Chibots @ iHobby 2011

10/22/2011 10:00
10/23/2011 17:00

Location: Donald E. Stephens Convention Center
City/State: Rosemont, Illinois
Date/Time: October 22 and 23, 2011/10 AM to 5 PM
Oct. 4, 2011 update: now days till iHobby! Mech Warfare information has been added. 
Sept. 24, 2011 update: More prizes! Thank you Zagros Robotics! Mech Warfare is coming to Chibots' booth, read all about it (below)!:
Sept. 21, 2011 update: We have a schedule for the competitions at Chibotica:

Saturday Oct. 22:

11:00 MiniSumo 
12:00 Talent Show 
12:30 Basic Line Following Part 1 
 1:00 Reserved for MW event
 1:30 PM Humanoid Kung Fu 
 2:30 Racing Line following Part 1 
 3:00 Advanced Line Following  Part 1
 3:30 Reserved for MW event
 4:00 Line Maze Part 1

Sunday Oct. 23:

11:00 Basic Line Following Part 2 
12:00 Reserved for MW event
12:30 Racing Line Following  Part 2 
 1:00 Advanced Line Following  Part 2
 1:30 Line Maze Part 2
 2:00 Reserved for MW event
 2:30 Award of prizes

Regarding Chibots' events listed above: All competitions listed above are open to the public. Non members pay a $10 entry fee for each robot. I reserved 4 slots for MW demos/events. It is not necessary to have an event at every slot, but I needed to establish a schedule. Each MW event is of 30 minutes in length. As with any chaotic event, changes might be made at the last minute to accommodate circumstances unforeseen at this time. Regards, Salvador

Sept. 16, 2011 update: Five weeks to showtime! We need the following:

  • Register your bot for the competitions.
  • Are you going to display your bots? Help with the booth? Compete? If so you need to tell us so we can get your exhibitor's badge. The deadline for this is Sept. 20. After that date you'll have to pay the entry fee. If you will be at our booth we need to know which of these activities relate to you. Also, what days will you be with us?
  • We need help with the booth, but realize that people are busy. That is why it is ok if you can only be there for a certain time, Let us know what days/time you can help us so we can schedule everyone. Note that for us the expo is for Thursday through Sunday.

Please email Sid with the above information at sidrobot77 at gmail dot com

Original blog start

It’s time again! Chibots will be packing up its robots and game tables and be heading off to iHobby 2011. Chibots has been present at iHobby since 2007 and this year promises to be a fantastic show! On a sad note, iHobby mentioned that it will be moving to Cleveland Ohio for the 2012 show, so this year’s event will be a Chicago farewell to iHobby Expo. Although we wish them well in their new venue, they will be missed by the Chicagoland area.

Last year we had a ball! Check out the following video!

Chibots at iHobby Expo 2010 from Chicago Robotics on Vimeo.

This year promises to be just as fantastic and amazing! We have favorite crowd pleasers coming back. Also, our robotic demos and competitions always entertain and amuse passer bys.

Chibotica, the Robotic Pavilion

Fall Chibotica has always been known as a competition-only event, but during the last few years has taken a life of its own by attracting robotic enthusiasts who come to the event to display their creations and amaze the crowds. Fall Chibotica has become a recognized showcase for talented people. Crowd pleasers such as The Nickel-O-Matic and the Marble Maze never fail to amuse and excite the crowd. Last year we had the incredible Monster Chess at our booth. Check out the above links for more.

Chibotica, the Competition

Chibotica started out as a competition and remains true to its roots. At this time we are planning on having the following competitions:

  • Mini Sumo – Two robots inside a circular arena battle to push each other off the ring. The robot to go outside the ring first loses. Warning: The robot must be at most 10 x 10 CM in size and not weigh over 500 gm
  • Basic Line Following – The robot must follow a line without going astray. This competition is perfect for first time competitors because the track only has basic curves.
  • Advanced Line Following – Same as basic line following, except that the track gets a bit more complicated and other factors are taken into account when giving or taking points to or from the robot.
  • Line Maze - A robot attempts to solve a maze by reaching the exit and memorizing the path. After the robto solves the maze it run it again,this time flawlesly using the memorized path to solve it without going the wrong way.
  • Racing Line Following – Basically the same as the line following competition above, except that speed plays a key factor when giving or taking points to or from a robot.
  • Robot Talent Show – In this competition shock and awe is everything to win it! The best looking, most amazing robot is awarded this prize.
  • Humanoid Kung-Fu – Humanoid robots duke it out. The winner is the last robot standing!

Registration at Chibots dot org is now open! Just click the link above. Also, be sue to read the Contest Guidelines. Please! If you are planning to enter a robot in any competition, let us know. We need to know which competitions have enough participants. Your robot does not have to be finished! We want to create an exciting and competitive environment where everyone participates. Your robot does not have to be perfect. The competitions listed above are those that are planned. If you want to participate in a competition that is not listed above, contact us! We can add it to the list. The only caveat is that we need at least three competitors to hold the competition.

The winners and runner ups of the competitions will be awarded prizes (don’t panic, no Target gift cards are among our prizes!) These prizes are thanks to our generous sponsors and a description of these will be included in this space shortly. Our sponsors have contributed fantastic prizes. A brief description of these is presented at the bottom of this blog.

To register you must log in. If you do not have a user at now is the time to create it. Once you are logged in look to your left. One item in that panel will be “Create Content”. Click on that. When the submenu opens locate the item “Event Registration” and click it. A new page opens titled “Create Event Registration”. Click on the “Contest” list to select the competition where you want to register. Make sure that you only select items dated this year, 2010. Now click on the list titled “Robot to register” to select your robot.

If your robot is not registered, do this now. Click on the “Add a new robot profile”. Have a pic of the robot handy that you can upload, plus a brief description of what it does, how it does it and any other remarks that you want to make regarding your robot. Finally click on the Save button. There! Your robot is now registered.


Following are descriptions of the displays that will be part of the Chibotica Pavilion. Don’t miss out! Some of these are amazing!

Eric Gregori, EMG Robotics

Eric is back! This year, among other incredible robotic creations, he will be featuring LaunchBot. What is a Launchbot? Eric located a simple analog line follower robot aptly named R3D3 for about $10 USD. He also found a TI embedded hardware development system for $4.30 USD called the LaunchPad. He combined these two products to create an awesome line follower robot that is programmable in C! Thus LaunchBot is born! Not only this, the total cost for the robot and the LaunchPad is less than $30 USD. And it gets better! The two available software development systems for LaunchPad are provided free by TI. This is by far the most cost effective “kit” to build a programmable line following robot.

Eric’s objective is to provide an accessible option so that everyone who is interested in getting started with robotics will have the opportunity to do so. Especially in mind are the Scouts that are working towards their Robotics Merit Badge. The LaunchBot can be used in a course that will satisfy the requirements needed for this merit badge. Check out Eric’s LaunchBot group at his Build Smart Robots Website for more information about LauchBot and his blog containing complete instructions on how to build one

ChumbyBot – This robot uses a Chumby (Insignia InfoCast) as a robot controller. The Chumby runs a distribution of Linux that is robot developer friendly and can easily be used as a development environment to control external devices such as – dare we say – robots.

FaceBot – This the EZRA III animatronic head from Robodyssey. With 2 LogiTech C200 Webcams attached and servo movement controlled by a Polulu Maestro servo controller this head tracks a person’s face and is capable of moving its spring lips. The main controller is a Windows XP or 7 computer running the Robot Vision Toolkit from EMG Robotics.

FaceBot, by EMG Robotics, was featured in Robot Magazine's May/June 2011 issue. Eric goes into great detail describing the hardware and software.

Eric will be bringing his RoboPhilo, a popular and economically accessible humanoid robot. Other robots that might make an appearance include SpiderBot, a Lynxmotion Hexbot and an ARDrone. The last device is a remote controlled Quadrocopter that can be controlled by a mobile device, such as any compatible smartphone.



