Skip to main content

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 dawnIt's a new dayIt's a new Star Wars filmFor meAnd 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 lastJedi 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 be assembling together a…

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 OSComputer from which you are connecting to the Raspberry Pi Probably the most important bit: a GPS receiver thingmy. …

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 entertainment co…