Amateur Roboticists Unite!
A robot uprising is fomenting at the Eugene Maker Space (EMS) and rumor has it their next target is the June 10th Eugene Mini Maker Faire. Since last year’s Faire a growing number of EMS members have been tinkering with robots. Just last month several Eugene Maker Space members traveled to Pleasanton, California and competed at ROBOGAMES 2017. Do you want to hear about these aspiring amateur roboticists? Of course you do!
Starting an interest group that will work together to build a DIY robot is like starting a band. You need individuals with specialties in each area of robot building. You need fabricators. You need electronics enthusiasts. You need coders or programmers. And, just like a band, once you have all these people, the first thing you worry about is what you’re going to call your robot!
Bauxie is mostly made of aluminum and is essentially a rectangular box with six wheels. She is a skid steerer. When building a robot for a particular task you will find that a lot of solutions often come from thinking that is, well, outside the box. Bauxie was built by three members of EMS who coalesced around the shared desire to learn more about robotics.
At their first meeting they set a stretch-goal of competing at ROBOGAMES 2017. Over a 3 month time span, when their day-jobs and family responsibilities allowed, they built a 6 wheeled skid steering rover nearly from scratch. Their chosen competition was an autonomous navigation challenge known as RoboMagellan. In RoboMagellan, ground vehicles (or rovers) must autonomously navigate between a set of locations designated by an orange traffic cone.
Come watch Bauxie’s creators perform some test missions on June 10th at the Science Factory. Please abstain from wearing bright orange clothes or cone-shaped hats as it might cause the rover to follow you like a cute robotic puppy.
Bezek is a combat robot. EMS member Eric Hartman independently custom-fabricated his entire steel shelled, blade-wielding teetotum combat robot to compete in the RoboGames beetleweight arena. The beetleweight robots are a 3 pound subclass of the larger 200lb battlebots that compete at RoboGames. Here is a video of Bezek in a full on rumble with some other battlebots at RoboGames.
Bauxie and Bezek make an unlikely pair but they will both be on display at the Eugene Mini Maker Faire on June 10th! Please visit the EMS booth to see these exemplary robots and feel free to converse with their human pets as well. For those not interested in all-robots, all-the-time, EMS members will bring a plethora of other passion-projects to boot. Buy your tickets today!
Read more stories of Makers at eugene.makerfaire.com.
Written by Jeffery Gormogon
Jeffery is a machinist who works on the University of Oregon campus. Here he assists product designers, fabricates proto-types, and helps scientific researchers build and repair instruments. Outside of work he enjoys volunteering at Next-Step Recycling, tinkering at the Eugene Maker Space and is a uniquely motivated member of the Eugene Mini Maker Faire steering committee. Ask around town to learn how to get in touch with him if you must.
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