Applications
by Rick Bickle, November 2003
Rick originally presented this introduction to DC motor control and PID at a DPRG meeting. It generated so much interested and seemed so generally useful that we decided to make it available on the website.
H-Bridge Theory of Operation
by Jim Brown & Bob Jordan, Revised August 2002
Jim Brown original wrote his H-Bridge tutorial to send as a reply to the many emails the DPRG receives requesting help with H-Bridge design. He eventually turned his tutorial into a web page and, more recently, Bob Jordan has cleaned it up and added many helpful diagrams.
Surface Mount Tutorial
by Ralph Tenny, Revised August 2002
Ralph's surface mount demonstrations have been VERY popular at recent RBNO's. This set tutorial provides step by step photos of the process Ralph uses for preparing and assembling surface mount components to a printed circuit board.
'Bot Beginners
Compiled by Eric Yundt, April 1999
An eclectic collection of advice for beginning Robot builders skimmed from the DPRG mailing list. If you've got something to add, then send it, "Subject: Bot Beginners". Don't be shy! Share your wisdom with the young'uns.
Under The Hood
by David P. Anderson, March 1999
Theory of Operation for SR04 Robot Operating System and Software
Interfacing Primer
by Jim Brown, July 1997
Having trouble connecting the servo bone to the MCU bone, or getting your 1-pixel display (LED) to blink? We've all been there before, so when you get tired of yanking your hair out, check out the Interfacing Primer. It covers a lot of the first steps on the path to getting the Bot Brain from the lab on into the real world.
MCU Primer
by Erick Wagner, Kip Moravec, Jim Brown, July 1997
Do you ever wonder what the difference is between a microprocessor and a microcontroller? Do you know what those weird acronyms really mean? ROM, PROM, & EPROM? How about RAM, SRAM & DRAM? This primer covers all that plus has brief introductions to the common Robot brains: 8051, 68HC11 & PIC's.

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