March 12 Meeting

Building An Arduino Obstacle Avoidance Robot

by Eileen Amirault (with a little help from Cody Gregory)

Last March Break, I read a book that changed my life. I immediately ran out and purchased an Arduino. A Raspberry Pi was not far behind. After a few months of experimenting, and watching YouTube videos of kids building Obstacle Avoidance Robots (OAR), we thought it looked like a good first project. We call it Bobby OAR. An OAR is an autonomous robot that rolls around and avoids obstacles by using sensor input. Then, based on programming, finds an alternate path forward, avoiding obstacles along the way. We had most of the components from various kits, so only a chassis and wheels needed to be ordered. Or was there something else?

February 27 Meeting

Python Tutorial Part Five: Composition and Structure

In the second session of his well-received Python Tutorial series, instructor Simon Bluck will help deepen our understanding of the Python programming language.

This course material for this session is now online on this site, as follows:

Table of Contents

February 13 Meeting

41BkDwf1-JL._AA160_   flightradar

A Live Flight Data Feeder

Presented by Gordo

One of the many cool things you can do with your Raspberry Pi is to add a special $30 DVT-T USB dongle and install some software to turn your Pi into a live flight data feeder for FlightRadar24.com and FlightAware.com.

The recommended one is an ADS-B USB Dongle (R820T), which includes a small indoor antenna, but I purchased an equivalent one from Amazon at a very reasonable cost.

Among the benefits of this project are gaining free premium memberships with both sites; the ability to monitor flights overhead in real-time; and learing a bit about how to install third-party software via the command line.

In this presentation, I will give an overview of the hardare and software required and perform a quick walk-through installing the FlightRadar24.com feeder. If time permits, I will also demonstrate installing the FlightAware.com feeder.

Since these feeder stations are location-dependent, you will have to perform your own install at the place from which you’ll set up your Pi feeder and antenna.

Place: Victoria Computer Club, 85A Burnside Rd West (at Wascana), Victoria
Time: 9:30 a.m. – 12:30 p.m.

Read the full instructions here

What topics do you want covered at our Meetups?

Hi! My name is Deid Reimer and I have taken on the task of ensuring that we have presentations, demonstrations, or something else of interest as the focus of our biweekly Saturday Victoria PiMakers And Others Meetups.

Send me your ideas and suggestions as to:

  • What topics you are interested in seeing covered at our meetings?
  • A topic or project you could present or showcase at a meeting.

We’d also like to know:

Please don’t worry if you have an idea for a topic or a project you can present but don’t know how to structure your talk, or are just shy about speaking in public. I can help with this: send me your idea and we’ll work to make it happen.

Presentations should be about an hour long, leaving up to an hour for questions and answers, directed help, and general discussion.

Some possible future topics could include:

  • More on GPIO and sensors
  • More on command line Linux
  • Projects you or others have completed or are still in progress
  • Programming (could be a series of tutorials) in:
    • Python
    • JavaScript
    • HTML/CSS
    • C+
    • Scratch
    • Sonica
  • Using the Pi (And Others) as a:
    • Media centre
    • DNS server, or a
    • Web server
  • Backing up your SD cards and devices
  • And all the other topics that I haven’t thought of…

Please contact me at presentations@vicpimakers.ca with your ideas.

Meetups for the first quarter of 2016 are:

  • January 9th and 23rd
  • February 13th and 27th
  • March 12 and 26th

First 2016 presentation – January 9th

To kick off the New Year, I’m going to present simple Raspberry Pi General Purpose Input Output (GPIO) (basic turning an LED light on and off — don’t worry, I’ll bring the LED!) on January 9th, 2016. This is the equivalent of the introductory Hello World printout in programming. So this date is covered unless anyone else wants it; if so I will yield.

Happy New Year!

Deid

A very Merry Pi/Arduino/Beagle Mas!

cold-linux-penguin-tux-animal-hat

We are taking a break from meetings until the New Year so people can enjoy the embedded gifts and goodies that most certainly the Linux Penguin will be delivering to your door (or community mailbox).

Our next meeting will be on January 9th 2016, on the topic Introduction to General Purpose Input/Output.

Meanwhile, enjoy the Holiday Season,
Victoria PiMakers And Others

Animatronics Course

Animatronics Course (at Makerspace)

uviclogo
January 28, 2016 to March 24, 2016 (6:30 PM – 8:30 PM)
9 sessions on Thursday

Location: Vancouver Island Technology Park
Instructor: James Jacoby
Expected Class Size: 12
Register at UVIC Continuing Studies HERE
Movie special effects abound with monsters and robots that roar and move and react to people in the scenes with them. Learn how to make your own animatronic creations! This course will teach you how to program the Arduino microcontroller, a tiny computer that can connect to sensors and motors to make your projects light up, react to sounds, move, sense temperature, and all sorts of other tricks. You’ll build a project from scratch—maybe a puppet, robot, a spaceman helmet, or whatever else your creativity inspires. Along the way, you’ll have workshop facilities available to you as a temporary member of the Victoria Makerspace (makerspace.ca) and access to all of the instructional videos from one of the leading special effects studios, Stan Winston Studios, www.stanwinstonschool.com/tutorials.

At the end of this course, you will have the knowledge you need to embed a computer into all of your artistic creations.

Please note: this course will take place at Makerspace at the Vancouver Island Technology Park, 4A – 4476 Markham Street.

Course Includes: Arduino kits, 2 months MakerSpace Membership, 2 months Stan Winston access.

 

December 12 Meeting

Learn To Love Linux

tuxSaturday, December 12, 2015
to
Victoria Computer Club
85A Burnside Rd West (at Wascana), Victoria, BC (map)

Once your SD card is set up and the Pi booted, a powerful but complex command-line world lies behind the deceptively-easy graphical desktop interface. Raspbian is a special version of Debian Linux modified to run efficiently on the Raspberry Pi.
Continue reading December 12 Meeting

Pi lifts off to ISS

2015_peake_piCambridge’s world-famous Raspberry Pi has hit new heights – by being blasted into space.

On December 6th an Antares Cygnus rocket carried 2 Pi’s to the International Space Station. Tim Peakes, the first British ESA astronaut, will use the Raspberry Pi for educational outreach.

Tim Peakes arrives at the Internation Space Station December 15 at 17:24 GMT.pi_artAstroPi1

Astro Pi
Your code in space!

https://astro-pi.org/

Astro Pi Mission

Two augmented Raspberry Pi computers (called Astro Pis) are being flown to the International Space Station (ISS) as part of British ESA Astronaut Tim Peake’s mission. They are both equipped with the mighty Sense HAT that can measure the environment inside the station, detect how it’s moving through space, and pick up the Earth’s magnetic field. Each Astro Pi is also equipped with a different kind of camera; one has an infra-red camera and the other has a standard visible spectrum camera.

Raspberry Pi, Arduino and other embedded systems to learn and create