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, 2016 – Python 2: Basic Constructs

This Python Course covers what is useful to know so you can quickly and easily set about writing Python programs. (Detailed Python programming will be covered in subsequent courses.) This course is suitable for anyone, from those that may have very little computing/programming experience, to those who have already been actively programming in Python. The aim is to get everyone up to the point where they feel confident in using Python and writing useful programs.

Simon Bluck

See tutorial material here.

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

January 23, 2016 – Python 1: Introduction

Jan 23, 2016 · 9:30 AM
Victoria Computer Club

Python is a modern programming language that is relatively easy to learn and well-suited to sensor or robotics projects using the Raspberry Pi, Arduino, or other embedded Linux boards.

The first of a monthly series, An Introduction to Python is co-presented by Deid Reimer and Simon Bluck, two VicPiMaker members with considerable combined experience in programming and teaching.

See tutorial material 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