Raspberry Pi based ASTROGUN

This project is a mixture of gaming and electronics. The game is really basic – the player stands and needs to shoot Asteroids that are advancing towards him from any course, before they hit him. There is a mini radar on the screen which displays the location of Asteroids around the player. However, above all the most interesting thing about the project is a HUD which is a display that shows an image overlay on the background.  The gun works on a Raspberry PI along with an IMU card which provides an orientation. Using this info, the PI is able to project out the various elements. The graphics of the game is handled out by a dedicated GPU. The graphics are written using the Pi3D library while the game logic… Continue reading

Raspberry Pi GPIO benchmark update

Couple years ago Joonas from Code and Life have made pretty extensive Raspberry Pi GPIO speed benchmark. But things have changed over two years. Specifically speaking hardware of first generation Raspberry Pi remained same, but firmware and software libraries overcome series of upgrades. It became interesting how GPIO speed have changed since last check. He tested several libraries and languages. To test GPIO performance a simple pin toggle endless loop were run. Results were quite different comparing to tests done couple years ago. Lets see few of them. First of all he tested Shell based scripts. This method gave 2.9kHz square wave. When using WiringPi library toggling speed dropped down to 40Hz. So it seems that shell scripting is suitable for slow signaling. Python with Rpi.GPIO showed pretty good improvement.… Continue reading

BeagleBone logic analyzer

Logic analyzer is probably less important testing device after oscilloscope and multimeter. But sometimes it can help a lot when debugging digital circuits. But for such rare cases it doesn’t look reasonable to buy another equipment that probably never pays off. Simple speaking, logic analyzer isn’t very complex devices so practically any microcontroller can be turned into it. But since Linux based boards like Raspberry Pi or Beagle Bone are here, why not build a powerful LA around one of those. Kumar Abhishek have done pretty nice work on building logic analyzer around Beagle Bone which features pretty nice parameters. It can have up to 14 channels that share 100MHz sampling frequency. Sampling depth only depends on free RAM which can reach up to 320MB. Sampling methods are One-shot, Continuous… Continue reading

Face recognition with Raspberry Pi

Face recognition is interesting and really important topic. Digital cameras already does this to help better focus on a subject. Face recognition also can be used in areas such as robotics, computer-human interaction, security systems and so on. Boris Landoni has been working on face recognition with Raspberry Pi + camera module. He wanted to adapt simple, robust algorithm that would detect human face by determining parts like face, eyes, nose lips. The recognition method is based on so called “Haar feature cascade” which allows rapidly to identifying objects by means of cascade consecutive combinations of simple features. In other words features from images are extracted by using Haar wavelets. Face recognition program runs on Python that uses SimpleCV library for algorithm training. So far this is not an end… Continue reading

High performance, low cost SBC

As the title suggest, this single board computer known by the name of pcDuino3 is a high performance cost effective single board computer. It’s capable of running Ubuntu and Android and even has a dedicated hardware for video processing. Moreover, it also compatible with Arduino shield and also has Arduino IDE pre-installed. In short, it can serve as a replacement for UDOO quad if you are not willing to spend much. It has ARM-A7 1 GHz dual core CPU with a memory of 1GB and on-board storage of 4GB. It also has HDMI-connector, built-in Wi-Fi, and 3.5mm audio jack. Presently, it’s capable of running Ubuntu 12.04 and Android 4.3. Moreover it supports Camera serial interface which is also used in the Raspberry pi. Unlike other single board machines with just… Continue reading

New Raspberry Pi 2 – more memory and better performance

Raspberry Pi have been improved in many ways, but not in terms of memory and processor power. Things seems to be changed with Raspberry Pi 2 release. They decided to leave Broadcom BCM2835 700MHz ARM11 CPU and use 900MHz quad-core ARM Cortex-A7 quad core CPU which gives about six times more performance. The new processor is new Broadcom BCM2836 what means that all hard work done for BCM2835 is transferred to new MCU. Even more – new processors packs 1GB of SDRAM. Raspberry PI 2 is compatible to previous version of Raspberry including GPIO header, power supply and other peripherals. ARMv7 core allows to setup much wider range of operating systems like Ubuntu. There will be also compatible to Windows 10. So there is lots of to come in terms… Continue reading