OrionRobots is a group dedicated to using Robotics for education, inspiration and innovation.
Learning with robots allows you to apply the knowledge in a practical way, which makes for faster learning, better understanding and better retention. It is much more interesting to educate or be educated using robotics and challenges than lecturing theory for an hour. The theory does get used eventually but only when placed in context.
It is impossible not to be inspired when interacting with the robotics community. During challenges you often think up mechanisms or entire concepts one would never have thought of before. Robots are inspiring because of the tangible future and interaction they possess. For an example of some of the inspirations - have a look at Danny Staple's Blog.
From the inspirations arise innovations, when raw creative power is realised using sound engineering and design. By doing this, they become concrete and truly contribute to the community or allow for commercialisation. While I would much rather the former, seeing interesting innovations come to market is fascinating.
If through driving these key three principles, OrionRobots can contribute to human knowledge and technology, then we will have achieved our goals.
It started off as the site "The Robot Junkyard" running since early 2002 - solely created and maintained by Danny Staple with the aim of sharing knowledge and getting together a robot building team. The name was changed to "Orion Robots" and the domain name purchased in early 2003. This evolved into a small but growing community, locally - through the club and meetings, and globally through the internet.
This website is the centre of our operations with Discussion Forums to collaborate and communicate with other robot builders, news items, RSS syndication to get OrionRobots content directly on your desktop, a Wiki containing distilled knowledge relating to the subject, articals and features. For a proper overview - visit the Home Page.
We share and exchange knowledge as a community, enhancing it with downloadable scripts and files for example LDraw System DAT files, NQC Programs and PCB designs. There will also be a component database(Work in progress) and other tools to help robot builders, inventors and innovators (it doesn't have to be robots by the way).
OrionRobots also host events and meetings of robot builders from time to time, if you are based in the uk, we may even be able to come to you to do an event, please contact us for details. These events can be either adult or child oriented workshops/seminars, challenge events and get togethers.
For younger builders, we mostly use Lego challenges exposing them to basic engineering, Building Tips, Team Work, and above all Robot Building Safety. In advanced classes they get an intro to programming with the Lego RCX. While we continue to uphold these principles for adult workshops - these cater a great deal for those wanting to exchange/share knowledge, meet other builders and putting together robot building teams for events.
We used to run the East Finchley Robotics Club, which was a regular workshop for an under 16 group, and older robot builders. A new regular event maybe planned in the West London area if enough interest is present. Please contact us if you are.
Through Orion Robots it is possible to share your ideas with a vast community. By learning from them, and bouncing ideas off of them builders gain valuable insights. Also people can meet teams and start to collaborate robot projects, clubs and meetings through the site.
You can contribute first by attending our meetings or events. Also by commenting on any page here, participating and creating Discussions in the forums will allow us to better grow the knowledge. Your comments may be asking technical questions or site suggestions. If you feel there is something we could provide that would benefit the community - do not hesitate to post a new thread.
When you have posted a fair amount, we will upgrade people to become Wiki editors and contribute freely to the information available here.
The more forum content, and editors (which you can become after some presence in the community) we have, the more value it will be to builders.
We are also quite serious users of LDraw System - so if you are a Lego fan, learn how to put your models online. By reviewing, submitting and testing LDraw System parts - you will contribute to a community we are part of. Do so at http://www.ldraw.org.
For any press or others wishing to contact us - please use the contact page.