Formula Pi – self-driving Raspberry Pi racing robots – Kickstarter

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Pi Borg pride themselves on having the best robot motor controller boards on the market. They’ve come up with a really interesting idea: a league of autonomous racing robots which use the Raspberry Pi. You download the base code, alter it to make it competitive and then send them the program. They then load their bots up with the code and set them racing, broadcasting the race live across the web. They’re running a Kickstarter to fund the league. Well worth a look – visit the Kickstarter here.

Raspberry Pi Compute Module-powered CubeSat mock-up used in classrooms

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NASA has taken the Raspberry Pi Compute Module, developed their own host board, added a few other components, and created the Pi-Sat (the innards of which are displayed in the picture above). The Pi-Sat is being used in classrooms to teach students about these small satellites and to allow them to experiment with programming the ‘fake’ satellite to take readings and send data. Although the 3D-printed case (pictured below) for the Pi-Sat means that it is unlikely to ever actually make it into space, NASA hopes that to engage youngsters in this exciting industry. Read more here.

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New MagPi Essentials book focuses on Minecraft on the Raspberry Pi

The MagPi team has been at it again! Edited by The MagPi’s Russell Barnes and Rob Zwetsloot and with contributions from Sam Aaron, Boris Adryan, Martin O’Hanlon and Jasper & Ozzy Hayler-Goodall, their new Essentials book focuses on Minecraft Pi Edition. Covering all kinds of topics including using Python and NodeRED to hack the Minecraft world, this book is sure to appeal to anyone who wants to learn how to program through gaming.

You can download the PDF or buy it digitally from The MagPi website.

Taking pictures of bats at night with a Raspberry Pi

Martin Mander recently noticed that his back garden attracted bats. Inspired by this, he set about creating a camera that could see in the dark and take pictures of the bats as they came flying in. He repurposed a hand-held drill to provide power and added IR LEDs to illuminate the field of view. He used, of course, a Pi NoIR camera to take the footage. You can read more, and imitate his project, by viewing this Instructable.

Controlling a toy crane from Scratch on a Raspberry Pi using the SenseHAT

Albert Hickey wanted a new project to take to Jams. He’d seen the micro:bit controlling a toy crane so he got hold of one at Home Bargains. He used the SenseHAT as a controller and, thanks to a handy tutorial from Keith he was able to use the HAT as well as hook up a motor controller board. He made the whole thing portable by cramming everything into a box. The programming was done in Scratch! Read more about the project here.