What's happening?

Michael Catlin What's on your mind?
Wednesday October 1, 6:44 am

Bot from Runaway
Here is the Bot I was thinking of.

Joe Pardue
Joe Pardue Wall-e evil twin?
Wednesday October 1, 11:48 am

Michael Catlin I had a great time at the visit to the solar facility. My wife enjoyed it too and now I might be getting chickens (thanks Joe ;-0). Interesting to find out how TVA can limit alternative energy. On a robotics note, a few years ago the California farm workers union wanted to strike because the University of California at Davis was working on robotic farm machinery.

Here is a good idea for someone with a LOT of programming expertise. Develop a robot that can identify a weed (undesirable plant) and zap the stem where it exits the ground.
Saturday September 27, 10:01 am

Joe Pardue
Joe Pardue Yeah, it was pretty cool.

And how about this:
Monday September 29, 10:25 am

Joe Pardue REMINDER: Thursday Sept 25 6 to 8:30ish site visit at Sustainable future: Solar Energy, aquaponics, tiny houses, permaculture, oh my!
(Google map: 201 Ogle Avenue Knoxville, TN 37920-4131).
Wednesday September 24, 10:22 pm

Michael Catlin Glad I checked this morning for the solar energy facility visit. I see that there is a date change! I come from Lancaster California where Mayor R. Rex Parris is a big time solar promotor. The Antelope Valley Community College has solar covered parking as does one of the high schools. To the North of town is a solar generating plant consisting of 2 tower boilers surrounded by a field of mirrors.
Thursday September 18, 8:33 am

Solar covered car parking
This is the one of the solar covered car parking areas at Antelope Valley college in Lancaster California.


I talked to David Bolt and he is okay with delaying things so that we can get it on the Knox Maker's calendar and allow more time for those folks to plan the visit.

I suggest Thursday September 25 from 6 to 8:30ish. Maybe we can do a pizza?

Anyone who will be there for sure, please contact me directly.

A couple of folks from the robots group expressed an interest, but BAD JOE I didn't get their contact information.

Wednesday September 17, 8:05 pm

Joe Pardue Two folks have expressed an interest in visiting David Bolts Sustainable Future facility, but unfortunately, I'm not sure how to contact them. BAD JOE! Anyway David suggested Sept 18' 6 to 8:30 (Google map: 201 Ogle Avenue Knoxville, TN 37920-4131).

See a couple of posts down for details.

Anybody interested needs to post here or contact me: joepardue at hotmail dot com

Tuesday September 16, 11:23 pm

jesse This is reminder about the meeting tomorrow. We should try to spend 30 minutes to an hour on general club business and structure. Don't let that scare you off though. We need as much representation as possible!
Monday September 15, 9:38 pm

Butch Alline Cheap switching Voltage regulator, 5A, $5
Friday August 29, 2:51 pm

Butch Alline Cheaper alternative to Dynamixel?
Friday August 29, 9:40 am

jesse Sweet! I'm not seeing any documentation though. It looks like they are 4 pins so maybe rs485?
Saturday August 30, 11:50 pm

Joe Pardue At the 8/19/14 meeting David Bolt (http://sustainablefuture.biz/) asked for advice about automating his aquaponics setup. I volunteered to help him and will be visiting his facility (Google map: 201 Ogle Avenue Knoxville, TN 37920-4131).

David's facility has several impressive solar energy systems including a vehicle charging station. He is also working on tiny houses, permaculture and some other ideas related to applying technology to sustainable living.

Several folks expressed an interest in seeing his facility, so I thought I'd post here and see who else wants to make a site visit and what would be a good date/time for this. Please express your interest and availability and I'll try to arrange a date.

Thursday August 21, 1:22 pm

Joe Pardue
Joe Pardue David suggested Thursday Sept 18 from 6:00 to 8:30 as a possible time. Can you make it them?

Anybody else interested?
Friday August 22, 9:43 pm
Michael Catlin
Michael Catlin I would love to see the facility. Just let me know when. Coming from the Antelope Valley in Southern California I am used to seeing solar panels, windmills and even reflective solar.
Friday August 22, 5:49 pm

jesse : First off, if you are a new person visiting this page for the first time today then welcome! Create a profile and feel free to ask any questions. We can be easily reached through here or via the 'Contact Us' tab for email.

