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DPRG: Twin Cities Robot Group (long)

Subject: DPRG: Twin Cities Robot Group (long)
From: Ralph Tenny rten at metronet.com
Date: Fri Sep 10 20:11:57 CDT 1999

Great report!
Did your discussion about inter-club contests touch on proxy entry, or how
would such an event work? It would be really neat if a common rules set
for an event could be developed. That way, if/when we have a regular place
to test/practice, ANY of our meetings could be a mini-contest where, with
deterministic and objective rules agreed upon, club members not
participating could be judges.

I just re-read that -- does the concept come across, or am I having a
senior moment??

On Fri, 10 Sep 1999, Clayton Timmons wrote:

> Last week I was in Minnesota for work.  Whenever
> I travel to a new city I always check out the local
> electronic surplus stores if time permits.  Searching
> on the web for electronic surplus in Minneapolis
> turned out to be easy since our fellow robot builders
> of the Twin Cities Robot Group have a list on their
> web page.   Good work!
> Since I just stay in a boring hotel room at night I thought
> it would be great to meet some of the robo builders
> up there.  Lucikly they have informal meetings
> on Thursday evenings which fit perfect with my
> schedule.   I drove over to Alan Killian's house
> and also met Jeff Sampson and Ron Jesme.
> Ron had brought along a tiny robot platform in progress.
> He used some really small motors used for lens focusing.
> Two motors were fitted with sprockets and a tiny plastic
> chain was used as tank treads.   The thing was the smallest
> working robot I've seen.  It was about the size of a matchbook!
> No electronics on board yet, just  remote control (wired ).
> Alan gave me a tour of his work room in the basement.
> Oh how I miss basements which are not to be found in
> the Dallas area.  My workroom is in the  #!$%@%!
> 130 degree attic! Alan had a neat CNC setup that he
> drives from a postscript interpreter.  He had milled some
> holes in plastic and the accuracy looked great.   Alan also
> has a nifty homemade  electric scooter .  With a surplus
> DC motor (130V 1/8HP) and a stack of laptop computer
> battery packs  it zips right along.  Note that this is one of
> those really rare projects that actually gets used daily.
> (As opposed to most electronic projects
> which often collect dust for years never to be completed)
> His daily trek to the office has a long walk from the
> parking lot.  With the scooter charged overnight he
> just takes it out of the trunk and zips to work.  The scooter
> even goes up the elevator with him.
> It was great meeting some new robo builders.  They were
> very interested in our club.  Thier club is a bit smaller and less
> organized and wanted ideas how to DPRG grew to it's size.
> I have some ideas on growing a robotics club but I still
> credit Jim Brown for the growth of DPRG to what it
> is today.
> I stopped by a few of the recommended local stores.
> Axman surplus was a large store with all kinds of stuff.
> Acme electronics was a typical electronics shop with
> little surplus.   ABC electronics was awesome.  Huge
> selection of motors.  Three stores and  $100 later I came
> home with seriously overstuffed luggage full of robo parts.
> The best part I found the whole trip came from Alan
> himself.  I was describing my CNC setup and my
> problematic Z axis.  He just happend to have a
> Z axis mechanism that was exactly what I need.
> Best of all he gave it to me!
> If your ever in the twin cities area (or any other big
> city with a robot club)  stop by and say hi from one
> club to another.
> Check out   www.tcrobots.org
> Brainstorm on how they can grow their club.
> Or how we can hold an iter-club contest.
> By the way they already hold meetings at a Science Museum!
> -Clay Timmons-


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