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II. Rosie Patrol



10 steps to convert our Rosie into Rosie Patrol - the greatest superhero of them all.  With a logo.

We continue to use the Raspberry Pi and Raspbian OS, and write even more code using the Python programming language.  We'll introduce lots more interaction with the outside world, and hacking of real-life objects, using servo motors, relays, dot LED matrix displays and GPS receivers.  And to help us do all of this, we'll play around with serial transmission of data (SPI), pulse width modulation (PWM) of signals, and venture into the world of application programming interfaces (APIs) so that Rosie Patrol can rely on the help of other computers that are much more knowledgable than her.

And... oh yes... we'll finally get to play with a 3D printer.  What could possibly go wrong?

1Lights in shining armour Use a relay to cycle through the lights on a head torch
2I'm just angling around Play around with servo motors to make stuff move
3Eye would like to have some I'sMake eyes using dot LED matrix displays, and control them using SPI
4Eh, P.I?Create and work with APIs to remotely make stuff happen
5Lights, camera, satisfactionTake photos using the Pi and a camera
6Beam me up, Rosie!Use a GPS receiver to track you exact location on Earth
7a, b, see, d Pick out letters from photos using Google Cloud Vision API
8Code: readUse Google Text-to-Speech to read books out aloud
9Farcical fartificial intelligenceForm random opinions about surrounding objects using Google Cloud Vision API
10Facial deconstructionUse a 3D printer to produce robot parts

You'll get to tackle:

  • Raspberry Pi
  • Raspbian operating system (basically Linux)
  • More hardware (relays, dot LED matrix displays, camera, GPS receiver...)
  • Python programming language, including use of APIs
  • Optical character recognition, for reading letters from pictures
  • Different types of electronic signals, like Serial Peripheral Interface (SPI), and Pulse Width Modulation (PWM)...
  • And finally get to play around with 3D printers

Show me the proof!


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LoRa-Wan Kenobi

In the regurgitated words of Michael BublĂ©: It's a new dawn .  It's a new day .  It's a new Star Wars film .  For me .  And I'm (George Lucas, and I'm) feeling good .  Unfortunately for Canadian Mike, the Grammy that year was won by the novelty disco classic with the famous refrain: We love IoT, even in Planet Tatooine * . *Not true. Clearly, the Star Wars producers didn't sincerely mean the last Jedi the previous time around.  Return of the Jedi, released during the decade that spearheaded cultural renaissance 2.0 with the mullet and hair-metal , was less economic with the truth.  Either way, we're going to take inspiration from the impressive longevity of the money-spinning space-opera and reboot our franchise with some Jedi mind tricks.  Except this particular flick doesn't require an ever-growing cast of unrecognisable characters, unless ASCII or UTF counts.  In place of an ensemble gathering of Hollywood stars and starlets, we will b

Beam me up, Rosie!

How do you get from A to B? You can't, as As and Bs are just letters in the alphabet. But if A is your house, and B is a meerkat village at your favourite safari park, you'd probably use a device equipped with GPS.  Not to be confused with UPS, who will deliver you your chosen meerkat through the post. And why on Earth would Rosie Patrol need one? Precisely, it's because she is on Earth that she needs one. Because our planet is rather big. Big enough to get lost in. And we don't want to lose our friendly plastic boxes on wheels. And maybe, eventually when she's clever enough, she'll go and defeat baddies on her own. And return home afterwards for a well deserved Earl Grey tea. Besides, why wouldn't we want to add another three letter acronym to Rosie Patrol's repertoire? All superheroes need: One Raspberry Pi 3, running Raspbian OS Computer from which you are connecting to the Raspberry Pi Probably the most important bit: a GPS r

Tea minus 30

We're fast approaching Christmas time.  And if robots were to make one simple observation about the human species during the Christmas festivities, it's that they watch a lot of TV.  A LOT.  Often, accompanied by an inappropriate amount of greenhouse gas-producing food .  Stuff you don't normally eat during the remainder of the year - for good reason. And most so-called shows on TV are boring to robots like Rosie.  After all, why watch a minor subspecies of the human race - celebrities - stumble awkwardly around the dance floor, dressed like a faulty, sparking circuit board?  Such branch of entertainment doesn't require robots to engage any of their proud circuitry.  Their processors remain idle.  Memory under-utilised. But if robots are to be part of people's homes (and blend in), they need to look at least a little interested in some of this irrational nonsense .  Nobody likes a party pooper .  A killjoy .  And this is where a certain subgenre of TV