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2012 GCER Preconference Sessions

2012 Preconference Classes

This year's classes include:

Matthew Oelke - Solidworks CAD Design
Matthew Oelke
KISS Institute for
Practical Robotics


Solidworks CAD Design
  • Instructor:
    Matthew Oelke, KISS Institute for Practical Robotics
  • Prerequisites:
    No programming experience or other prerequisites required.
  • Additional Requirements:
    Each participant will need a Windows laptop computer.
  • Summary:
    Wish you had time to learn how to use the SolidWorks software that comes with your Botball registration? This class is the answer! Designed for people with little to no experience using SolidWorks CAD software, this class will provide an overview of SolidWorks during which participants will create basic LEGO pieces and learn to use them in multipart assemblies. The instructor strongly recommends that each participant install SolidWorks before coming to class and bring a USB mouse to use with their laptop.

Ross Mead - Expressive Robotics: Motion and Emotion
Ross Mead
University of Southern California


Expressive Robotics: Motion and Emotion
  • Instructor:
    Ross Mead, University of Southern California
  • Prerequisites:
    Moderate understanding of C and/or KISS-C and familiarity with KISS-C motor and servo commands REQUIRED.
  • Additional Requirements:
    Each participant will need a laptop computer.
  • Summary:
    Robots have been built to perform many interesting tasks. However, the roboticists of tomorrow must not only consider what robots can do, but how they do it. This workshop will start with a discussion of how humans interpret very simple actions in very complex ways and how robots interact with humans. Students will then program a robot to do a simple motion (e.g., go to the end of the hallway and back) while demonstrating a given emotion. Students will view the other teams' motions and record what they interpreted it as. This will be followed by a discussion of how professionals shape movement to get certain responses. Finally, teams will utilize what they have learned to create short robot films, which may be shown to the conference audience.

Wesley Myers - Learning About Microcontrollers
Wesley Myers
Carnegie Mellon University


Learning About Microcontrollers
  • Instructor:
    Wesley Myers, Carnegie Mellon University
  • Prerequisites:
    No programming experience or other prerequisites required.
  • Additional Requirements:
    Each participant will need a laptop computer. This class includes an additional materials fee of $75 in addition to the $60 preconference fee. Participants will be able to keep and reuse the Arduino kit after the session.
  • Summary:
    In this workshop you will learn about the Arduino Uno microcontroller by making some simple circuits that interface with it. No electronics experience is required. This workshop will help you understand a little more about the electronics used in Botball by leading you through hands-on practical exercises where you will implement functional circuits driven by the Arduino Uno. After the course, you get to keep the kit, which consists of the Arduino Uno, electronics parts, and a breadboard! The instructor highly recommends that you download the software prior to the class. You can download the software here.

Holly Yanco - Artbotics
Holly Yanco
University of Massachusetts Lowell

Adam Norton  - Artbotics
Adam Norton
University of Massachusetts Lowell


Artbotics
  • Instructors:
    Holly Yanco, University of Massachusetts Lowell
    Adam Norton, University of Massachusetts Lowell
  • Prerequisites:
    No programming experience is required.
  • Additional Requirements:
    Each participant will need a Mac or Windows laptop computer.
    Before coming to the workshop, please download and install the Cricket Logo programming environment as well as the USB beamer drivers:
    Install the Cricket Logo Programming Environment
  • Summary:
    In the Artbotics workshop, participants will learn how to create kinetic sculptures using the Super Cricket microcontroller. Programming in Cricket Logo will be covered, introducing participants to motor commands, sequencing, looping, branching and the use of a variety of sensors. The first half of the workshop uses a small car controlled by the Cricket microcontroller with a pen to creating drawings that participants will be able to take home with them. In the second half of the workshop, participants will build a small interactive sculpture that uses motors, lights, and sensors. Participants have the option to buy the electronics kit for $300; without paying this fee, participants will not be able to take home their complete sculptures.