Raspberry Pi Roundup: a real car to play Mario Kart, a portable Zero terminal and a Pi-powered retina camera

Real Mario Kart!

Self-described “avid hacker” Adam Ringwood has taken realism to new heights by connecting his real car up to a game of Mario Kart 64, running on a laptop. The reading of OBD-II telemetry data from the car’s onboard computer is done by a Raspberry Pi and a PiCAN2 add-on board. The readings are processed and converted into control signals by the Pi and then transmitted to the laptop. The steering wheel controls the steering of the Kart whilst other events, for example from windshield wipers, headlights, brakes control other aspects of the game such as the ‘jump’ command. You can read more over on Adam’s blog and see the set-up in action below:

Portable Terminal

NODE has taken a Raspberry Pi Zero W and an iPhone 5 sliding keyboard case and turned it into a portable terminal. The case is wrapped in a 3D-printed exterior shell to contain the Pi, power circuitry and battery and he has added a full-sized USB port by soldering directly onto the Zero’s micro USB port. He retains access to the HDMI port, the battery charging port and the SD card slot by providing cut-outs. You can read more and see a schematic of the power circuitry by visiting his blog or see the demo video below:

Retina Camera

Dr. Bailey Shen and Dr. Shizuo Mukai from the USA have developed a prototype camera unit that can be used by opticians to take photos of your retina. Normally, pupil-dilating eyedrops are required to do this, causing blurriness and headaches afterwards. By using a combination of light sources to first of all focus on the retina and then to take the actual picture, the eyedrops aren’t necessary. The camera’s total cost is approximately $185, a fraction of professional units. A ScienceDaily article is available to read here.