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[DPRG] Introducing Myself

Subject: [DPRG] Introducing Myself
From: James LeRoy james at getsurreal.com
Date: Thu Jan 9 15:32:16 CST 2014

Hey Everyone,

I went to my first meeting this past Tuesday and had some great 
conversations. I just completed my membership registration and I'm 
excited to be a part of the group so I thought I'd send out an 
introduction.  I've never actually been able to talk with anyone else 
interested in robotics, only a few back and forth forum posts here and 
there so forgive me if I start out talking your ears off.

Here's a little bit about my background.

I just barely got started with robotics/electronics in June of 2012 with 
a purchase of an Arduino starter kit with some additional miscellaneous 
sensors and motors.  I then quickly purchased an introduction to 
electronics book to try and get a better understanding.  I built my 
first little robot using hand cut acrylic to wonder around using sonar 
and infrared to avoid objects.  Next I unsuccessfully tried to create a 
balancing robot and have given up on that one for now.  I found myself 
frustrated with my inability to find brackets and parts for how I wanted 
to build my robots so I got myself a 3D printer (Printrbot Plus v2) so I 
could design my own parts.  I was likewise disappointed in my hand 
cutting skills with acrylic so I started building a DIY CNC (ShapeOko).  
The original ShapeOko cutting area wasn't working for me, so I spent 
some time expanding that into 17x15 in. (should have gone with at least 
24x24 in.).  After all that, I was able to create a robot platform that 
I wanted.  Unfortunately I may have created a platform that is beyond my 
skills to program in any reasonable amount of time so I may have to take 
a few steps back to fill in some gaps I have with robotics.

My day job is a systems administrator, primarily focused on VMware and 
Windows Server with a little bit of Linux.

James LeRoy (getSurreal)

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