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Re: [sfrsa] Digest Number 69

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  • William Hubbard
    As a newcomer to the club, I found the Robo-sapiens presentation intriguing simply because it provided a glimpse of what projects are in the works around the
    Message 1 of 3 , Nov 6, 2000
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      As a newcomer to the club, I found the Robo-sapiens presentation intriguing
      simply because it provided a glimpse of what projects are in the works
      around the world. However, it wasn't the sort of thing I was hoping to
      find. I would have enjoyed seeing presentations by other members as well
      as getting to know who's who in the club (as it was, I was unable to find
      who was running the show). Having driven up to SF from San Carlos, I would
      have liked to have been part of something with a little more substance
      involving the local club, directly. I agree with the idea of splitting off
      such presentations apart from the regular meetings.

      Also, as a newcomer to the club, I am curious if there are other members
      who live in or near the San Carlos area. I am interested in making new
      friends as I am new to the area, as well as possibly car-pooling to the
      monthly meeting. I have been in software development for 20 years, know a
      little something about electronics (mostly digital), and am finally delving
      into hands-on exploration of robotics - a long time interest of mine.

      I am also looking for a tutor to spend one day with me to provide hands-on
      instruction regarding the use and application of transistors. I have some
      formal education about transistors from years ago, but am looking for more
      practical application knowledge - i.e. knowledge I can really use (theory
      only goes so far).

      Thanks for any feedback!

      William Hubbard
    • David Calkins - RSA
      ... Good feedback. I know that the lecture was a little too simplistic for some, but I m sure that everyone came away with something. I for one was happy
      Message 2 of 3 , Nov 6, 2000
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        At 10:50 06-11-00 -0800, William Hubbard wrote:
        >As a newcomer to the club, I found the Robo-sapiens presentation intriguing
        >simply because it provided a glimpse of what projects are in the works
        >around the world. However, it wasn't the sort of thing I was hoping to
        >find. I would have enjoyed seeing presentations by other members as well
        >as getting to know who's who in the club (as it was, I was unable to find
        >who was running the show). Having driven up to SF from San Carlos, I would
        >have liked to have been part of something with a little more substance
        >involving the local club, directly. I agree with the idea of splitting off
        >such presentations apart from the regular meetings.

        Good feedback. I know that the lecture was a little too simplistic for some, but I'm sure that everyone came away with something. I for one was happy just to see all the pictures and learn about what other roboticists are doing - It can certainly help us all to know what's going on in the robot world.

        But I also recognize that we need multiple forums to fulfill multiple needs. Hence my suggestion to have three meetings a month. I haven't heard back from the Exploratorium yet, But I know that Larry and Erin are busy, so I'll presume we'll be hearing from them soon. I've gotten some good feedback about weekend meetings - such as this:

        "The idea of doing lectures and other SFRSA activities on weekends sounds
        great to me -- for over a year now I have NEVER been able to break away from
        work on weekdays early enough to fight the traffic into SF and be there in
        time for the meetings. Weekend meetings would be much more desirable for
        me -- at least I'll have a couple more shots each month at making one of
        them!"
        -Phantom member

        >Also, as a newcomer to the club, I am curious if there are other members
        >who live in or near the San Carlos area. I am interested in making new
        >friends as I am new to the area, as well as possibly car-pooling to the
        >monthly meeting. I have been in software development for 20 years, know a
        >little something about electronics (mostly digital), and am finally delving
        >into hands-on exploration of robotics - a long time interest of mine.

        You should really look into the Silicon Valley Home Brew Robotics Club. Whole bunch of really smart guys - they can be reached at HBRobotics@...
        (you'll need to subscribe by sending e-mail to: Requests@... with "subscribe HBRobotics" in the subject line.)

        A great place for you to go now would be the San Jose Tech Museum's exhibit (through Jan 3, 2001) on robots

        >I am also looking for a tutor to spend one day with me to provide hands-on
        >instruction regarding the use and application of transistors. I have some
        >formal education about transistors from years ago, but am looking for more
        >practical application knowledge - i.e. knowledge I can really use (theory
        >only goes so far).

