Sunday, 30 August 2015

We interrupt this blog - Sense HAT released

This week I've been slightly distracted by the launch of the RaspberryPi Sense HAT. This little board contains a pressure, humidity, temperature and 9 DoF Gyroscope/accelerometer combo, as well as a 8x8 LED matrix and a mini joystick. What does this mean for my PiWars entry? Well it means I don't have to solder up the separate sensors and lights I was planning on putting on my robot, and can instead just drop on the Sense HAT itself, which makes things considerable easier. Of course the downside is that its just as easy for any of the other competitors to add a Sense HAT, which means I need to find more to add for the 'most featured robot' challenge!

Everything on the left is included in the board on the right.

Another bonus is that the Sense HAT comes with libraries to access all the sensors easily, and a quick python script quickly gets information out and display it on the LED matrix. So it only took a few minutes to get a python script running to output information from the cursor keys (It took longer to get the video!).In theory the joystick should trigger it as well, but I haven't gotten that quite working yet.

Of course the plan this year is to have a C/C++ based set of code, instead of a python script, so still need to investigate how to get at the information a bit more directly. But that's a future issue, for now its back to getting the robot itself driving around..


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