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Nashua Robot Builder's June Newsletter Date: Saturday, 29-Jun-96 01:24 PM

From: John D. Cook \ Internet: (

Subject: Nashua Robot Builder's June Newsletter

Nashua Robot Builder's June Newsletter

Big Contest a HIT!

Our first event, a line following contest, was a hit with the group! Four machines showed with three completing and one "virtual player" who wasnt quite done but came anyway.

Contestants were: Jay Francis, Ken Williams, Matt Cross and John Cook.

Walking (or driving) away with the contest was Jay's machine, a modifed toy buldozer which was the only machine actually able to follow the line from end to end. Second was John Cook's Beast which was able to follow the line for a little while but always got lost in those tough turns. Matt Cross made a strong attempt to use his laptop as a robot controller using a modifed RC car as a base and Ken William's BASIC Stamp powered machine cheered us all from the side. Each machine was unique and inventive and all showed real effort and the not-so-easy problem of line following.

Jay's winning strategy was two fold:

Three excellent sensors were mounted close together on the front of the machine so the line was in view of one sensor at all times. (These sensors transmitted their own modulated IR signal so they were never confused by ambient light like some others were.)

Secondly, he implimented a "back-up and re-try" approach so that if the line ever disapeared from view the robot backed up and tried to find the line again.

Congrats to Jay's winning entry and to all participants.

Since only one machine made it we're re-running the contest in September so dust off your 'bots and get ready for a re-try!

NEXT Meeting:

NRB is taking a Holiday! There's no July meeting at all and August will be a tour of some local robotic company if we can swing it. Regular meetings will resume in September with a re-run of our line following contest.

See you all in September!

-John C.


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