Global Conference Menu

2013 Preconference Workshops

Preconference classes are designed to give students, teachers, and mentors an opportunity to focus on a specific topic in a one day workshop environment. Each year the Global Conference offers several different preconference classes on the day prior to the start of official conference activities.

2013 GCER preconference workshops will be held on Friday, July 5, 2013.

2013 Preconference Classes:

Matthew Oelke - Learning to MAKE
Matthew Oelke
KISS Institute for
Practical Robotics


Learning to MAKE "Smart" Robots

  • Fee:
    $65.00
  • Instructor:
    Matthew Oelke, KISS Institute for Practical Robotics
  • Location:
    This workshop will take place at the Embassy Suites Hotel and Conference Center.
  • Prerequisites:
    No programming experience or other prerequisites required.
  • Summary:
    How can you tell if a robot is smart? This class will dive into robot intelligence by creating several robots. Starting with soldering, students will learn the skills necessary to build small BEAM robots and by the end of the class, students will have three robots with varying degrees of intelligence. Along the way, thought provoking discussions will change students perceptions of "smart robots". Students will get to keep the robots built in this session.

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


Expressive Robotics: Motion and Emotion

  • Fee:
    $65.00
  • Instructor:
    Ross Mead, University of Southern California
  • Location:
    This workshop will take place at the Embassy Suites Hotel and Conference Center.
  • 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 (e.g., happiness, sadness, anger, fear, surprise, and disgust). 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

  • Fee:
    $140.00
  • Instructor:
    Wesley Myers, Carnegie Mellon University
  • Location:
    This workshop will take place at the Embassy Suites Hotel and Conference Center.
  • Prerequisites:
    No programming experience or other prerequisites required.
  • Additional Requirements:
    Each participant will need a laptop computer. This class includes a materials fee of $75 in addition to the $65 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. The course will utilize the Sparkfun Inventors Kit, which you will get to keep after the workshop!

David Miller - Programming and Controlling Micro-Helicopters with Vision
David Miller
University of Oklahoma

Jonathan Meyer - Programming and Controlling Micro-Helicopters with Vision
Jonathan Meyer
University of Oklahoma

Programming and Controlling Micro-Helicopters with Vision

  • Fee:
    $140.00
  • Instructors:
    David Miller, University of Oklahoma
    Jonathan Meyer, University of Oklahoma
  • Location:
    This workshop will meet on the campus of the University of Oklahoma! People attending this workshop will need to provide their own transportation to and from the University. The exact location will be announced closer to the start of GCER.
  • Prerequisites:
    No programming experience is required.
  • Additional Requirements:
    This class includes a materials fee of $75 in addition to the $65 preconference fee. Fee includes the helicopter and interface. Participants will be able to keep and reuse the kit after the session. Attendees need to bring their own webcam equipped laptop running Windows XP or above or Mac 10.7 or above.
  • Summary:
    This workshop will teach attendees how to use the KISS Platform to create programs for small Syma helicopters that will guide the helicopter around their desktop environment using the webcam built into their laptop.

Jon Grasmeder - Making Sense of Sensors
Jon Grasmeder
Dead Robot Society

Les Newcastle - Making Sense of Sensors
Les Newcastle
Dead Robot Society

Making Sense of Sensors

  • Fee:
    $30.00
  • Instructors:
    Jon Grasmeder, Dead Robot Society
    Les Newcastle, Dead Robot Society
  • Location:
    This workshop will take place at the Embassy Suites Hotel and Conference Center.
  • Prerequisites:
    No programming experience needed. Each student must have a laptop with the KISS-IDE loaded. Enthusiasm is required.
  • Summary:
    This class will introduce students to the fine art of controlling robots using sensors. At the end of the day, the enthusiast student will be able to write a C program for the LINK to control a Create based on sensor inputs. The sensors used will be the Create's bump sensors, tophats, the ET and, of course, the new camera. Using these sensors the student will be able to find walls, follow lines, see colored objects, move towards the colors and stop when they are close enough to touch them.