Roborama 2019 Gallery

Nothing gets the enthusiasm going like a good robotics match. The enthusiasm at Roborama 2019 was epic. Everyone was excited and enjoyed themselves. 

DPRG would like to thank all the competitors that participated, all the members who helped manage the event, and our sponsors. A particular shout out goes to: Mouser, Pololu, Rev Robotics, and Tanner Electronics for their support. 

Here is a gallery of some of the sights at the competition. Click on the images to see an expanded view.

Roborama 2019 Pre-registration

 

Pre-registration Time is NOW!

With Roborama 2019 less than a month away (May 11th), it is time to pre-register your robot team. If you tried and ran into problems, those problems are now fixed. Try again. Pre-registered teams get the best pit area placements. This year’s competition has several contests that will test your robot’s skills. Come compete, win, and take home great prizes.

  • Plastic Fastener-only Sumo – a student only event. Pits your robot in a contest of strength and strategy as you attempt to push your opponent from the arena. 
  • Line Following – with contests for beginners through advanced competitors and a special student only contest. Tests if your robot can follow a line around the course.
  • Quick Trip – an open event. Can your robot go straight? Can it make a 180 degree turn? This contest tests a fundamental skill of your robot. Never been in a robot competition? This might be your contest.
  • Four Corners – an open event. So your robot can go straight and turn, can it maneuver a large square and come back to its starting location? How close can it come?
  • Table Top (classic) – an open event. This contest is for the daring. Your robot moves around a table top with nothing to keep it from taking the plunge to the floor as you perform three tasks.
  • Can-Can Soccer – an open event. Race another robot to collect cans while not getting confused or hitting your opponent. 

More information and rules to the contests can be found at:

https://www.dprg.org/roborama-2019-competition/

Line Following Kinematics & Open source course programs in Processing – Monthly Meeting Topic – April 13th, 2019

Will’s slide deck: slide deck (pdf)

Github for Ron’s LF Course Generator: LF Generator

DPRG’s April monthly meeting topic is “Line Following Kinematics & Open source course programs in Processing”. DPRG Members Will Kuhnle and Ron Grant will share their experiences on Line Following Kinematics and Processing based Line Following course simulation.  The meeting is at the Dallas Maker Space and starts at Noon on Saturday, April 13th.

Agenda:

Part 1 – Line Following Kinematics:
Will Kuhnle will address questions like:

  • What are Kinematics of line following?
  • How can Kinematics help my robot design?

This part of the presentation is about how to make a robot follow a path based on its physical parameters and design.  It will look into the problems of following  a smooth curve path (e.g. the DPRG Novice Course), and the more advanced problem of following a combination of smooth curves and disjoint curves (e.g. the DPRG Advanced Line Following Course).

Part 2 – Open Source Course Builder and Interpreter programs:
Ron Grant will demo and explain his interactive line following course builder program, which is written with Processing (java environment). This builder program reads/writes a human readable format and can use SVG files created in such programs as Inkscape or Adobe Illustrator. Note: DPRG stores past courses in their GitHub repository in SVG format.

Ron will also share a few words on a data format and interpreter that reads a description of line following course tiles in order and tracks path with each sequential tile. The format supports DPRG line following courses including all features of the Challenge Course except the finish gate (which is “hand coded”).

Both programs will be published to a DPRG’s GitHub repository.

Show and Tell:
After the presentations, anyone who wants to show or demo a project that they are working on is welcome to present it to the group.

About DPRG Monthly Meetings:
DPRG hosts interesting presentations each month during its regular membership meeting. These meetings and presentations are open to public and free to attend. We hope to see you there. Everyone is welcome.

About DPRG:
Dallas Personal Robotics Group has been actively building robots for fun since 1984. We meet every Tuesday evening and every 2nd Saturday of the month. DPRG also frequently participates in community events. We usually meet at the Dallas MakerSpace. Guests of all ages and skill levels are always welcome! It is a great place to meet others exploring the world of hobby robotics, and share tips and experiences.

Using an Android Phone with Your Robot – Monthly Meeting Topic – March 9th, 2019

For tomorrow’s meeting Iron Reign will share information about how they use Android phones to run their robots. The presentation will be informal and off-the-cuff. It will discuss improvements to their competition robot since last presentation, but the emphasis will be a coding walk-through using the Android framework provided by FIRST – the STEM program in charge of their competition.
The walk-through will show some simplified examples. If you want to follow along on your own computers, you can install the tools and starter code below:
1. Download Android Studio – this is a free development environment based on jetbrains, the java sdks will come along for the ride
2. Download the ftc_app starter framework from github – this is starter codebase
3. Compile the app. This needs to be done ahead of time because it will fail multiple times as it figures out new dependencies that need to be downloaded.
There is a fair amount of downloading in all of those steps. We won’t have time to debug the install process for those trying it on their own. However, if you are able to follow along live, we might have a way for you to test a very basic teleop program.  Iron Reign plans to bring some robot phones and show how to debug wirelessly. If it doesn’t work for you, don’t worry about it – if folks are interested we can follow up at RBNO.

After the presentation there will be a show and tell, with a Donkey Car demo.
The meeting is at the Dallas Maker Space and starts at Noon on Saturday, March 9th. 

Useful OpenCV Routines for Hobby Roboticists – Monthly Meeting Topic – February 9th, 2019


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 Elections – 2019

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.

Iron Reign’s Regional Championship Robot, and Clay and Ray Talk Line Following Strategy – Monthly Meeting Topics – Dec. 8th 2018


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.

Fall Indoor Competition Results

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.

Robot Showcase at DevFest 2018

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).

Fall Competitions Schedule and Details

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