Counting penguins with the Raspberry Pi

Cambridge Consultants and the Zoological Society of London (ZSL) have teamed up to count penguins in Antarctica, having previously used similar equipment to protect rhinos in Kenya and other far-off countries. Pushing the operational limits of our favourite little computer to the max by subjecting it to temperatures below -42°C, the Pi is placed inside a transparent box. The box contains other equipment which takes photos (both normal and in night vision using infrared) and then the Pi is used to transmit the photographs over an Iridium satellite network. They’ve been in place since January this year and have been steadfastly sending back photos ever since. The photos are then analysed to determine how many penguins there are. The Raspberry Pi Foundation has the full story here.

Image credit: Alasdair Davies, ZSL

Raspberry Pi GPIO Xmas Tree reaction game

Martin O’Hanlon got hold of one of Andrew Gale’s GPIO Xmas Trees and programmed it as a reaction game. Here’s how the game plays out:

The game is pretty simple, random leds are lit up on the Xmas tree, the player has to press the button when the green led on the top of the tree is lit up.  The quicker you are, the higher you score.

If you’ve got one of these trees, take a look at Martin’s post here – he’s provided all the code you need!

Competitions galore for Raspberry Pi robotics kits


This month’s Linux User and Developer Magazine (issue 147) is a robotics special and, very flatteringly, they’ve based it all on the challenges from Pi Wars! It’s an excellent series of articles from the magazine that has proved itself to be ‘Best for Raspberry Pi’. In this issue, they cover all sorts of robots that are ideal for challenges such as an obstacle course, line follower, sumo battle, proximity alert and robot golf, including giving you the code to help you complete your project.

As part of the issue, they’re running online competitions to win the featured kits. You will need a copy of the magazine in front of you to enter as all the questions are based on the featured articles. Get hold of a copy and enter all the competitions below for your chance to win: