I have to thank all visitors showing an enormous interest to our booth at the MakerFaire Berlin 2017. Special thanks go to James Mitchell from the Raspberry Jam Berlin who organized all items on display at the booth and arranged an amazing “Pi-Wars” show, popping hundreds of balloons!
And last but not least I want to thank our neighbors from Pimoroni. I enjoyed to meet your fabulous team – see you next year!
Issue 57 of the official MagPi magazine contains a Do-It-Yourself Artificial Intelligence kit made by Google. The build instructions inside issue 57 are straightforward, so that you can talk to an intelligent device within minutes.
However, the installation walk-through in the MagPi57 did not work without problems, therefore I recommend to follow the instructions on Google’s AIY Project Page.
Speech recognition is an amazing feature for the Pi and if you ever wanted to know what “the answer to life, the universe and everything ” is, you should go for it!
The kit turned out to be very popular and it is currently difficult to get hold on it. It is sold out at many places :-(.
Continue reading Voice-control RC sockets with Google’s AIY Project Kit
motionEye is a great piece of software for controlling network cameras with a Raspberry Pi. With motionEye you can watch live video stream, detect motion, record images and videos.
Starting with version 0.30, motionEye can be configured to overlay buttons on top of a camera frame. These buttons will then execute custom commands when clicked. Thus, it is possible control to control a pan-tilt bracket or to toggle IR light for a PiNoir camera.
Here I mounted a PiCam onto a cheap (0.40 €) pan-tilt bracket with two SG90 servos from Aliexpress.
Continue reading Add action buttons to motionEye for controlling pan-tilt brackets
It is a major problem in almost all large German cities, that fine particulate matter is frequently exceeding its maximum permissible value of 50 μg/m3. In a special issue of the Make Magazine (IoT special 01/2017), I read an article about the Nova PM SDS011 sensor, which is using the principle of laser scattering to measure the concentration of particulate matter between 0.3 to 10 μm in the air. The sensor is cheap (about 20 Euro) and easy to use, since it communicates via serial connection.
For placing the sensor into an enclosure, it is equipped with a nozzle that allows to connect a hose of max. 1 m length. The UART communication protocol requires a bit rate of 9600 baud, with 8 data bit, no parity and one stop bit.
Continue reading Monitoring air quality with a Nova PM2.5/PM10 Sensor and Python
For quite a while I am monitoring temperature and humidity in each single room of my apartment. I was inspired by several Raspberry projects, featuring a “Garden Pi“, to monitor my house plants as well, using a probe to measure moisture level of soil.
On the net, one can find many low-cost sensors which are compatible with Arduino or Raspberry Pi. They usually consist of simple PCBs with two electrodes which are pushed into the earth. Moisture is determined by measuring conductivity of the soil which isn’t very reliable for long-term measurements. Cheap sensors are often affected by heavy corrosion, so that Copper ions will leach out and might poison your plants.
In contrast, sensors measuring soil moisture levels by capacitive sensing rather than resistive sensing are much more suitable, because they are made of corrosion resistant material which gives them an excellent service life.
Continue reading A Raspberry Pi Moisture Sensor to Monitor Your Plants