Bodgers – Prizes and Plans

It was great to see everybody back after the break.

I had a big box of goodies from the recent Raspberry Pi Pioneers competition. We got more swag for both teams that entered including some very nice badges and three really interesting books.

Our Zombie Trolls also got their prize for failing really well 😊. This included a Raspberry Pi, a 5” HDMI Monitor, some basic electronic components, t-shirts and an Astro Pi Sense Hat (Hat stands for ‘Hardware Attached on Top’).

The Sense HAT add-on board was specially created for the Astro Pi competition which gives kids the chance to get their code running on one of two Raspberry Pi devices that are on the International Space Station.Astro_Pi_Ed_and_Izzy_on_the_ISS

The board gives Astro Pi the ability to ‘sense’ and make many kinds of measurements, from temperature to movement, and to output information using a special display – the 8×8 LED matrix. We had great fun playing around with the Sense Hat and it’s definitely something we will get great use out of and maybe we could enter the Astro Pi competition and have our code running on the ISS.

We also took a look at controlling an Arduino from Unity 3D which is something that could be used for 4D/Immersive Technology type game.

See you all next week.

Declan, Dave and Alaidh

 

Week 1 2018 Explorers – Breakout Game

Hi everyone,

Thanks to everyone who came yesterday and special welcome to our new people. Thank you all for your patience with the projector!

This week we did a game based on an old game called Breakout.

The object of the game is to try and get rid of all the blocks by bouncing a ball into them using a bat of some type. You all had your own versions of what you wanted the game to look that and that’s brilliant, your imagination is way better than mine.

The first thing we did was design your bat and write some code to control it. We decided that the mouse should control the movement and that the movement should be only from left to right and vice versa.

The rest of the code and notes for the game can be found here in PDF CDA-S7-Week_01_18-Breakout.pdf

I have also uploaded the finished game to the Scratch Website if anybody wants to take a look at it or for anyone that wasn’t there on Saturday. I will go through  it at the beginning of next weeks session if anyone has any questions.

You will find the login details for our account on the Scratch website in the notes above.

 

See you all next week and have a great week.

 

Martha

Bodgers – Pioneers Challenge Results

Hello again Everyone.

I didn’t realize when I posted yesterday that the results of the Pioneers Challenge were out today.

Here is the Raspberry Pi Blog post announcing the winners.

Congratulations to Barry, Kevin and Zack the Zombie Trolls whose project Zombie In The Middle won the We Appreciate What You’re Trying To Do prize. the following is a quote from the website.

“Playing piggy in the middle with zombies sure is a unique way of saving humankind from total extinction! We loved this project idea, and although the Zombie Trolls had a little trouble with their motors, we’re sure with a little more tinkering this zombie-fooling contraption could save us all.”

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Well done to the three boys and well done to all the Bodgers because all the Pioneers teams helped each other out, most importantly at the beginning when we were trying to come up with ideas for our entries.

See you all in January.

Declan, Dave and Alaidh

Bodgers – Videos From The Pioneers Challenge and Robot Wars Bodgers Style

Last Saturday we finished up for the break with our Christmas party. We played video of the projects we entered in the Raspberry Pi Foundation’s Pioneers Challenge “Only You Can Save Us”. The challenge involved teams working on projects that would help people if there was a zombie apocalypse.

 

 

We then gave everyone an opportunity to have a go at a robot wars style game with our Raspberry Pi robots.

 

 

Happy Christmas  Everyone, we’re really looking forward to next year and building more cool stuff.

Declan, Dave and Alaidh.

Explorers Week 9 – Paint Program

Hi everybody,

Hope you all enjoyed finishing up our drawing program. We made good use of costumes this week to make it look like we were dipping our paint brush in each of the different colours.

We also used a variable similarly to how we used in the Piano Game we made. We made it into a slider and then code select the Pen Size we wanted.

Here are the notes in PDF. CDA-S6-Week_08-Paint

See you next week for something a little Christmas themed!

 

Martha

 

Hackers – a Joule Thief and Controlling Motors

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In the Hackers group, people worked on two different projects, making a Joule Thief and controlling motors.

Joule Thief

A Joule Thief is a small circuit that can boost the voltage from a small power source. Typically, it is used to power a 3-volt LED from a 1.5 volt battery. Because of how it works, it can continue to light the LED even when the battery would usually be considered to be “out of power”, when its voltage drops below 1v.

Here is a Wikipedia article. https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Joule_thief

people in the group found various tutorials online, such as this one from Make Magazine: https://makezine.com/projects/joule-thief-battery-charger/

Motor Control with an Arduino

Continuing our work on Project SABRE, we were figuring out how to control motors.

A simple way to control the speed of a motor is to regulate its input voltage. In Arduino code, you set the output voltage of pins. However, you CANNOT just hook them up to the motor, as it will draw too much current and damage the Arduino.

The solution is to use a transistor: power from a 9V battery or the 5V USB power supply from an Arduino powers the motor with current flowing through the transistor, and we regulate the current flow by applying an appropriate voltage to the middle leg of the transistor.

Two more components are needed: a resistor for the middle leg of the transistor, and a diode to get rid of any voltage spikes that come from the motor acting as a generator if it us spun by hand, or when it is spinning down after current to it is cut.

More details here: https://learn.adafruit.com/adafruit-arduino-lesson-13-dc-motors/arduino-code

We also looked into stepper motors, and controlling speed by reading a value from a potentiometer, instead of just typing in a speed: https://www.arduino.cc/en/Tutorial/StepperSpeedControl

 

Brilliant Visit by Medtronic to CoderDojo Athenry!

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We were delighted to have Medtronic visit us on 18 Nov 2017 at CoderDojo Athenry. It really was a fantastic event, and very professionally organised by Cushla, Mary and the rest of the team from Medtronic, who gave out different-coloured wrist-bands to divide our large ninjas into groups who could view the demos together.

The team set up a great range of demos:

  • A special “memory” metal they use to make stents for heart valves
  • A Smart TV/Surface Pro to allow you to see how stents work
  • VR Headsets to explore blood vessels in augmented reality 
  • Some experiments that you can try out at home, including how to make a stethoscope and how to make a valve like a heart valve.

In addition, senior software engineer Lorraine and software interns Patrick and David spoke about their experiences of being software engineers in the med-tech industry.

We are very grateful to Medtronic, and in particular our mentor Declan Fox, for organising such a great experience for our ninjas!