Dexter Industries launches new spy-flavoured Kickstarter featuring the Raspberry Pi and lots of sensors!


Dexter Industries, who previously launched BrickPi, Arduberry and GoPiGo (and a few others) on Kickstarter, have just launched their new campaign. Called Spy vs sPi, the new product is “an engineering adventure that puts real purpose to basic design and programming skills”. Unpacking that statement, and looking at the campaign, you find that there are three aspects to the offering: the hardware, the software and the documentation.

The hardware is based around the GrovePi which is an easy-to-use system of plug-in sensors. You attach the GrovePi board to your Pi, then plug in your sensors and away you go with your code.

The software and documentation is intertwined – Spy vs sPi is a series of programming tutorials and exercises which are based on an espionage theme and teach children, and adults for that matter, how to program. The worksheet material uses a ‘capture the flag’ gaming activity to make the projects fun and practical.

The system isn’t cheap, but it is good value. It is $275 plus shipping (Earlybird, $300 thereafter) for the full kit which includes the following:

  • GrovePi Base Kit (board & all 13 sensors)
  • Spi v. sPi Missions Booklet
  • Acrylic Sensor Mounts
  • GrovePi Acrylic Case
  • Raspberry Pi 3
  • microSD Card with Dexter Industries Custom Software
  • Mini Wi-Fi Dongle (custom Dexter Industries)
  • Ethernet Cable
  • Power Wall Adapter
  • Cyber Missions

There are other pledge levels which cater for those who already have the Raspberry Pi, the GrovePi and for previous GoBox backers (who will have some of the sensors already). There are also ‘fun’ backing levels where you can get the logo as a 3D-printed thingy or a t-shirt. Shipping to the UK/Europe is a bit steep, though, so be aware if you’re from this side of the pond.

I wish Dexter Industries well with their campaign which is seeking to raise $30k. I love the whole idea of gamifying learning to code and who doesn’t love a good spy game? Take a look at the campaign here or view the campaign video below.

Raspberry Pi seeks videographer to join the team

Raspberry Pi in Cambridge is looking for a videographer to join the team:

We’re looking for a videographer to join the creative team at Raspberry Pi in Cambridge. This role will suit someone with experience working in an environment where video tasks can be very varied, with the flexibility to work on filming, video production and editing across several different kinds of content. Ideally, you’ll also have experience of online and print-based illustration and design, typesetting and photography.

For more information, see the online job description.

Build a Gibsonian cyberdeck from a Raspberry Pi and a Commodore 64

D10D3 on Imgur (and Twitter) has taken an old (non-functioning) Commodore 64, a Raspberry Pi 3, various connectors and some custom-fabricated bits and pieces and created his very own version of the Ono-Sendai Cyberspace 7 cyberdeck from cyberpunk author William Gibson’s Sprawl trilogy.  He’s uploaded lots of pictures of the build onto Imgur and has also written up the project as a how-to here.

Real sketching with the Raspberry Pi – Blackstripes

Jeroen van Goor and Johan ten Broeke from the Netherlands saw a V-plotter on the Polargraph website and decided that they wanted their own version to create works of art. What they came up with was Blackstripes. Powered by a Raspberry Pi and featuring some stepper motors and wooden arms, the machines (which come in a variety of designs, sizes and configurations) are able to use many different “stick” drawing implements (such as pencils, pens, markers etc) to create stunning works of art. You can see more about the three different models they’ve created in the video below and read more on their website. You can even buy a mini version of Blackstripes so you can create your own business! You can also order art pieces by uploading your own image to their website. Prices are reasonable for the kind of effect they deliver.

Turn your Raspberry Pi Zero into a USB plug-in dongle

Hacker NODE has worked out that if you solder a full-sized USB male connector to the data USB pads and power/ground lines on a Raspberry Pi Zero, you can just plug the Zero into your PC like a dongle and connect to it. Obviously building on Andrew Mulholland’s work to get this working in the first place, it’s a nice hack that requires electrical tape to complete it (as all good hacks should!). You can see the full tutorial in the video above.