Nov 1995

AHRC - Atlanta Hobby Robot Club 
Meeting notes for Nov 18th 1995

 

This months meeting did not get started on time. 

Charles did not arrive early and he has the key, so most of us 
stood around outside looking at all the junk, and reviewing the 

latest issue of Circuit Cellar Ink magazine.

 

After Charles finally opened the door we all carried 
everything into the meeting room while Charles, Ringo Davis 
and Glen Irwin helped bring the TV over from our past meeting room. 

Since this is our first time in the new room, it took awhile 
to get oriented to the new location and extra room. 

Freya Harris brought in a large tray of potato chips. 

John Gutmann opened the meeting by passing out the 
contribution handouts for the meeting.

 

It is not enough that officers alone, know how to contribute 
to the club.  Members must also know how to contribute. 

In order to find out if members were "AWARE" of "how to contribute", 
we tried asking each member in turn, to take 30 seconds, and 
give one example of what they or anyone else could do that would 
contribute to the club.   If they could not come up with a suggestion 
they were asked to say "PASS" and we would go on to the next guy to 

make a suggestion. 

 

This would continue around the room over and over ( "PASS, PASS, PASS") 
until everyone ran out of ideas and everyone was saying "PASS". 

As each idea was suggested, John Gutmann wrote a single line of text 
on a piece of paper, to capture the ideas. 

The goal of this exercise was to find out if our members are even 
aware of "how to contribute" to the club.  Do they know what they 
could do to help.   If they don't even know how, if they are not 
even aware of how to contribute, then it would be "No Wonder" 
we are not getting much contribution, they "don't know 
how to contribute." 

On the other hand, if we kept going and going and our list 
was 150 lines long, then they at least know how to contribute. 

So what was our result? 

Some people could only come up with one idea and others came up 
with several ideas.   Our total list was 40 lines long. 
40 different ideas of how someone could contribute to the club. 

Actually this was not a cold test straight off the top of their 
heads, because we had already just handed out 3 sheets a paper with 
suggestions made by John Gutmann in his Book "ROBOT HOBBY; The 
Complete Manual for Individuals and Clubs". 

One of the handouts was a list of 44 CLub Objectives for the first 
year of the Club.  Now this is not the first year of our club, 
but it is the first time it was presented to the club. 

Another handout was a list of 58 Member Objectives for the first 
year of a club. 

The final handout was Titled "CONTRIBUTE" and it was a list of 
3 ideas to do before the "CONTRIBUTE" meeting 
5 ideas to do during the "CONTRIBUTE" meeting and 
3 ideas to do after  the "CONTRIBUTE" meeting.

 

Since members were given several minutes to read over the handouts 
before we started the "Suggest or PASS" exercise. Our test is 
not exactly "COLD questions" with out prompting. 

Our club came up with 40 suggestions out of the 113 that were 
handed to them just minutes before the exercise. 

We even went one step further and asked each member to put their 
name on the top of each Objective list, and to write on the form 
next to each suggestion whether or not they had achieved or done 
what was described in each line of the Objective list. 

In other words if you did what was suggested on the line, then 

write "DONE" next to that line.

 

If you were willing to do it , meaning this was a way you thought 
you could contribute to the club then write "WILL DO" next to 
the line on the paper. 

The idea was two-fold.   Find out "who had done what".   And find out 
"who was willing to do what."   The forms were collected and 
the results will be presented at the next meeting. 

Next topic of the meeting was "Officer Elections for 1996" 

The best case scenario would be for everyone to run 
for all the offices, and we would have all positions filled. 

The worst case scenario would be for nobody to run for the offices 
and John and Charles would have to pick up the slack. 

Well John and Charles are ready to do just that. 
If nobody runs for any office John is prepared to run 
for President and Charles will run for Vice President. 
John will also handle the secretary job and Charles will 
handle the treasury job.

 

So the worst case is covered for next year if nobody runs 
for office.   If your interested in running for office 
in the ARHC, please send email to jgutm...@robot4u.atl.ga.us 
or call 770-972-7082 and get your name on the election slate. 

We had 3 new visitors at our meeting this month.  We welcome 
visitors to come to our meetings and check out the neat stuff 
we are doing.

 

Ed Larson brought William Snider to the meeting.   William 
has shown an interest in Animation of humanoid robots. 

Charlie Oldham brought Sarath Sirimanne.  Sarath used to work 
at Georgia Tech with Charlie, but now Sarath works for the CDC 
in Atlanta. 

