RBNV – Robot Builders Night Virtual – May 26, 2020

Meeting Video:

Chat Record: Chat Record (PDF)

When

• May 26th, starting at 7:30 PM Dallas time (CST).
• RBNV will continue each Tuesday evening until the crisis is over and the Maker Space re-opens.

How

• Join Hangouts Meet https://meet.google.com/hey-jxuo-esf
• Join by phone ‪+1 405-586-5598‬ ‬ PIN: ‪682 931 335 #‬

Why

• Talk robots & related stuff.
• Keep going while we’re stuck at home.
• Make it easier for people to attend DPRG remotely.

Agenda: 

• Round table – everybody spends a couple minutes telling what projects they’re working on as we’re all stuck at home
• Ad-hoc presentations – Whoever would like to show & tell.
• “Stump the club” Challenges – Ask for help if you’ve hit a roadblock in your project. Somebody in the club can probably get you pointed in a good direction – or even arrange a side bar session to help.

Note: We 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.

RBNV – Robot Builders Night Virtual – May 19, 2020

Meeting Video:

Chat Record:   RBNV 05/19 Chat Record (PDF)

When

• May 19th, starting at 7:30 PM Dallas time (CST).
• RBNV will continue each Tuesday evening until the crisis is over and the Maker Space re-opens.

How

• Join Hangouts Meet https://meet.google.com/hey-jxuo-esf
• Join by phone ‪+1 405-586-5598‬ ‬ PIN: ‪682 931 335 #‬

Why

• Talk robots & related stuff.
• Keep going while we’re stuck at home.
• Make it easier for people to attend DPRG remotely.

Agenda: RBNV – May 19th

• Round table – everybody spends a couple minutes telling what projects they’re working on as we’re all stuck at home
• Ad-hoc presentations – Whoever would like to show & tell.
• “Stump the club” Challenges – Ask for help if you’ve hit a roadblock in your project. Somebody in the club can probably get you pointed in a good direction – or even arrange a side bar session to help.

Note: We 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.

Robots vs. Humans! About Internet Search Engines… – DPRG Virtual Monthly Meeting, May 9th, 2020

Meeting Video:

Carl’s slide deck:   Slide Deck (PDF)

Meeting Chat Record:    Chat Record (PDF)

Join us for DPRG’s virtual online monthly meeting gathering – May 9th, at 1:00 PM (CST)!

• Join Hangouts Meet https://meet.google.com/hey-jxuo-esf
• Join by phone ‪+1 405-586-5598  PIN: ‪682 931 335 #

(If you dial by phone and find yourself muted, try *6 to unmute yourself, or exit, click ‘Rejoin’, and then follow instructions to ‘Join and use a phone for audio’. If you ‘Rejoin’, try the ‘Call me’ option, which makes it easy to bind your phone call to your web participation, then let’s you mute and unmute your own phone from your browser).

Part 1 – Search Engine Robots vs. Humans

We tend to think about robots as electro-mechanical contraptions –
• Things that drive around,
• Things that follow lines,
• Things that Boston Dynamics brag about in their videos…

But there are other kinds of robots –
• Robots which are only software
• Robots with no physical actuators…

So please join us for this unusual presentation about internet search engine robots.

DPRG member Carl Ott will describe what happens ‘under the covers’ every time you use a search engine.

You’ll learn how search engine robots are actually testing we humans!

Yes – robots are running experiments on us – each and every time we search for something.

These robots are learning and adapting their behavior based on their human experiments.

Of course – it’s only for pure and good purposes – to help us quickly find the things we want (at least that is what the robot over-mind tells us).

All kidding aside, this is a fascinating topic even for those of us who mainly focus on physical robots.

Who knows maybe this will spark ideas you can apply to your own robots, or your own robot enabled world domination plans…

Part 2 – Open Web-Cam Show & Tell

After reviewing search engine robots, we’ll have a session for open-mic show & tell, and ‘stump the club’.

So fire up your web camera, and show off your latest project!

Or if you’re stuck on something – throw a question to the club – let’s see if we can get you good answers.

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 there. Everyone is welcome to attend.

Note 1: 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 (currently by Robot Builders Night Virtual) and every 2nd Saturday, and frequently participate in community events.
We usually meet at the Dallas Maker Space (DMS), but are now holding virtual meetings (details on dprg.org). Guests of all ages and skill levels are always welcome!
We have tons of experience and love to share and trade tips and tricks.
Learn more and sign up for the mailing list at our home page
https://www.dprg.org/
Check out our extensive You Tube library
https://www.youtube.com/user/DPRGclips

RBNV-20201512

RBNV – Robot Builders Night Virtual – May 12, 2020

Meeting Video:

Meeting Chat Record:  Chat Record (PDF)

When

• May 12th, starting at 7:30 PM Dallas time (CST).
• RBNV will continue each Tuesday evening until the crisis is over and the Maker Space re-opens.

How

• Join Hangouts Meet https://meet.google.com/hey-jxuo-esf
• Join by phone ‪+1 405-586-5598‬ ‬ PIN: ‪682 931 335 #‬

Why

• Talk robots & related stuff.
• Keep going while we’re stuck at home.
• Make it easier for people to attend DPRG remotely.

Agenda: RBNV – May 12th

• Round table – everybody spends a couple minutes telling what projects they’re working on as we’re all stuck at home
• Ad-hoc presentations – Whoever would like to show & tell.
• “Stump the club” Challenges – Ask for help if you’ve hit a roadblock in your project. Somebody in the club can probably get you pointed in a good direction – or even arrange a side bar session to help.

Note: We 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.

RBNV – Robot Builders Night Virtual – May 5, 2020

Meeting video:

Chat Record:   Chat Record (PDF)

When

• May 5th, starting at 7:30 PM Dallas time (CST).
• RBNV will continue each Tuesday evening until the crisis is over and the Maker Space re-opens.

How

• Join Hangouts Meet https://meet.google.com/hey-jxuo-esf
• Join by phone ‪+1 405-586-5598‬ ‬ PIN: ‪682 931 335 #‬

Why

• Talk robots & related stuff.
• Keep going while we’re stuck at home.
• Make it easier for people to attend DPRG remotely.

Agenda: RBNV – May 5th

• Round table – everybody spends a couple minutes telling what projects they’re working on as we’re all stuck at home
• Ad-hoc presentations – Whoever would like to show & tell.
• “Stump the club” Challenges – Ask for help if you’ve hit a roadblock in your project. Somebody in the club can probably get you pointed in a good direction – or even arrange a side bar session to help.

Note 1: We 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.

RBNV – Robot Builders Night Virtual – April 28, 2020

Meeting video:

Meeting chat record:  Chat Record (PDF)

When

• April 28th, starting at 7:30 PM Dallas time (CST).
• RBNV will continue each Tuesday evening until the crisis is over and the Maker Space re-opens.

How

• Join Hangouts Meet https://meet.google.com/hey-jxuo-esf
• Join by phone ‪+1 405-586-5598‬ ‬ PIN: ‪682 931 335 #‬

Why

• Talk robots & related stuff.
• Keep going while we’re stuck at home.
• Make it easier for people to attend DPRG remotely.

Agenda: RBNV – 28 April

• Round table – everybody spends a couple minutes telling what projects they’re working on as we’re all stuck at home
• Ad-hoc presentations – Whoever would like to show & tell.
• “Stump the club” Challenges – Ask for help if you’ve hit a roadblock in your project. Somebody in the club can probably get you pointed in a good direction – or even arrange a side bar session to help.

Note: We 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.

Roborama 2019 Pre-registration

 

Pre-registration Time is NOW!

With Roborama 2019 less than a month away (May 11th), it is time to pre-register your robot team. If you tried and ran into problems, those problems are now fixed. Try again. Pre-registered teams get the best pit area placements. This year’s competition has several contests that will test your robot’s skills. Come compete, win, and take home great prizes.

  • Plastic Fastener-only Sumo – a student only event. Pits your robot in a contest of strength and strategy as you attempt to push your opponent from the arena. 
  • Line Following – with contests for beginners through advanced competitors and a special student only contest. Tests if your robot can follow a line around the course.
  • Quick Trip – an open event. Can your robot go straight? Can it make a 180 degree turn? This contest tests a fundamental skill of your robot. Never been in a robot competition? This might be your contest.
  • Four Corners – an open event. So your robot can go straight and turn, can it maneuver a large square and come back to its starting location? How close can it come?
  • Table Top (classic) – an open event. This contest is for the daring. Your robot moves around a table top with nothing to keep it from taking the plunge to the floor as you perform three tasks.
  • Can-Can Soccer – an open event. Race another robot to collect cans while not getting confused or hitting your opponent. 

More information and rules to the contests can be found at:

https://www.dprg.org/roborama-2019-competition/

Useful OpenCV Routines for Hobby Roboticists – Monthly Meeting Topic – February 9th, 2019


DPRG’s February monthly meeting topic is “Useful OpenCV Routines for Hobby Roboticists”. Member Ray Casler will share his experiences using OpenCV on his robots .

His presentation will cover:

  • blob detection
  • LiDAR – IR filter and line laser
  • pixel diddling – Challenge line following strategy
  • using distance maps from Xbox Kinect sensors
  • object tracking

Many people interested in Donkey Car have started their builds. There will be a Donkey Car show and tell after Ray’s presentation. Bring your Donkey Car build and share your experiences.

