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Author Topic: robots in Washington, DC  (Read 6690 times)

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Offline AdminTopic starter

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robots in Washington, DC
« on: July 26, 2006, 07:20:12 PM »
Anyone in the Washington, DC area interested in starting up a robotics club and/or robotics contest here?

I was thinking maybe a robot sumo competition for money/prizes.

Offline simond

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Re: robots in Washington, DC
« Reply #1 on: October 29, 2006, 09:59:14 PM »
I was just looking for any existing robotics clubs in DC. I work as a software developer but want to get into robotics a bit more.
Myself and a friend have been looking at getting a couple of sumo bots to play with. We figure if we both get the same kit it will come down to who is a better programmer which could be fun. We both live just outside of DC and thought it might be an idea to go to a robot club and talk to people about which is the best sumo kit and see if there are any competitions locally but haven't been able to come up with anything. Does anyone know if such a place exists? Or what would be the best sumo bot kit to buy?

Cheers,
Simon

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Re: robots in Washington, DC
« Reply #2 on: October 29, 2006, 10:19:02 PM »
I havnt been looking too hard for robot clubs, but havnt found any yet in the 1.5 years Ive been here . . .

I was just thinking of having some kind of robotics meet, just once a month. Basically just talk about bots or work on bots. Talk about our projects and help each other, etc.

Sumo sounds fun and simple, but as a mechanical engineer I wouldnt want to use a kit for my bot . . . But they have kits out there, and I see no reason not to use them.

a quick search for sumo kits yeilded:
How to Build a Sumo Robot<img src="http://www.assoc-amazon.com/e/ir?t=societyofrobo-20&amp;l=ur2&amp;o=1" width="1" height="1" border="0" alt="" style="border:none !important; margin:0px !important;" />
http://www.active-robots.com/products/robots/mk3-kit.shtml
http://www.hobbyengineering.com/sumovore.html
http://www.lynxmotion.com/Category.aspx?CategoryID=5

Offline Arislan

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Re: robots in Washington, DC
« Reply #3 on: October 30, 2006, 02:01:39 AM »
Hey I'm from Potomac!! Except that now I am not even in America anymore :P  Or I'd gladly have joined you in robotics.

I think I'll built the robot's body first and do the electronics later. After all, no way I can afford 12 servos in one fell swoop.

Offline simond

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Re: robots in Washington, DC
« Reply #4 on: October 30, 2006, 05:28:37 PM »
Well I ordered my kit today and while looking for sumo bot related content at work another 2 of the guys at the office got excited and decided they were going to get one as well. So that is 4 in the greater DC area, how many more people do we need to get this going? Every tech company in the US has an office in DC or Reston and I am sure there are a heap of bored nerds sitting around at night with nothing better to do than develop sumo bots (due to the fact that this area is so boring and now so cold).

Should get Parallax to do some promotion and start a sumo bot league in the area.

Simon

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Re: robots in Washington, DC
« Reply #5 on: October 30, 2006, 08:52:38 PM »
So we got 5 people now? I can put word out to university of MD, and maybe GW too.

Id be willing to have SoR sponsor part of it, and I have a few connections for companies willing to donate a robotics product as a prize. Ill try and get more than one prize so we can have 2nd place (and maybe 3rd?).

Any objections to using already written rules? Soooo many choices . . .
http://www.robogames.net/rules/all-sumo.shtml
http://www.robotics-society.org/mini-sumo.shtml
http://www.fsi.co.jp/sumo-e/out/outa0000.html
http://www.robotroom.com/SumoRules.html
http://www.dprg.org/competitions/minisumo.html

What would be a reasonable date for the competition? January would be enough time for word to get out, and both thanksgiving and xmas holidays to work on the bot . . .

Confirm that you guys are really serious, and Ill start the PR and make it official.

Also, any of you guys up for meeting up at some point? I can bring robot parts to play with or something . . .

Oh and lastly, and thoughts on where we can have this at? Maybe I can talk with the people at the Smithsonian if we have enough teams . . .

I guess I should start building a bot! Ill exclude myself of winning a prize, just compete for fun.

Offline simond

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Re: robots in Washington, DC
« Reply #6 on: October 30, 2006, 09:13:35 PM »
The only problem I have with the rules is:

Article 16. The player utters insulting words to the opponent or to the judges or puts voice devices in a robot to utter insulting words or writes insulting words on the body of a robot, or any insulting action..

