Let's Make Robots!

LMR numba one!

Yes, it's childish, and so what, I'm a big child.

http://www.googlefight.com/index.php?lang=en_GB&word1=societyofrobots.com&word2=letsmakerobots.com 

(at the time of writing this, we win, if not so now when you read it, please ignore this post, just forget it completely :D)

When we begun LMR, the world only knew of 2 other robot-builder-sites out there worth to mention:

societyofrobots.com & robotroom.com

- But today, after approx 10 months, we are 3. And all we LMR who wrote this site are together beating the rest, we are now officially numba uno, top-robo-site in the whole wide world :D :D

 

Congrats to all of us, nice work guys! Now what's left is how to celebrate our 1 year birthday! Just checked; The first official, english, and still existing post (node 17, the start here- robot) was posted on CET-1 - Uh! We have a birthday in January 30! Big site, standing on it's own feet, must eat cake or something!

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Ok. Since this topic has become the "how I became an LMR'er": here is my story.

I started programming basic on a Digital Group machine that my father built from parts he ordered in the US when I was 7 or 8 (1979). A couple of years later he got a TRS80 model I. I stuck to programming basic although I experimented a tiny bit with machine language on the Z80. Switched to C64 after that. Meanwhile my brother was doing all sorts of electronics and I got him to explain a few things. I really wanted to build robots then but I found the electronics too complicated. We had switched computers again and this time it was the all amazing Amiga. I started programming in modula-2 but I didn't really liked it. 

Halfway through college I decided there was no future in the Amiga from a business point of view and I switched to PC. In college I learned the weirdest languages like LISP, OPS-5, Prolog, smalltalk, but also C, C++ and (turbo) pascal on Apple MAC II and Unix machines. I got my masters in Cognitive Artificial Intelligence in 1999. 

Since then I have been busy programming mainly ASP, PHP and javascript with some Visual Basic and Visual C++ building office applications and websites. Until someone at work pointed me to the all inspiring First Robot page. The clear explainations made me realize I still wanted to do robotics and electronics are not too complicated. More importantly, here I found you guys. Likeminded souls with cool ideas to share!

In march 2008 I ordered the picaxe 28X1 starter pack along with lots of other stuff and started reading the picaxe documentation and other documents I found on the net on I2C, serial communication and more. Last april my house burned down which was a bit of a setback for my robotting. I had just received my first shipment of goodies, and most of it was lost, but my box of resistors, sensors and unused chips was rescued.

We moved to our new house (that we had allready bought last year) around july, which is when I really got going on robotics. Made my first board for Edward here and when I started on the mechanics I reckoned it was time to join LMR and show some pictures. I take a peek at the other robotics websites, but there is none better:

LMR Numba One! 

I coded my first program when I was 7 (in 1987). I made a game on my texas TI (was very simple) and using basic on an old IBM clone. Then when I was 8 I made a story with interactive questions (it said if you got it right or not) using an Apple IIE. More work using basic and an Apple in junion high approx 1992 when I was 12. Finally my senior year of high school I wanted to take a programming class, but it was too late to register. So I took the book home and taught myself the first semester of basic and VB. After Christmas break I registered for the second semester and got over 108% in the class (a few extra credit assignments and got 100% on everything).

Then I went to Southern Illinois Univeristy Edwardsville and got my BA in Computer Science and returned in 2006 to get my masters in Computer Management Info Systems. One day at work in April or so someone showed me a video of the yellow drum machine and I started with robots. Since I got married this summer I haven't had as much free time. I am also studying to take my GRE and apply to Washington University here in St. Louis to work on my PhD in computer science with a research emphasis in robotics and AI.

That's my story and I'm sticking to it! I chose LMR over the other sites because this site has more hobbyists that support other people and have fun at the same time. Even if you ask a stupid question people answer it and don't put anyone down or think they are dumb... just trying to learn!

Edwardsville!

In mid October, I injured my wrist at work and have been on compo since. After a week or two I started looking for a robot site to help me pass the time. Right from the start LMR seemed the most friendy. I only looked at one other site, societyofrobots.com and it seemed too professional, not that I'm putting it down or anything.

I became interested in electronics / programming when I was 12 (1982). I taught myself how to program in basic from a book before I ever touched a computer. I learned electronics from building "Dick Smith" kits.

My previous experience with robots has been limited to a trade as an electrical fitter, half an associate diploma in electronic engineering, a few brainless bots based on opamps. A verbal abuse machine, Z80 based for my AD in electronics and an industrial robot I designed, built and programmed working from home with an industial air compressor in the pantry.

I was building a robot, BoozeBot (my picture is his base, what look like eyes are circuit breakers for his larger motors and DC-DC converters. The tear drop is the power button) when I joined but it was a long term project and I was not certain how to proceed in many ways. Since joining LMR I've learned a lot, for example, I never knew about SHARP IR range sensors and I was/am just learning how to program picaxe IC's. My previous experience with programming was mostly basic, borland C++ (dos) and Z80 machine code. I was inspired to build smaller robots like Junior that I could experiment with so that when BoozeBot is finally built, I'll have a much better idea about programming him and what sensors to use.

I think this forum is a good oppertunity for everyone to tell how they became interested in robots, what their background is, why they joined and most importantly, what they've learned from LMR, the best robot site on  the web!

You too Frits, even if you are a child (more to learn?) :p

I actually wrote "my story" somewhere else, I think.. So I'll leave it to that.

But the short version is that I also know basic from when I was about 12, the Z80.. though implemented in a Sinclair ZX Spectrum 48K :)

I think it was summer of 07 when I was just buying stuff from the net that I found someone selling some Picaxe. Got one, got hooked, build my first robot.

I am not so smart, could not understand the other sites, so I needed a cooler / more friendly forum (and thought it was a general need - we need some love, we are abandoned nerds, must stick together :) - So I initiated LMR :)

I have spend quite much on the project (I am not a web-programmer, so I had to hire), and Dan TheCowGod is now also spending money (he is paying hosting) and time (he IS a web-programmer).

Eventually it would be nice to get some money in return somehow. I do not want ads on the site, then I'd rather pay myself. And for now we want companies to advertize in here for free, if we can make them do it as a contribution. Because we want contributions, and don't mind if it makes them sell, after all it is robotic stuff they sell, we want that market to be good, and since we will only buy the good stuff, we are supporting a good development that way!

We will see how it all goes, but it is quite fascinating to see Google-ranking raise, so who knows, perhaps one day someone will pay to have their futuristic stuff presented to the guys that once where a few lonely nerds gathering for a hobby of tomorrow ;)

I think it's so cool that you are all out there, I just knew it, but it is so nice to see :)

This does not help to exploit the genious that is Frits. The thing about your wall racers that got me hooked was not how brilliantly complicated they were but how ingeniously simple they were with no proportional steering or PWM power to drive motors.

If your story is somewhere else then give us a link or something, after all you started this.

The same goes for Mintvelts tracking sytem or any other brilliant ideas on LMR! It's not about how complex the ideas are or how brilliant a member is but rather how easy it is for someone with an interest, to learn and expand on their original ideas

The sucess of this site is most likly based on how easy it is to get help on almost any topic from anywhere in the world,