[chbot] Meeting Report Tue 20th October 2009

Richard Jones rjtp at ihug.co.nz
Fri Oct 23 06:00:21 BST 2009

We had a good turn out. The gold coin collection raised $23.20 for Science
Alive which was much appreciated. Thanks to all who came, and to those who
brought items to show and share. For those who could not make it here is an
account of what we got up to. Feel free send errors, omissions, additions
and suggestions for next session to our mailing list. Neville (Science
Alive CEO) visited briefly and mentioned that our members would be welcome
to contribute robot exhibits to a forthcoming robot exhibition at Science
Alive. More details as they become available.
Here is a link to pictures of some of the robots attending the event: 

We started with the challenge to locate and push drink cans off the table.
Hayley came along with a Lego robot with an innovative pusher linked to a
table edge detector using a touch sensor. It performed really well and
Hayley gave us a good description of the software that drives it. 

Peter brought along the Roomba vacuum cleaner which did an eccentric but
effective job of pushing off all the cans. Peter also had his lawn mower on
display tethered by an electric field indoors, but also doing a good job of
cutting the grass verge outside while navigating away from obstacles like

I brought along a Lego robot with can lifter ready for next sessions
challenge to locate cans and lift them off the table. Next time I'll bring
it along with the software and charged batteries!

Simon showed a great video of a cup catching robot programmed as part of
the mechatronics degree coursework.

Jimmy spoke about V-USB (formerly AVR-USB) and derived projects that can be
used amongst other things as a USB boot loader

Sanchin and Jimmy talked briefly about progress on the hexapod.

I showed the ATmega328 kits, Ladyada usb programmer housed in an old usb
mouse and a bootloader serial interface. Most of the kits were collected
and hopefully we will see some of these kits built into robots in future
sessions. I propose to hold a construction evening at Chch Creative Space
on Wednesday 4th November 7pm. I expect the primary goal of this session
will be to assist with surface mount components and program bootloaders for
those who want them. Bring you own tools and a tray or mat to protect the
tables. Phil says pizza boxes work well.

Phil mentioned that Chch Creative Space will be closed for Kiwi PyCon 2009,
on November 7 - 8 http://nz.pycon.org/

Hanno spoke about 12 bricks and his forthcoming book to be published in
February. More details at http://mydancebot.com/

Our next meeting will be on Tuesday 15th December just before Christmas, I
suggest we bring along some special eats to celebrate. Robot themed even


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