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At Wednesday’s Raspberry Pi meetup, Steve showed us his smartphone-controlled model rocket launch system. He has his Pi acting as a wifi hotspot. The Launch Control Officer connects with her smartphone and enters the launch code; a button appears on the screen and, once the countdown reaches 0, the LCO presses the button and WHOOSH the rocket leaves the pad on a pillar of fire and smoke. Of course at the meeting there was no fire or smoke, just a couple of light bulbs standing in for igniters, but Steve showed how one could select a pad (currently two are implemented) and ignite a rocket.
Meanwhile, concurrent but unrelated to the RPi meetup, was a robot build session. Xandon and his team were working on a Robomagellan robot for the upcoming Robothon (9/20) at Seattle Center. Robomagellan is an outdoor contest in which autonomous robots navigate varied terrain to reach traffic cone targets while avoiding obstacles and people. Xandon and co. were attaching a cool LIDAR unit to the robot (looks like a hockey puck in the picture above).

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Last night, Rob Jellinghaus returned to Jigsaw with the latest iteration of Holofunk. Holofunk is a live looping system that lets the user (or users) create music by layering short repeating “loops” of sound recorded in real time. Unlike typical loopers, which are controlled by physical switches, Holofunk is gesture-controlled, with a Kinect detecting the position and shape of the users hands. For example, making a fist is the command to start recording sound; opening the hand stops the recording and starts the repeated playback.


With one loop playing, you record another loop, and another–until you’ve built up a multi-voice musical composition using the power of repetition. There are also gestures for muting loops and adding audio effects such as flange and reverb. And Holofunk supports two users for real-time collaboration. After Rob gave his presentation, he invited audience members to come up and try out Holofunk, which led to some interesting musical results.
It’s been fun watching Holofunk evolve, and I’m expecting even more cool stuff in the next iteration.

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Sorry for the late update. I just found these in my camera. Of course I no longer remember anything about these projects. If you see yourself or your project, leave a note in the comments.

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Marina’s “musical stairs” project is turning into a collaborative effort in true Jigsaw Renaissance style. In these photos, you see Marina, Xandon, Rich, and Budi setting up a test of the Kinect in one of the Inscape stairwells.


Xandon is programming his laptop to play musical sounds depending on where people are on the stairs (as detected by the Kinect). Computers, music, and physical fitness–the project could use more help in all these areas. Come lend a hand Tuesday or Wednesday evening!

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SCRoW Report 2/26

by Michael Park, Treasurer on February 28, 2014

in Events

Rich brought along a few iterations of the Hack-E-Bot, a low-cost educational robot he’s developing. Cool laser-cut pieces!


Marina enlisted Xandon to assist in her project to make interactive stairs, the goal being to make taking the stairs more fun. Xandon has a Kinect and has written software to play musical tones as people walk through specific areas, so with any luck they’ll have everything installed in time for the Inscape Open House in March.

Xandon also had a virtual drum kit program that Rich tried out.

In the screenshot you can just make out the colored cubes indicating the “drums”.

If you want to get involved with Marina’s project, come to the next Project Night (Tuesday) or SCRoW (Wednesday).

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Pat showed us his Pi hooked up to a webcam and running motion-detection software:


Michail brought a Raspberry Pi-controlled Bitcoin mining rig. Those seven little boards are Application-Specific Integrated Circuits (ASICs)–special-purpose hardware designed expressly for Bitcoin mining. The display shows that it’s generating over two billion hashes per second! A very interesting discussion about Bitcoin ensued.

Stephen has turned his Pi into the beginnings of an inertial navigation system. He had it transmitting six channels of acceleration and roll rate over Bluetooth to his laptop. Soon it’ll be the brains of a Segway-esque robot.

The Raspberry Pi turns two years old this month, so we celebrated its birthday with some raspberry pie (courtesy of Stephen).
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Join us next month (3/19) for more Raspberry Pi!

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The meeting kicked off with Eva’s RasPi-controlled Christmas tree–very cool!
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JR’s own Alan W shared his courageous story of getting ssh to work.
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Newcomer Dennis wanted to get an infrared motion detector working with his Raspberry Pi but didn’t know where to start, so some of the more experienced folks showed him how to edit and run a Python program. In short order he had a rudimentary “alarm” system going.
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Thanks to all who attended! Next meetup: Jan 15.

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Steve found some surgical tubing in the rummage pile in the basement, so tonight during Project Night, he cut up some 2x2s, made loops of the tubing, and with a lot of effort and bruised knuckles, ended up with this example of tensegrity:IMG_0993
Pretty amazing!

In other news, don’t forget the Raspberry Pi meetup at Jigsaw tomorrow (Wed.) night.

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