In helping several schools with their robotic programs (Vex/Lego), I
find myself looking for websites that robotic clubs have set up to
show what they have done. My search is not limited to just the Vex/
Lego sets...I am looking especially for homebuilts using a range of
materials, processors and languages.
Is there a listing of them?
If not, could you post which ones you deem interesting?
I'm not sure that your average club web-site is going to actually
contain much information about member robots. Most club web sites are
dedicated to mundane issues like when and where, dues, etc. While
it makes a lot of sense to assume that the club will provide a web
page that shows each club member's robot, I am not aware of any
club sites that actually do that. If somebody is inclined to publish
some web pages about their robot, they tend to do so without invovlving
their local club.
It sounds like you are trying to move on from Lego/Vex. Is this
correct? Most custom robots are built out of a combination of
aluminum, plastic (mostly acrylic), and sometimes wood. The parts
are either scrounged from a junk yard or purchased from one of the
multitude of mail order robotics parts outfits on the net. A good
book to browse is Gordon McComb's "Robot Builders's Sourcebook" to
get some ideas the range of available parts and materials.
Personally, I mostly use angle aluminum (for brackets), foamed-PVC,
and HDPE plastic. I use my own electronics modules called RoboBricks2:
I don't know about a list because any list would be either scattershot
or based on other criteria than yours. But among my favs showcasing
amateur built robots are robots.net (click on the Robots tab) and Dallas
Personal Robotics Group (dprg.org).
Homebrew Robotics (hbrobotics.org, Wayne is current prezzie) has a nice
selection of member pages and several of them have pics of their
projects. There are a few, like Camp Peavy, that also write for the
magazines, where they offer a deeper look at their creations. So don't
forget the back issues of SERVO, which you can get on CD-ROM if you
don't have a subscription to the paper version.
Finally, go to Yahoo Groups and look up robotics. Join a few to see what
you get. TRCY (trcy.org; the forum itself is on Yahoo) is one of the
I've been gathering a list of minisumo...
It links to builders websites, there's a few on the forum that are not
listed there but you'll find some discussion on materials and processors.
I hope this helps.
On Sat, 31 Jan 2009 08:52:47 -0800 (PST), Too_Many_Tools
I'm a member here, and we "welcome" all kinds of robots:
There's not a lot of tech info, just meeting info and pics from
previous meetings and club events, but the Robot Links page should be
helpful, it links to off-site tech info. At the bottom of that page is
a list of some other robotics club websites around the USA. That
should keep you busy.
Here's one that's inexplicably not listed, but that AHRC is friendly
with, the Georgia Tech Robotics Club:
Ben, Thanks for the link to this ... this one is new to me, too. It's
not like the school has an insignificant robotics program...
As this is one group within Gatech robotics, is there a list of any
others, that you know of?
I really don't know much about it or what else goes on
robotics-wise at Ga. Tech. There's at least one member who is also in
botlanta.org and the robojackets have had a table at our "robot
rallies" but that's about all I know.
Poking around on the robojackets website, I found this:
It does seem like a natural thing to do, but for some reason
it does not happen very often. It is a shame.
Most robotics clubs are run by a handful of people. Taking
pictures and posting them on a web site does require some
(not a lot though) level of effort. For the Home Brew Robotics
Club, the people who take pictures (Camp) rarely hand the pictures
over to the person that maintains the web site (Bill). Many
people are satisfied with showing their robots to other club
members without taking the time document on the web for a wider
audience. Frankly, we've had more pictures posted in Servo
magazine than we have on our web site. We have a wiki, but
very few people take the effort to document their work.
I know I'm guilty.
Interestingly, enough a new HBRC member has noticed this problem
and is going to sign on to get some more pictures and descriptions
going. We'll see how it turns out.
Since I won't have to do any of the work myself, I'll be happy to
offer some thoughts: <grin!>
1) Once you get a few "regulars" to put up robot descriptions,
others will want to do the same, even if purely from ego.
2) Have the "posting" procedures readily available for (a) those
who just want to put up a picture, caption, and their name,
(b) those who want to report a club- or robot-related activity,
and (c) those who want to illustrate specific techniques.
3) As part (perhaps all) of one meeting, demonstrate the simplest
procedure by example: take a picture of the members present and
let someone who _hasn't_ done it before post the picture.
4) Once you have people actually putting material online, and it
is being shared by your membership, you can offer presentations
at meetings discussing different ways of presenting, e. g.,
circuits and blueprints, and talking about storytelling in
5) If you don't already have standards about what is acceptable
material to post on your 'web site -- and what is not --
start thinking about it. Photos of one machine mangling
another may be fine, but draw the line at pets and human
beings (and other club members <grin!>).
Finally, if you have some shy members, offer to take a photo of
them beside their robot (something they can't easily do for
themselves) and post it with a caption fo their choice. Do it
for a couple of meetings or events and your gallery will be
It is the business of education to implant insight and respon-
sibility. It must turn irresponsible opinion into responsible
judgement and lead from chance and arbitrariness to the rational
lucidity of an intellectual order. -- Mies Van der Rohe
Frank McKenney, McKenney Associates
Richmond, Virginia / (804) 320-4887
Munged E-mail: frank uscore mckenney ayut mined spring dawt cahm (y'all)
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