We build Robots and Robot Subassemblies.
Since the purpose of the club is to build robots, it's important to state what passes for a robot for Toronto Robotics Club. Here goes:
A physical machine that is able to initiate and complete a non-trivial physical task without the assistance of a human - in an environment which is designed for humans (ex: your kitchen, or a sidewalk).
Robots are machines with many systems. If you look at our current flagship project, one subassembly is the mobile base, another is the 3D lidar, and another is a 6 axis robotic arm. Each of these subassemblies took significant effort to build. It would not be practical to start the construction of all 3 subassemblies at the same time. The person who built that robot chose to first build and program the lidar, then they built the mobile base (which is now in the programming phase), and lastly a 6 axis robotic arm design was procured (along with all the parts), and now needs to be assembled and programmed. At Toronto Robotics Club we support anyone building a robotic subassembly because it is conducive to the construction of robots.
At the club we have a strong preference for some kind of mobile base with an arm or a manipulator of some kind (the more arms/manipulators the better). The mobile base allows the robot to get to it's desired location, and a manipulator allows it to, well, manipulate the environment. If your mobile base happens to double as your manipulator, that is also very cool. If you are interested in designing / building / programming subcomponents for such a robot, as previously mentioned we are very supportive of you as well.
We love any base that can move around. We do not discriminate against differential drive, skid steer, tracked bases, legs of any sort, balancing bases (ex: segway type), wings, propellers or special off road “wheels”. If your mobile base is able to move from point A to Point B, you have won us over! When it comes to manipulators, again, if you can manipulate the environment, we think you are super spiffy!
We do not care how much your robot costs, we do not care who you are (gender, age, ethnicity – we don't care), we do not care about anything other than creating a means to support skilled people who are building robots; preferably robots that run ROS or some other robotic middleware.
At this point in time, there are two types of robots that we do not support (or oppose). The two types are:
Mainly, the type of robot we oppose is any robot designed for harming people; for example, We do not want to work with anyone trying to build robots with firearms, projectiles, explosives and the like. Please note we said robots that harm people – we most definitely like the units first responders have (even though they are not really robots, as they are teleoperated). To make it as explicit as possible, we are not fans of any development for military applications, and want no part of it. Period. We don't care if you are on the “right” side of “justice” or if you are “engineering a safer world”. YOU ARE NOT WELCOME HERE (and that's putting it very mildly).