It all started in Late 2013 when my wife and I started the SV-ROS Meetup. A Silicon Valley based Robot Operating System Meeting of “Birds of a feather” as a spin off of the Home Brew Robotics club. We meet the week before the HBRC last Wednesday of the moth.
The first SV-ROS meeting was at the Hacker Dojo, Wednesday November 20th 2013, and was very well attended about 34 people came and checked it out. Lots of interest and even a few of the OSRF folks showed up. This was amazing a very specific topic had so much interest and people in the area to attend. If we tried the meeting in Orange County where I was working with the RoboSub vehicle I would have had maybe 5 if we were lucky.
We had a few training session on how to do ROS on BeagleBoneBlacks, The Raspberry Pis did not have enough horsepower at that time to run ROS. But to keep people interested we needed a “Project”. Mardi found the Microsoft Kinect challenge which was Sept 15th 2014 in Chicago. The group was verify interested. So we spent the summer hacking away and we won First Place and a $5,000 prize. I did not even remember there was award money. That night in our hotel room, we wondered what to do next. Mardi again, found the NASA Centennial Challenge. Sample return robot Challenge SRRC. Which in hindsight turned out to be a lot of work and money.