June 2019 meetup

It was our very first DeepRacer themed meetup! As announced, we changed the schedule to allow for the use of our new DeepRacer track before the talks. The suspense of the race was there. Roaring engines, riveted crowds, and a car… that couldn’t quite follow the track for more than 10 seconds at a time. Unfortunately for this first time we were limited to models provided by us, and they weren’t very good. Hopefully at our July meetup we’ll have more models from our members.

Aside from the DeepRacer itself, there was other news as well as mentioned during our regular segment. As usual, I’ll link below to what was Finally in Sydney, although this time around it’s slim pickings.

After this we got started with our first talk of the evening. Our silver sponsor AC3 brought out Greg Cockburn and John Ferlito for a talk titled “Teach Amazon Sumerian to play Rock, Paper, Scissors”. In an extensive and technical talk, the two of them spoke about the demo they built for the Sydney Summit. This involved not only Sumerian for the interface, but also SageMaker for building a model that was able to recognise the moves from rock, paper, scissors. As usual, a short paragraph can’t do it justice so I recommend you read the slides or, better yet, watch the below video. It’s also important to point out that they made their work and extra documentation available on GitHub, so you can have a play around with it yourself.


We ended the night with a talk by Arjen Schwarz titled “DeepRacer: From Start to Finish”. You might (well, should) recognise that name as the author of this very blogpost, so I’m not going to even try to talk in the third person. I gave a brief overview of how DeepRacer works and how you can build your own models. The slides are available but in all honesty they’re not very useful as I quickly switched to a demo. If you’re interested you should watch the video below, or even read the article I wrote about DeepRacer after re:Invent as that is still mostly valid.


Finally, we want to acknowledge once again that none of this is possible without our sponsors. Innablr is our gold sponsor for 2019, with AC3, Parallels, and A Cloud Guru as our silver sponsors. Many thanks to them for ensuring we have food and drinks available for all of you.