We started of this week’s session by looking at the recent Soyuz rocket launch which was to send two people to the ISS. During the launch one of the booster rockets failed and the launch had to be aborted. Both crew members, astronaut Nick Hague and cosmonaut Aleksey Ovchinin, escaped without injuries.
Official astronaut portrait of Tyler (Nick) Hague – Blue Flight Suit Picture. Photo Date: January 13, 2014. Location: Building 8, Room 183 – Photo Studio. Photographer: Robert Markowitz
We then continued to work on our pictures and messages for the Mission Zero Challenge. I made a video of some of the work we did, but it’s very hard to film LEDs so the quality is very poor.
If you want to find out more about the Soyuz incident and have another look at how to make pictures and messages with the Sense-hat LEDs my notes are here day 4.
Next Saturday we’ll start looking at Pygame Zero. See you all then.
This week we continued to play with the Sense HAT and as we’ve been mostly focusing on projects so far this year we took the opportunity to look at some of the theory behind programming.
We looked at how we use variables, loops and decisions in our programs and we also learned about algorithms. An algorithm is a set of rules we can use to solve a problem for example an algorithm to determine if a given year is a leap year. A year is a leap year if it is divisible by four, but not by one hundred, unless it is divisible by four hundred.
We then worked on a program which would allow us to “move” an LED around the LED matrix on the Sense HAT. You can run our code on the trinket.io Sense HAT emulator.
Dave will lead the group next week when he will cover some basic electronics.
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.
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.