Orlando Robotics User Group Meeting Letter

Below is a letter I sent to Claudio Sennhauser describing the Orlando Robotics User Group meeting on 1 May 2019, at 1PM, in the downtown Orange County Library.

Hi Claudio,

I was meditating this morning and realized I should let you know again that I appreciate your proofing my rover data sheet.  After attending the Orlando Robotics Maker (https://www.meetup.com/Orlando-Robotics/) meetup last Saturday, I walked away thinking I have really accomplished something.  For your reading pleasure, here’s what happened during that meeting.

First was the audience introductions where we learned most were retired and tinkering with different electronic components but the one that got my attention was a patent attorney, obviously vulture for business.  Then the meeting host apologized for the small crowd, offered others to present, which three of us did.  Since you had proofed my data sheet, I was just going to present it to get an audience feel for it.

Well, that’s when things got way too geeky.  The host offered to present his robotic accomplishments.  This consisted of video and individual slides out of a folder of the different configurations he’d tried.  Some were of oscilloscope shots of the electrical waves being sent to the motors to control their speed and direction (PWM).  Then he sat on his basic code slides talking about the different values being sent.  This went on for about 15 minutes until the next presenter waved his hands excitedly and outspokenly.

Confined in a wheelchair, this overweight elderly guy did about the same thing verbally without slides describing his efforts to make a two wheeled robot that looked similar to the link below.  Turns out neither one of these first two presenters had working prototype, JUST OF THE WHEELS WORKING!  The first guy even showed a video of his 4 wheeler hung in a loop going back-and-forth in the same place.  I don’t recall how long they had been working on their projects but I surely would not have presented anything that did not work basically (although they encourage it in their literature).

https://learn.sparkfun.com/tutorials/building-the-hub-ee-buggy

So, after the second presenter when another audience member was exiting, I left while thinking how much more complete and complicated my prototype was compared to theirs and mine might have been an embarrassment after their presentations.  That’s when I decided to try some of the other user group meetups to offer to present our prototype.

So far, I’ve contacted the Central Florida Raspberry Pi User Group (as I posted in FB with me in the pic) and the Orlando Python User Group, the latter offered me to present in June because the host “knew a few people who would be interested in my presentation.”  His response was within a day which surprised me.  For both of these offers from me, I included the link to the data sheet which I think worked for more than I had expected.

To close that thought, I expected to use the data sheet more for closure on my original goals to create the prototype so others could see how complicated it is, and more difficult than I originally thought.  An example of why it took so long happened yesterday where when I try to change one little thing, like a 3D print file, I get bogged down for hours, days, or weeks.  The main reason for this one was that Autodesk has sunset their 123D Design app that was free and have divided those users to either a more simple TinkerCad web app or a subscription to their “Fusion” online app.  I have been using 123D Design but now it locks up and fails to complete tasks after hours of waiting for rendering.

The main reason I went to the robotics meetup was to find others in the machine learning areas that I need to address eventually.  I figured that might be a starting point but turned out to be a group looking for members and even the host said he wanted more diverse “makers” like quilting and artwork.

Long story shortened, I’m presenting the prototype end of June and I’m looking forward to meeting others with similar interests.  I haven’t heard back from the RPi UG hosts but they appear to be less organized than the Python group, as I experienced during the meeting I attended.

Thanks again for your eyeballs!

The best,

Frank