Saturday, 31 July 2021

This blog's Most read 10 posts July 2021




All opinions in this blog are the Author's and should not in any way be seen as reflecting the views of any organisation the Author has any association with. Twitter @scottturneruon

Wednesday, 28 July 2021

Tumbling Turing 1 - initial play with the Turing Tumble @TuringTumble

A product that has kept popping on to my radar has been the intriguing Turing Tumbles  @TuringTumble I admit to being initially hesitant (is just a gimmicky marble run? - it isn't!) a marble powered computer. The idea is using mechanical ideas to visualise computing concepts is thought-provoking and I have always loved marble runs and 'Heath Robinson'/'Rube Goldberg' style machines; so bit the bullet and brought one and I am impressed; it is great fun (more than just as a marble run). 

Let's start with the packaging and components it is and feels like a high quality product. The components feel sturdy and well designed, the storage for the components also feels sturdy (see figure 1). The project book with the exercises etc is a mixture of puzzles and challenges, alongside a short graphic novel/comic; it all feels well executed and thought through. Online there is now a growing community https://community.turingtumble.com/ where new puzzels are posted, alongside new ideas for puzzles and support. Personally, I think this is a great move, and one of the features with the potential to move this from a game  (I have no problem with games), into a tool (as well as a game) for experimentation and also an educational tool.

figure 1: components


It does have elements of a marble run the power to everything is gravity acting on marbles (see figure 2). 


figure 2: Game board




In the video below the set of red and blue marbles, go through the system producing an output of alternating red and blue marbles - simple but good fun.





Where to next then:
- I am aiming to find the time to try out the binary operation puzzles and logic puzzles. 
- then play with other ideas.


The company behind Turing Tumble have recently run a further very successful Kickstarter project for a follow-on idea Spintronics (see below) using mechanical concepts to help visualise and understand electronic concepts. Yes, I have 'pledged' for it along with several thousand others, it looks so Steampunk.


If you would like to play with a spintronic simulation goto https://www.turingtumble.com/upperstory/spintronics/simulator/index.html


All opinions in this blog are the Author's and should not in any way be seen as reflecting the views of any organisation the Author has any association with. Twitter @scottturneruon

Thursday, 15 July 2021

CrowPi2 - Raspberry Pi laptop and much more.


Elecrow in 2020 released on kickstarter and now in pre-order their own site (or Amazon.com ) an interesting take on the Raspberry Pi laptop - a laptop with a built-in sensor lab.

e
Image taken from: https://www.kickstarter.com/projects/elecrow/crowpi2-steam-education-platformand-raspberry-pi-laptop/description 


It builds on their earlier Crow Pi system but looks much more like a laptop with a secret sensor kit. It includes a wireless mouse and a keyboard, with the cool idea that the keyboard fits over the sensor kit and can be used as and looks like a laptop.

The version I received comes with a fantastic range of items, including the Raspberry Pi; power bank; books on python and scratch; RFID keyfob; remote control; game controllers; and many other components. A wide range of software and learning materials are installed on the SD-Card; including software to learn about AI.

At the moment I have mainly been playing with it as a Pi based laptop but I am looking forward to digging into playing with the sensors.










All opinions in this blog are the Author's and should not in any way be seen as reflecting the views of any organisation the Author has any association with. Twitter @scottturneruon

Monday, 5 July 2021

Added to the National Teaching Repository - Free Augmented Reality

 


The National Teaching Repository https://ntrepository.wordpress.com/home/ based at Edge Hill University was set up to provide a resource for sharing teaching resources.

Members of Canterbury Christ Church University play a role in the curation process.


 All opinions in this blog are the Author's and should not in any way be seen as reflecting the views of any organisation the Author has any association with. Twitter @scottturneruon

Thursday, 1 July 2021

June 2021 - 10 Most viewed Blog posts on Robots and Physical computing Blog

Blog Archive



All opinions in this blog are the Author's and should not in any way be seen as reflecting the views of any organisation the Author has any association with. Twitter @scottturneruon

Tuesday, 29 June 2021

Microbit and Environment Measurement - Using Python

In two recent posts, Makecode was used with the Enviro:bit from Pimoroni to try out a few ideas (https://robotsandphysicalcomputing.blogspot.com/2021/06/pimoroni-envirobit.html and  https://robotsandphysicalcomputing.blogspot.com/2021/06/pimoroni-envirobit-light-and-led.html ). In this post Pyton using the Mu editor was used to try out the Enviro:bit.




As in the makeCode version, Pimoroni has provided both a python library (via Github) but also within the Readme.md useful installation instructions. There is at the time of writing a possible typo; to get the BME280 sensor (temperature, pressure, humidity sensor) to work; you need to add parenthesis in the line bme = bme280.bme280()

After that, it works fine and includes potential altitude measurement which I don't think is in the Makecode version (though I could be wrong); I need to play with it a bit more.

To experiment the code below was used test reading temperature (in Centigrade), humidity (%), and altitude (feet). In the examples, currently provided with the library, I couldn't find a BME280 example but it was fairly easy to adapt the examples included to get something going.

import microbit
import bme280

bme = bme280.bme280()

while True:

    reading = bme.temperature()
    microbit.display.scroll("temp: ")
    microbit.display.scroll(str(reading))
    microbit.sleep(3000)
    reading = bme.humidity()
    microbit.display.scroll("humidity: ")
    microbit.display.scroll(str(reading))
    microbit.sleep(3000)
    reading = bme.altitude()
    microbit.display.scroll("Alt: ")
    microbit.display.scroll(str(reading))
    microbit.sleep(3000)


It is a cool and fun device to play with, though I not sure the precision of the readings shown on the microbit LEDs is really necessary :-) 
 

 



All opinions in this blog are the Author's and should not in any way be seen as reflecting the views of any organisation the Author has any association with. Twitter @scottturneruon

Monday, 28 June 2021

Pimoroni Envirobit - Light and LED

In a previous post, the Envirobit ( https://shop.pimoroni.com/products/enviro-bit )  for the Microbit was played with getting temperature, humidity and pressure  (https://robotsandphysicalcomputing.blogspot.com/2021/06/pimoroni-envirobit.html). 

In this short post a quick experiment using the sound and light sensor, to turn LEDs on the board to turn off and on beyond on light level. The code is set up when a clap happens nearby, light level is used to 'decide' whether the LEDs are turned on or off, below a threshols the LEDs go on above it the LEDs are turned off,

Makeecode 


Using Makecode makes this relatively easy to implement and fun.








All opinions in this blog are the Author's and should not in any way be seen as reflecting the views of any organisation the Author has any association with. Twitter @scottturneruon

This blog's Most read 10 posts July 2021

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