January 11, 2014

Meeting Date: 
Saturday, January 11, 2014

Leaf – Special Interest Group (SIG) http://www.leafproject.org/  

Dr. Bruce spoke about using a quad copter as a platform for Leaf. Bruce got a new ARDrone 2.0 http://ardrone2.parrot.com/  quadcopter that is ROS  http://www.ros.org/   compatible. Bruce demonstrated the quadcopter being controlled by his cell phone and also the automated capabilities of the Ardrone 2.0.  There is an SDK available for the Adrone 2.0.

Bruce also mentioned an article he wrote about his first autonomous quadcopter that he created in 2003 http://www.seattlerobotics.org/encoder/200311/weimer/bxflyer.html  

Bruce showed  this Ted Talk by Raffaello D'Andrea demoing http://www.ted.com/talks/raffaello_d_andrea_the_astounding_athletic_power_of_quadcopters.html

Our next Leaf SIG will be in March.  We will start installing Leaf from scratch and we will focus on ROS integration.

Class: Robustness and Efficiency of Planar Biped Walking Robots by David Post, Ph.D.

Dr. Post presented various parts of his biped robots including problems he encountered with cable link systems, noisy encoders and potentiometers. He treated his robots as a big inverted pendulum. Lots of tuning is involved.

Presentation is available upon request.

Business Meeting


The society keeps growing and more members are joining (free to join).  We have a positive budget for this year.


Officers for year 2014 are : President- Walter Martinez, Vice-President (Jim Ubersetzig, Treasurer- Ron Rose, secretarial duties will be shared by president and vice-president


We have been invited to participate in the RCX remote control expo this May 17 and 18 in Costa Mesa, OC Fairgrounds. Prof. Mason is putting a competition together for us to participate. They are requiring that we stay there for two days so be prepared for two days if you want to participate.  http://www.rcx.com/  This could be a chance for us to have the biggest robotics event in California since there might not be other events this year.  We have a free open space with thousands of audience members coming to the RCX event. Let’s see what we can come up with!


We will be participating this year in the second annual National Robotics Week event (Thanks Patricia for submitting the combined even! )  http://www.nationalroboticsweek.org/events.php#_279479980  Thursday April 10th 4-7pm at the Sea Base,  5875 Appian Way, Long Beach, CA  90803 https://www.google.com/#q=5875+Appian+Way%2C+Long+Beach%2C+CA++90803


Celebration of robots, robotic images, conversation and more! Join us to see bipedal robots, rolling robots, treaded robots... ! LEGO Mindstorms demonstrations, Robotis robotis.com demonstrations, robotics teams, robotic artwork and more. Brought to you by a collaboration that includes: Boy Scouts of America, Long Beach Area Council, Robotics Society of Southern California, Shared Science, the Cultural Alliance, Long Beach and Great Educational Experiences.




http://www.lblug.org is in need of sponsors to get Lego bricks – see their website to see how you can help! 

January Competition – Grid Navigation (rules http://rssc.org/content/grid-navigation )

The objective was to design and construct an automatic machine that can navigate to various way-points and then arrive at a final destination. Identification of the way-points and destination locations was announced a few minutes before the contest.  Thank you Patricia (Trish) for helping organize and judge this competition!  You did a great job!
The robots and their builders were:
Robot        Builder
-----        --------------
Jim        Jim Ubersetzig
Carl        Carl Sutter
Amaze Cat    Prof. Martin Mason
The contest was organized into three separate "events". Event one used an unobstructed area on the floor. Event two included some randomly placed obstacles which blocked certain pathways, requiring the robot to sense the locations of the obstacles and plan a pathway around them.
Event One was won by Jim Ubersetzig's robot.
Scores were:
Jim        90
Amaze Cat    30
Carl        10
Event Two scores were:
Carl        75
Amaze Cat    75
Event Three scores were:
Amaze Cat    90
Carl         ?



Classes Coming Up

February :  Installing Linux (Ubunto) into any computers. This will be good in preparation for the Leaf

March: Mars Rover Driver from JPL

April: Alex – Robotics Vision (http://opencv.org/ )with ROS and Leaf

Coming up Competitions

February:  Prof Mason’s Firefighting Robots – Lots of teams will be competing from Mt. San Antonio College  - Rules  http://profmason.com/?s=firefighting

March: Sumo Robots – Two divisions one for adults and one for kids

June: AI Robot (chatbot) (rules to be created by Thomas)

September: Get an object from the hallway (rules to be created by Bill)

Show and Tell Presentations


Dr. Hessmer  http://www.hessmer.org/blog/


Mentioned about the free online class Embedded Systems – using Cortex M4 processor https://www.edx.org/course/utaustinx/utaustinx-ut-6-01x-embedded-systems-1172

There is a also a Mobile Robotics class that starts 2/14/2014 and you can audit it for FREE! https://www.edx.org/course/ethx/ethx-amrx-autonomous-mobile-robots-1342


Created an Online Involute Spur Gear Builder – allows you to export in DXF http://www.hessmer.org/blog/2014/01/01/online-involute-spur-gear-builder/


Mentioned his experience experimenting with a low cost ($13.29 on ebay) motor controller IBT-2 H-Bridge with Arduino (sample code and project here). IBT-2 H-Bridge with Arduino (from china). Rated 6 through 27 volts,  43 amps, Logic level control signals 3.3 volts to 5 volts. http://www.hessmer.org/blog/2013/12/28/ibt-2-h-bridge-with-arduino/


John showed us his new creation – a 3 servo walking robot inspired by this video: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=DWSbFfW3lC4  John uses the TI MSP430 processor for his projects.

Carl showed us his multicolor LED display that you can find on his Instructables page http://www.instructables.com/member/carls

Demo http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=HXTWHYKBmto


Prof Mason ( http://profmason.com/ ) talked about SimpleCV an easy to use accessible computer vision wrapper for the popular OpenCV.  SimpleCV uses Python. Check it out here http://simplecv.org/


He demonstrated his first quadcopter from Hobbyking based on the SK450 kit http://hobbyking.com/hobbyking/store/RC_PRODUCT_SEARCH.asp?strSearch=sk450 

Other News:

GeorgiaTech (Phil’s link) Online Masters of Computer Science Degree: http://www.omscs.gatech.edu/#np-855

Cloud Robotics (Sergei’s links) Here is a BBC popular article: