In March of 2016 The Robot Group participated in SXSW Create. Create is a free to the public (one of the few free events open to the public at SXSW) event similar to a Maker Faire with more of a focus on technology.
Sandraw is a unique machine that never fails to delight audiences whenever we present it. It is a microprocessor controlled machine that draws pre-programmed images by use of a magnet that pulls a ball bearing through a thin layer of sand. It was inspired by Bruce Shapiro, the originator of the concept, and you can view his machines at http://www.taomc.com/. The magnet that pulls the bearing is attached to a rubber belt that is mounted to a piece of extruded aluminum. At one end of the belt is a pulley, and at the other end, is a stepper motor controlled by a Propeller microprocessor https://www.parallax.com/. Originally, long time member Paul Atkinson programmed the original Basic Stamp microprocessor, but it was later replaced by the more powerful Propeller microprocessor which was programmed by another long time member Gray Mack.
As we all partake in out own robotics journey we inevitably find different resources for information. My particular journey is a quest for autonomy. I am looking to build autonomous robots which perform specific tasks. Much of my time in this quest is internet research. And, in so doing, I’ve found some fantastic resources that I wanted to share with the group. What follows is a listing of links to web sites and videos on several topics. Some of the topics are definitely more advanced than others. Many of them are still well beyond me, but I’ll get there. Regardless, it’s good reading.
Last night was the 2nd installment of The Robot Group’s 5th Thursday Competition Night. Unfortunately there were no robots really ready to compete. Gray got his edge detecting working nicely and, I guess, he won that contest since there were no other competitors and the ‘bot completed the task. So, congratulations Gray.