Add personality to your projects with the McRoboFace for the Raspberry Pi


Gareth over at 4tronix has just launched a Kickstarter campaign to fund McRoboFace: 17 bright (Neopixel-type) RGB LEDs in a “friendly face” formation. The board is controllable from a Raspberry Pi, Crumble, Arduino and other base boards. I’ve featured the board previously – Robin Newman got hold of an early version and has been using it to highlight sound effects from Sonic Pi (view the video here or below).

You can currently (super earlybird) get hold of a McRoboFace for £5 (plus shipping) from the Kickstarter campaign page. It’s a bit of fun and seems to be a very versatile little board, useful for indicator lights or just for adding emotion to your projects.

WiFi Whisperer is a creepy use of the Raspberry Pi, but effective

Photo: Kyle McDonald

Photo: Kyle McDonald

Recently at Moogfest, which is a music and technology festival set in North Carolina, artists Kyle McDonald and Surya Mattu exhibited an installation piece known as the WiFI Whisperer. The Whisperer was connected to the festival’s wifi network and sniffed out data contained on the mobile phones and devices that were also connected to the network. As people walked by, their devices would be monitored and accessed and the resultant data displayed on monitors. The Whisperer also ‘whispered’ the information out of attached speakers. The whole set-up used eight Raspberry Pis. You can read more from McDonald in this Wired article, along with suggested ways of preventing this kind of thing from happening.

Robot face conversation using Sonic Pi on a Raspberry Pi


Robin Newman, who managed to do far more with Sonic Pi than I ever could, has done it again. This time, he’s programmed Sonic Pi with some voice samples which sends commands, via a (pretty darned excellent) PiCon Zero controller board, to two 4tronix McRoboFaces (yet to be put on sale, but I’m sure it’s only a matter of time!). This makes them have a conversation and even involves the telling of a (cracker-worthy) joke. Here’s Robin to tell you all about it:

Giveaway to celebrate my Raspberry Pi Birthday


Or should that be Pirthday? Hmmm… Could be “a thing”… Maybe not…

Four years ago today, I received my first Raspberry Pi!

It’s been quite a journey since then. I started work on my first project in the first couple of months – the Picorder. Three years later, I was still working on it. My first exposure to the Raspberry Pi community was the Milton Keynes Raspberry Jam, run by all-round brilliant person Peter Onion. There, I met a lot of people who I’m still proud to call ‘friend’. The community has been, and continues to be, a lifeline for me. The folks at the Raspberry Pi Foundation, likewise, have been fantastic and I even worked there for a few days on the Jam section of their website. More friendships formed. Probably the biggest thing to happen to me is that I re-started the Cambridge Raspberry Jam and then later, with my friend Tim Richardson we expanded it to what it is today – an event regularly attracting around 200 people. Add to that our involvement with the Raspberry Pi Big Birthday Weekend and, of course, Pi Wars, it’s certainly kept me busy for four years!

To celebrate the occasion, I’m running a competition. The winner of the competition will receive a Raspberry Pi 3 plus a RasPiO Analog Zero board that allows you to read up to 8 analog inputs and gives you a small prototyping area. It’s a kit but it will be all soldered up for you (if you choose).

To enter the competition, visit this page and fill in the form. Entry closes on the 30th June sometime after noon. If you win, I’ll contact you after that date to arrange for delivery. If you’d like, you can have it delivered to someone other than yourself! I won’t use the captured data for anything else, so don’t worry about spammage. 🙂