Pi Wars – Cambridge, this weekend – spectator tickets still available #PiWars

This weekend, in Cambridge, UK, Pi Wars takes place. This Raspberry Pi robotics challenge competition has been a labour of love for Tim Richardson and myself for the past few years and we’re excited to see all the teams on Saturday and Sunday for our fourth event. We’re pleased, and amazed, to welcome teams from all over the UK as well as International groups from Hong Kong, USA, Malaysia and Turkey.

You can get spectator tickets for the event here and read more information below.


The teams will face the seven challenge courses – Pi Noon, Slightly Deranged Golf, The Duck Shoot, the Straight Line Speed Test, The Minimal Maze, Somewhere Over the Rainbow and the fiendish Obstacle Course (which remains a mystery until the day).


At Pi Wars, we will have an extensive Marketplace featuring many well-known Raspberry Pi equipment vendors, such as The Pi Hut, ModMyPi, Pimoroni and Pi Supply as well as companies such as Rapid Electronics, RasPiO, Boldport (Sunday only), CBiS Education, pi-top, Oh-Bot and more!

Hands-on Robotics

There will also be the opportunity to get hands-on with robots in the Red Robotics robot football arena and the Coretec Robotics Micro Pi Noon course.

Social Media

You can follow the tweets from teams over the weekend by visiting Twitter and the hashtag #PiWars.


Spectator tickets are still available and you can get them here.

Polaroid camera gets a Raspberry Pi makeover with lots of innovation

A crafty maker called Mitxela has taken an old Polaroid camera and converted it to use a Raspberry Pi Zero and a thermal printer. The build itself is interesting and involved replacing the innards with the necessary circuitry for the Pi and printer. Where the magic really lies, though, is in the software. Rather than using a stock Raspbian image, Mitxela crafted his own Linux distro using buildroot that shaves loads of time off the typical boot cycle, taking the boot down to around 2 seconds! For an embedded Pi project, that’s outstanding! You can see a complete build log with dozens of photos here. A video of the camera in operation is below:

Thanks to Hackaday for spotting this one.

Creating a touch keyboard for Sonic Pi on the Raspberry Pi

Robin Newman has taken a Raspberry Pi, a RasPiO Pro HAT and an Adafruit MPR121 touch capacitive breakout and created a touch-sensitive keyboard for Sonic Pi. He’s documented the whole process over on his blog along with all the installation instructions and scripts you need to create your own. Read more here. As he points out, you can do this in a variety of ways. You can see it in action controlling Sonic Pi on a Mac below:

New AIY Project kits coming to the Raspberry Pi – US now, UK later

Google has launched new versions of its two AIY Projects kits, but only to the US first of all.

The new kits come with a bundled Raspberry Pi Zero WH (that’s the pre-soldered version) and an SD card with the software installed, making life a lot easier.

The Vision kit, which moves to version 1.2 after a rather shaky start, also comes with a Pi Camera Module.

Also worth noting is an update and improvement to the documentation over at Google.

The AIY Voice kit, of course, started out as a MagPi giveaway before going on sale.

You can buy the Voice Kit v2 over on Target for $49 and Vision Kit v1.2 from the same store for $90.

You can expect them to hit UK stores in the Summer, according to Billy Rutledge, Google’s Director of AIY Projects.

Thanks to The MagPi for the tip – you can read more over there.

GDPR/Data Protection hits RealVNC users on the Raspberry Pi

Bit of a Public Service Announcement today for RealVNC users.

Adam Byrne from RealVNC has said in a news item that things will need to change with the new General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR) that is coming in at the end of May. RealVNC will no longer be available to users under the age of 16. Instead, they will have to get a parent to sign-up for an account to enable them to use the software.

Existing users will be contacted to declare their age and any account that is currently signed up for by under 16s will be deleted. The same will happen to any account where the user does not respond.

You can read the full news item here.

GDPR is a bit of… I won’t type what I want to… a tough one. It’s quite extensive, a bit painful, but hopefully worthwhile in the end. You can read more about the regulation here.

Using the Re-Speaker 2-Mics Pi pHAT with Google Voice Services on the Raspberry Pi

Ivan Holland over at CPC Maker Space has done a great write-up of this little board that gives your Raspberry Pi ears. He takes you through the steps of installing the software necessary to use Google Voice Services. This makes the pHAT a great, smaller alternative to Google’s own AIY Voice kit. You can read the tutorial here. You can get the Re-Speaker 2-Mics pHAT from CPC or from Seeed Studio, the original makers.