DPRG’s February monthly meeting topic is “Useful OpenCV Routines for Hobby Roboticists”. Member Ray Casler will share his experiences using OpenCV on his robots .
His presentation will cover:
- blob detection
- LiDAR – IR filter and line laser
- pixel diddling – Challenge line following strategy
- using distance maps from Xbox Kinect sensors
- object tracking
Many people interested in Donkey Car have started their builds. There will be a Donkey Car show and tell after Ray’s presentation. Bring your Donkey Car build and share your experiences.
The meeting is at the Dallas Maker Space and starts at Noon on Saturday, February 9th.
DPRG 2019 Annual Meeting Minutes: Annual Meeting Minutes – 2019
Once again it is time to hold elections for DPRG club officers. The election will occur at the DPRG monthly meeting on January 12th, 2019. It is very important that members vote. The by-laws require that a specific percentage of members vote to make the election official.
A slate of candidates composed of the present officers is proposed for reelection in the 2019 election. The club’s by-laws limit the terms of the President and Vice-President to two years. This would be the 2nd term for Ray and Carl. This slate is composed of members who have indicated interest at recent club events. Any member can come forward and be added to the list of people considered for the various officer’s positions. If you want to explore holding office, an overview of officer duties can be found at officer duties. You can also get additional information by talking to an existing officer at any monthly meeting or RBNO. If you want to throw your hat into the ring, please let me know quickly at email “secretary at dprg dot org” so you can be added to the ballot.
Proposed Slate of Officers for 2019
President: Ray Casler
Vice-President: Carl Ott
Treasurer: Steve Edwards
Secretary: Doug Paradis
Librarian: John Kuhlenschmidt
How to Vote
All members in good standing can vote. The list of members is at member list. If you are not on the list and you think you should be, the problem is most likely that you need to renew your membership. Contact “secretary at dprg dot org” if you need help renewing your membership.
Members can vote by emailing their vote to “election at dprg dot org” before the January 12th meeting. The email should contain the text “I vote for the proposed officer slate”, or “I vote for the following people for office”, or similar text that allows our volunteer election vote counter to determine your intentions.
Members can also vote in person or proxy at the January 12th DPRG meeting. If voting by proxy, you should signal your intention to vote by proxy by sending an email to the person that you are giving control of your vote and to “election at dprg dot org” so the person holding your proxy and the person tallying votes knows of your intention. The person holding the proxy must then vote.
At the December monthly meeting, DPRG has the honor to host 2 interesting presentations.
In the first presentation, Iron Reign will show and discuss their robot, Rover Ruckus. Rover Ruckus is a competitor in the upcoming FIRST robotics regional championship. The robot is controlled by an Android phone. It also utilizes openCV for computer vision, and TensorFlow for machine learning.
Next, members Clay Timmons and Ray Casler will present the strategy and code their robots are using in their effort to successfully complete the challenge line follow course. They plan to cover the basics of line following all the way through the difficulties on the challenge course Their robots use Raspberry Pi for control and openCV for computer vision.
Lastly, the DPRG board will present a slate of candidates for the upcoming annual officer election, which will end at the January Annual meeting. If you are a member and wish to seek an officer position, please contact one of the current officers.
The meeting is at the Dallas Maker Space and starts at Noon on Saturday, December 8th. ROOM CHANGE – This month the meeting will be in the Purple classroom instead of the Interactive classroom.
DPRG held the club’s Fall Indoor Competition on November 10th at the Dallas Maker Space. The Fall competition is very informal and provides a chance for competitors to check their progress achieving new capabilities without waiting for the bigger Roborama competition held in May. The competition was lively with a good turnout and nice prizes. Everyone had a good time.
The featured image above shows the competitors in the challenge line following contest. Left to Right: Clay Timmons, Ray Casler, Carl Ott, Ron Grant, James LeRoy. Contest winner was Carl Ott. His robot, Technical Debt, advanced the farthest along the course. Carl’s robot was also able to complete the course’s circuit with three robot assists. The challenge course still has not been completed without assists.
Advanced line following competitors, left to right: Ron Grant, Clay Timmons, Doug Paradis, Michael Ivison, James LeRoy, Carl Ott. The contest winner was Doug Paradis, with Clay Timmons placing 2nd.
