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III. Rosie 2.0

At the end of Rosie Patrol, Rosie received a long overdue makeover, and was given a random digit with a meaningless decimal point for no particular reason.

Yes, please do keep up!  Rosie is now Rosie 2.0, didn't you know?  And we even have a word cloud that goes with it.

With her ineffective decimal point comes great responsibility; and - quite simply - people start to expect more.  Which means we have 10 more mini-trips to take her to places she's not been before... quite literally.  And possibly start to demonstrate the true wonders of robotics and navigation (but we're not promising anything).

1PiAMI HEATUse a DS18B20 digital temperature sensor to take temperature readings, and turn on a LED and fan.  Or alternatively use a DHT11 combined temperature / humidity sensor.
2Crawly creepyStart to make use of your servos to make your robot crawl creepily. And suffer from the cruelties of torque.
32 crawly 2 creepyNope, that wasn't creepy enough. Let's control some LEDs, print off a 3D mask, and replace the servos to make this... creepier.
4Balancing the booksUse a MPU6050 3-axis gyroscope / accelerometer to work out pitch and roll (not rock and roll). Display readings on an atrocious "display" using Python curses.
5Shaken not steeredCrash, bang, wallop! You could have done with a SW-520D tilt / vibration sensor.
6El-oh-wireA post about controlling EL wire using a relay? Or just an excuse to see how many AC/DC song titles can be stowed away in a post.
7Raspberry bye, helloA quick detour away from the Pi to use ESP8266 with a DS18B20 digital temperature sensor to send back readings to the Pi.
8Red current and serialUse ACS712 current sensors, an ADS1115 analogue to digital converter, ESP8266 and Raspberry Pi to monitor servo current draw. Utilise Mosquitto MQTT broker, Flask and SocketIO to transfer and display real-time data.
9Taking a peakWe go trekking in the Brecon Beacons, equipped with a Raspberry Pi and a U-Blox GPS receiver.
10This["orientated"]Confirmed sightings of IoT aliens. Time to build a Raspberry Pi based tracking device, using a GPS receiver and a magnetometer. All in the name of defending Planet Earth, of course.

You'll get to tackle:

  • Of course, the venerable Raspberry Pi returns, complete with Raspbian OS
  • ...And we get to make a new friend: the teeny ESP8266 running MicroPython
  • A barrel full of new hardware is rolled out, like the DS18B20 temperature sensor, DHT11 combined temperature / humidity sensor, SW-520D tilt / vibration sensor, ACS712 current sensor, LEDs, EL wires and ADS1115 analogue to digital converters
  • We're introduced to IMUs... first the MPU6050 3-axis gyroscope / accelerometer, then a MPU9250 with the magnetometer
  • U-Blox GPS receivers (both USB and UART variants) make a return for our GPS projects
  • We get deeper involved in Python, with particular focus on Flask, MQTT and Web Sockets
  • ...And we encounter JavaScript, Socket.IO and HTML5
  • We all love a good display. LCDs, OLEDs and TFTs make long overdue appearances.
  • And last but not least, our 3D printer does a lot more printing

Show me the proof!



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

Battle of BLEtain

The trolling . The doxing . An army of perplexing emojis. And endless links to the same - supposedly funny - viral video of a cat confusing a reflection from a dangling key for a golden hamster, while taking part in the mice bucket challenge. Has social media really been this immense force for good? Has it actually contributed significantly to the continued enlightenment of the human (or feline) race? In order to answer these poignant existential questions about the role of prominent platforms such as Critter, StinkedIn and Binterest, employing exceptional scientific rigour equal to that demonstrated by Theranos , we're going to set up a ground-breaking experiment using the Bluetooth Low Energy feature of MicroPython v1.12, and two ESP32 development boards with inexplicable hatred for one another.  And let them hurl quintessentially British expressions (others call them abuse) at each other like two Wiltshire residents who have had their internet access curbed by the co

Hard grapht

You would all be forgiven for assuming that bar , pie and queue line are favourite pastimes of the British .  Yet, in fact – yes, we did learn this back in GCSE maths – they are also mechanisms through which meaningless, mundane data of suspect origin can be given a Gok Wan -grade makeover, with the prime objective of padding out biblical 187-page PowerPoint presentations and 871-page Word reports (*other Microsoft productivity tools are available).  In other words, documents that nobody has the intention of ever reading.  But it becomes apparent over the years; this is perhaps the one skill which serves you well for a lifetime in certain careers.  In sales.  Consultancy.  Politics.  Or any other profession in which the only known entry requirement is the ability to chat loudly over a whizzy graph of dubious quality and value, preferably while frantically waving your arms around. Nevertheless, we are acutely conscious of the fact that we have spent an inordinate amount