advanced search 
Multi-Disciplinary Robotics Club
We Build Robots!

Welcome to MDRC
Wednesday, October 22 2014 @ 05:33 PM EDT

Email Article To a Friend View Printable Version

Kick-Off 2014

Hello, robot enthusiasts! We're back, and it's time for our yearly Kick-Off meeting!

As usual, it's in Erdle Commons, first floor of the engineering building (09/GLE). Saturday, August 30th at 2:00PM. We'll do our usual explanations of the club proceedings and purpose, and have a tour of our lab afterwards.

This year, our focus is going to be on beginner projects. We know many new members have little to no experience with robotics, so we want to ease them in with a simple, semester-long project. Hopefully, we can form project teams after the meeting.

Of course, our advanced projects are always available, too, If people want to cut their teeth on autonomous navigation or computer vision projects, we're more than happy to help. Our large robot runs ROS, a C++/Python-based robot programming framework.

Hope to see you all on Saturday!

Email Article To a Friend View Printable Version

Kick-off 2013!

Good afternoon all!

As first week begins and the school year winds up we'd like to annouce our signature fall event, MDRC Kick Off! This is an annual event where we introduce (and invite) new people, share information, and discuss the general direction of the club this coming year. This year the event details are as follows:

Time: 11 a.m.
Date: Saturday, August 31, 2013
Location: Erdle Commons; Bottom Floor of Gleason (Engineering) Building

The engineering building is located on the west side of the Infinity quad, directly facing the dorms. We we have signs marking the location for the kick-off. Come in and make yourself comfortable. Any questions feel free to contact eboard@mdrc.rit.edu or jfr7294@rit.edu.

Don't be afraid to bring projects to this event to show off! We like to hear about other's projects just as much as we like showing off our own (we can't help it)!

Pizza sale training will be occuring some time next week. Information on the exact time will be provided later this week but for now let it be known that the Pizza Sales are an important part of the club. They help bring in spending money and allow us to provide fun activities for us to do. It is a required training to work at Pizza Sales. The training consists a quick sessions that lasts under 20 minutes and signing a sheet.  It really helps the club out and we need the volunteers to keep it going!

A quick update to alumni: An e-mail will be going out shortly to the alumni group giving a progress update with this years intentions. Hopefully we can strengthen the bond we started last year even further!

As always, good luck with classes and any questions, do no hesistate to contact us!

Email Article To a Friend View Printable Version

Spring Dash!

 

Good evening and Welcome back everyone!

 

I hope every had a wonderful break and they are recharged and ready to get back to it. This quarter we have a ton of things planned and I'm very excited about it all. SOMA, sumo, and Trinity robot construction will all be happening in these next few weeks and if you're interested we could definitely use the help! We have Trinity which will be happening in April, Imagine RIT in May and IGVC in June and this quarter will be dedicated to getting those robots finished and ready to rumble by the time competition rolls around. Our weekend meetings are scheduled for the same time as last quarter, 2pm in the lab. We're working on setting up meetings during the week, fill in your available information in the following excel sheet.

(Provided in our members list mailing, removed for security reasons)

Pizza sale training! We have new trainers this quarter and it's IMPERATIVE that you get trained so we can actually host pizza sales this quarter. This is where we make our money and we need your help. I will be finding our when that's happening and I will inform everyone.

 
Finally, swipe access. If you're intested in signing up please put your information down in the following google docs sheet and I will work on getting access for you.
 
(Provided in our members list mailing, removed for security reasons)
 
I can't wait for this quarter to get underway and hope to see you all participating! As always any questions or concerns please feel free to e-mail me as needed.
 
-Jared Raby
 
Email Article To a Friend View Printable Version

Finals week and break

Hey, everyone. I know it's already two days into finals week, but good luck on all your remaining finals!

This is just a quick notice that there will be no official club activities during finals week and break week. Of course, the lab is still open as always for free work, but there will be no meetings until the beginning of spring quarter. Expect another announcement around week 1 of spring quarter for details on spring activity.

