Fire Pong: Raspberry Pi pong machine, with fireballs!

Fire Pong: Raspberry Pi pong machine, with fireballs!

This giant live-action game of Pong is played with great balls of fire! Goodness, gracious… Not only that, the Fire Pong project is controlled by a Raspberry Pi, which is the only thing that could make it more exciting. “It’s like a one-dimensional game of pong,” says Matthew, “but with fire rather than pixels.” “Fire Pong is also known as Rule Zero,” says Matthew. “Rule Zero for a hackspace says: ‘do not be on fire! Look your own safety and the safety of those around you’.” At the same time, “Rule Zero has an asterisk after it,” jokes Matthew, “that says … ‘more of a guideline’.”

Fire Pong built with Raspberry Pi With that in mind, Ian tells us how the game is played. “Each player has one of these bats,” he tell us. “And if you time it right; you bounce the flame back to the other end. If you don’t get the time right then the big puffer goes off. It’s first to three.” Additionally, as a reward for winning, the victor gets to waft their bat and a lot of fire happens. “That’s the most fun bit,” says Matthew. The victory swipe is an incentive to win the game. And it really worked,” says Matthew, “people really enjoy the victory swipe”. The winner gets a ‘Victory Swipe’ with a great burst of fire In the middle of the giant bats are Wiimotes. “As you swing the bat,” Ian explains, “the Wiimote sends a signal to to the Raspberry Pi sitting in the control box”. Nearby, sits a control box contains a Raspberry Pi and a 12 volt power supply running everything. In addition, a bunch of RS-45 serial controllers are used to send signals to the flame pipes. Linked to each flame is an Arduino Pro Mini. This video has more detail on Fire Pong build process Here is the Fire Pong documentation “We’ve got a whole bunch of Arduino Pro minis,” says Ian, “quite a few of which died during the making of the project”. Obviously the end result is worth it. Fire Pong looks great fun to play. Source: Computerphile The post Fire Pong: Raspberry Pi pong machine, with fireballs! appeared first on The MagPi Magazine.
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Ten million Raspberry Pis sold!

Ten million Raspberry Pis sold!

When the Raspberry Pi 3 launched in February, Eben Upton was happy to announce that the Raspberry Pi family had managed to sell eight million units making it the best selling computer of all time. The following month was one of the best sales months for the Pi of all time and finally we’re at a new milestone: ten million Raspberry Pis have been sold. The Raspberry Pi 3 has helped get the number of Pi sold to ten million Sales have been increasing year-on-year for the Raspberry Pi, with 5 million sold since February 2015. The next milestone is to beat the Commodore 64s sales numbers (whatever they might be) but for now we’re celebrating this new amazing milestone. What better way to celebrate than with new Pi goodness? Today it’s a brand new, official Raspberry Pi kit. It was introduced by Eben in the ten million Pi announcement blog earlier today: “For the first time we’ve put together our own idea of what the perfect bundle would look like, creating the official Raspberry Pi Starter Kit.” The new kit in all its sparkly glory The kit is very pretty and contains everything you need to get going, including: A Raspberry Pi 3 Model B An 8GB NOOBS SD card An official case An official 2.5A multi-region power supply An official 1m HDMI cable An optical mouse and a keyboard with high-quality scissor-switch action A copy of Adventures in Raspberry Pi Foundation Edition by Carrie-Anne Philbin The kit is on sale now in the UK and you can get it from element14 or RS Components and will cost you £99. “Thanks to you, we’ve beaten our wildest dreams by three orders of magnitude, and we’re only just getting started.” – Eben Upton The post Ten million Raspberry Pis sold! appeared first on The MagPi Magazine.
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Clay sculpted Pi Zero SNES

Clay sculpted Pi Zero SNES

This has to be one of the cutest retro consoles we’ve seen, the SNES Micro is tiny enough to fit in your hand. But even cuter: this SNES case is made from clay and hand-shaped. Crafty! The SNES Micro is a Pi Zero case shaped like a Nintendo SNES console. It has two USB ports at the front (for controllers). This video, by lyberty5, shows the SNES Micro build process.

Building a SNES case from clay First, Lyberty5 builds an inner case from plastic that he dremmels into shapes for a box and superglues together. “This simple case will act as a support for the clay on the outside,” he says, “which will have the actual shape.” SNES Micro build information at the Rated-E Mods Facebook page. Once the inner box is made, he sets about moulding the clay into a rough shape of a SNES console. He doesn’t worry too much about the precise shape” “We’ll fix it later by sanding once the clay has cured, ” he tells us. The clay is then separated in half, and screwed back together (he uses parts salvaged from a gamecube controller case for screw posts). The Pi Zero inside the SNES Micro clay case Bondo is used to fill in the cracks and holes, and the clay is spray painted then hand-painted to look just like a SNES case. There are two USB slotted into the front of the SNES Case. A USB hub board is inside the clay mould, and its soldered directly to the Pi Zero board. “Always make sure to map everything out with a multimeter beforehand,” says the maker. “The USB hub was designed for tablets we need to make sure we give it both power and connections.” The final case needs around three days to cure, so it’ll take a bit longer than your average build. But it’s a creative way to make a Raspberry Pi case and is a welcome change from 3D Printing. Finally everything is sealed using Epoxy and the Pi Zero is good to play games. “I put my heart and sound into this,” says the Lyberty5. We think it’s gorgeous. The post Clay sculpted Pi Zero SNES appeared first on The MagPi Magazine.
Source: Clay sculpted Pi Zero SNES

