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Re: [robotics-88] Philly Robotics Meetup News

From: Sharon
Sent on: Tuesday, November 3, 2009 12:59 PM
Hi Roy
I would like to speak to our group about an opportunity. I am a HS teacher who wants to get kids in Philly involved in the FIRST ( Dean Kamen's baby? Robotics Competition. I have done this for seven years with my HS but I see that my school and Philadelphia is falling away from this great event.? Which offers up to 10,000,000.00 in scholarship opportunities for kids from sophomore year to senior in HS.
It is quite intensive as the kids and mentors ( which is what we would be) get their kit of parts in early January, are shown the game ( student robotics teams play the game in alliances with other teams), which is shown to ALMOST 4000 TEAMS all over the world at the same time and are given ONLY 6 weeks to strategize, design, build, program and test and SHIP the robot to be a part of the competition.? It is both exciting and exhilarating for all involved as we work exhaustively hard together to complete the project.? My goal in all of this???
To get AS MANY kids to careers in robotics and Engineering as possible.
I am not getting paid for this as the mentors would not either.
What I will do is organize everything, from the recruiting of kids, to getting the registration paid ( 5,000.00) fund raising and community partners contacts...helping to find a location to build and store equipment that will hopefully be donated, and finally arrange for ALL OF US TO ATTEND THE FIRST ROBOTICS CHAMPIONSHIP IN APRIL 2010!!
?I have to tell you that I have had much success with kids in the urban areas and you will be pleasantly surprised to see how hard they work!!!

Please let me know if I might possibly speak to the group about this.? My reasons?? The Philadelphia School District and many? other outlying districts do not offer such a great learning opportunity as this.
I want to make a difference for the kids and our future.? Wouldn't it be cool to create many more robot enthusiasts...some who may have never thought about it before???
Thanks for your time

Sharon Newman Ehrlich

On Tue, Nov 3, 2009 at 12:34 AM, Roy B <[address removed]> wrote:

Now that we are back from our vacation and had some time to catch-up, its time to think about robotics again! Here's the latest news:

> Next meeting will be held very soon (just awaiting confirmation from the Hive). Let me know if you have anything you want to present or if you have any requests for discussion topics.
> We have 2 invitations to speak about robotics from other clubs. Let me know if you're interested in making a presentation yourself or assisting me or someone else. (details below)
> New member Jeff has expressed interest in building a Cosmac ELF old-skool computer. Thanks to Marko and Nelson for responding to his requests.
> Update on the Quadrotor project (see below)
> Sharon alerted us to the Nikola Tesla meetup group (I think the founder is a member of our group)
> Some humor, for fans of robots, movies, and/or geek humor:
> And - GO PHILLIES!!!
>> You probably saw new member Georgia's request for an amateur robotics class for her Hacktory group. Georgia, perhaps you can tell us more about the Hacktory sometime.
>> I also received the following email from Ron Kushnier, the Member Services Director for The Philadelphia Area Computer Society (PACS):

PACS has monthly meetings on the 3rd Saturday of each month from Sept to June. At 12 Noon, an hour is devoted to a main meeting in which we have a major presentation of interest to most members (usually about 100 people). I'm sure Robotics would be a big hit.

Areas that might be covered are:
Hardware and software
Major developments in home and industry Robotics
Robotics in Space
Robotic Science Fiction

Currently as can be seen at we have openings from March through June, 2010.
A Power Point presentation is fine, but I would also like to see a Demo, or even a Robot competition. It is up to you guys.

Please let us know if you and the group would be interested. The group would be invited to participate in all PACS activities for the day. We meet at the Giant Community Center in Willow Grove Pennsylvania.
>> Let me know if you have any interest in talking to either group. I'm not sure I'm quite qualified - the reason I started the group was to attract robotics experts to assist me in my projects ;-). But I might be persuaded to summarize what I do know - especially if I had help from one of you.
Our quadrotor project is still going strong. Brijesh shipped his custom boards to Nelson and myself. I was able to successfully program his code onto the board. However, the dimensions of one of the components, the xbee wireless networking device, grew slightly when they released the "pro" version. It will not fit on the board. Brijesh offered to move around some components to make it work with the upgraded xbee, so I've shipped the boards back to him. I don't know if they'll be ready in time for the next meetup, but perhaps Nelson can demo his copy of the board. Nelson was also kind enough to donate one of his boards to the group. I know Daniel has expressed an interest. I still need to finish the feedback and sensor filtering code. We still could use people who are interested in coding ground station software and building an airframe. Nelson offered to explore building a test stand.
I hope to see you at the next meetup!

- Roy

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