So once again, good luck on finals, have a great break and I'll we'll you all next quarter!

Email Article To a Friend View Printable Version

Winter Quarter Underway!

    I hope all had a wonderful break and were able to overstuff themselves
and were able to see family. I would also like to extend my congratulations
to those who just finished their first quarter and beginning their second!

    Getting down to buisness, we're ready to get into these robots and
start projects! This quarter we are digging into a lot of competition
projects including IGVC, Trinity, Imagine RIT, and promotional projects.
Using the interest that people have given us, we have come up with the
teams and leaders for each group of projects. More after the break.

Email Article To a Friend View Printable Version

End of Fall Update

Good evening everyone,

     Making a quick post about where we stand as of today. A lot of exciting things have been happening in the back ground lately which have started to stir up a frenzy in those who know.

     First off, we're getting a couple products from the start up company iOTOS. There are a few MDRC alumni there and we're talking with them know about getting our hands on their products to do some projects with! Their main product, the Nio, is what we'll be working with. It allows you to connect to the internet in a no hassle set up. Reducing the frustration spent to get more complex internet projucts running. Check them out here:

https://www.iotos.net/

     We're also hoping to get some new equipment in the lab soon. We are also working with alumni to get potential donations. This is the time to be involved with projects!

     Sorry if I downplay the awesomeness of this all, feel free to ask more questions through our e-mail at: ritmdrc@gmail.com. Next quarter is going to get kicked in high gear for projects and I can't wait. If you're interested please sign up for meeting times and project teams:

docs.google.com/spreadsheet/viewform - Meeting Times

docs.google.com/spreadsheet/viewform - Project Teams

That said, good luck to everyone on finals and I hope to see you next quarter!

-Jared

Email Article To a Friend View Printable Version

Lifting the Veil

Sup, people. Your favorite Sysadmin here. Just a little update/apology on what's been going on.

So, about a month ago, our main web server (hostname 'marie') began powering off randomly. This server resides in the research lab down in Erdle Commons, which used to be our club space many moons ago. As I did not have access to that lab, I had to work with the lab's sysadmin to try and get it back up and running. It soom became evident that the server was not long for this world.

After a few weeks, I managed to get the sever out of the lab and bring it up to our lab. Many of you may have noticed it taking up all the lab bench space last Saturday (my apologies for that). After backing up all the data from it, I began procrastinating the task of migrating everything off of it. Yesterday, that procrastination ended and I moved both the website that you're viewing now and the mailing lists on to the dev server (mdrcdev.rit.edu). After futzing around with all of that, all of a sudden the dev server stopped working.

As it turns out, it was the RIT IT people moshing IP addresses around, and a few calls to ITS sorted that out. A day later and a few other issues hammered out (certificates and whatnot), we seem to be fully operational, albeit with no backup servers now. I'll be keeping a close eye on the dev server until we can get a replacement server, which should be in the next few weeks. In the mean time, please let me know (jwg1873 at rit.edu) if there are any issues with any of the club systems (especially if you're getting bounced emails).

Thanks for your patience!

--Sean

 

Email Article To a Friend View Printable Version

Clarifications and Details

We've been getting a lot of questions lately and our organization has been less than perfect, so I thought it would be good to clarify some things.

The "Members" mailing list is our general announcement list. Everyone who put their email into the spreadsheet at the club fair has been subscribed to it. I had to correct some mis-typed addresses, and if you aren't getting any emails, let me know (jwg1873@rit.edu). There's at least one address that's confirmed to be bouncing, and there's probably more that I haven't caught. If you aren't subscribed and want to be, visit this page: http://mdrc.rit.edu/cgi-bin/mailman/listinfo/members. If you are subscribed and no longer wish to be, click the unsubscribe link on the bottom of any list email.

