Raspberry Pi Roundup - a physical PacMan game, a new Home Automation framework and a Harry Potter-inspired animated picture frame

PacMan

Emanuele Coletta and friends have created a physical representation of a Pac Man game. The game characters were 3D printed and the ‘pills’ collected by Pac Man were changed to LEDs which disappear as the character rolls over them. The friends, aided by their fathers, created the playing maze out of laser-cut sections of wood. A series of small controller boards with LEDs and reed switches attached were placed underneath the surface and each character was fitted with an Arduino Nano. Pac Man himself had a magnet installed which, as it travels across the reed switches, sends signals to the LED control boards to deactivate the relevant LED. A Raspberry Pi is used by receiving all the signals about the game state and other statistics. The ‘ghosts’ are, of course, in hot pursuit and players control both Pac Man and his adversaries by moving them manually, making it a highly physical game. You can read more over on the MagPi website.

Home Automation via Mozilla

Last year, Mozilla announced Project Things and now they’ve announced the release of an OS image for the Raspberry Pi which implements that idea. With the concept of bringing all your home IoT devices under one roof, and providing a web interface to control them, the project is sure to catch the eye of those experimenting with home automation. You will need dongles attached to your Pi to connect to things such as ZigBee modules, lights and that kind of thing, but the software is all ready to go in a if-this-then-that kind of way. You can access the image and find out more from the Mozilla IoT website and learn how to set the system up on their blog.

Serious Sirius

Les Pounder‘s wife is a great fan of Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban(quite so, it’s my favourite, too!) So, Les decided to create an animated picture frame for her starring everyone’s favourite rogue Sirius Black. He found a cheap picture frame in Dunelm Mill and then took the back off. He then took a Pi Zero and a Pimoroni Hyper Pixel to drive the animated part of the project and laser cut a nice surround for the screen. A bit of start-on-boot scripting and he had his animated frame all working. Great fun! You can read more on Les’ blog and see a video of it in action below: