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Chicago Area Robotics Group CHIBOTS: Chicago Area
Robotics Group


CHIBOTS MEETING: MAY 20, 2001





A lot of familiar faces and a few new ones, too.


Ortho of Borg Ortho and his creator, Tom

Tom and Ortho

Tom Gralewicz presented his robot, Ortho of Borg, as an example of multiprocessor control. Tom handed out notes to everyone, outlining the benefits and drawbacks of using more than one processor.

Tom is a relaxed and comfortable speaker, and therefore communicated the subject well. The audience applauded!


Jim's line-following robot Click to see a movie of all four line-following robots
(Click the picture on the right to see a movie)

Line Following Practice

As anticipated, Sweet tested out the line-following tracks. Jim Munro and David Cook brought two line-following robots each.

Dark Helmet

Jim's Dark Helmet (line follower) was a crowd pleaser.


Sonar station Sonar station's 8-character x 2-line LCD panel

Jim Munro

Jim brought a bunch of robots and modules. The yellow sonar station (above) indicates if you are far away, left, center, or right. The ultra-low-torque motor (below) was wild to watch spin. (Tom's multiprocessor notes are in the background)

(Click the picture below to see a movie)
Cool motor


Lego MindStorms

Jeremiah van Aalst brought a great four-wheel drive Lego MindStorms robot with bumper touch sensors.


Proposed ChiBots logos

ChiBots Logo Proposals

Two people brought sample ChiBots logos. The placeholder logo of a spur gear and battery hasn't got long to live!


Cliff and his walking robot Click to see a movie of Cliff's robot walking
(Click the lower picture to see a movie)

Cliff Boerema

Cliff built a walking robot. Through crafty use of PVC pipe, a TV-interactive toy, and brass, this robot is as fascinating to examine standing still as it is when walking.


John attaching the weapon tip John driving his BattleBot

John Patrick

Before packing his bags for BattleBots, John entertained us with his latest entry. This sturdy middleweight packs a pressurized punch.

Go Team Saber!
Click to see a movie of John driving his robot for the local news
(Click above to see a short movie)

Local news crew

A nice treat was that a local news crew videotaped the meeting. John was being interviewed about his robot and his experiences in BattleBots.

See you next month!




ChiBots Meeting Minutes for Sunday, May 20, 2001
by David Wooden

I. Members present at the meeting

John Patrick, President
Jim Fiocca, Vice President / Treasurer
David Wooden, Secretary
David Cook, Webmaster
Clifford Boerema
Nick Boerema
Arthur Ching
John Crygier
Ed Crygier
Tom Gralewicz
Paul Jurczak
Don Kerste
Robert Largent
James Munro
John Orlando
TC Safavi
Leon Sarokin
Brian Schwartz
James Wesley
Michael Brainer
Donald Brainer
Anwar Van Aalst
Cathie Van Aalst
Jeremiah Van Aalst

II. Agenda

  1. Call to order
  2. Introductions (if any new people)
  3. Old Business
    1. DucKon Critter Crunch results
    2. Collection of dues ($20 for anyone who hasn't paid and who wants to)
  4. New Business
  5. Technical Presentation
    Mr. Thomas Gralewicz will show off "Ortho of Borg", his entry to the Dallas Personal Robotics Group (DPRG) Roborama and will discuss using a multiprocessor environment for robotics challenges and contests.
  6. Line-following Demo
    This will include test running robots on a sample of our line-following course for our contest later this year. Questions will be answered about the rules and what it takes to follow a line.
  7. Close (end of official meeting)
  8. Fox News Chicago interviews and BattleBots demos
  9. Robo-show-and-tell, open discussion, and swap meet.

III. Introductions

Robert Largent
Michael Brainer
Ed Crygier
John Crygier
Jim Wesley

IV. Old Business

  1. DucKon Critter Crunch Results
    Postponed until next meeting.

  2. Collect dues
    Jim Fiocca is collecting the $20.00 annual dues. Paid members can enter contests and vote in elections. Everyone is always welcome at the meetings, free of charge.

V. New Business

  1. T-Shirt Logo Contest
    All submissions for the T-Shirt Logo Contest are to be in by the July meeting. Winner will be chosen by election at the August meeting. The winner will get a free T-shirt and a set of small tank track drives such as those used on Tom Gralewiczís Critter Crunch robot.

  2. Sumo Contest Boards

  3. Next Monthís Technical Presentation
    Anyone with a topic they would like to present at the next meeting should post a brief description to the email list.

VI. Technical Presentation

Multiprocessor Robots, given by Tom Gralewicz

Tomís presentation centered around the creation of Ortho of Borg, a large black cube which uses two sets of tank tracks to move either forward and back, or left and right. This makes navigation back to the starting point very accurate, as the robot doesnít have to account for turns.

Tomís presentation covered reasons for multiprocessor implementations, pros and cons of the multiprocessor approach, communication methods and protocols, division and interaction of tasks, and a few techniques that make troubleshooting a multiprocessor system much easier.

VII. Line-Following Demonstration

Those who brought line-following robots demonstrated them on our line-following tile track, supplied by Mike Bakula.

VIII. Close

Line following, swapping and discussion continued after the meeting. Fox News arrived and interviewed John Patrick and shot lots of footage of the meeting. Johnís BattleBot Fusion was filmed extensively, as was the line-following demonstration and everything else that was going on.