Recently, American GPS and fitness company Garmin suffered a cyber-security nightmare: a ransomware attack. This resulted in a three-day outage between 24th and 26th July 2020. The systems seem to be coming up again now and blogger Alex Eames decided to grab his exercise data from Garmin just in case. This is done using Python and a library called garminexport. You can read all about how to do it yourself via RasPi.TV.
Ryan Walmsley has just launched a Kickstarter for the SnowPi: a lovely little Christmas-themed add-on for the Raspberry Pi and an adapter to make it work with the micro:bit. The pre-assembled board is in the shape of a Snowman and features 12 RGB LEDs. It’s a fun board to have on display during the festive season and Ryan’s launched it in enough time to get everything produced and shipped before Christmas. If you’re interested, head over to Kickstarter and take a look at the pledges which start from £8 + shipping. The campaign video is below 🙂
Linux Air Combat looks like a great flight simulator, but it has previously struggled to be installed and run on the Raspberry Pi. Lack of processor speed and memory has meant that the Pi hasn’t quite been up to the challenge. Now, great news from B Bosen who has reported on the Raspberry Pi Forums that LAC works on the 4GB Raspberry Pi 4. You can watch a video of the simulator in action below:
If you’d like to install it and have a go yourself, you can find out how to do it on the video below:
An installer for the Pi 4 is available here and you can find out tonnes of information about the software on the author’s website.
It sounds, according to this page, that you might run into dependency issues, so feel free to comment below as to what you’ve experienced and how you’ve solved them (if you did!)
Big thanks to Simon Walters on Twitter for spotting this on the forums!
Researchers from Cornell and the University of Wisconsin, Madison, have designed a wrist-mounted device that tracks the entire human hand in 3D. The device (pictured) uses the contours from the wearer’s wrist to create an abstraction of 20 finger joint positions. The FingerTrak bracelet uses low-resolution thermal cameras that read the wrist contours and a tethered Raspberry Pi 4 and machine learning to teach itself what the hand is doing based on these readings.
Cheng Zhang, assistant professor of information science and director of Cornell’s new SciFi Lab, where FingerTrak was developed said:
“The most novel technical finding in this work is discovering that the contours of the wrist are enough to accurately predict the entire hand posture,” Zhang said. “This finding allows the reposition of the sensing system to the wrist, which is more practical for usability.”
You can purchase the paper written by the team here (there is some supplemental material available for free). VentureBeat have covered the story here and the Cornell Chronicle covered it here. You can view a video about the project below:
At the end of April, a new, high-definition camera was launched for the Raspberry Pi. Now that people have had the kit for a few months, a lot of projects are starting to come out that really show off the camera. I thought I’d do a round-up post.
David Booth wrote an excellent guest post on this very blog with his bare-bones high-quality camera rig. You can read the whole piece here.
Pistol Grip camera
Jenny List has written an interesting piece on camera form-factors over on Hackaday. She’s talked about some interesting designs and shapes for cameras and then developed her own one with a pistol grip (as pictured) which uses the high-definition camera. It’s an interesting demand and, as she points out, is reminiscent of 8mm cine cameras. All the CAD files are over on GitHub for this one.
3D camera using two modules
In a recent MagPI magazine article, PJ Evans wrote about how he’d taken two Raspberry Pi Zeros and attached a pair of high-quality cameras. Using a 3D-printed mount, he’d managed to arrange the two devices so that they were at the right angle to get a good, solid, high quality 3D image which was then displayed using a smartphone and Google Cardboard. One Zero is used as the master to trigger the two cameras and provide a web interface and a clever bit of GPIO bridge-wiring means that only one power supply is necessary. You can see the whole project over on the MagPi website.
Pierre-yves Baloche has written a fascinating series of posts in which he details the usage of the Pi camera and then the creation of a 3D-printed enclosure to hold the high-quality camera. Code and 3D design files for the project are available on GitHub.
Recently, Pimoroni announced the availability of a microscopic lens and stand for the high-definition camera. Currently, they are both out-of-stock but Les Pounder, over at Tom’s Hardware managed to get one. He’s written an extensive review of the kit over on that site which you can read here.
That’s it for this roundup. Hopefully at least one of those articles will be of interest 🙂
Tom Murray, an experienced Kickstarter campaign creator, and his company SmartiPi are back in the case game with a new Kickstarter campaign. This time, they’ve developed a new case for the Raspberry Pi and official touchscreen. Compatible with all 40-pin Pis, the case comes in two sizes (the choice is made after the campaign) and is called the SmartiPi Touch Pro.
The case comes with inserts to cover the USB/Ethernet port and also the in-built camera hole which is brought around the front. It also comes with two fans to ventilate the case which is expected to be made in injection moulded ABS plastic.
For a single case, you’re looking at $28 plus shipping (which is only $6 to the UK and free for USA, just for reference) and the costs come down slightly for multiples.
It looks like a great case, especially for those who want a static display. The extra space afforded by the new design means you could add a HAT to increase the functionality and Tom has run several excellent campaigns which have delivered. So, take a look at the Kickstarter campaign which runs to the 15th June.