Stargazing tapestry created using a Raspberry Pi-enabled knitting machine

Australian software engineer Sarah Spencer has taken a Raspberry Pi and an Arduino-compatible board and written some PHP and Python code to interface to hack a Brother KM950i knitting machine. The resultant set-up allows her to send an image to the machine over her network with more than two colours in any single row of knitting. Her latest project, Stargazing: A Knitted Tapestry, measures 4.6 metres (15 feet) wide and 2.8 metres (9 feet) high and was displayed at, and was funded by, recent geek festival EMF Camp where I was privileged to see it up-close-and-personal:

The work had been embedded with LEDs that lit up constellations. You could request a light-up from a website which was then sent over to the tapestry. I’m not sure if this involved a Pi too, but either way it was very clever, though non-functioning when we visited. You can see Spencer giving a talk about the knitting machine at EMF Camp here and you can read a bit more here, where there are links to her website.

Cotswold Raspberry Jam – Saturday, 15th September – get your free tickets

Cotswold Raspberry Jam is back, after the summer break, on Saturday 15 September from 1-4pm in Cheltenham. Visit their website to get free tickets.

All equipment is provided, you don’t need to bring anything. The Jam is suitable for ages 7 to adult. No experience is necessary. There will be lots of games, robots and a quadcopter demonstration. Tutorials this month are:

  • 1:30pm & 2:30pm – Light Sensor Nightlight (two identical sessions)
    Program your own nightlight that automatically turns on when it gets dark. Take the components home for free so you can use it in your bedroom!
  • 1:30pm – LED Lightsabre
    Make your own mini lightsabre and program it to change colour! Again, a free electronics kit is provided.
  • 2:30pm – Minecraft Village
    Learn to build a house with code, and then run the program several times to create a whole village.

In addition, if you can bring your own computing or electronics project, that would be great, and the best one will win a prize. It doesn’t have to be a Raspberry Pi project. You can turn up early from 11am if you need time to set up your project.

Once again, if you’d like to attend, visit their website to get free tickets.

Build a Holo Cube using a Raspberry Pi and a hologram pyramid

Michael Darby has taken a 5 inch LCD screen, a holographic pyramid, a Skywriter HAT and, of course, a Raspberry Pi and created a Holo Cube. By moving his hand over the top of the Skywriter HAT, he can manipulate a 3D-projected image within the pyramid.

You can see it in action below and read more about how to do it yourself over on his blog.

Back to the Future clock powered by a Raspberry Pi

Instructables user  has created this lovely, chunky Back to the Future-inspired clock. Audio capabilities are provided via a Pimoroni pHAT DAC and controlling it all is a Raspberry Pi Zero W. As well as the time, which it can display in various formats, it can also show the weather forecast (courtesy of a feed from his Arduino-powered weather station). Read a complete bill-of-materials and a tutorial here. You can see it in action below:

Smile-activated catapult uses a Raspberry Pi to detect and reward smiling faces

Ben Brabyn wanted to encourage his friends and family to smile a bit more and so he came up with the solution: marshmellows! A Raspberry Pi and a webcam are used to detect a smiling face and then a hacked toy catapult is used to launch marshmellows at the user. He’s used a MotoZero motor controller from The Pi Hut to control the catapult and then written some Python code using OpenCV to read the image from the webcam and detect the smile.

You can see it in operation in the video below and read how to do it yourself on this Instructable.