 

Alexander Barton is a former member and past president of the 
AHRC.   Alexander saw our meeting announcement posting in the 
ATL.GENERAL and GA.GENERAL newsgroups on the internet.   So 
he decided to pay us a visit.    Welcome back Alexander. 

Ed Larson announced that he has a huge shareware collection of CD's 
and he is going to print up a catalog directory of his collection 
and bring it in to the next meeting.   If after reviewing the 
directory you find some software you want, Ed says he will copy it 
and bring in the shareware disk for you at the next meeting. 
Ed Larson says this is one way he can contribute to the club. 

Bill Raser says he has a 50 minute video on speech 
recognition and he will bring that in for our next meeting. 

Charlie Oldham says he has a $50.00 ADC chip and he is willing 
to present a lecture on it at the next meeting. 

 

Bill Raser brought in "Super Armatron" for everyone to play with. 
Bill set it up on a surface then showed everyone how to use it. 
We all looked at it, but could not figure out what was different 
about it.   The first armatron that came out was not called "SUPER" 
If you know what the difference is please let us know. 

John Gutmann brought in 4 plastic humanoid heads that used to be 
used for Cosmetology students to practice makeup preparation. 
John bought several of them at the I-85 FleaMarket near shallowford 
road in Atlanta.   The idea was to somehow animate the heads eyes, 
mouth, and facial skin.   They were passed around during the meeting. 

Bill Raser brought in several new books he found and bought at Borders 
new book store at Gwinnett mall.   Bill has not had a chance 
to read all the books, but says when he does, maybe later he can come 
back and give a review on them.

 

One of the books was titled Robot Builders Bonanza.    In this book we 
found a photo of the gripper John Gutmann brought in to show the 
club. 

 

Bill Raser donated one copy of MIND CHILDREN by Hans Moravic 
to the club. Make sure you take time, the next time you see Bill 
and thank him for his contribution to the club.

 

Bill Raser prepared a list before he came to the meeting this month. 
This list noted several ideas Bill had for the club.   Making a 
list in this way is good for the club, because he took the time 
to think about the club and made notes so when he got to the club 
he could share his ideas with the rest of the members. 

For Example, Bills list looked like this. 
Printed text on a scrap of note paper. 

 

+---------------------------------------------+ 
|                  (   )                      | 
|                                             | 
|  Attended                                   | 
|  Trains                                     | 
|     Novices                                 | 
|     Financial                               | 
|  Early PC's                                 | 
|     Kits and components                     | 
|  Suggestions                                | 
|     like 3 levels                           | 
|     easier to get started, 3 skills         | 
|     partitioning the meeting                | 
|     purchasing and assembling components    | 
|  Demo                                       | 
|  Facilities                                 | 
|     Space to run robots                     | 
|     Workshop                                | 
|  Books                                      | 
|  Armatron                                   | 
|                                             | 
+---------------------------------------------+ 

John Gutmann showed a 5 minute video from the Exhibit at Fernbank 
held back in 1985.   The idea was to show what we have done in the 
past and see if we were interested in doing something like this 
next year to get new members. 

John also showed a 5 min segment from an exhibit the club had 
at the Nashville Museum in Tenn. 

Charles redwine took the floor for a few minutes to discuss 
his interest in making Printed Circuits for members of the club. 

Charles still has several new lunch box computers for loan to members. 

Freya harris brought back in the HERO arm and handed it over to 
James Gravely.   James is going to finish putting it together.

 

Ringo Davis brought in a copy of the latest Circuit Cellar Ink 
magazine.

 

John Gutmann passed around a servo handout.    Andrew Tracy 
had requested some information on how to hook up a servo 
to a computer.

 

After the formal part of the meeting was over John Gutmann showed 
Glenn Irwin the block diagram of the Robot bus he designed. 
John discussed the progress made on the Robot digital bus 
and went into detail about how each part of the block diagram worked. 

Andrew Tracy brought along his Dad this month to the meeting. 
I talked with him and he expressed that Andrew is learning a lot 
from the club, and he intends to help Andrew get to as many meetings 
as possible.

 

Charles Redwine suggested he would like to see a software contest. 
The idea is to come up with several hardware circuits, and then 
have a contest around that one piece of hardware.   In this way 
software could be shared after the contest. 

 

BREAK ------------------ 

During the break we all enjoyed sodas and potato chips 

brought in by Freya Harris.

 

11:00 AM we started the Technical program for General and Advanced 
Class members.

 

John Gutmann brought in a Protek 506 digital multimeter with 
rs232 interface. 

Flyers for the unit were handed out and you can get the Protek 506 
at "ACK Radio" in down town Atlanta for $180.00 dollars. 

