The Dallas Personal Robotics Group is one of the oldest special interest groups in the world devoted to personal and hobby robotics. This page exists as a resource for those who are interested in the history of the DPRG. The founders and many of the original members of the group have moved or lost contact with us over the years so it’s sometimes hard to discover the details of our past. Over time, we hope to fill in most of the names and dates. Stay tuned…

1984: The Beginning

In earl1984chartery 1984, Walter Bryant found himself with a Heath Kit Hero robot and some time on his hands. In his own words, here’s what happened next.

“Let me tell you of the first days of the DPRG. Bev and I both worked at Texas Instruments. I was a Manufacturing Engineer and Bev was working as a Software Tech, going to college at night at NTSU. I asked Bev, ‘what am I suppose to do in the evenings while you are in class?’, (in addition to wash clothes, lean the house, etc., but that is another story).”

“Bev suggested I join a club that I was interested in. We had just purchased a kit from Heath Kit, which was a Hero I Robot and I was very interested in Robotics. Bev said, ‘well join a club in Robotics’. I said, ‘I have already looked, and there are none!’ She said, ‘well start one’.”

“We put up a one sheet flier at both of the Heath Kit stores with our names on it and a short paragraph stating that we wanted to start a robot club. We had our phone number at the bottom. (I have looked for a copy of that sheet, but I have not found one yet.) We received at least two calls; Joe Rowe and  Rob Winingham. After speaking with both of these people, (who had both just purchased a Hero I Robot also), we decided to meet at Joe’s house because we lived way out in Lewisville.”

“Joe fortunately knew the most about clubs because he had been in several, including president of some of them. Tentatively, we said Joe would be the acting president, Bob would be the vice president, and I would be the editor to the news letter.”

“We creaThe DPRG of the Pastted more fliers, (I have included a copy of this one, the meeting date was Saturday, June 16, 1984), and placed them at the Heath Kit stores, Texas Instruments, and a few other places. I forget the man’s name, but he was the sales man at Heath Kit that sold us the robots, he became the treasurer at the first meeting. I can not find notes of the first meeting (yet), but I think there were five or six people present.”

“We had a great time and I could see (I thought), that the club was going to have a great future. It did. For several years we grew constantly and did incredible things.”