I tend to swear quite a bit so that could be a problem. Apart from that it all sounds good.
The only problem I can think of is that these things can be built from Lego, kits or purpose built sumo machines.
The Parallax kit drives 2 servos that have been modified to spin 360 degrees, whereas a custom built machine could have a high output motor and high torque gearbox which could just ram anything out of the ring. Not that there is anything wrong with that but depending on who else is interested might be worth having penalties or classes based on the amount of weight the robot can push. Maybe a kit built and custom built class? Not really sure how this works in other comps but I could see that as a problem. The whole reason my friends are getting the same kit to start with is so that the winner is determined purely by their logic code. (Although I have got a few extra sensors lying around that could give me a little advantage)

Open for ideas though, start talking to everyone you can to see if we can get enough interest and I will do the same. Would be worth contacting people at local colleges for sure.

Venue shouldn't be a problem, and Jan sounds like a good time to have the comp, although maybe we should have a monthly meeting before they to help each other out and see how the whole thing works.

Simon

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Re: robots in Washington, DC
« Reply #7 on: October 30, 2006, 09:40:26 PM »
The #1 rule is to do what maximizes fun for all  :)

To be honest, having robots that insult people sounds fun! Just be warry if by chance there are children around . . . please, no children!!!  :P

As for your worry about crazy fast robots smashing other bots out the ring . . . You know, I agree with you. I think algorithms would be more fun than faster motors. I saw japanese sumo matches that last .2 seconds cause its more speed than anything else . . . and kits wouldnt stand a chance . . . Does a maximum speed limit rule sound good? 1 ft/sec perhaps?

Lastly, I got us sponsorship already! Ill formally announce the company soon, but basically this is what they are donating:

"Happy to sponsor your event to the tune of a motor driver. We have a dual 5A (10A sustained peaks) driver coming out either this week or next that would make a great sumo product."

Ill write up a nice webpage with rules, etc in hopefully a week or two at most.

Would some time around or after thanksgiving holidays be good for a first meeting?

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Re: robots in Washington, DC
« Reply #8 on: November 01, 2006, 07:59:13 PM »
OK I got the rough draft of the announcement page up here:
http://www.societyofrobots.com/sumo_robots_in_DC.shtml

Offline simond

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Re: robots in Washington, DC
« Reply #9 on: November 03, 2006, 08:19:18 PM »
Can't wait!
Don't think the Parallax kit I am building will compete with something weighing 1.36 kilos but as I am going through experimenting with this thing the more cool ideas I get about building a more powerful, smarter version. I have been forcing myself to slow down and go with the book that comes with the kit so I can learn as much as possible for the future. The coolest thing about  building the kit so far has been is pressing the "compile" button and seeing something happen in the real world! Really bizarre but coming from a software developer writing boring business software watching something happen outside the computer based on some code you wrote inside the computer is awesome. Anyway, we need to start getting people together to make thins thing happen. Will post some video of the Parallax kits after the weekend.

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Re: robots in Washington, DC
« Reply #10 on: November 03, 2006, 08:59:28 PM »
The weight in the rule i just made up so as to be non-restrictive . . . the rules i found online suggest 3kg but felt that too much.

I have seen it common to add heavy weights to robots to reach the maximum, so recommending that as an idea.

Other thoughts . . . actuated flippers on your robot, bipeds, and flying robots are also allowed in the competition (why not?). Heck, your robot is allowed to pick up the opponents bot for throwing if you want!  :P

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Re: robots in Washington, DC
« Reply #11 on: November 04, 2006, 12:25:29 PM »
I made a new official post here for the sumo competition:
http://www.societyofrobots.com/robotforum/index.php?topic=246.0

Sign up if your coming!

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Re: robots in Washington, DC
« Reply #12 on: December 04, 2006, 08:26:07 PM »
I designed my sumo robot in CAD today, and will machine the parts this week. I have all the parts, and much of my code is already written. Just wanted to know the progress of everyone, and if a pre-competition in 2 weeks is still a good idea.

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Re: robots in Washington, DC
« Reply #13 on: December 31, 2006, 08:26:28 AM »
finally finished my sumo bot, and I posted exactly how I did it for anyone to learn from . . .

http://www.societyofrobots.com/robot_sumo.shtml

Offline JonHylands

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Re: robots in Washington, DC
« Reply #14 on: December 31, 2006, 08:38:08 AM »
Very nice, Admin. That's an innovative use of a single range-finder. It would be interesting to see how it did in a competition with Seeker 2...  ;D

- Jon

Offline Hadamard

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Re: robots in Washington, DC
« Reply #15 on: November 12, 2009, 04:27:01 PM »
Is this group still meeting in the DC area? I just moved to DC and am getting back into robotics. I'm looking for a club or group to join.
Check out my robot projects at: http://robot-place.blogspot.com/

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Offline Razor Concepts

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Re: robots in Washington, DC
« Reply #17 on: November 12, 2009, 04:55:25 PM »
I went to a meeting of theirs a while back, looks fun.

 


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