The protek is connected to the computer over a rs232 serial port 
and talks at 1200 baud 7E1.   The fastest you can sample any reading 
is at once a second.  Or you can delay the reading in intervals up to 
9999 seconds.  This unit is really only intended as a data logger. 

The Protek 506 can measure AC, DC, ohms, capacitance, inductance, amps 
miliamps, logic levels, frequency, and it is a tone source generator. 
It can send 2048, 4096, and 8192 hertz.

 

John loaded the Dos version of the software and showed how it mapped 
the reading it was making onto a graph on the computer screen. 

The manufacturer also supplies a Windows version of the software  . 

John also showed the exact text that comes back from the Protek 506 
using a basic program supplied by the manufacturer. 

For some reason the program would not work at first, then Charles 
took a look at it and got it running.

 

Calvin Grier  presented a speech recognition chip circuit he built. 
This low cost device is speaker independent and has 10 TTL outputs 
that turn on a led when the correct speech is recognized. 
The built in vocabulary has the following phrases recognized: 
lights, go, stop, turn left, right turn, reset, and some others 
I have forgotten.   There were 10 LEDs, one for each phrase. 
When several of us tried it,  it recognized almost 80 percent of the 
time correctly.   Not precise but fun and low cost for the hobbyist. 

John Gutmann handed out Gripper toys he purchased at a flea market, 
at I-85 Drive in theater.

 

Again we talked about the TTL class Charles was willing to teach 
but again we could not get Charles set a date when we would do it. 
Finally John Gutmann appointed ED Larson to the head the effort 
to get this going.    In a matter of a few minutes Ed had nailed 
down a date of December 2nd, a Saturday morning at 9:30 am. 
There were several hands showing they would attend the TTL workshop. 

Charles redwine addressed the meeting by talking about the content of 
the TTL class for Novices. 

Charles wants them to stop at any time, or wants workshop right after 
the normal meeting. 

During the TTL class Charles will talk about 7400, 7402, 7404 IC chips. 
Charles will bring all chips, it will be partial theory, partial hands on. 
If you have a bread board bring it, if you have a logic probe bring it. 

Ed Larson suggested that if we have a workshop or special meeting, 
we should do it on the following sat after normal meeting. 
That way there is less confusion, "Its next week" 

After a bit more discussion we decided on Dec 9th as a printer 
take apart meeting.   Charles has several non-working and working 
printer, and we are going to take them apart and salvage the 
stepper motors, gears, ICs and whatever.

 

December 16th of course is our next meeting date where we will 
hold the 1996 officer elections. 

As usual John Gutmann brought something in to show and forgot 
about it until after several members had already left. 
John had purchased a Rubber Maid Trash container and temporarily 
mounted his standard structures inside the container.   For a few 
minutes we all made suggestion's about how to mount the units together 
in a stackable, replaceable way.

 

After the meeting Freya Harris and a few of the members left for 
the food court at Gwinnett Mall. 

After the last part of the AHRC meeting was over, several of us 
hung around and performed our own version of the "Alien Autopsy". 
We took one of the Heads apart by cutting down the back of the head 
and opening it up to see what is behind and underneath the soft 
rubber surface.   Ok so it wasn't really an "Alien" we cut open 
but it looked just about the same. 

It turns out that the outer skin is rubber and the inside is filled 
with a stiff styro foam to give it a shape.

 

Charles Redwine had assembled several new shelves in the adjoining 
rooms and offered mail slots for all members of the club. 
To find out where your mail slot is located, ask Charles to show you. 
This is also the same location for the club book library. 

Charles Redwine talked about Speech recognition software called 
listen.   It costs $99.00 and run under windows. 

Ok, anybody holding out on us, got anything out side in a car? 
Some times we have a hold out who waits till last minute, then 
says, "I've got this robot out in the car, you want me to bring it in?" 
OK, no holdouts this meeting. 

 

For more information about our club call the ROBOTS-R4U BBS 
at 770-978-7300.    300-14400 - 8N1 - 7 days - 24 Hours 

Or to hear a recorded information about the club, call 770-972-7082 
and use the voice mail system to select the information you want to 
hear about. 

Member of AHRC - Atlanta Hobby Robot Club 
Member of REAL - Robot Experimenter Amateur League 

Edited by John W. Gutmann 

MEET11D 

-- 
 __   _  _  _  _   John W. Gutmann              Robots R4U BBS - 770-978-7300 
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|  \     |  |__|   ROBOT HOBBY; The Complete Manual for Individuals and Clubs 
                   Voice 770-972-7082  Ans Machine  -  FAX 770-979-3660,,,,11 

 

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