picture, Enter linuxastronomy.org website.

Southern California Linux Expo 2011...
Los Angeles, California.
Southern California Linux Expo 2011

=== General info ===

Robotics index.
General info (this page).
Technical F.A.Q. (many images).
Robot maker's webpages and pictures info.
Robot requirements.

Q & A of general interest.

Text is sometimes "cut and paste" from e-mail.

Please, Let me know if you feel it does not display properly on your browser, or if you find out some inaccuracy.
I am not a native speaker of the English language, Do not hesitate to let me know of any grammar or spelling mistakes.

The following page have images of previous shows :
conferences, trade shows or exhibitions.
The following pages have images of current (2010-2011) robot projects :
picture, Wiseshepherd's robot.
picture, Spacekayak's robot.
picture, lightspeedfan's robot.
picture, pixo's robot.

This page describe what we are trying to accomplish.
Let's start by the fine prints:

We are responsible for nothing. Absolutely nothing.

Who are we ?
LinuxAstronomy (linuxastronomy.org).
A group of volunteers of all ages, having a good time, trying to help each other. We share some common interests, such as the Linux operating system and Astronomy...
We are loosely organized and have no formal structure.
We are in Southern California, however, as we are a virtual group, you can be anywhere. However for physical meeting and event such as SCALE, well, this event is each year in Los Angeles, Southern California.
What is it about ?
SCALE, "Southern California Linux Expo".
This is a yearly event, probably one of the nicest Linux event.
SCALE include many conferences. It has a nice educational side.
It is also a great way to meet people from the industry as well as volunteers developing wonderful Linux projects. SCALE (socallinuxexpo.org).
Where is it ?
Hilton Los Angeles Airport SCALE (socallinuxexpo.org).
When ?
Februuary 25-27 2011. SCALE (socallinuxexpo.org).
What are LinuxAstronomy robots about ?
In 2010, Volunteers who organized the "LinuxAstronomy" booth, brought two simple little robots on wheels. They were running on a Lunar or Martian landscape, about the size of a small 4 persons table.
We were not sure how it would interest people, we brought only two robots.

The robots generated so much interest, we decided to replicate this idea. Except, we decided to also invite people who would be happy to share their robots experiences with ours.

Students or adults of any ages respecting a few rules, are invited to participate to the event, providing they get in touch with us first and show regular progress of their robotic work.
Are they any cost involved ?
For example, Robots parts, transportation, food and drink, staying overnight somewhere, etc.
Who is taking care of food, transportation and others ?
We are simply a group of volunteers and can not take care of you.
we are taking care of the booth.
Who is taking care of minors ?
You or your legal representative.
We can not and will not take care of minors coming by them self.
How much does the robots cost ?
It depend your level of involvement in the project.
For example, the more parts you will make, the less parts you will have to buy.
We estimate, this year robots requirement (2010-2011), would bring robots costs anywhere between $90 up to about $250 or more. Depending the complexity of your robot.
What can I do to lower the cost of my robot ?
- Practice "Dumpster Diving", in search of broken technological stuff....
Well, we let you judge on this one.
It is always a good thing to ask politely first. You may end up with better stuff. Also people might be willing to help you.

- Make as many parts as possibly feasible, yourself.
For example wheels made out of wood scraps, may cost you almost nothing to produce.

- Use stuff not intended for this purpose.
Sometimes it may be cheaper to make something using a product available as a commodity item, instead of a very specific component, made especially for robotic use.
You may have to work it a little bit, or modify the item, but in the end you may be saving some money.
Especially, If making robots as a group, you might be able to buy a few parts then divide the cost between members of a group.
Example, Christmas LEDs light sets.
On this side of the planet, Christmas LEDs light sets are getting priced competitively (compared to mini light bulb sets). You may have to buy a whole light set of 100 LEDs lights, but by splitting the cost between members, the LEDs become very affordable.
Are you giving away free stuff or free robot parts ?
Nothing specifically, but yes, sometimes parts are available for free.
It is usually on a first come first serve basis. Or a person can decide to help a specific student he/she admire the commitment.

Remember, when free stuff is available it is the person needing something, who has the responsibility to get it.

Free stuff is best for people living or working in a similar area.
You can not require free stuff to be shipped to your door.
What do you (or did you) have as free stuff ?
- LEDs from Christmas light sets.
- wooden made wheels.
- commercial caster from flower pots.
- Robot chassis, wood plank.
- screws and nuts.
- miscellaneous small parts.
- electronic components salvaged from somebody garage.
- books.
What do I have to do to get free stuff ?
Free stuff is a limited supply.
To have a chance to be considered we suggest you do the following :

Make a web page about your robot.
It can be a journal, with daily or weekly progress, but remember, to get something, you have to commit to something first.

If you have a nice page describing your project and steps you have already completed, you have more chances to be considered than by just waiting for something to happen.

Ask politely, by e-mail, post a request and do not forget to provide a link to your page.
I do not know anything about robots, Linux or computers, can you do something for me ?
Certainly, in this case, the best advice we can give you, is, come to the show and observe what others have accomplished.
Ask many questions, that could be a nice introduction for a possible following event.
I know nothing about the Linux operating system, can you help me ?
This is a yes and no, or yes but, kind of question.
For this project, the available time may be a factor to consider.
If you are good at trying things on your own and already have some computer and or programming knowledge, it should be almost painless.
If time is not an issue, yes we can help you, start by coming to the show (SCALE).
If you are familiar and comfortable with another operating system, it should not be too hard, if you do some "RTFM" (some reading), it will be easier too.

If you have a robot ready, or nearly ready that use similar parts than somebody else, a possibility is to use another person program.

As long as you give credit to the person, it is an acceptable possibility.

It is also possible somebody act as a mentor for your project.
However, there is no guaranty somebody will move forward.
Are mentors available ?
If you have a web page showing what you have in mind and what you have started, we will ask if anybody can help you.


The latest and original of this document is available at the following address: http://www.linuxastronomy.org/lias/lias/hp/show/hp_scale_2011/lias_robotic_01.html
SCALE 9, Los Angeles 2011.

This page as well as the whole site is Copyright© , 2001 - 2011 Eugene Clement