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Published on: October 10, 2013 / Comments: None

SPiBot r/c tank uses Raspberry Pi for recon surveillance

SPiBot is a remote control platform with tank-like tracks.  It’s a work in progress, but will be fitted with a rotatable camera, microphone, and distance sensors.  It is to be controlled via the web on either a phone, tablet, or laptop.

The base for the platform is a Raspberry Pi.  WiFi is used for communication.  The HTML interface is served up using nginx and PHP.  Motor control happens via PWM from the Pi to motor drivers.   Video and pictures will be done with some combination of raspivid, vlc, ffmpeg, and raspivid.

It looks like the project is pretty far a long, but not quite finished.  Hopefully the author has some pets he can terrorize when it’s finished.

Source code on GitHub, and the original project link here.  It’s not in English so here’s the google translate link.  Video of the control test after the break.


Published on: September 22, 2013 / Comments: 2

Lazy Sunday Links – 9/22/2013

It’s Sunday again, time to take a break from watching your favorite NFL team lose and learn something somewhat productive.

First up, you should fire up your 3D Printer and make yourself a set of these cool 8bit video game coasters.

Not in the mood for some video game coasters? Well did you know there are more places to get 3D models to print for your 3D Printer other than Thingiverse ?  There’s Defcad which commonly has all those items that people are forced to take down other places, and Yeggi which seems to just scour the web hunting models.  If you are making industrial designs like PCB layout, there’s 3dcontentcentral.  That should get you going.

You’ve obviously heard of FFT or Fast Fourier Transform, you have it on your trusty O’Scope and when you look at it, you think you see valuable information.  But what exactly is a Fourier Transform?  Check out the interactive guide to Fourier Transform so you can learn something.

Looking for somewhere to host your software project, not a fan of GitHub?  Srchub is just starting out, but offers subversion, git, mercurial, wiki, issue tracker.  Lets you assign multiple collaborators and also make private repositories.  Not a bad gig for free.

You JavaScript/Node.js guys have probably seen the Espruino microcontroller.  A micro that can be developed using JavaScript.  But did you know there is another one ?  The Tessel.  This one’s got on-board wi-fi.

Published on: September 19, 2013 / Comments: None

Solar powered temperature logger using Electric Imp

The Electric Imp is a WIFI module with a brain.  In some use cases it’s used to help connect your device to the cloud, as one of those ‘internet of things’.  On other cases (like this one), it is the thing.  Marcus has a cool little project that takes temperature readings and pushes them to the cloud.

Since the Imp is pretty power savvy, Marcus was able to power the project using a solar panel and charger.  From there it uses a TMP36 analog temperature module to pull readings from.  The temperature is read using the ADC and turned into an actual temperature number.   The imp handles the rest by using the ThingSpeak api, which then collects and graphs the data.

Source code and schematic included on slickstreamer.

Published on: September 3, 2013 / Comments: None

Another Android remote controlling your Raspberry Pi

Previously I mentioned a similar project that used a python daemon to talk to an Android app to remotely control the Pi.  Well there’s always more than one way of doing things.  As with the other project, the implementation on this one is a little different.

First off you have your Android app (which is available on the Google Play store here).  Next you have the server piece (available here, with instructions and demonstrations) that runs on your Pi.  The Android app connects to the Pi via SSH (over WIFI usually) and executes the pre-configured actions that you have assigned to with your Android application.

It currently has the ability to control and monitor GPIO, talk via I2C, manage processes, and stream video via MJPEG.   According to the site they are busy adding more features such as XBMC support, and voice control.


Published on: September 3, 2013 / Comments: None

Reverse engineer network traffic using your Raspberry Pi

Peter got an idea to turn his Raspberry Pi into an WIFI access point in order to sniff out the traffic for research purposes.  So after following some tutorials on Adafruit to get his Pi in AP mode he started dumping traffic.

He’s using hostapd for authentication, and started out just using good ol’ tcpdump to dump the traffic.  After noticing the traffic was a little hard to follow from tcpdump he moved into running a man in the middle proxy script which allows him to see the traffic in a little more sane manor.

In his example he is spying on the traffic an app on his phone generates, but this method could be useful similar applications.

He has a bash script with his firewall rules up on his site, as well as some explanation of his test app on his site.

Published on: September 2, 2013 / Comments: 1

Meet the Arduino YUN

Hitting shelves in a few days is the latest in the Arduino family, the Arduino YUN.  The Arduino blog is going to be running a few articles explaining all the features of the YUN.  They kicking it off with an overview of the hardware.

The YUN starts off with the standard Arduino footprint, and borrows the ATMega32U4 from the Leonardo.  Then adds a new processor the Atheros AR9331 and 64MB of RAM.  The Atheros is running a lightweight linux port based off of the OpenWRT branch.  The YUN has both Ethernet, and WI-FI and a microSD slot.

We’ve seen hybrids like this before, but I can’t say any of them really took off.  It’s a good combo in my opinion.  It’s difficult to facilitate super low power and real-time processing with the Linux based boards, but it’s difficult to do things like run Python and OpenCV on microcontrollers.  By mixing the two together you potentially have a platform that could tackle most tasks.  We look forward to seeing what people make with the YUN in the future.

Check out all the details over at the Arduino blog.

Published on: August 28, 2013 / Comments: 1

DIY home automation with Souliss

[su_quote]… it runs over AVRs microcontrollers and include all the libraries and drivers required for a complete a distributed intelligent network, it also includes an Android user interface.[/su_quote]Ever wanted to make your home smarter ?  Or just remotely control basically everything in your home ?  Souliss is here to help.  It’s a framework for DIY home automation.

What I like about Souliss versus having used traditional home automation hardware (like Z-Wave) is you aren’t restricted to what modules are available.  You can craft your own using a lot of familiar hardware like Arduino’s (and I’m sure Raspberry Pi’s in the future).  It’s not restricted to specific methods of communication either, you can do wired or wireless or wi-fi or serial or whatever you can use to get your devices to communicate.  Great project!