Enviro pHAT review

Enviro pHAT review

While not an official Raspberry Pi standard, Pimoroni’s pHAT class of half-size add-on boards are great fun and match the Pi Zero’s form factor perfectly, although they’ll work with any 40-pin Pi model. The latest addition to the line is the Enviro pHAT, which is all about taking environmental and motion measurements. Along with several built-in sensors, it features four analogue input channels to connect your own external sensors. In effect, the Enviro pHAT is Pimoroni’s Flotilla weather, colour, and motion modules rolled into one, with the addition of an analogue-to-digital (ADC) converter. The full article can be found in The MagPi 49 and was written by Phil King First things first: the Enviro pHAT comes in kit form, so you’ll need to get your soldering iron out to attach the 2×20‑pin female header and six male pins for the analogue inputs. Alternatively, you could even solder the pHAT straight onto the GPIO pins of a Pi Zero, if you wanted to use them together as a permanent room-monitoring or motion-measuring device. Once the pHAT is assembled and mounted on the Pi’s GPIO header, installing the software requires just a single command in the terminal. Assuming your Pi already has I2C enabled, you’re then able to start coding to obtain readings from the sensors, using the pHAT’s own Python library. The latter is partitioned into five separate modules: light, weather, motion, analog (inputs), and leds. Modular sensors The light module offers two main methods for reading the built-in TCS3472 sensor, which monitors four different values: clear, red, green, and blue. As well as an ambient light level reading using light.light(), you can obtain RGB colour values with light.rgb(), for a tuple which can easily be split into separate values. As you can see, the function naming structure used by the library couldn’t be simpler, so it’s all very easy to code. To aid accuracy of colour readings, the board has two small white LEDs located on either side of the light sensor, which can be switched on and off using the leds Python library module. Even so, the colour values produced are for a duller shade than the real item analysed, so may require some calibration. The library’s weather module enables you to obtain temperature and barometric pressure (in hPa) readings from the Enviro pHAt’s BMP280 sensor, but it doesn’t measure humidity. Since the sensor is mounted on the PCB rather than…
Source: Enviro pHAT review

Running Android on a Raspberry Pi 3

Running Android on a Raspberry Pi 3

Google’s Android operating system seems like a great fit for the Raspberry Pi. Both run on ARM hardware, Android is based on Linux and Google is keen to push for the next generation of coders. But you don’t need to wait for Google to develop the official version of Android. It’s already possible to install, and run, Android apps on your Raspberry Pi with RTAndroid. ETA Prime has a video showing how to install RTAndroid on a Raspberry Pi 3. They demonstrate installing the operating system, and using the Google Play store to download Android apps, including games. They even demonstrate Angry Birds in action. There are a few limitations. You can’t use a touch screen, not even the official Raspberry PI touch display. There are also some graphical hardware acceleration issues, although the demonstration of Angry Birds seems to run fine.

How to set up RT Android on a Raspberry Pi According to the makers: “RTAndroid is developed by the Embedded Software Laboratory at RWTH Aachen University and provides a reliable execution environment for applications with real-time requirements on common mobile devices. The platform benefits from Android’s high usability and its wide range of supported hardware.” Click here to view the RT Android website. You can find the installation under Downloads > Device Updates > Raspberry Pi 3. There are detailed instructions on how to flash RTAndroid. The instructions request that you use Linux for the installation process, which you can run in a virtual environment on Mac or Windows. The installation process seems is reasonably simple. Unzip the rtandroid download, and run the install script (pointing it to the mount point of your SD Card). It’s unsurprising that RTAndroid works well on the Raspberry Pi 3, and we’re waiting to see if Google itself develops the operating system for the Raspberry Pi. This could offer more detailed support, including support for the Touch Screen. In Google’s Android Open Source Project (AOSP) repository, a device tree for the Raspberry Pi 3 appeared back in May. It was created by Thomas Joseph Avila, but has remained empty since then. The post Running Android on a Raspberry Pi 3 appeared first on The MagPi Magazine.
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HAL 9000

