October 28, 2012
I am a mechanical engineer working well into my retirement years because I enjoy my job. My hobbies include RC model aircraft, electronics & robotics, some woodworking, general technical self-education. With the RC aircraft, I already have an ability to remotely control small vehicles. I want to expand my ability to put some autonomous capabilities into my aircraft to make up for my lack of remote flying skills. I am starting by making an Arduino robot with sensors and the ability to act upon the sensor readings. Although I could just spend big bucks and buy such a vehicle, it isn't as much fun as doing it yourself.
I want to learn more about programming microcontrollers to receive and interpret sensor info and take appropriate action using servo and other DC motors, etc. I have built a small sumo robot using an ultrasonic distance sensor to find and track a competitor. I have also built a small robot that can balance on two wheels. Both of these machines need more sensors, logic complexity, faster response. I am looking to expand my long experience with programming computers into the area used by hobby robotics. On my own, I was having a difficult time trying to decide what to do. As an engineer, I needed an objective or a mission to accomplish. With a robotics club, I see that the objective of making a robot for a competitive meet with rules & strategies make for an excellent driver for the task.
I have been flying RC model aircraft for about 10 years now. I have only flown planes with battery powered electric motors made of foam. I have stuck with foam because they can be easily repaired and re-flown with careful application of duct tape. I have planes with wingspans ranging from under a foot to almost a yard. I have been interested in woodworking for about 40 years. Inaddition to many smaller pieces of furniture around the house, I have fabricated cabinets for 3 bathroom upgrades and for very large laundry/office area for my wife & I. Over the years I have dabbled in photography (with my own darkroom), Plastic model aircraft, electronics, ...... In general, I think that my hobby is learning enough to be dangerous (that is to have fun with it).
I certify that I'm much older than 16 years old. TB 11/6/16
My name is Tim Brandsberg and I am a retired mechanical engineer living near Lynchburg, VA. I live out in the country between Lynchburg and Bedford. I am a mentor for a local high school robotics team competing in the FIRST FTC league.
There were about 5 or 6 members in attendance - quite a representation for about 3 hrs away.