Date & Location 27 November 1999 Tech America 5600 Buford Highway Doraville, GA Meeting Attendance (21) Officers present Barry Ward, President Frank Borowiec, Vice President Charlie Oldham, Secretary Club Business Barry Ward announced that nominations for club officers are still open and invited additions. Calvin Grier nominated Paul Burrell for vice president. Barry Ward's tentative nomination of Clint Bridges for Treasurer has been accepted, so the nominations now stand as: Barry Ward President Frank Borowiec Vice President Paul Burrell Vice President Richard Bodor Secretary Clint Bridges Treasurer Barry Ward mentioned that the Stone Mountain Ham Fest, he attended recently, was about the same as last year but Frank Borowiec thought it was probably smaller. Dale Heatherington reported that the Atlanta Ham Fest had moved to the Marietta Fir Grounds and was the worst Ham Fest he'd seen. Calvin Grier gave a Robot Rally report. There were 8 or 9 people in attendance at the committee meeting. Porter Sadler has not yet finished the rules for a Lego Mindstorms competition. The committee is working on a press kit to be released to newspapers, radio, TV, etc. A new person at Sci-Trek is responsible for publicity and has been assigned to the Robot Rally. Frank Borowiec mentioned the idea of having a "3-ring circus" type of presentation where multiple competition arenas would be used to eliminate some of the dead time between individual runs. Ken Thomas of Alliance (manufacturers representative for MicroChip) will announce prizes to be available. Barry Ward Show & Tell Calvin Grier showed two books "Robots, Androids, & Animatrons" and "The Unofficial Guide to Lego Mindstorms Robots." Both are published by O'Reilly. Dale Heatherington showed his vacuum robot. It uses a Eureka "The Boss" vacuum cleaner and Skil screwdriver motors for the drive system. It will have one or more PICs programmed in C or assembler and will probably run a random pattern. Sean Hussey showed a Lego Mindstorms robot that has a basketball hoop and a mechanism to return the ball. Noah Witherspoon also showed a Lego Mindstorms robot that was controlled by an IR remote control. Paul Burrell showed the (unassembled) parts for his robot vacuum cleaner. He plans to use a Hitachi microprocessor to map the room to approximately 1 inch. He estimated that it should only take three or four minutes to clean the room after mapping. To make parts from sheet aluminum, he used 3M Super 77 spray adhesive (from Home Depot) to hold printed paper CAD patterns on the aluminum while it was cut and drilled. The adhesive was removed Gook-Gone. Len Burleson showed a simple base using motors obtained from Marlin P Jones and powered by small 6 volt batteries he obtained from Austin Electronics. Barry Ward "described" his plans to use an Atmel AVR microprocessor chip for motor control in his vacuum robot. Frank Borowiec plans an RF link between his vacuum robot and a lap-top computer. He is also planning to use sonar beacons in each corner of the room to triangulate the robot position along with a Vector 2X compass to determine the direction it is facing. Greg Aksamit mentioned an Israeli company that has a robot lawnmower - Robo-Mow. It costs ~$700 and uses perimeter wires and bump sensors to navigate. Details are at http://www.robomow.com. Calvin Grier invited anyone who is interested in receiving meeting notices to join the listserver at the club web site. Video No video was shown due to "technical glitches," i.e., no one brought one. Technical Presentation Freya Harris gave a presentation on Lego Mindstorms that described the kit and showed how the microcontroller unit is programmed using the supplied Windows-based software and IR link. Monthly Contest The line-following contest was not held due to a lack of competitors.