Alexa AI on Raspberry Pi 3

Christopher Barnatt is the consummate professional when it comes to making instructional videos about the Raspberry Pi. Everything is presented carefully and in an organised fashion and the visual aspect of his videos has been honed to perfection. This video is clear, instructive and easy to follow. Christopher Barnatt is a professional futurist and is very comfortable in a changing world which relies on technology development. He wants us to be too and as a consequence he gives us ideas to work on which we can follow. Alexa AI 10, 000 skills available now. Tech Republic has a quick overview of what Alexa AI can do . The video shows you how to set up Alexa AI on a Raspberry Pi 3. I haven’t done it yet and even though I have the recommended wifi dongle for the Pi 2 I may not have sufficient processing power. I might try it and then work out whether I really need a Raspberry Pi 3. Nice little project for a rainy day.

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DIY Raspberry Pi Game Boy Zero

I am a bit like one of the commenters under this video clip. I love watching videos like this but don’t think I could make one myself. I am just fascinated by how people can do things like this and how they go about it. Who would have thought of using a Raspberry Pi board to make your own version of a Game Boy? It’s a hands on thinking challenge. It is problem solving and creative. It also draws in the knowledge of others. Wermy has put his video up on YouTube to show others what he has done and then others have come in with their comments as to how the build could be improved. And that’s how you learn something in 2016. You make, share, show others and get feedback. The feedback can be rude and unhelpful but often someone will suggest something to move your skills and thinking forward. A project  video like this becomes an online learning community so that in the end there will be the best DIY Raspberry Pi Game Boy Zero ever. Skills and ideas sharing can be done very effectively on YouTube by using videos and getting effective comments which further promote ideas and thinking. Project based learning is something which has high audience appeal as well as involving the learner because it naturally creates thinking and puzzling situations. Part Two finishes the project off with the wiring.

Raspberry Pi Robot

I have a Raspberry Pi 2 and I have been learning Python. Why shouldn’t I combine the two now and try my hand at building a little robot? This post , then, is what I have done before. When I plan to learn how to do something I gather all my ideas together on my blog. When I am ready I can then come back to my blog post and follow up on the links. I have to work out what I need, which way to proceed and how to go about it, so I need my resources here so I can create my components lists and then my action plan. There are 10 recommended  Raspberry Pi 2 robots here on intorobotics.  The video shows someone working through how to make a robot for the Raspberry Pi using Python. It’s better to see what I am supposed to be doing.  There are instructions for  a simple Raspberry Pi Robot on adafruit.  Finally, on Instructables, there are instructions for building a Raspberry Pi robot and using Python. You can buy kits which come up on searches but some of those are rather pricey. For now I just want something simple.

Interactive mirrors

Interactive mirrors are starting to get lift off and one of their most important uses would be in the medical arena. People are still playing with ideas, patents and the technology behind interactive mirrors but they will happen. Some of them function like a smart board, some are using two ways mirrors and some are using smoke and mirrors to create the effect. The motivation and research are there to develop them into functional and fun items. Just a matter of time. The one featured in the video has a patent pending but it was developed in 2008 so maybe it does have a patent by now. There are instructions here to develop a magic mirror with the Raspberry Pi and Mad Science has instructions for making a magic mirror using your smartphone.

Coming to you from Ubuntu Mate on Raspberry Pi 2

 

UbuntuMate Installing and running Ubuntu Mate on my Raspberry Pi 2 has been a hard won victory. Lessons in patience and tolerance as well as persistence and perseverance . I chose 3 direct download sites and each of the downloads broke a third of the way in. The fourth time I downloaded it but when I unzipped it there was a message to say I did not have all the files. In the end I used the torrent option on the Raspberry Pi site. For someone new, you can skip some of the information on the page because you might find it intimidating. There are 3 steps

1. Download the file
2. Unpack the file with 7-zip
3. Create the mirror image on your formatted SD card with Win32 Disk Imager

Use the official SD card formatter here. If you follow the Raspberry Pi site where the links to 7-zip and Win32 Disk Imager are , watch the video and proceed, then you should be all right. For me it took time. Hopefully it is more reliable for you. I’m glad to see Ubuntu , though, it’s an old friend. I have another SD card which boots up Debian Jessie and I have been setting that up better now I am a bit more familiar with it. Once you have the image on the SD card , the Raspberry Pi boots up with it. It is slow to get going but gets faster. Ubuntu Mate is running more slowly than Debian Jessie but it’s not too bad. I think it will improve as it settles in. I’ll let you know!

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