Boy Scout Merit Badge Workshop, Chibots

Chibots’ members have been working on designing a short 60 minute workshop that will help Boy Scouts fulfill certain specific requirements for the Robotics Merit Badge. Chibots will be promoting this workshop and providing more information to interested Scouts.
The workshop will teach the Boy Scout the following concepts:

  • How to keep and update an Engineering Notebook
  • How to take measurements and create a graph with them
  • How to analyze results
  • How to reach conclusions based on the analysis

The Boy Scout will take home with him the Engineering Notebook, documentation and a functional, partly assembled line following module. A little theory and lots of hand on activities will make this a fun workshop full of useful knowledge.

The display at iHobby will provide more information, a sneak peek into the details of the workshop and demostrations of different aspects of this event. A pilot workshop will be presented on January 8 at the Schaumburg Public Library. Keep a watchful eye on this Website for more information about this event. We are looking for Scouts that are interested in this merit to attend the workshop.

Mech Warfare

Mech Warfare is coming to the Chibots booth!

We are happy to announce that the Mech Warfare team will be conducting competitions and demos of this fascinating activity. Mech Warfare is unique in that it allows the robot operator an immersive experience when operating the robot. The competitive events are likened to video games in that the operator controls the robots through a remote control and his only view is through a camera that is mounted on the robot.

The competition arena can take many forms, ranging from a Mesoamerican to a modern city motif. Scale version of buildings, obstacles (such as “wrecked” cars), streets, vegetation and other objects are used to create a life like environment. Some of the builders go through great trouble in constructing the buildings and other objects to make them as life like as possible. Once all the objects are carefully placed, the competition arena looks like a movie set miniature. The playing field is now ready.

Each robot, aside from the mounted camera, has two other elements. The first is a small air canon that shoots small plastic pellets. The second element is a sensor that detects when the pellets strike the sensor’s surface. A complete Mech Warfare robot has the necessary electronics so that the operator can control it remotely, the video camera, the air gun and the sensor. Robots can be wheeled, bipeds or multi-peds (i.e. hexapods or quadrupeds).

The object of the competition is for the robot to locate the opponent and shoot the plastic pellets at it. There is one catch. The operator cannot see the playing area or the robot itself. The operator must be located in a place such that the gaming arena is not visible at all. He must guide his robot to victory by using the video from the robot’s camera. This adds realism to the game because the model miniature city takes on a life of its own when seen through the “eye” of the robot.

This is an exciting competition. There will be around 8 robots competing and demoing their abilities. Come and see what Mech Warfare is about and why it is rapidly becoming a favorite robot competition. For more information, check out these Websites:

More to come!


Micro Maestro 6-Channel USB Servo Controller
3pi Robot + USB Programmer Combo
Pololu Simple High-Power Motor Controller 18v15
Wixel Pair + USB Cable



Maxsonar – EZ1 – MB1010 Ultrasonic Range Finders
Maxsonar – MB7076 Weather Resistant Sonar Range Finders
Maxsonar – MB7060 Weather Resistant Sonar Range Finders


Blue Wolf Robotics

FlashFly Serial Kit with XBee’s
   FlashFly USB Kit without XBee’s


 Paradise Robotics

   iRobot Roomba Model 440 robotic vacuum



   FSL Mechatronics Robot



   L298 Compact Motor Driver
   143:1 Gear Motor and Wheel Set
   224:1 Gear Motor and Wheel Set
   Herbie the MouseBot kits
   SolarSpeeder kits


 Zagros Robotics

   Arduino and Tracked Chassis Bundle
Worm Gear Box H.E. 72004
   6-Speed Gearbox H.E. 72005
OWI Hyper Line Tracker


FingerTech Robotics

"Cobra" Mini-Sumo Wheels (pair)
"Gold Spark" 16mm Gearmotor
Motor Mount (pair) (thin)


Simon Monk

15 Dangerously Mad Projects for the Evil Genius [Book]


Scott Preston


Robotics Programming 101 [Book]


Sideshow Theater Co.


Some parts were left over from the Heddatron robot build and Sideshow donated them to Chibots:

Propotional radio control system