Raspberry Pi Roundup - a music box for dementia sufferers, a Pi-powered dolls' house and a flower that opens up for smiles

Raspberry Pi Roundup - a music box for dementia sufferers, a Pi-powered dolls' house and a flower that opens up for smiles

Dementia Music Box

Ross Porter’s father could no longer operate his CD player to play his favourite music due to impaired mental function caused by dementia. Knowing that music was incredibly beneficial to people in his father’s position, Ross set about making a music box that could be operated simply. He used two rotary encoders fed through to a Raspberry Pi to do this. Pressing or rotating either knob starts the music going. One knob controls the volume and the other changes songs from a playlist stored on a USB drive. His final product came out as above. He’s now documented the build process and open sourced all the designs and software, designing two other cases in the process (one of which is shown below).

I think you’ll agree, this is a lovely idea and I applaud Ross for his efforts to bring music back to his father. You can see a presentation of the music box below and find out how to make your own here:


Dolls' House

Two students from the University of Washington, Maks Surguy and Yi Fan Yin, decided to create an interactive doll’s house that could be controlled by a Playstation Move controller. To do this, they first of all designed the doll’s house, printed it out on cardboard to prototype and then laser-cut the design in plywood to give the house some stability and strength.

The Playstation Move interprets gestures and feeds them to a Raspberry Pi which then decides which gesture was used and then turns features of the doll’s house on or off accordingly. A total of seven gestures were programmed in to control;

…various functional items in the dollhouse (such as) TV, lights, fan, and shutters.

Read more over at The MagPi and watch the video below:


Using a variety of techniques, a team has developed the Expression Flower that senses when it is being smiled at and then opens up to smile back at you. Powered by a Raspberry Pi, the flower is coded using Google’s IoT platform, Android Things. There’s a camera module at the centre which reads in image data, passes it to the Pi which itself uses the ML Kit learning ‘machine’ from Google. Oh, if you wink at it, it closes up again in a bashful kind of way! The entire project, which uses 3D printing and laser-cutting, has been open sourced and documented over on Hackster.io.

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