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Seattle Robotics Society

Page last updated: 3/24/19

Monthly Workshops

If you are building a robot or just planning one, bring it or your ideas to our meetings and workshops. If you're stuck or don't quite know where to begin, perhaps we can provide just the impetus you need. Our meetings and workshops are free and open to anyone who would like to attend and participate. We are starting a "Programming 101 Class" during the workshops. SRS member Dick Curtiss will lead them. The class components are and will be available for download here as Dick develops them. Bring your kit and a laptop to join the fun. His 20-30 minute sessions will start each workshop and leave plenty of opportunities for experimenting and Q&A.

Be sure to check our homepage to be sure meetings and workshops are happening.

The monthly workshops take place wherever the meetings happen. Ground floor access is available behind the building (east side) to bring in large things. The meetings run 10am until about noon and the workshops and other activities begin immediately afterward and run until 4pm or so.

The current focus of our workshops is the SRS Arduino Boe-Bot Kit and the Activitybot Kit which you can buy at any meeting. Bring them back to future meetings for help, to share what you've done, to get questions answered, to work on them, and to do contests. These kits were designed specifically for the SRS by Parallax President Ken Gracey and SRS member and published author Carol Hazlett. They come with extensive, excellently written documentation and a special selection of sensors well suited for building robots to compete in our Robothon and other events. Additional sensors and sensor kits can be purchased from Parallax or other places on the web. Be aware that this kit was built especially for the Society and is not available as sold from Parallax except at our meetings.

Tutorials: To help SRS members who attend workshops with programming their robots, SRS member Dick Curtiss will be doing short monthly programming tutorial lessons at the beginning of each workshop. He will be drawing on decades of experience programming all kinds of computers and designing software with the goal of teaching attendees how to organize their code towards object-oriented programming. This will permit code to be reused and adapted for a wide variety of uses, increase its functional clarity to others, and make it highly portable. We hope to record these sessions and post them on Youtube for later reuse.

The SRS Workshop Robot kits can only be purchased at SRS meetings. This means that when you buy this kit you hope and intend to participate in our workshops, come to meetings, compete in contests, and work on your robot along side other SRS members. We don't want to compete with Parallax by selling these kits to just anyone so we don't sell them online. They are designed to support the mission and purpose of the Seattle Robotics Society and we wish to respect and support Parallax as thanks for their generosity and support of the Society.

What to Bring: The minimum recommended toolset you need to bring to a workshop is, of course, your robot, and a suitable laptop (Windows, MAC, or Linux) computer or a Chromebook (if you want to use the online programming environment). If you want to experiment with the protoboard area and build the circuits specified in the lessons, bring some basic electrical tools too. Look here for toolset suggestions but feel free to bring anything you believe would be helpful.

Workshop Hosts needed: The Fieldhouse needs to be secured when everyone leaves and so designated "Workshop Hosts" are needed each month to ensure that this happens. We need a few people with some W/S Robot/Arduino experience willing to commit to this at least 2-3 times a year. This will ensure that 1) the facility is available for workshops each month. 2) it is properly cleaned up and secured when we're done, and 3) we remain in good standing with our gracious Fieldhouse manager, staff, and the FIRSTWA organization.

SRS Workshop Robot Resources:

Lunch: If enough people are interested, we can arrange to have something delivered (pizza, sandwiches, teriyaki, etc.). You can also bring your own lunch if you like. There are a fridge and microwave available in the office, but please do leave it tidy and clean up any messes.

Clean Up: Please help break down tables and chairs after the meetings and workshop if we use the warehouse highbay. The conference room tables and chairs can be left as is.