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SRS Meeting: August 21, 1999.  Renton Technical College, Room J314.
Ted Griebling - President, running the meeting.
Tom Dickens - Secretary, taking minutes.

Attendance is 54. 
New people today?  About a dozen.  Welcome!  We have a new flyer for new SRS
attendees by the door to help inform you about what we do.

Robothon:  Web-site has been updated, check it out! 
Board of directors meeting after the SRS meeting today.

Swap meet:  Next meeting.  If good weather we can do this in the parking lot.   Stay
tuned for more info...

Doug:  Robothon 1999:  Oct. 23, 1999, Seattle Center Flag Pavilion, 10:00 - 5:00. 
The web-page has been updated!  Rules for all competitions.  List of sponsors and
prizes are growing.  Contact Doug if you are interested.
We have decided to use the full Flag Pavilion for the Robothon.
First prize is in, from Noland Research, a robot (S.A.M. Small Android Model)
valued about $120 with a PIC chip.  Nice robot with plenty of room for expansion.  
We also may get a few Sony dog (Adio) robots for show.

Grand prize, Newton Labs CognaChrome vision system ($2500 value).  The thought
was to have points per contest.  The builder who accumulates the most points gets the
grand prize.  Points for first, second, and third (3, 2, 1 points respectively), with
possible weights for different contests (discussion decided not to weight different
contests).  What about charging for entry for the grand prize?  Discussion decided
that we want all contests, including the grand prize, to have no registration fees.
First place for all contests will draw for choice of prize.

We want to have pre-registration to help us in knowing how long to plan for each
event.  See Tom Dickens for registration.  Also we will set of a form on the SRS
web site for web-registration.  Please pre-register now.  An idea was proposed to
have a drawing for all robots who are pre-registered (good idea).  Pre-registered is
considered 2 weeks before the Robothon.  We need a head-count (robot heads) per
contest.  Stay tuned for details. 

Gretchen.  We need about 10 people to volunteer to help out.  You will get some
perks.  See Gretchen.
T-Shirts:  We need to get graphics for it and get moving on this.  Jim Wright has been
working on poster ideas, we may use the same designs on the T-Shirts.  We might
print both SRS T-shirts and special Robothon-edition T-Shirts.  Ron Provine will
coordinate the cost of the T-Shirts.  The thought was to keep this to 2-color printing.
To help pay for this we could take advanced orders for the T-Shirts.  Proposed price
is either $15 or $20.  See Jim's web-site for poster design ideas: 
home1.gte.net/wrightja  see SRS link fro here.

SRS Swap meet today:  Only a few brought stuff in, we'll coral in the parking lot
after the meeting.

We did a quick around-the-room intro...  Too much information spoken too
quickly for minutes.

Dan:  www.isd.cme.nist.gov/pub/emc      This web-site, national institute of standards.  Software available there for PC-control of motors (running Linux with the real-time patch).   It is currently behind a firewall, should be accessible in about a week.  The interesting thing Dan saw is a hex-a-pod system which is not a walker, but a hanging system.  Software is emc-06Jul-1999.aaa through .aad.  Tar'ed UNIX files.   Nice stepper-motor control software.

Karl:  His upcoming book, based on 5 years of Nuts-N-Volts robot articles, will go to the published in a few week.  Title is "Build Your Own Robots!" 
Linux, you can pick up lots of software for free.  G-photo  www.gphoto.org   a full Linux system for controlling the Agfa E-370 (and other types) digital camera through PC serial port.   This can be used as a core for a camera sub-system for a robot.  Software can also be dissected for control information.

Andy:  www.ee.ucb.ca/~ckong     Robot soccer robots.  1 radio controlled.  Also a very small set of 5 robots (4x4x4.5 cm cube max) using ping-pong ball, brainless, control by external PC.  Receiver and a motor driver, motors, and batteries.  Andy has a maze robot and a fire-fighting robot which will be bringing to Robothon.

Tom:  Encoder Applet on the web.  Looking for input to print options.   Option for Gray-code was also asked for. 
Also mentioned the NASA Mars 2001 effort to collect 1 million names to put on a CD on the next Mars rover.  See http://spacekids.hq.nasa.gov/2001

Doug:  At office-depot.  Color quick-cam on sale for $60.  USB & Parallel ports. 

Andre:  Question about a for-profit robot shop and arcade type of thing which people can come and run in a robot-wars type of combat.  Talk to Andre with your ideas.

Frank:  Playing with a Gameboy for robot controller.  Web site (www.fh-karlsruhe.de/fbnw/html/gamebot) for hacking these, adding EEPROM, etc.  Question about robothon name-tags?  Yes we will have them.

Ron:  Looking for programmers for small projects.  SNT e-mail, and Y2K upgrades for their network.  Needs to know Win 95/98 networking API.  Contact Ron if you're interested.  Also looking for AI help for speech, etc.  Has good robotics lab, looking for people with a passion for the AI end to work on some of this stuff.

Bill:  Brought in both a large 3 Kg sumo and the mini 500 g sumo robots.  We will be running robot-control class of sumo in Robothon, allowing easier robots to be built.  We will also adopt the Japan rules which allows suction and sticky wheels.   We'll also run our old format since we have existing robots for this.  Showed off a collection of old robots, including a robot like the ones we built for the Pacific Science Center, and his 1-servo Jonny walker robot.  It uses a single servo with a 9-volt battery as a weight.  He spent months prototyping this, and version #5 finally worked.  BASIC-Stamp I and IR sensors.  This was written up in the January 1997 Robotics Digest magazine.

Eastside Robotics - Bill's daughter Esa runs this, is geared for beginners and younger kids.  She wants to work on a team sumo entry. 
Contract Esa through Bill at:  bill@sinerobotics.com

Gene:  Brought in a couple of robots.  One was from a line-following kit.   Another is a tethered (for now, 68HC11 in the works) platform, a good learning experience to hook up 2 motors and a couple of switchers.

Ryan:  He brought in a 4-legged walker.  8 servos with a Stamp model 1.   Each leg has a shoulder and a knee.  4 C batteries.  No sensors, just simple 8-step loop.  Very nice.  Plan in the future is a PIC for each leg.

Doug:  MVS credit-card computer ATMEL processor (as seen in Circuit Cellar).   Minimal documentation for it.  You can use BASIC on AM on it, but once you write in ASM, the BASIC is gone, and the disk that came with it did not have the BASIC interpreter, go figure.  He is learning the system and limitations.

Tom Dickens