Let's Make Robots!

*UPDATED* New community portal site in the works

*UPDATE 7/12/12*

Strange, my new comment seems to have disappeared. Anyways. I've decided to go ahead with the project. I've reduced the amount of "features" and I am focusing solely on the user base, events, and a robot gallery.

There is a cool feature in the works that lets any registered user "import" (syndicate) an rss feed to their activity on my site, meaning you can import your LMR or any other RSS driven blog and not worry about creating new content on my site if you don't want to! HURRAY INTERCONNECTIVITY!

I will be releasing a demo site soon within the next week.

 

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Hello all,

So after getting back into the robotics scene after many years, I'm slightly disappointed in the state of the online resources available--not that it's worse than before, it's much better in fact. However, I believe we could do better at bringing all the various roboticists, developers, distributors, retail stores, events, schools, and hacker communities together.

My idea is to develop a site which the primary function would be to accomplish this synergy of our hobby, offer more integrated support for newbies, as well as give accomplished creators easier access to the resources and online tools they need.

 

Here are some features and ideas I've thought up in the past few minutes while writing this post:

1. An aesthetically pleasing gallery system with full sized photos, video integration, etc. The best part is showing off our creations right? Why not do it in style.

2. Forum linking--not sure how to do this yet but someway to perhaps embed forum feeds from LMR, Trossen, SOR, etc into a page.

3. Store/Developer/Manufacturer resource page. This would be handled by the user themselves--i.e. a store owner or developer would sign up as a user under their respective title, giving them access to publish content specific to that type. More on that below.

4. Full blown user management system. Different tiers of users: hobbyists, developers, manufacturers, hackers, etc. Each user would have their own landing page, similar to LMR. You could integrate a link to your LMR profile page, list your Trossen/SOR/Other username/url for people to quick link over, facebook/aim/myspace/icq/personal site/skype username/youtube account, and so on. Each user would have specific access to publishing certain types of content (for store owners, teachers, etc), google map integration for your location (optionally hidden), personal photo gallery (separate from your bots'), and more.

5. Complete database of major and most active robotics sites, stores, individual user sites, groups, clubs.

6. Separate areas aimed for complete beginners with links to tutorials, forums, and so on.

7. Unique world map events page, where users can create/find events local to them and share. Would be constantly updated with the latest events, and clubs both online and off.

8. Future goals would be to partner up with various robotic stores and offer discounts for members to sign up with the portal site, having an area for sponsors, and (non intrusive) advertising for related products.

 

Essentially this web site would be user driven and would grow exponentially with enough help. It would be a one stop hub to all things robotics and similar, aimed at creating connectivity between people from around the world, and collimating massive amounts of data and web sites.

The goal is not to compete with any one site, but to increase awareness of robotics for beginners and experienced hobbyists alike. All of this in a very stylized, clean, minimalist approach that emphasizes visual representation of the content.

I am very serious about this and willing to invest a lot of energy and time into getting this project off the ground. Anyone that is interested, please let me know what you think, and if you want to help! I may even go for a Kickstarter page if there is enough support.

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I say "go for it." If you think LMR is lacking and that you can do it one better then you have every right to. If it improves on or augments this site then it will be successful and you will have many shared members. This site's motto after all is "Together we push evolution." Darwinism's tree of life has more examples of dead-end branches than fully developed limbs though, and I for one don't think LMR is unfit for survival. I would say this-perhaps what you've suggested aims to do too much. You'd get pretty much the same level of content you envision just by going to google and entering the search term "robot"-and incidentally, the same level of difficulty in managing it. There are already tonnes of robot pages on the interwebs. LMR is the best for my purposes so far.

I really like your gallery idea. As I also love photography, it would be great if you can share your robots and photography at the same time and it can also make it more attractive and informative :)

Right! I want to see a visually stunning web site that assaults your cortex and makes you go WOW! Robotics is awesome!

(For the complete everyman/woman that has no idea about robotics but might be interested).

I'm not trying to say not to do it, but making yet another robotics site when so much work is being done to keep LMR going seems a little pointelss to me. 

If you have Drupal experience and have the time to work on this, maybe you can help out Frits & The Gang behind LMR working on LMR V4. 

Just my 2 eurocents :)

I have to agree with tinhead. LMR is such a good resource and helpful community already. Anything you feel is lacking you should contribute here rather than starting another site. There has been a forum post somewhere that you can add any suggestions for improvement in LMR V4.
Unless you've got any secrets for attracting the kind of content you feel is lacking then you might be better to spend the time making more robots.

I never said LMR in particular was lacking :) Please see my new post below for a clarification of my intention.

Inventing is 1% inspiration and 99% perspiration. Same with ideas, it takes much less effort to come up with ideas than implementing them. I don't think you stood on anyones toes. But I've seen a couple of people who have come and said similar, started their new website and never got much further than that. I think some of your ideas are good. But do you really want to spend your time designing and maintaining a website or making robots? That is the important question.
If your passionate about creating a new site by all means go for it and good luck.

Indeed very true, Edison was a smart man :). That is why I was polling the users here at LMR, however I did not expect such backlash at a new idea. That is why I believed some took it the wrong way; I only want to see the community connect more than it already has, at both a local and global level. Many understandably seem to be entrenched in their respective community i.e. LMR, that I cringe at  the notion of starting a new site where no one uses except the proverbial crickets.

I agree with Tinhead and merser. If there are certain changes you want to see in LMR or you think that LMR lacks those features, the best you can do is to make those features as a tiny webpage and put it on your site. You can ask frits to get those implemented and believe me, if those are good, the LMR Admins won't refuse to include them in LMR v.4.

As for the forum that merser mentions, I guess he's referrening to this- http://letsmakerobots.com/node/32528.

If you think you can contribute to run LMR, feel free to join the admin.