Basic line following competitors, left to right: Ajaya Dahal, James LeRoy, Matt Britt. The contest winner was James LeRoy, with Ajaya Dahal placing 2nd.
Six Can competitors, left to right: Doug Paradis, Jack Jones, Scott Gibson, Ray Casler. The contest winner was Scott Gibson, with Doug Paradis placing 2nd and Jack Jones placing 3rd.
Quick Trip competitors, left to right: Scott Gibson, David Anderson, Doug Paradis, James LeRoy. The contest winner was David Anderson, with Scott Gibson placing 2nd and Doug Paradis placing 3rd.
Rules for the contests can be found at rules.
Dev Fest Weekend (Dallas) was held on October 13th at the Microsoft campus in Irving. DPRG was there. The club presented a showcase of robots and competitions during the lunch session of the conference. Members demonstrated “Can-Can Soccer”, a competition where two robots autonomously collect cans from a 7′ X 10′ course and return them to their goal, and various levels of line following from simple to challenging. The showcase was viewed enthusiastically by many conference attendees with DPRG members fielding multiple questions about the robots and strategies used.
Below is a picture of members who participated in the showcase.
Left to right: Will Kuhnle, Steve Edwards, Ray Casler, Carl Ott, David Anderson, David Ackley, Scott Gibson (kneeling), John Kuhlenschmidt, Doug Paradis, Jack Jones, Clay Timmons, Ron Grant. Also attending was member Thomas Eriksson (not in picture).
DPRG has several competitions scheduled for this fall. Below is the competition schedule with details.
Added this year is a competition showcase at the Dev Fest Weekend conference. The date is October 13th. The location is the Microsoft campus located off of President George Bush Turnpike in Irvine. For the latest updates, please keep an eye to the DPRG Meetup Group, https://www.meetup.com/Build-More-Robots-with-DPRG/. That site will include the latest updates, including a registration page if you’d like to compete.
RoboRama – 2018 Contests
DPRG’s monthly meeting for August is on Saturday, the 11th, at the Dallas Maker Space. The meeting starts at Noon.
This month, long time DPRG member David Anderson will review recent upgrades made to his infamous “leaf blower” RCAT robot. Dave has completed a port of the robot’s subsumption architecture and LMX, a light-weight cooperative round-robin multi-tasking executive, to an STM Nucleo F411 board. The result is a dramatic improvement in performance. David will also highlight a custom printed circuit board, a joint effort between Ron Grant and David, that facilitates signal and power breakout for clean wiring layout. David will provide details on how to obtain a copy of the board.
As part of the presentation, Dave will also touch on the subsumption architecture used in this and many of his competition winning robots.
Doug’s slide deck can be found at: slide deck (PDF)
DPRG’s monthly meeting for July is on Saturday, the 14th, at the Dallas Maker Space. The meeting starts at Noon.
Pursuing Artificial Intelligence, scientists and mathematicians have searched for ways to allow computers to handle vague ideas. Lotfi A. Zedeh realizing that conventional computer logic could not manipulate information presented in subjective terms, such as, “slightly, a little more, way more” laid out the mathematical basis for a method called “Fuzzy Logic“. Fuzzy Logic has since found use in the design of controllers of all kinds.
DPRG’s topic of the month is “Intro to Fuzzy Logic”, presented by member Doug Paradis. Doug will cover the steps used to build a Fuzzy Logic controller. As a demonstration, he will implement a Line Following Fuzzy Logic controller on the inexpensive Arduino “smart car” style robot previously used in the “Build More Robots!” tutorial series.
DPRG’s monthly meeting for June is on Saturday, the 9th, at the Dallas Maker Space. The meeting starts at Noon.
The topic for this month’s meeting is “Using CAN bus in Hobby Robots” and will be presented by member Scott Gibson.
CAN bus (Controller Area Network) is used in the Automobile and other industries to communicate between the multiple micro-controllers in their products without utilizing a central host computer. Scott has been using CAN bus in his robots for some time now. He will cover the architecture of the standard and illustrate its use by showing example code from one of his robots.
This will be a great opportunity, to learn from someone who has overcome the learning curve of CAN bus. Automobiles can have over 50 controllers, and CAN bus is how they communicate. Our robots generally have less than 5 controllers but the same principles apply. All are welcome to attend.