Weekly Update – Week 4

You know what, posting updates on Sunday was a silly idea. Monday is clearly the better day to update everyone about all the latest news from RoboSoc. We have come to this conclusion after much thinking and pondering, most of which was asking ourselves if we really wanted to do any work on a Sunday. The answer to that was a unanimous “No.” So welcome to UTS RoboSoc Weekly Updates, now on the best day of the week, Monday. In Week 4 we continued our work on Arduino Figure of 8s, started to repurpose our NI Competition Robot and start organizing some great events coming up in the coming weeks.

Zumo Robots

Arduino Figure of 8 – Beware of Outdated Code

Last week, our new members finally got the chance to take our army of Zumo robots for a little spin. Unlike our previous workshops, we didn’t have Treasurer James give one of his majestic lectures to the room at large. Instead he sat on a chair and gave us his lecture there.

The main purpose of this session was to allow our new members to use the Zumo robots for themselves, get the software setup on their own computers and make a start on getting these Zumo robots to do a little figure of 8 (As part of our competition, the rules and deadline which you can view here).

The whole session, surprisingly, went very smoothly. We only had ONE major issue with the Arduino programming environment, which we consider to be a massive success~ It was such a minor issue as well and it highlights the fact that you should never blindly reuse old code. I’m sure our dear Treasurer James has learned his lesson now since he spent 30mins scratching his head wondering why his old code wouldn’t work.

The rest of our members luckily didn’t have such issues and made a great start on their competition code. Kenny managed to get a shape that somewhat resembles a Figure of 8 while Cate’s group made the Zumo play the melody of the Hungarian Rhapsody No 2 (Yeah we thought it was weird as well but it’s cool nonetheless).

Ni Roboto

Breaking down our NI Competition Robot for 2015

While we wait for our entry confirmation from NI (Which we just happened to receive today, Yay~), the core NI team for 2015 began the process of familiarizing themselves with last years Robot with help from Ex-RoboSoc executive Dave. This involved taking the robot apart and ensuring that everything was still in perfect working condition. It’s a good thing we did break it down thou because the team immediately found an issue with the power plug. It appears to have come part at the soldering joint when we were moving it about. That was soldered back into its rightful place and the robot was as good as new.

Now that the robot is physically ready, the programming team can begin to experiment with the NI myRIO board…once they get Labview working on all their computers. It’s just minor issues like getting it installed and working nicely with our GIT repository but it should all be resolved by this week, which is also when the programming team begins their compulsory 1 week Labview training course run by NI. Funny how things just seem to slot into place~

Source: https://xkcd.com/303/

Fun and Games Shall Commence, Quite Literally

We get to the point in the semester where assignments are due and tears scatter the tables of our executive members as they look at their bludgeoning work load. We could run another workshop this week but sometimes it’s best to unwind a bit and let off some steam. (No it’s not because we haven’t quite finished our lesson plan for this week or the tour isn’t quite ready yet. Honest!).

Thus for this week’s Wednesday workshop session, we’re going to just spend an hour getting to know each other much more intimately by engaging in a session of scripted fun organised (Once again) by Treasurer James. Don’t worry, he’s an expert at this sort of thing. He has done so many volunteer hours that he could probably write a dissertation about having fun with strangers (Thou he probably won’t because that just sounds weird.)

Trivia, More Fun Then You Can Shake a Stick At

The club also has more a lot more “fun” planned for the near future. We will be working with a few other clubs to help run the 2015 edition of Geek Trivia. This year, it will be led by EGG (Electronic Gamers’ Guild) and they definitely know what “fun” is about. It will likely be held on May 1st but we’ll get the exact details to you all once everything is finalized. They have historically been great events and it’s definitely something to look forward to.

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