The Seattle Robotics Society was originally formed to bring together like-minded people who wanted to build robots. In the early 80's this was a lot harder than it is today. The state-of-the-art computer technology of that time was large, bulky, and had limited computing power. Data storage technologies were crude and primitive compared to today. In other words, one really had to want to succeed in order to succeed. Today we have inexpensive microcontrollers. We have mobile phones with vastly more computing power than desktop computers of the 80's and 90's. We have programming tools that folks back then could only dream about, yet not a lot of people (like hobbyists) are actually building robots. The SRS is here to try to change that. There are all kinds of club activities intended to promote this.
SRS Programs to help promote building robots include:
- Monthly meetings held on 3rd Saturdays where robots are shown, built, and run in contests. Presenters come to talk about their projects and answer member's questions about robotics and technology.
- Monthly workshops where people can bring their robots to show and get help. These will soon include short programming tutorials at the beginning of each workshop.
- Robothon, our annual contest exhibition.
- Local SRS Workshop Robot Kit Tutorials conducted by SRS members (coming).
- The useful links page provides a one-stop place for finding useful and interesting robotics-related links.
- Special Contest Days where Robothon competitions are run between the annual events.
- The Encoder, the SRS information-sharing online magazine that freely offers information to interested robot builders and enthusiasts.
- The SRS Weblog where topics related to the club, the meetings, contests, and robots are shared.
- We now have a really nice club polo shirt available for $30 at our meetings.
- The SRS Yahoo Group online collaboration listserver that collects discussion information into a searchable archive.
- Social media (SRS FB and Robothon FB pages) where information, meetings, pictures, and video are shared.
- Online chats about topics of interest to members. These run anytime of the day or night.
- Community outreach. Some SRS members visit schools or staff community events with SRS robots and club information to share.
The SRS supports and promotes FIRSTWA, an amazing organization that introduces kids from kindergarten through high school to the exciting possibilities of Science, Technology, Engineering, and Mathematics using robotics. Many SRS members have mentored teams through the years and many currently do as well as support teams in other ways. The SRS encourages members to be involved in educational outreach wherever it happens whether through mentoring, judging events and contests, donating your time or money, etc.
This link points to a contest proposal by Kevin Ross from the mid nineties to collect 2" foam blocks within a 4' by 8' table. It might be suitable, with some modifications, for the SRS Workshop Robot at some time in the future.