Dinosaurs & Robots

In 2020 we are trying a new format for DAR, we are dividing the session into 4 x 30min sections:

  1.  RPI computing, hardware and software
  2. Astronomy
  3. Tree of life (biology – all living things
  4. Logic, Philosophy, Learning

DAR members will take turns to give a 15 to 20 minute presentation on a subject, with notes made available.


At Dinosaurs & Robots (DAR) we run our own projects to make things and we are part of what is known the maker culture.
The most important point to remember about DAR is you need to do it yourself.
It is life-long learning in action. Learning by doing.

We share tools and information about our projects and we often get more than a little help from our friends.

Reference Computer

Too often the minute details and differences between all the different type of computers have made supporting them difficult and time consuming.  We have now decided that the inexpensive Raspberrypi computer will be our reference computer and software and computing information will be using the RPI and members are welcome to adapt any information to the particular computer.

Raspberrypi Computers (RPI)

The RaspberryPi computer is now the third most popular computer with 30 Million computers sold to date. It is targeted to students as young as 7 years so most of our members should  find it useful.
We often use the $65 (1GB RAM) to $95 (4 GB RAM)  RPI computers for many of our projects.
Information on the RPI and free software to download can be found at raspberrypi.org, the free to download monthly RPI magazine can be found here and the free monthly HackSpace magazine can be found here. The free quarterly educators magazine here.


There is a world wide movement to produce Free and Open Source Software.
Our U3A recommends and encourages the use of FOSS software for all classes.

Desktop Workstation
Add an $8 USB keyboard, $4 USB mouse, $15 Power Supply, $8 microSD card, $6 HDMI cable and a TV display to your RPI and you have a desktop workstation to surf the internet, control your house or garden or write a book. All the software it uses is free and can be downloaded from here.

We have a small drone to play with and explore this technology.

3D Printer
We are investigating various 3D printers and hope to be able to get the use of one shortly to begin making our own designs or reusing other peoples designs from the thingiverse.