Robot that plays Connect 4 | Last on the list is a project that both kids and adults alike can appreciate—David Pride’s Connect 4 Robot, which uses a Raspberry Pi and a MeArm kit to play the game. The kit itself is mounted onto a spare rail taken from a 3D printer and provides stability for the robotic arm to move and grasp the game’s checkers that drop out of a dispenser. A pixi controller from Astro Designs handles all the servomotors for the robotic claw and the railing attachment as well as an LCD message display. To get the robot to think, Patrick turned to the minimax algorithm, which uses a ‘tree’ searching method, which ‘looks’ for all possible moves in the game and chooses its move based on that data. To see Patrick’s complete build head here (http://www.piandchips.co.uk/uncategorized/4-bot-a-raspberry-pi-connect-4-robot/).
Photobooths | Photobooths are a great novelty machine that we’ve all used at one time or another and can now be built at home as well thanks to a detailed guide from Patrick Bronneberg. The build isn’t that complicated and uses an UDOO Dual along with an DSLR camera for imaging applications while an Arduino controls the booths various buttons—big red start button on the front and two on the side for how many pictures are printed out from an internal machine. Users simply press the button and a series of four photos are taken in black and white, which are shown on the front display. The collage is then stored locally and awaits the printing process, which is accessed using a pair of buttons designated for either one or two prints, which are printed internally and sent out a slot on the side of the booth. To see Patrick’s complete build along with the accompanying code head here (https://udoo.hackster.io/patser/udoo-dslr-photobooth-1ab84c?ref=platform&ref_id=497_recent___&offset=62).
DroniXcar | RC vehicles are everywhere and still a widely popular hobby among enthusiasts, however most of those vehicles are not controlled using a smartphone like Team Dronix—Alter Ego’s. The team designed their DroniXcar around a gutted Himoto Buggy with an UDOO Quad Board outfitted with a Wi-Fi module and a camera module for streaming video. An app allows users to control the RC using a smartphone with gestures- tilting the phone from side to side will turn the car in that direction and so forth. Controlling the speed is done through the app’s push button controls, allowing it to speed up or slow down on command. To see the team’s still-in-progress project build head here (https://udoo.hackster.io/team-dronix-alter-ego/dronixcar-37b81a?ref=platform&ref_id=497_recent___&offset=25).
Power Sunflower dual-axis solar tracking system | Another interesting UDOO-based project comes from Valentino Lancellotti with his Power Sunflower dual-axis solar tracking system, which follows the sun as it transitions over the sky, thereby providing maximum power collection. The build lies on the simple side and features an UDOO with an ITEAD Dual Step Motor Driver Shield, which controls two servomotors to track the sun based on data collected by four LDR photoresistors. To see the complete build along with code for the UDOO head here (https://udoo.hackster.io/Valentino/power-sunflower-ab1598?ref=platform&ref_id=497_recent___&offset=30)
Wall-E upgrade | Pixar’s Wall-E is a good movie, at least it is for Vincenzo Siriaani, whose love for the film inspired him to create his own robot using an ODROID-U3 and a U-Command RC Wall-E toy. His build, which is still a work in progress, goes beyond being a simple RC toy as it has the ability for facial recognition and increased animation—meaning his eyes and arms are actuated using a series of servomotors. Specifically, two for the eyes, two for the head (pan/tilt) and two for the arms. He used Python 2.7 to code three aspects of his build—facial recognition/detection, receiving commands and video. To see the first part of his build head download a PDF of the magazine here (http://magazine.odroid.com/wp-content/uploads/ODROID-Magazine-201409.pdf#page=18).
Self driving RC car | It may not be a full-sized vehicle but Zheng Wang’s Self Driving RC Car does everything Google’s can (except for parallel parking) only on a smaller scale. Of course, this project takes advantage of the Raspberry Pi as well and uses a PiCam and an ultrasonic sensor for collision avoidance. OpenCV controls the vehicles steering, Haar-cascade classifiers are used for stoplight/stop sign detection and an Arduino handles the RC, which gives instructions to the car based on the data collected. To see a complete build walkthrough with more in-depth information head here (https://zhengludwig.wordpress.com/projects/self-driving-rc-car/).
PiNoculars | In another ‘why didn’t I think of that’ entry comes Josh William’s PiNoculars, which combines a Raspberry Pi 2 and binoculars to capture long-range images in the wild. The build is pretty straightforward and uses the components listed above along with an Adafruit LCD touchscreen and a custom Raspbian image to take and process the images. The assemble is connected to the binoculars (can use a telescope and microscope as well) using a laser-cut piece of wood that attaches to the hardware, which is known as the ‘over-engineered version’. The other version of connecting the assembly is known as the quick & dirty version and involves some foam and electrical tape. To see a complete walkthrough of Josh’s build head here (http://www.instructables.com/id/PiNoculars-Raspberry-Pi-Binoculars/?ALLSTEPS).
Submarine ROV | While Niels Affourtit’s Raspberry Pi Submarine ROV looks like a simple build but it really isn’t, at least not for novices. Niels designed his ROV using a PiCam mounted on a tiltable 3D printed housing to stream HD video and 3D printed propellers for navigation. He outfitted the sub with a BOSCH BMP180 Atmospheric Pressure Sensor, an ADXL345 Digital 3-Axis Gravity Acceleration Sensor and an HMC5883L 3-axis compass module to garner data such as water depth and position. The submersible is controlled and monitored using a Raspberry Pi tethered to the sub, which can operate at depths of 12-meters and lower (technically but hasn’t been tested yet). Information, such as tilt, roll, temperature, heading and pressure, is updated continually on a web page in real time. Affourtit’s total build time was 250-hours and cost almost $400 to build.
PiCam security camera | Security cam projects based on the Raspberry Pi are incredibly popular and can be found almost everywhere online. Adafruit capitalized on that popularity and upped the ante by adding sensor data to the images as well. Their PiCam platform acts similar to Nest and uses two RPi’s—one for sending and one for receiving. The sender board is outfitted with a Pi camera along with a MCP9808 temperature sensor that collects data and correlates it with each image and uploads it Adafruit’s adafruit.io. The receiver acts as a dashboard that retrieves the information and displays it as a data feed that can be accessed from anywhere.
HoloPainting using 24 Raspberry Pi | The Raspberry Pi is the popular defacto board when it comes to SBCs and Austrian-based film production company Film Spektakel tasked 24 of them to create their HoloPainting tech- a technique that combines stop motion, light painting and hyperlapse to create animated 3D holograms. The company used 24 Pi cameras positioned in a circle to create a massive 3D scanner and shoot the subject in the center with an 83-milisecond delay, capturing the movement. The subject is then cut from each picture and placed on black-mat background, which was then painted with a pixelstick (with 200 LEDs) to create the incredible animations.