RoboColumbus-Plus Remote Location Guidelines and Rules Update

The RoboColumbus-Plus competition page has been updated with guidelines detailing how to join this year’s competition from a remote location. DPRG hopes that the many friends and potential friends who can’t travel to the local Dallas competition can join by setting up a remote course and using Google Meet to participate in the fun and challenges of an outdoor rover competition.

The RoboColumbus-Plus rules have been updated to add a new contest category and challenge. Participants now have the option of running their robot in the “robot-planned” category and taking the 3-waypoint challenge. In this challenge, the robot must depend completely on it algorithms to complete the course with only 3 target waypoints. The robot’s owner is not allowed to pre-walk the course during the competition or use additional waypoints besides the 3 given by the judges.

Outdoor Rover Series: JRover Sensors, Hardware and Software – DPRG Virtual Monthly Meeting, Apr 10th, 2021

Meeting Video:

Chat Record:  Chat record (PDF)

• Join Hangouts Meet
• Join by phone ‪[masked]‬ ‬ PIN: ‪[masked] #‬
This month we have a special guest presentation by Jesse Brockmann. Jesse, a brand ambassador with Sparkfun, will discuss his multi-year award winning rover and software known as JRover.

The talk will cover everything from encoders, IMUs, RTK GPS, various environment sensors such as LiDAR, mm-radar, ultrasonics, cameras and radar. Jesse will also cover topics such as chassis choices, batteries and power regulation. The presentation will give you an inside look at Jesse’s rover development methods over the last 10+ years, with a fun look at JRover’s failures and successes. Learn what makes for a good rover, and suggestions on how to improve your own rovers.

For more information on rovers please goto and join the DIYRovers google group with 200+ members.

About DPRG Monthly Meetings
DPRG hosts cool 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 online. Everyone is welcome to attend.

Note: we do record a video of these sessions and post them on the DPRG YouTube channel. By joining the meeting you’re giving consent to be included in the recording.

About DPRG
Dallas Personal Robotics Group has been actively building robots for fun since 1984. We meet every Tuesday evening and every 2nd Saturday, and frequently participate in community events.
In normal times we meet at the Dallas MakerSpace. During the Covid-19 pandemic, we have met virtually using Google meet.  Our virtual meetings have attendees from multiple countries and locations in the USA. We always welcome guests of all ages and skill levels!

RBNV Birthday and RoboColumbus Contest Details

RBNV’s Birthday

DPRG’s virtual meeting replacement for Robot Builder’s Night Out (RBNO), named Robot Builder’s Night Virtual (RBNV), has celebrated its first year anniversary. RBNV’s initial meeting was held on March 24th, 2020. The meeting has been very successful, joining hobby roboticists from many locations including New Zealand, Canada, and around the USA, to the DPRG community. The talent and creative projects of these new friends has been invigorating to the club. RBNV has also inspired the club’s 2021 team project of developing a standard API and robot for tele-presence.

August RoboColumbus Competition Details

The competition webpage on has been updated with all the information concerning the upcoming RoboColumbus contest on August 21,2021. If you are interested in either competing or coming to watch the fun, it is a must read. The revised rules for this year’s RoboColumbus event allow RTK-GPS and have increased the weight limit to 65 pounds. You need to read the rules document for information on other changes. One interesting change is the new prize for anyone who achieves at least one point (i.e., drives within 10 feet of a cone). All contestants that score at least one point will receive a custom RoboColumbus coffee mug that will only be rewarded for this event. The custom  mug for contestants that achieve a score of nine will receive a special mug that has the message “Perfect Score” added to the design. The top three places will also receive an additional prize.

Outdoor Rover Expert Builder Panel – DPRG Virtual Monthly Meeting, Feb 13th, 2021

Meeting Video:

Chat Record:  Chat record (PDF)
Moderator’s slide deck:  Slide Deck (PDF)

This meeting kicks off DPRG’s 2021 focus on Outdoor Rovers.

DPRG has tentatively scheduled its 1st post Covid-19 Outdoor Competition for the 2nd Saturday of August 2021. To give everyone a quick start, the club has assembled a panel of very successful outdoor rover builders to discuss how to construct an outdoor rover. This is your chance to ask expert rover builders questions during an online interactive meeting.

In coming months DPRG will have additional presentations focused on rover related topics, and we’ll encourage builders to build.

Panel members are:

David Anderson, DPRG member and builder of Jbot, winner of RoboColumbus in 2014, 2015, 2016.

Scott Gibson, DPRG member and builder of B.U.R.P., winner of RoboColumbus in 2017.

Karim Virani, DPRG member and builder of RTK GPS rover BeachComber and rock-crawler rover Argos.

Jesse Brockmann,  Sparkfun Ambassador and builder of Jrover, winner of the 2016 (heavy) and 2017 (overall) Sparkfun AVC.


  • Each panelist will give a short intro / overview of their rover(s).
  • Moderator led questions. Submit questions that you want the panel to answer to Carl Ott, president(at)
  • Open Q&A


  • Saturday, February 13th.
  • Starting at 1:00 PM Dallas time (CST).


About DPRG Monthly Meetings

DPRG hosts 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 to attend.

Note: We do record a video of these sessions and post them on the DPRG YouTube channel ( By joining the meeting you’re giving consent to be included in the recording.

Autonomous Rover Robot with GPS RTK and Novel Control System – Monthly Meeting Topic – August 10th, 2019

Ross’s slide deck can be downloaded at: slidedeck (PDF)

Guest speaker Ross Melbourne will demonstrate his autonomous rover robot which uses GPS RTK for navigation, and a novel robot control system that employs Unity and Python. Ross’s robot control system has potential practical applications such as: robotic lawn care, security patrol robots, and autonomous delivery services. Ross’s talk will cover both the challenges and the lessons learned that he experienced while building the robot.

This is a great opportunity to see a sophisticated antonomous rover build.

The meeting is at the Dallas Maker Space and starts at Noon on Saturday, August 10th.