The meeting is at the Dallas Maker Space and starts at Noon on Saturday, February 9th. 

Roborama 2017 Results

On the morning of May 13th, the Dallas Makerspace bustled with the excitement of competitors in the 22th annual Roborama. Activities started with a tour of the makerspace. Many of the competitors and their guests had never seen a makerspace and the creative possibilities displayed by the work of various makers was a real eye opener.

Each competitor or team was assigned a table area in the pit room where they fussed with final robot adjustments while checking in. At check in, robots were measured, weighted, and inspected to insure that they passed competition rules. By the time check in was finished, everyone was very excited.

In the Plastic Fastener Sumo contest, the quality of the robots was good. The impact of the learning from the Sumo/Line Following workshop, held a week before Roborama, was clearly evident. The competitors that had attended the workshop had taken to heart the best practices they had learned. As always the competition was fierce with several of the matches not decided until a final push by the winner.

The Line Following contest, the second part of the student portion of the of the competition, also showed improvement over past contests, with the winning robots achieving higher speeds. The contest doesn’t require the robots to be made from plastic fasteners, however all student competitors used them.

After the student portion of Roborama concluded, prizes were rewarded to the winners of the student portion of the competition. Each winner received a DPRG trophy and choice of a complete robot kit or a gift certificate provided by our sponsors. Kits and certificates were provided by Pololu, Parallax, REV Robotics, Tanners Electronics, RoboRealm. and Richard Neveau.

                          

                                            Trophies                                                                      Prizes
Winners

The unrestricted participation part of Roborama consisted of the contests Big Table Top 2 and Can Can Soccer. In Big Table Top 2, a robot must complete 4 tasks. The tasks are: return a can to the starting zone, knock a can off the table, place a can into an overhanging box on the side of the table, and use the two remaining cans to form a line with the can in the starting zone that a yard stick can lay over (cans must be at least 8 inches apart). The top prize for Big Table Top 2 was won by a visitor to Roborama from Vancouver Canada, Markus Lampert.  His robot, Freddie, achieved a perfect score with a hitchless performance on the 1st attempt. Freddie has a hand crafted frame made of jig sawed plywood, a very tight design that incorporates several IR sensors, and a unique fin style grabber using flexible 3d printed claws. Markus is a member of the Vancouver Robotics Club (www. vancouverroboticsclub.org). Second place was taken by Doug Paradis with his robot, Little Andy.

                          

                          Freddie dropping can over edge                       Freddie placing cans in a line

Can Can Soccer, where two robots go head to head in an non-aggressive test to collect cans, becomes more competitive and exciting with each repetition of the contest. The winner this year was Doug Paradis and his robot VEX Navigator. Vex Navigator is built with the VEX IQ system. It incorporates a CMUCAM5 Pixy to identify cans. The Pixy is connected via a TI MSP430 LaunchPad  board, using the techniques published by James Pearson, in his documentation of the VEX IQ Sensor Reference. Second and third places were won by Ray Casler and Scott Gibson. Ray’s robot, Rainman, sported several new modifications. The modifications included a beacon system to allow determination of location after a collusion event. Scott’s robot, Can Man, usually a truly strong contender, suffered from a flurry of undetermined problems that hampered performance. Markus Lampert’s robot, Freddie, also participated. Fredde made a good show, but did not place. The final bout pitted VEX Navigator versus Rainman. In the ending moments of the bout, Rainman and VEX Navigator targeted the same can. Time ended with Rainman trying to catch VEX Navigator as Navigator snatched the can and placed the winning can into the goal.

                         

                               Big Table Top 2 Winners                                   Can Can Soccer Winners

Trophies and prizes were handed out by DPRG President Steve Edwards.

Judges

Steve Edwards, David Ackley, and Richard Neveau were the judges for the event.

 

iMake 2017

iMake, a festival sponsored by the Fort Worth Museum of Science and History to celebrate the Maker movement, gives people a chance to be “a maker for a day”. The event collects demonstrations and on-hand activities created by a diverse group of organizations, and provides a venue for sharing them with young children and parents.

DPRG  manned a five table exhibit with interactive demonstrations of robots, Kinect, CNC drawing, 3D perspective tracking, LiDar, automated xylophone, Roborealm modeling, manual driven robot arm, and 3d printing.  Also, Big Robie made an appearance, all bright and shiny for this year’s event season.

The booth was crewed by Steve Edwards, Eric Chaney, Carl Ott, John  Kuhlenschmidt, Ray Caslier, and Doug Paradis. The all day event occurred on April 1, 2017.