Raspberry Pi Roundup - 2nd June 2015


Myrijam Stoetzer (14) and Paul Foltin (15) from Duisburg, Germany wanted to create a system whereby a wheelchair could be controlled by tracking eye movements. The eye tracker is made from a webcam mounted in the frames of some safety glasses. They use IR LEDs to provide illumination in the dark and they’ve stripped the IR filter from the camera so that it works in the light and the dark. They initially tried using an old model B Raspberry Pi but got very low frames-per-second scanning. They then moved to an ODROID-U3 which improved matters remarkably. They’ve now switched to a Raspberry Pi 2 because of the low-cost even though performance isn’t quite as good as the ODROID. They’re asking for help to improve the frame rate, so if you think you can help, head over to their project page.


Back in February, the Foundation published a blog post about Tangram ESwhich an open source map-rendering engine from Mapzen. Mapzen has now gone one further and developed an example app which displays a three-dimensional map and ties it into an Adafruit GPS HAT. They’ve even provided the files to 3D print a mounting case for the whole thing which includes a 5″ touch screen to control the map. It’s a lovely example of what you can do with the library and all the code is available, so give it a go! NB: You probably need a Raspberry Pi 2 to handle this. Read more here.


Ferran Fabregas flew over from Barcelona last weekend to attend the Southend Raspberry Jam. I was lucky enough to catch his talk on his project: the LifeBox. This is a cube approximately 35x35x35cm featuring an LED matrix panel on the front. A Raspberry Pi inside the box generates an ecosystem of two ‘pixelic’ entities – blue and yellow – along with their food, ‘mana’, which is white. The C code sets various parameters as to how the entities live, die and reproduce and then the resulting environmental array is displayed as LEDs on the panel. It is notConway’s Game of Life – it’s more complex than that. The result is part art, part science and eminently blinky!

You can read more about the project, and see more pictures, via Ferran’s blog which includes the slides from his Southend presentation.

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