A plane tracking system, a robotic pipe organ and a review of our ZeroSeg board in today's Raspberry Pi Roundup

Plane Tracking

Inspired by the 2014 disappearance of flight MH370, New Zealand year 8 student Benjamin Mueggenburg has developed what he calls a Visual Plane Locating System. It is designed to overcome some of the problems with the existing system of tracking planes, namely RADAR. The system uses a Raspberry Pi and a webcam to simulate an orbiting satellite. The “satellite” looks down on the Earth and identifies planes (represented by toy planes in Benjamin’s project) by scanning QR codes on their wings. The project won him two top ASB Bright Sparks prizes for “best in junior science” and “best junior concept”. You can read a short interview with him over at ASB and watch a video of his project below.

Pipe Organ

Wendell Kapustiak has built a self-playing wooden pipe organ. The organ has 42 wooden pipes (representing 3.5 chromatic octaves). Each wooden pipe is different and had to be custom-cut to play the right note. A “blower” used to cool data centres was modified to keep it quiet and enclosed; air pressure from the blower feeds the organ’s wind chest which provides the air for the pipes. The valves for the pipes (which cause them to ‘play’) are opened and closed using solenoids. The main processor is a Raspberry Pi which provides a user interface for selecting songs and sends MIDI instructions to an Arduino Due which has a pin assigned for each pipe. A transistor board boosts the activation signal so that the solenoids fire. It certainly makes a beautiful sound in full flow. You can see it in action in the video above, which features an interview with Wendell, and you can read more about the build over on his blog.

ZeroSeg review

Over on my blog, I've reviewed Average Man's ZeroSeg board. Overall, I concluded that it's a great board for the price, so head over to read the rest of the review. The ZeroSeg is available to buy from The Pi Hut for £10.