HAL 9000

I had this Raspberry PI Model B waiting to become something great,” says Djordje Ungar, “and what greater thing can a computer hope for than to become the iconic computer from Stanley Kubrick’s 2001: A Space Odyssey? I mean, come on! “The first time I heard synthesized speech, I thought to myself: ‘Wow, how cool would it be if that was a voice of HAL 9000?’ It was when I stumbled upon Jasper, this amazing open-source project that allows you to control a computer with your voice, that I knew I had to make HAL.” The full article can be found in The MagPi 48 and was written by Lucy Hattersley Aside from the Raspberry Pi, all the other parts are off-the-shelf computer components that you can buy online. “I used a 3mm thick black acrylic, and I’ve painted some parts to look metallic,” Djordje reveals. “The box is 300 × 96 × 62mm, which is a bit larger than a tall carton of milk. “I examined a dozen movie stills from the film,” he continues. “I was only able to guess the actual size of the original HAL, so I based it off the lens. Some things like the number of holes on the speaker panel and the logo are spot on.” HAL can see you To allow HAL 9000 to see, Djordje added a webcam and camera lens. “I wanted to find a super convex lens like the one from the movie, but lenses of that calibre are anything but cheap. Even the used ones were way too expensive. So I had to settle for a cheaper, non-convex lens.” Luckily, he found a used one that he liked, via local classified advertisements: a Titanium Super Wide Lens 0.42x AF. “The lens is mostly for style, to give the whole build a more polished look, but it does also expand the field of view of the webcam a little. “The truth is: I didn’t need the webcam. I only needed the microphone. But since they come bundled together, having a webcam was a plus. I removed the casing and left the circuit board exposed, to make it as compact as possible. Then I glued it onto the ring that goes on the back of the lens.” If HAL gets a bit rowdy, just push it over and show them who’s boss For HAL 9000’s voice and brain, Djordje fitted a…
Source: HAL 9000

Amiga Emulation on the Raspberry Pi

Amiga Emulation on the Raspberry Pi

We love the Commodore Amiga. We’re also delighted with this video that shows how to turn a Raspberry Pi into an retro Amiga computer. Dan Wood is a radio presenter and host of The Retro Hour gaming podcast. Dan spends his spare time finding new uses for old technology.

If you don’t remember the Commodore Amiga, it was a computer from the late 1980s and early 1990s. It was incredibly popular among gamers and hackers, thanks to its powerful graphics chip. It was also used in many television stations to create title sequences. It was one of the first systems to do video editing. Commodore computers can be quite expensive on Ebay. But don’t worry, you can use a Raspberry Pi 3 to emulate Amigas, including the best-selling 500 and the impressive 1200. How to emulate a Commodore Amiga on the Raspberry Pi The emulation software used by Dan is called Ambian. You should use a Raspberry Pi 3, which has enough power to run emulated Amiga software. You can also use RetroPie to install Amiga software. Emulating an Amiga is a little more complex than other systems. You need a Kickstart ROM alongside the Ambian software. You will need the following Ambian Win32DiskImager SD Card Formatter Kickstart ROMs The Kickstart ROMs can be found online, but it’s safer to buy them as part of an emulated package. Dan suggests using Amiga Forever, which you can pick up on the Google Play store for 69p. You’ll have to resort to finding ROMs yourself (or turn old floppy disks into image files). There are hundreds of truly great games for Commodore’s classic system. These come with the .ADF file format. Dan does a great job of walking you through the process, and he even has a nifty 3D-printed case for his Pi that looks like a squished Commodore Vic-20 computer. The post Amiga Emulation on the Raspberry Pi appeared first on The MagPi Magazine.
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Get Dropbox on Raspberry Pi

Get Dropbox on Raspberry Pi

Dropbox’s relationship with Linux has always been slightly weird, and as Raspbian is a version of Linux, that too means it’s not so straightforward to get the file-syncing behaviour of Dropbox to work. There are definitely ways around this, though, and with a little bit of hacking and tweaking, we can get automatic uploads (and downloads!) of items to Dropbox. This method was created by Alex Eames of RasPi.TV and is perfect for many types of Raspberry Pi project, especially those where you’re taking pictures and want to view them remotely or free up some space on the Raspberry Pi after they’ve been taken. The full article can be found in The MagPi 48 and was written by Rob Zwetsloot STEP-01 Get a Dropbox account If you don’t already have one, sign up for a Dropbox account at dropbox.com. It offers a couple of GB for free, but you can pay a small amount a month for a whopping 1TB of space. There are some other cloud services around, such as Google Drive, but they have even less Linux support than Dropbox. As with most cloud storage services, you can view, download, and upload files from the browser. So if you want to download anything to the Raspberry Pi, it can be quick and easy to go through there. STEP-02 Get Dropbox uploader Now we need to grab Dropbox Uploader on the Raspberry Pi. Boot into Raspbian if you’re not already using it, and either open a Terminal or SSH into the Raspberry Pi if you prefer. From there, you’ll need to download the install files with:github.com/andreafabrizi/Dropbox-Uploader.gitOnce that’s downloaded, you’ll need to move to the folder (cd Dropbox-Uploader) to begin installing. You can start this off with:./dropbox_uploader.shIt will ask for your API key, which is our cue to move onto to the next step. STEP-03 Find your API key You need to head to the developers’ section of Dropbox so you can create a new app and get a unique API key to use on the Raspberry Pi. Click on Create App to start. As we’re working towards a personal use application, the first option we’ll chose is Dropbox API rather than business. The next two options don’t really matter: if you want to access full Dropbox, you can, but it may be better for privacy and security reasons if you’re just able to use a specific folder on your…
Source: Get Dropbox on Raspberry Pi

