Raspberry Pi, the Internet of Things. I’ve looked at these and thought “how cool. I wonder what useful thing I can make with one of those. Well, this is for those ideas. It’s also about programming in Python and any other thing related to the R-Pi.
Thanks to the people at Core Electronics (oh, don’t worry, they got their coins….) my package arrived in quick order. It’s all there, too! (Not that I was expecting anything different.
The Pi is out of the box and then I realise I didn’t have a spare Ethernet cable. I mean, I probably do but “That Box” isn’t anywhere I can find. (My wife likes to chuck anything out that isn’t a pair of high heels…)
And, of course, I stick the Micro SD card into it’s adapter and into the side of my laptop, and wouldn’t you know it? It’s not recognised! Yay for me.
So I can’t get the Pi running tonight. It will have to wait until morning, which is frustrating.
I’m getting into robotics and have a project in mind: build a
motorised fridge trolley to cart my 12v Car Fridge around at festivals.
The idea was partially inspired by our trip to the Big Red Bash (opens a new tab or window) this year (2019) – a 3 day concert event near Birdsville – where a gentleman had a cart with a 12v battery, his 35-40l car fridge and a solar panel. (The other part of m was getting my latest (2018) job after 4 weeks of playing with Lego Mindstorm Robotics Kits.
He almost got it right: He still had to pull it, loaded with a full
fridge, camp chairs and some backpacks, up to a kilometer through a
fine, powdery bulldust.
Now, thanks to genetic bad luck, my knees hurt all the time, as does
my back and my hips. And I can imagine my darling wife wanting to stack
enough bags full of jackets, crackers & chips, and other activities
to entertain her ADHD/Autistic husband (that’s me, in case you’re
wondering.) So I can’t imagine pulling this thing inside, let alone a
kilometre through that gunk.
At first I thought I’d just wack a motor on it, with a potentiometer
to vary the speed and some kind of switch trigger on the steering
handle. But then I thought “This could end up being the Robotics project I’ve been looking for.”
And I was right.
Ideally, I want this robot to follow me along with some form of
beacon (I’m yet to decide on GPS or an RF beacon) and I’m looking to
have in-build sensors so that people can’t be within a set distance
(~1m) for safety’s sake. In closer quarters, where people are bound to
want to come in for a peek, I want to be able to be steer/drive the
“robot” with a RC unit similar to what you’d find with an RC Car.
That got me thinking. What else could this thing be used for? In keeping with the Minimum Viable Product methodology of Agile.
My wife is an avid (read: maniac) netball player and
we live around 3 klms from the netball fields. An easy walk there and
back. She always complains that she can’t ride because she needs to take
a drink and a bag and, generally, a chair and some shade so she can
hang around and watch other games Then the boss complains that finding a
car park is stupidly difficult. She wants to walk (or ride her bike)
but can’t and take all the stuff.
So, this “robot” would be ideal. Without the fridge it could carry
our 3m x 3m self-supporting cover or could have a car awning mounted to
the side. It could carry a chair, and a backpack with her stuff in it.
If I build it modular, I could almost fit it with a little lockable
cupboard…. Run it along the formed path at 10kph for 3klms behind her on
There are a multitude of other uses.
I looked at putting continuous tracks of it for taking it down the beach (or to Moreton Island (opens in new tab or window), for instance ) for the day with the fridge, and our 3m x 3m shade strapped to it. Then, why not put a change of clothes & a swag with it? Or mount a car awning to the side and use that?
The issue I’ve found with that is that it’s impossible to get 6-8in (~155-205mm) continuous tracks. The size is too small to be industrial, and way too big for anything hobby. They would have to be specially made, making them obscenely expensive. If you have any ideas here, or would like to sponsor this project, please contact me (opens in new tab or window)!
But, there are so many other uses for one of these units.
Picnics in the park where the bbqs are 15 kilometres from the carpark, that’s
even if you can get one nearby…. Other festivals…. Days at the beach (to the
dune’s edge)… and so on.
BUT First, We Prototype
BUT, I want to build a prototype first. While I’m a confident
programmer, and I know enough about electronics to get me by, I watched a
million YouTube vids – to point where the dog escaped the yard (claims
he was bored) and my wife was ready to divorce me (She’s even taken off
to Cairns for the week, for respite, she says – even though it’s work.)
but I came across the DF Robot Devastator Platform.
And LOVE it! I just love the look of it.
So,. that’s where we’re at for the minute. Just at a concept stage.
But have been using Agile tools (with an organisation of 1) to map out