Find out who’s at home or in the office by using a Raspberry Pi and Initial State

Rachel Gregory, over at IoT company Initial State, has just published an excellent tutorial that takes you through the steps required to write a “who’s at home/who’s in the office” service. The tutorial uses a Raspberry Pi Zero (any Pi will work) to detect devices connected to a wifi network. It then does a look-up against lists of people and MAC addresses to determine who is connected. The results are streamed to Initial State where a dashboard is created. It’s an excellent example of using services, scripting and programming together and while it’s not perfect – what happens if someone forgets their phone? – it’s a cool little Internet of Things project. Take a look at the tutorial here.

Automated game-playing solenoids highlights image processing with a Raspberry Pi


 took a course about image analysis in which students were asked to create a project to do the analysis. They were allowed to use OpenCV but none of the in-built filters – everything had to be done from scratch. Kristian’s project focused (literally) on a smartphone screen playing a simple game. In two columns, humans and zombies move downwards to the bottom of the screen. Zombies need to be taken out using screen taps and humans must be left alone. The project took photographs of the screen and then used image filtering techniques to remove everything but green. A set of solenoids were then programmed to “touch” the screen to remove the zombies. It’s a hell of a project – and you can read more on Kristian’s blog. He has published his paper, in which there is much more technical detail here (PDF) and all the code and documentation is on his GitHub account. You can see the project in action in the video below:

New issue of The MagPi out today from Raspberry Pi

The new issue of Raspberry Pi magazine The MagPi is out today and features a beginners guide, an Apollo software special and a round-up of community projects. There are also several tutorials and reviews of add-on boards and books. You can download it for free or purchase it via the App Store or Google Play. It is also available to buy from good newsagents and supermarkets.

Developer seeks help to update node-webkit (NW.js) for Raspberry Pi

NW.js (previously known as node-webkit) lets you call all Node.js modules directly from DOM and enables a new way of writing applications with all Web technologies.

Joan has been working on a binary port of the technology to ARMv6 so that it runs on Raspbian. They’ve now managed it and it runs on both the Pi 1 and the Pi 3 (making it ARMv7 compatible as well). Currently, the source of NW.js and Node.js are quite old so Joan is seeking collaboration from other developers to port over newer versions.

So, if you’re interested in collaboration, or you’re interested in downloading the software, head over to the GitHub repository.

Raspberry Pi Zero used to bring new life to GameBoy Advance

Over on Imgur, user  has documented the process of turning a GameBoy Advance into a Pi-powered retro gaming console. Chosen primarily because of the shoulder buttons, the GBA has had its guts ripped out and replaced by a couple of custom circuit boards. Bizarrely, he is using both battery power and mains power rather than going for an integrated solution, but it’s still a pretty neat job, especially the main circuit board which is a work of art in itself. Take a look at the gallery and walk-through here.