SailBot: Raspberry Pi boat crossing the Atlantic

SailBot: Raspberry Pi boat crossing the Atlantic

Ahoy me hearties. Say ‘Aye’, for Captain Pi, who has taken the helm of the good boat Ada, now skirmishing across the Atlantic ocean. This swashbuckling adventure comes courtesy of the crew at UBC (University of British Columbia). The students grew weary of winning the International Robotic Sailing Regatta (three years in a row) and decided their ship needed a bigger adventure. The result is Ada (officially named “UBC SailBot ADA”). This fully-autonomous boat, controlled by Raspberry Pis, is sailing from America to Ireland.

Building a robotic boat Joshua Baker, Control Team, explains how it all works on the UBC SailBot blog. “There are two identical control boxes on either side of the boat below deck, one on the port side and one on the starboard side,” says Joshua. “Each control box contains a microcomputer (Raspberry Pi and a microcontroller (Arduino Mega), among other components. Above deck on the tripod, there is another Raspberry Pi, endearingly referred to as the “OA Pi” [Obstacle Avoidance]. This translates and sends data from our infrared cameras” The Raspberry Pi devices captain the boat “The goal of the Raspberry Pi devices below deck is to take information from the OA hardware, weather data from the internet, and current GPS coordinates from the Arduino, and use all that information to produce a series of waypoints,” explains Joshua. This data is then used to plot a course, and Arduino Megas are used to navigate from one waypoint to the next. In essence, the Raspberry Pi is the captain, the Arduino Mega is the crew. The sailboat is aiming for West Ireland (the map’s pointing to the shores of Brandon Bay). You can track Ada’s progress on the UBC Website. Ada’s ETA for arrival is 13 days (13 September). Just in time for International Talk Like a Pirate Day. Yaaar The post SailBot: Raspberry Pi boat crossing the Atlantic appeared first on The MagPi Magazine.
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ZeroBorg review

ZeroBorg review

Raspberry Pi robotics specialists PiBorg have turned their attention to the Pi Zero and the possibilities of using it to make very small robots. The result is the ZeroBorg, a diminutive motor controller board that’s only marginally wider than the Zero itself. When mounted to the rear of the Pi Zero, the whole setup (including optional 9V battery) weighs a mere 65g. It’s so lightweight and nifty that PiBorg are using it to control the YetiBorg racing robots in their upcoming Formula Pi series: see this issue’s news section for more details. The inclusion of four H-bridges means that the ZeroBorg can control four standard DC motors independently. Add some special Mecanum wheels and you can get your robot to scuttle sideways like a crab! Even when using standard wheels, the ZeroBorg offers extra control since the bidirectional PWM (pulse-width modulation) signal sent to each of the four wheels can be varied precisely. Each H-bridge can deliver 2A peak or 1.5A RMS current, so it should work with most small motors. Alternatively, the board can be used to run two four-, five-, or six‑wire stepper motors. The ZeroBorg uses the same form factor as the Pi Zero Stacks of fun One curious aspect of the ZeroBorg is that it’s designed to be connected to a Pi Zero that has an unpopulated GPIO header. Instead, it’s supplied with a small female header to fit to the rear of the Zero, at the 3V3 end of the GPIO header; into this you slot the ZeroBorg’s six pins, two of which connect to SDA and SCL for I2C communication. Now, while it’s possible to do this without soldering the small header to the Pi Zero, and instead simply holding the two units together firmly using the supplied standoff screws, we were unable to get this method to provide a reliable enough connection. Once we’d soldered the header to the Pi Zero, however, everything worked absolutely fine, so we’d strongly advise doing this. Alternatively, if your Zero already has a full GPIO male header attached, you could always use two 3-pin female-to-female connectors to connect it; this method would also enable you to use the ZeroBorg with any other Raspberry Pi model. It’s important to note that the ZeroBorg comes in three main versions. While the basic KS1 model comes pre-assembled, the KS2 adds a DC/DC regulator and battery clip (supplied loose or pre-soldered)…
Source: ZeroBorg review