[chbot] This evenings meeting

Richard Jones rjtp at ihug.co.nz
Wed Dec 17 11:16:01 GMT 2008

Our Christmas meeting had Lego Mindstorms as a focus with 30 people
registered and attending the hands on session. Lots of new faces, young and
old, and spectators swelled our numbers to well over 40 with a collection
of $142.10c for Science Alive which will be much appreciated. Thanks to all
who came along and especially those who brought Christmas food to share. A
special thanks also to Science Alive and to John Wynard for arranging the
Technology Room, the Mindstorms kits and tutorial materials. Next meeting
is on Wednesday 18th February 2009 6.30pm, focus on Robo Sumo. Feel free to
email the list with additions and corrections to the report below.

The Mindstorms session in the Technology Room attracted many new faces and
some traditional followers too. An interesting collection of about 17
robots were built and I saw all the sensors in use. John Wynard from
Science Alive (and others) kindly provided expert guidance to the novices
and much fun was had by all with some very good work being done. Howard and
Rosemarie constructed a line following robot that used a single sensor in
linear mode to follow a black line with great accuracy and no discernable
hunting. John showed us the new Robo football mat.

Meanwhile Andrew Errington our founding member back from Japan kindly
hosted our show and tell session in the Seminar Room.

Soon, Gavin, and Alyssa brought along two Lego NXT Sumo Robots and a
wrestling ring. These robots were superperb and kept us entertained with
their mean antics tossing each other over with large wedges and pushing
each other out of the ring. Hopefully we can provide some competition for
Gavin and Alyssa next time.

I brought along my modular micromouse project now with 3 working ultrasonic
sensors, Atmega8 micro, motors and rotation sensors all wired and tested
and ready for the final integration. I also showed a maze solver solving
from competitions as far back as 1988. The solver uses about 520 bytes of
RAM ready for embedding in the AVR micro. You can see my solver code here
if interested: http://homepages.ihug.co.nz/~rjtp/Micromouse/Simulations/

Hanno showed his balancing robot tidied up and ready for a 4 week marathon
shop window display. Also Hanno showed the Parallax Prop Scope and
Viewport. More details here: http://mydancebot.com

Peter and Sue Linscott brought along some of their robot kits. More details
here: http://www.robokits.co.nz/

Carl brought along a DVD which I didn't get to see as I was putting away
Lego robots. Thanks Carl, maybe I could see it next time?

Jill brought along heaps of family, friends and students and some very
yummy cake. Thanks.

Ingolf Sander (Hanno's Dad) spoke about HBRC, its roots in HBCC, the future
of robotics and its potential applications in helping the aged and
disabled. Have a look at Ingolf's Big picture here :
http://www.ingrit.com/ingolf/big-picture/index.htm and also try making his
jumping jack.

Richard Jones
Wed 17th December 2008

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