Raspberry Pi Roundup - a Star Trek combadge, a DIY radio telescope and a fireflies simulator

Star Trek Combadge

Michael Darby wanted to make something like a Star Trek combadge that would respond to voice commands. He took a Raspberry Pi Zero W, a Pimoroni Speaker pHAT, a momentary touch sensor breakout board, some power circuitry and a USB microphone and constructed something that could be worn on the chest. When pressed, the touch sensor would trigger the Zero to listen, through the microphone, and then respond accordingly. The Pi runs Jasper to interpret the voice commands and has to be trained to know what to do. You can read about how Michael constructed the combadge over on his blog and see a video of it in action below:

DIY Radio Telescope

Instructables user ElectricSpace has written a great tutorial on creating your very own radio telescope with a Raspberry Pi. He’s listed all the parts you’ll need and documented how to do the build. Great for astronomers! Read how he did it here.


Michael Skirpan has developed a system of 400 LEDs that mimic the behaviour of fireflies. Run off a Raspberry Pi, the system is modelled on the dynamics of firefly synchronisation. The LEDs are randomly started up at a random blinking frequency and slowly they ‘learn’ from one another until they become synchronised. How this is achieved is a bit of a mystery, because there’s not much detail on the project. Pretty, though!