Raspberry PI Roundup - a Braille machine, a new issue of The MagPi and a Hackspace in search of help!


Joe Birch‘s family is predisposed to failing eyesight. As a result, he decided to build the BrailleBox – a motorised Braille creation device which reads in online news stories and converts them into patterns for the blind. Solenoids were used to project upwards small wooden balls into the patterns which represent letters. The software end uses AndroidThings. The main script runs on start-up and a button press is detected which triggers the retrieval of a news item and the automatic translation.

You can see it in action below:

Arcade MagPi

A new issue of The MagPi is out and features an Arcade Machine build along with all the usual news, reviews and project pages. Download it for free from their site or have a copy delivered from The Pi Hut. There’s a nice article on Pi Wars for those interested!

Hitchin Hackspace

Hitchin Hackspace are currently renovating an abandoned toilet block and converting it into a physical hackspace or Community Workshop. They need your help to get funding for the next stage. They’ve applied through the Aviva Community Fund and are at the stage where they need votes to get the funding. So, if you have a spare five minutes, please register and vote for them!

Their aims for the block are as follows:

  • Encourage STEM subjects and ‘making’ within the North Hertfordshire community
  • Provide access to tools and knowledge that would otherwise be unavailable to the community
  • Invest in, and house a range of equipment – from woodworking tools to digital manufacturing tools such as laser cutters and 3D printers which are beyond the budget of individuals
  • Get involved in outreach work with local schools and youth groups.

You get 10 votes to use, so you may find other projects that catch your eye, but if you could spare at least some of them for the Hitchin Hackspace project, that’d be great!