After exhaustive searches with no luck, I have decided that there are no
Robot interest organizations in my area and would like to start one. Could
someone please give me some ideas on where to begin and how to form a group?
The primary issues for forming a robotics club are:
1) Finding a time and place to meet. Initially, it can be somebody's
house/garage, but as it gets larger, some sort of meeting space is
required. Sometimes, you can find a library/community center.
Some facilities charge money and others are free. Some clubs I
know (not robotic clubs, by the way) meet at local restaurants
(e.g. Denny's, local Pizza palor, etc.)
2) Finding interested people. After you post a message here on
comp.robotics.misc, you are sort of on your own trying to find
people. There are many interested people in the high/middle
school, but they have a hard time getting to meetings. You
might want contact the FIRST, FLL (First Lego League), BotBall
people to see there is any interest.
3) Building Robots. Lot's of people enjoy coming to meetings,
but never get over the hurdle of actually building a robot.
Some effort is required to get people out of "learn" mode
and into "build" mode. One of our members came up with a
series of challenges to get people started. The first
challenge is to build a robot that can wonder around a table
without falling off; subsequent challenges build on that theme.
It takes a bunch of time and patience to get a functioning robot
club going. However, at some point a critical mass is attained
and the members start to do simply amazing things.
Just for the record, I am a member of the Homebrew Robotics
Club based in the San Jose/Silicon Valley area. While I can't
identify exactly when we hit critical mass (2-4 years ago),
we now consistantly get 40-50 people a meeting and some truly
fun and interesting robots show up. Since we collect no
dues, we have no active membership roster. Since we meet on
Wednesday nights, we have poor attendence from the high/middle
I hope this helps,
I had done that allready in my message on this group dated February 4th
2005, but noone responded. It would seem with having Virginia Polytechnic
Institute right up the road and University of Virginia just down the road in
the opposite direction, someone would respond. I guess I'm in the Black Hole
of the Robot world here in Southwest Virginia. :(
Anyway, thank's to both of you for responding.
Be well and God Bless,
How about a virtual club? :-) I have the same problem here in Southern
NH/NW MA. You would think with MIT, Harvard, UNH and WPI interest would not
be an issue, but it is. I consider this newsgroup a virtual club in a way.
Collectively there is a lot of knowledge here.