Robot Club Minutes
- Hi everyone,
This Robot Club's past meeting on 1/9/01 was well attended. There were more
fifteen people there for the meeting at the robotics classroom and lab.
Most were first timers discovering what robotics is all about and finding it
There were kids, teachers, hobbyists, and professional engineers in the
Back issues of robot related magazines were passed out for free. Machine
Vision, Sea Technology, and NASA Technical Briefs were very much in demand.
(They are great sources of information on how machines see, underwater
robots, and robots in the space program.)
Two member's projects were demonstrated. The walking dinosaur was quite a
A lot of networking was going on - questions people had were being answered.
Problems were being solved.
One question many people had was how to get started. For those of you who
were not able to be there, the recommended starting point for people
interested in how to get started in robotics is a terrific book :
Robot Builder's Bonanza: 99 inexpensive Robotics Projects. by Gordon McComb
(Paperback) Second Edition, $24.95, c2001 McGraw Hill. ( The projects are
modular so that they work alone or can be combined, what do you suppose a
robot would look like that had all 99 modules ? )
The poster presentation was spread around the room and made a great mixer as
people moved around the room to see the different parts of it. Many people
were talking, taking notes, trading business cards, and the impression was
that a lot was getting done.
Some remarkable things have happened in the world of robots since the Dec.
meeting. Honda Humanoid Robotics Lab released information about a new
model ASIMO called ASIMO 2, which is a foot shorter than ASIMO 1 ( the
result of farther progress in the area of miniaturization ) . It comes in
three colors and the blue one looks like a kid in a baseball cap with a
back-pack. They also said that they are not taking orders for them yet but
would be selling them for about $100,000 (which is a fraction of the price
of an industrial arm) and that they will be renting them for trade shows and
conventions by the end of 2001. Great picture - and if you read Japanese a
description at : http://www.honda.co.jp/ASIMO/ If you know how, the web
page translator translates 2/3 of the words on the page.
It was proposed that the club start a robot construction project of some
kind. Any suggestions as to what you want to build first? ( The BattleBot
people were absent from this meeting ) Personally I would like to build a
working copy of ASIMO 2, just to see what it can do.
There was some disappointment, I forgot to bring the box of machine parts I
have been saving up to give away. I will be sure to bring them to the
2/13/01 meeting so you have a reason to be sure and not miss the next
As a result this meeting, from what one of the teachers said, it sounds like
one of the elementary schools is going to be build robots as a way to learn
about all the science and engineering that goes into them. Building robots
is certainly a broad education considering variety of skills that go into
their design, construction, programming and operation. And they certainly
are a lot of fun.
M-TEC Building - robotics lab
Remember, it is the dues you pay that make all of this possible. Join today
and get a friend to join ... share the benefits of membership.
$15 for one year
$28 for two years
$40 for three years
$300 for life time membership
Paul F. Grayson - Chief Engineer
AMERICAN INDUSTRIAL MAGIC
1892 Pinewood Ave.
Traverse City, MI 49684-9022
(231) 946-0187, FAX (231) 946-1122