Children are always welcome at the meetings but younger kids may get bored listening to the adults prattle on about software, mechatronics, and cool wiziwigs. We are hoping to branch into programs for younger children so please check back from time to time or send us an email through the 'Contact us' section. We'll try to get back to you promptly.

We had a great time getting to meet so many curious and intelligent people! Thanks for giving us a great day!

For our regular members,

We had a great time at the Robotics Revolution today. They had a table set up for us and Billy and I were able to show off several of our projects. I talked to so many people that I'm quite hoarse! It's an exciting time for our group and we have a lot of opportunities for growth. We handed out a ton of flyers to bunch of interested people and if all goes well we'll have to get a bigger meeting room!

Items of interest:

Kids activities. The vast majority of the people I spoke with wanted to get their children involved in robotics. We should consider a regular kids-centric workshop or activity program for young kids. This should really be on our radar.

Arduino: A surprising number of people had heard about the Arduino controller and wanted to learn more. I said that Smiley (Joe) was going to be hosting a workshop around building a robot out of an Arduino platform. Joe, you have a lot of interested parties and I said we will be announcing more information about the workshop here. Maybe we should work out something with the Maker's group for shop space.


Sunday August 3, 5:12 pm

Joe Pardue
Joe Pardue If anyone wants to see how I'm handling teaching the Arduino for never-ever novices then go to www.arduinoclassroom.com.

Right now I've got 8 of 12 chapters for Arduino 101 posted and should have all 12 in a month or so. Next I'll do Arduino 102 where we will go into great detail on building a simple Arduino based robot.

Arduino 101 runs in the 2014 Nuts&Volts magazine and Arduino 102 will run in the 2015 issues and both series will be posted on the website.

I aimed this material at bright middle to high school students and for adults with no background in electronics or computing.

I'm just now getting started on the Arduino 102 robot materials and this would be a really good time to get input from more experienced robot folks who can conceive of a basic training robot that is Arduino-cheap. I'd hoped for a budget of $50, but I'm beginning to think that $75 may be more realistic for a good base that can follow lines and find edges. As the course progresses it may be desirable to have an Arduino 102 part 1 and part 2 so that the fundamentals can be had on the cheap in part 1 and more advanced and expensive things can be seen in part 2 (such as an ultrasonic sensor with two servos for horizontal and vertical scanning).

I would be delighted to lead classes on both Arduino 101 and 102.

I think we should do some brainstorming on how to get together a list of potential students for this program and then solicit input on how folks would like to see the course presented.

The Makers would be an excellent group to partner with - they certainly have a lot of enthusiasm and expertise. But they are a bit out of the way physically, so we might want to figure out a way to do this in a more central location such as ITT or Techco.

There are no special tools required for Arduino 101 other than a laptop, Internet connection and a project kit. Arduino 102 will require some simple hand tools and soldering. I would expect each student to be able to carry all they need in a small box so no special tools would be needed for the facility - though we would have to take extra care not to mare any table tops. Since the robotics part of this is still in the formative stage I welcome and encourage any and all feedback on how to develop this course.

Tuesday August 5, 10:00 am

jesse Robotics demos and presentations at Chilhowee park August 2nd
Friday July 25, 12:16 pm

jesse A few more people with Robots would be great so sign up people!
Thursday July 31, 10:34 am
jesse Thanks! I can bring a couple of rovers and the junkbot bug. Maybe the cd duplicator if we have enough room. Nothing is in a working state though.
Wednesday July 30, 10:07 pm
Billy Huddleston
Billy Huddleston On the Calendar. Any idea what your bringing? I don't think we have to since we have the table.
Wednesday July 30, 4:52 pm

jesse I bought 5 ultrasonic transducers from Amazon for $6 shipped. They cam from china and took a couple of weeks to get here but at a little over a buck a piece, who can complain? I have't tested them yet though.
Wednesday July 23, 4:57 pm

Joe Pardue Still can't sign up for the meeting on the 15th.
Sunday July 13, 4:19 pm

Billy Huddleston
Billy Huddleston I show you registered. ??
Monday July 14, 11:14 pm

Joe Pardue I thought I sent a message to Tim last week, but no reply so either I didn't or used a wrong email or whatever. Anybody have a valid email address for Tim Klein?
Saturday July 12, 4:33 pm

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