Our Wednesday meetings are mostly administrative. They've been more useful in the past, but considering the large number of new members and the scheduling conflicts of our E-Board members, we may end up dropping those meetings. Saturday workshops are still on, and as always the lab is open to anyone with swipe access or anytime it's occupied. If you're looking to get swipe access, definitely spend some time in the lab. The webcam will show you if there's anyone in the lab, so you can check before you make the trek up. We generally grant swipe access to those members that have shown that they are willing to put effort into the club by showing up to the lab. Broadly speaking, if we know your face by the end of the quarter, you can get swipe.

For those who have been wondering, yes, we'll be doing more advanced workshops in the winter and spring quarters. The fall quarter workshop schedule was tailored for all the new members, many of whom may not have the necessary skills or knowledge to be a successful contributer to the club. The intent of the fall quarter workshops is basically a crash course in basic robotics skills. If you feel that you already know what a particular workshop is teaching, feel free to skip it. As we said before, workshops are not graded and attendance is not mandatory. If you're ready to dive right into robotics, talk to any of our returning members. There are lots of projects that could use your help.

This Saturday's workshop is dual-purpose. We'll be doing an intro to the lab equipment and a small breadboarding exercise for the actual workshop, then we'll be granting server and wiki access to those that want it. This is important as the club makes extensive use of the wiki for coordination of projects and information.

There seemed to be some confusion over pizza sales. As a club, we receive a small budget from Student Government. The remaining volume of our funds must be made via fundraising. Our primary fundraiser is the KGCoE Pizza Sale. Almost all clubs in the KGCoE participate in this fundraiser on a rotating basis, with a different club doing a sale every day.
We request that every club member get pizza sale trained (a requirement imposed on us by the Monroe County Health Board) so they can be available for working pizza sales. If enough people sign up, everyone will only have to work a maximum of one hour. Members get free pizza for working at least 1 hour at a sale. We feel that the pizza sales are a good alternative to required club dues. I can assume that most of you haven't gotten trained, so I'll be setting up a training session sometime soon.

I hope this clears up any confusion. If you have questions, email us at eboard@mdrc.rit.edu.

Email Article To a Friend View Printable Version

New year, new workshops!

Greetings, robot enthusiasts! Since Derrick graduated, I'll be handling the news posts from now on.

With many of our senior members graduating, we are in need of new members. To facilitate this, we're starting the year off with a bunch of new introductory workshops to teach the basic skills needed to make robots.

Our kick-off meeting will be Saturday, September 8th at 2:00 PM in Erdle Commons. The kick-off will go straight into the week 1 workshop after general club introductions and a small info session. The saturday workshop schedule will go as follows:

Week 1: Blinky - Introduction to Soldering
Week 2: Instrumentation - Learn the Lab
Week 3: Introduction to Robot Programming with C
Week 5: Introduction to Microcontrollers
Week 7: BristleBots - Make a Simple Robot
Week 9: Open Lab / Personal Projects

The off weeks will be fun weeks. The lab will be available like always for personal project and open work time, but we'll also be doing things like movie night, game night, bike rides, miniature golf and more.

If you signed up for our mailing list at the club fair, you'll be receiving a meeting time poll sometime during week 1. If you didn't sign up for the mailing list but want to, send an email to jwg1873@rit.edu.

I hope to see lots of new members at the kick-off meeting!

Edit: Weekday meeting poll is up:  Polls are closed and Wednesday is the winner. Weekly meetings will be held Wednesday at 6 PM in the MDRC Lab, 4th floor of the engineering building. Use the stairwell by the rear entrance to the engineering building, near the Brinkman lab (glass-windowed hallway). There will be a note on the door with a phone number to call if you don't have swipe access.

--Sean Greenslade

Email Article To a Friend View Printable Version

Virtual Tour of the Lab is up!

 Well thanks to Sean I finally have some pictures up of the results of my weekend cleaning effort!

Check out the page here!

James also showed up on Sunday to lend some lifting and pushing power to get most of it finished by the start of classes on Monday.