PiCamera Fun at the Command Line

At January’s Wilmslow Coderdojo, we used the PiCamera for the first time.  We had a lot of fun encouraging the Ninjas to learn a little bit of python while taking selfies and playing with effects.

Based on some excellent work by Carl over at fortoffee.org.uk I produced some worksheets which are attached here.

Because playing with the PiCamera is such an accessible fun activity, it provides an ideal opportunity to introduce something a little more complex.  These worksheets use python, and the work is carried out completely at the command line, with no graphical IDE.

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DIY Raspberry Pi GPIO LEDs and Switches board

This board provides 4 buttons connected to Raspberry Pi GPIO to act as inputs, and 4 LEDs connected to GPIO to act as outputs.  Very simple!


The motivation for the creation of this project was to try to do something with Raspberry Pi at our local CoderDojo which was different to what could be done with hardware that the “ninjas” had already been exposed to.

The ability to easily interface with hardware is what really sets the Raspberry Pi apart.  Scratch, python, etc., are all available on the laptops which they are already using – so I thought this would show them a different side to programming.

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On arch, systemd journal eats SD card space

I use archlinuxarm on pisaac’s SD card, because it’s the most basic system I could find.
I don’t need any fancy GUIs, and I also prefer “The Arch Way” generally to any other Linux distro paradigm.

I discovered an issue recently where my SD card (only 2GB) was getting very full, and tracked it down to systemd’s journal using almost 0.5GB.

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Introducing Pisaac, my Raspberry Pi robot

Pisaac, the Raspberry Pi robot
A robot, but not as we know it…

Hello everyone, this is Pisaac.

Pisaac is built from a Raspberry Pi, a PiFace, a DRV8833 motor controller on a breakout board, a Dagu “Magician” robot chassis which I got from Amazon (also available from many other retailers!), an Edimax Wifi dongle, a mobile backup battery pack and a Raspberry Pi Camera module.

Why am I building Pisaac?

Just for my own entertainment really!

So far, Pisaac’s most effective use is scaring the dog.  He can be controlled using an app I’ve developed for the mobile phone.  That’s Pisaac, by the way, not the dog!

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