        My idea about the worker group SIG would suit you well. Come to the December meeting, and we'll talk more about getting this organized. If we're lucky, Zach Radding will be there and he'll volunteer lots of his space, owning to what a nice guy he is... Either that or I'll talk Erin at the Exploratorium into doing it.

        Right Erin, huh huh?

        -------------------------------

        For those who missed my previous e-mail, here's the idea about three meetings per month:

        1st Wednesday @ 7:30 PM - Normal meeting
        2nd Sunday @ 6 PM - Monthly Lecture
        4th Saturday @ Noon - Working Group SIG.

        Actual dates are obviously subject to change.




        -David Calkins
        President, Robotics Society of America

        -----------------------------------------------
        Silicon shall replace Carbon.
        The revolution will be automated.
      • Brian Farley
        Just got an E-mail from David Calkins, which contained excerpts from a lot of other SFRSA-related E-mails (which you all received too since I am ... hands-on
        Message 3 of 3 , Nov 6, 2000
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          Just got an E-mail from David Calkins, which contained excerpts from a lot
          of other SFRSA-related E-mails (which you all received too since I am
          sending this as a reply-to-all). Included was this excerpt:

          > >I am also looking for a tutor to spend one day with me to provide
          hands-on instruction regarding the use and application of transistors. I
          have some formal education about transistors from years ago, but am looking
          for more practical application knowledge - i.e. knowledge I can really use
          (theory only goes so far).

          Firstly, I agree theory only goes so far -- and most books and classes teach
          transistor electronics all backwards, focusing on the esoteric elements of
          charge migration, doping, etc before covering what the heck it's good for in
          the first place, or how you would use the thing. Fortunatley I was a poor
          student and was forced to join the military to salvage anything out of my
          life, and man do they know how to teach electronics! So I got a whole lot
          of practical, hands-on training which I then put to use in the world of
          designing embedded controllers into consumer electronics and toys, all of
          which involves interfacing to the real world through transistor circuits.
          If the author of the above excerpt has any specific questions about the use
          of transistors, please feel free to e-mail me directly and I will gladly
          share my knowledge (Brian@...). If we have some sort of a
          weekend workshop, I'd be more than happy to cover the topic in person too.

          This does bring up something that we might consider, and that is the
          development of a "knowledge base" (electronic format on the website, or
          maybe a printed book?) covering basic electronics, software, and robotic
          theory and having lots of application circuits, case histories, Q&A, and so
          on so that we can help each other solve problems in our "artifical life
          forms". I think a lively on-line forum for robot development would be a
          great resource as well as a showcase for the club. It certainly would solve
          the problems of getting everybody together at the same time and place, which
          it seams some other folks may also be having trouble with (I'm the "Phantom
          Member" by the way). I think it would also give that much more motivation
          to take the day off or do whatever was needed to make it to the face-to-face
          meetings and see how we are all doing with our projects. Just a thought....

          More Power to the Revolution (Regulated 5VDC prefered...)!

          -- Brian Farley

          PS -- I made this offer once before, but here goes again: I have a large
          box full of small 6V DC motors, 0.2-Watt mylar speakers, IR receivers,
          IR-LED's, gears, gear-boxes, axles, and wheels (some hard plastic, some with
          rubber treads, all about 1-1/2 inches diameter) from doing post-mortems on a
          couple hundred "Little Choo-Choo" preschool train toys. If anybody wants
          some of these for a project, let me know. I also have many large boxes full
          of consistently-colored plastic (ABS) from the same source. If anybody is
          running a small injection-molder and wants some colored stock, it's just
          cluttering my garage right now. The electronic parts are to be treated as
          suspect since these WERE after all dead toys that they came from, but the
          part that usually fried was a little ASIC so most of the remaining items
          will be just fine.
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