20090709 Iowa Robotics Meeting


Group organization

  • Discussed various ideas for how to organize.
  • Competitions?
  • Teaming w/ local educational orgs?
  • Start with the basics and work up? Arduino, Parallax, MindStorms?
  • Age groups? Any age is welcome.

Skills inventory

  • Lots of programmers/developers.
  • Not too many mechanical/electrical engineers.
  • No venture capitalists.


  • Build something for a competition?
  • Build a CNC machine which can be used for future projects? There seemed to be a lot of support for this idea. Agreed to continue discussion on the mailing list (http://groups.google.com/group/iowarobotics).
  • Bring your own and share/seek assistance?

Matthew Nuzzum demo’d his VEX r/c platform wheeled robot.

  • Controller from http://www.vexrobotics.com/
  • Aluminum body with two drive motors and 4 wheels.
  • Uses tank-style steering.

Gentleman from the Twin Cities Robotics Club (sorry, arrived late and didn’t catch his name) brought his ~70 pound robot

  • About 30 pounds of the weight is battery.
  • Has a sonar array and Web cam for sensors.
  • Plans to put an on-board Linux computer.

Some links to Web sites brought up during the meeting: