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[DPRG] Meeting re-cap

Subject: [DPRG] Meeting re-cap
From: Clay Timmons ctimmons at cadence.com
Date: Tue May 9 15:57:16 CDT 2000



        News

Robotics contest at Science place.   Friendly Robotics, makers of
RoboMow, asked DPRG to provied judges for a "robotics" contest
for young, 8-10, kids.   About 15 girls participated making robots
out of boxes, construction paper, cardboard, etc.   Ralph Tenny,
James Vroman, Ed & James Koeffman,  Kip Moravec, Clay Timmons,
and Charlie Youngblood helped out.   A $250 prize was
avarded to the best overall.  Certificates were given for
best dressed, best design, and most creative name.

RoboMow-  in return for helping out with the robotics contest
Friendly Robotics is supposed to be giving DPRG a RoboMow.
They had one of these set up at the Science Place and it looked
pretty cool.

Robot Zoo -  The Science Place will be having another
robotic (animatronic) robot exhibit for the State Fair.
They will be needing volunteers again this year.


    Show and Tell


Commando Bot (sorry I forgot who had it)   Someone
had a Commando Bot toy that responds to voice commands.
It has a visor/microphone headset that provides wireless
control of the robot.   It shoots little missles on command!

Charlie Youngblood had another toy front loader with
tracks he picked up at a thift store.  He plans to hack
it into a robot for the next contest.

David M.  had a redesigned lego bot named Susan.
It used differential drive and two skids.   It moves
forward until collision is detected with a bumper
switch then backs up a bit and turns a random amount.


    Contest Discussion

Nearly everyone agrees that the carpet used
as flooring for the contest course is marginal.
Some alternative ideas were landscaping cloth,
a frame to stretch the carpet, or press board.
Ralph Tenny had the best suggestion -  test
the flooring before we build a whole course
out of it.

Reminder -  Tech Tools will be giving a 50%
discount to people who participate in the next
contest.


      UMBmark test

At the end of the meeting Clay Timmons
re-programmed his robot from the last contest
to run a 4 meter (157 inch) square course.  This is part of a
test/calibration procedure developed by the University
of Michigan called UMBmark.  A drain in the floor
made for a less than level surface.   The course
was setup to run around the drain to avoid the dip in
the floor.  Clay taped a large piece of graph paper to the
floor to record the test results.   The X and Y
positions for each of 5 clockwise runs were recorded.
(all values in inches to the nearest .1 inch)
                    X           Y
   run 1    +0.4       +6.0
   run 2    -1.2       +8.9
   run 3    -2.8     +10.6
   run 4    -3.7       +9.3
   run 5    -1.0       +4.3

Testing was not very rigorous but it will
serve as an intial benchmark to compare
with future improvments.



Later,

-Clay Timmons-








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