Sunday, April 06, 2014

SensorTag and Raspberry Pi revisted

A year ago I posted some notes on my experiments with the Texas Instruments SensorTag and the Raspberry Pi - Raspberry Pi and TI CC2541 SensorTag.  From the comments received it's apparent that several others have done much the same.  So, thanks to their feedback this weekend I updated my ble-sensor-pi  github repository with a fix for more recent versions of the Bluez bluetooth library.  You'll also find in the README some notes on installing gatttool and enabling the bluetooth adaptor.
In the repository I've added a few extra files for anyone wanting to try sharing their data using Xively.  If you'd like to  try this out then you'll need to register - it's free - and create a new 'device'.  I've called mine 'Wearable Pi' which give a hint as to what I'm hoping to do with it.  Once you've created the device entry on Xively you'll need to create the following channels -
t006, accl_x, accl_y, accl_z, humd_t, humd_rh, baro_t, baro_p, magn_x, magn_y, magn_z, gyro_x, gyro_y, gyro_z
As the code is at present it will collect 10 measurement from each sensor at the default rate of one per second and then upload to Xively.  I did try uploading every second, but the Xively API only allowed this for burst of a few seconds.  There's obviously an opportunity here for some clever optimisation -  upload at a high rate when the data is changing rapidly (shake the SensorTag) and at a lower rate when readings are stable.  It will depend on your intended application.
As before I'm happy to take corrections and questions in the comments.  It would also be nice to know what others are doing with their SensorTag Raspberry Pi combo - so please share.
I'll be taking mine along to the 3rd International Space Apps Challenge on 12/13 April 2014 and maybe hacking some prototype space wearable tech.  

Thursday, March 13, 2014

The shed project

As some of my friends already know, for the last year Kathryn and I have been working with a local architect to design a new workshop at our home.  Planning consent has now been granted so if all goes to plan construction starts this summer.

This is what it should look like when complete.

 And here's what it looks like now.

Wednesday, September 25, 2013

Climate Change and Fashion Hackathon

On September 21st and 22nd 2013 a group of scientists, artists, and designers spent the weekend in the V&A Museum in London imagining future fashions in a world adapting to changing climates.

A design by Professor Helen Storey.
And another from Exeter College fashion students.
Ross tells a story, with his Peltier wrist band at the ready.

Some of the amazing items created by the teams.

 Listen to the judges thoughts on this event.

On other blogs -
Hacking in front of an audience
Fashion Meets Climate Change at the V&A

Tuesday, September 24, 2013

Geohack at FOSS4G Mappingham

A week ago I was at Nottingham University with other from the Met Office hackathon team setting up tables, chairs, and the rest, ready for the two day Geohack geospatial hackathon.  Of course the preparation for the event started months earlier as part of the even bigger effort of preparing for the FOSS4G conference.  FOSS4G is an international gathering of open source geospatial developers, and although I wasn't able to stay for the whole conference several of my colleagues did and it seems like it was a really well organised and interesting event.  There were certainly some great folks there judging from those who turned up a couple of days early to join the hackathon.
The hackathon was open to delegates and others who registered on the Geohack website. It was free to attended and you even got the traditional hackathon pizza and beer.

 It was an international gathering, so I got to meet and hack with folks I wouldn't normally get to meet back home in Devon.   Here I am with Willow Brugh and Steve Citron-Pousty doing that thing where everyone stares at their gadgets rather than have a conversation.
Seriously though, we had a good chat and hopefully we'll find more chances to work together if only for a couple of days.  Once Steve got over his jet-lag, or more likely just learnt to live with it he got stuck in and managed to "sell" OpenShift as the solution most of the teams needed.   He even found time to write a great blog post.

All the teams produced excellent work, and I wouldn't be at all surprised to see at least one or two turned into real services over the next few months.

So why didn't I stay for the whole of the excellent FOSS4G conference?  Well I had another hackathon to go to - of course.  More on that in the next blog post.