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About the Brisbane Robotics SIG

Introduction

The Brisbane Robotics SIG has been formed to provide a focal gathering for the many people who have an interest in the area of computer robotics. It is by no means limited to those who may be considered boffins on the subject. Our activities schedule will be focussed on attracting members both as an audience and as participants. The only criteria is an interest, or at the minimum, a curiosity.

Group Objectives

The Robotics SIG has the following objectives:

  • To provide both an informative and social gathering medium for people with a common interest in computer robotics, both in Australia and overseas.
  • To provide a medium for the exchange and development of ideas and information on robot trends and directions.
  • To assist in providing the avenue for acquisition of components and expertise - including:
    • learning to build and control simple robots with a home computer.
    • learning to interface various sensors in the control of robotics functions.

What Can You Gain?

Precisely what you can gain from this will be entirely dependant on just how much interest and enthusiasm you have.

The interest shown to date in the SIG indicates that there is an abundance of people who are willing to share their knowledge and skills with others who have a genuine interest in computer robotics. You need not have any initial knowledge of either computer technology or robotics.

The SIG will be conducting tutorials and practical workshops at various stages through the year aimed at both introductory and advanced topics.

In addition, the SIG will be organising competitive robot challenges, games, puzzles and simple displays of personal achievements. Remember, no matter how elementary you may think your current effort is, there is always someone who will show an interest and have the need for your knowledge. We all have to start somewhere.

In summary you can develop your knowledge, ability and interest through this SIG.

What Can You Do?

As a member of the SIG you will become aware of Robots that you can build immediately with a minimum of current knowledge.

You will learn of Robot kits that are available to get you started and associate with people who can assist you in these initial stages and further.

You will have the opportunity to implement your ideas for Robots specific to your individual desire and learn of current developments and possible pitfalls from others who may have similiar ideas.

Conscious of the cost of building Robots, you will learn of sources of component parts for Robots, including sources for recycling components e.g. old calculators, printers, etc.

Group Involvement

The focal point in this activity will be the opportunity for our SIG to be involved in the yearly Robot Challenge. In previous years members of our SIG contributed in a practical as well as supportive role in this competition.

Member Interaction

The SIG will provide the opportunity for team building, and the bringing together of complementary skills.

Access to equipment resources will be an outcome of the interactive nature of the SIG, removing many of the stumbling blocks associated with isolated individual projects.

External Liaison

Throughout our scheduled activities for the year the SIG will be fostering interaction with other robotics groups to benefit from the experiences and knowledge of their members. The Group will be reliant on individual members to expound our cause to other individuals and groups of similar interest.

Proposed Schedule of Activities

Workshops

Hands-on weekend workshops are run occasionally throughout the year. These workshops are designed to introduce beginners to the concepts involved in building of robotics and also enable support between advanced hobbists.

Important items directed at the "new starter" will include:

  • What defines a Robot
  • Hurdles to building your own robots
  • Cost factors in building robots
  • How do you obtain components, kits, etc
  • Sources of literature and other information
  • Location and manufacture of standard components
  • Tool and equipment requirements to build a robot
  • Technical information on sensors and boards
  • Robot programming techniques

Competitions and Demonstrations

To be organised throughout the calender with the objective of allowing individuals and groups to demonstrate their achievements as their expertise develops.

The nature of these competitions will range through:

  • "Bring Along Whatever" for a traditional "Show and Tell"
  • Robotic Puzzles
  • Competitive Robot to Robot Challenges

We will be looking for members to show an interest in contributing to the Robot to Robot challenges early in the year for competitions to be organised at dated from the mid to late period of the year. The organisation of simple robot competitions will also be a feature of the first SIG weekend workshop.

Monthly Meetings

The SIG will meet monthly on the 1st Tuesday of each month, at a central location in Brisbane. Check the events schedule for more details.

Some flexibility will be exercised on location throughout the year, dependant on the availability of speakers, etc. and the nature of the evenings activies.

Other proposed activities at the meetings include:

  • Practical demonstrations of members achievements
  • Organised games and competitions
  • Education and training
  • Information nights as speakers become available

The minutes of meetings are available if you are interested in participating at the committee level.

Costs

The SIG is a non-profit organisation, and as such the funds generated are used to cover the administration and other associated costs. Below are listed the annual membership fees. The various scheduled activities throughout the year may entail some costs for items such as workshop materials on a student usage basis. The Group Committee will at all times ensure that these costs are kept at a minimum and inform all members of anticipated costs prior to any organised activity. Wherever possible the SIG committee will explore and negotiate for the best possible price on the supply of materials and services.

It is anticipated that sponsorship will provide funds for the larger activities scheduled.

Membership and Fees

Non-ACS members are welcome and membership is open to all age groups.

Memberships to the Robotics SIG in no way provides or implies membership to the Australian Computer Society.

Membership Fees

Membership to the SIG is not mandatory, however will offer a discount to those that have robot entries in the competitions we host.

The annual fees are as follows:

Standard (Non-ACS Member)

$10.00

Standard (ACS Member)

$5.00

Student (Non-ACS Member)

$5.00

Student (ACS Member)

$2.50

Competition Fees

These fees apply to competitions involving trophies and medallions as prizes. They are the cost of registering each robot in any competition.

Non-SIG Member

$10.00

SIG Member

$5.00

2001-2002 SIG Key Positions

RolePerson
PresidentAaron Dwyer
TreasurerTracy Lightfoot
SecretaryHaris Pandzo

Contacts for Further Information

SIG Activities and Status

Aaron Dwyer
Telephone: (07) 3117 0874 [business hours]
Email: aarond@websmartcentral.com

SIG Backing Organisation

Australian Computer Society
Robotics Special Interest Group
Workcover Building, Adelaide St
Telephone: (07) 3220 0666

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