Alexa’s Untold Stories: Voice commands with Raspberry Pi

Intrigued by the opportunities for voice activated reading projects in school, we set to with an Echo hack using Raspberry Pi.

 

Speaker, microphone and Amazon Developer account at the ready, the first tests with ‘rock, paper, scissor’ challenges against Alexa proved insightful.

Multiple terminal windows using Terminator made the set up so much easier for one, and more than a bit of tinkering was needed with the wake word support.

img_1389

Terminator to organise multiple terminal windows

Weekend sports scores, mental maths checks and recipe requests all worked fine although Christmas themed questions were a bit more tricky.

Fact and opinion conversations ensued 🙂

Back to the fundamental aim of getting Alexa reading an Alan Bennett book, then. Many possibilities but not quite with the same diction as my favourite audio book!

What’s next?  Will Alexa have the capacity to become more of an intelligent learning partner in 2017?

More literary projects to develop and general ideas to explore from this great list.

Big thanks to @heeedt and the @HuddRaspJam crowd for supporting and help with original questions!

wsckpi7k1j8upgcnp1sq

Image courtesy of Lifehacker

Leeds Raspberry Jam: First birthday at Swallow Hill

Wow – a year since we started to put our monthly meet up into the calendar at Swallow Hill !

This month’s Raspberry Jam had the usual mix of shared projects to make and individual projects to share.

This slideshow requires JavaScript.

And with birthday projects came cake 🙂

We’re continuing to extend projects with a digital making focus.

That saw Anne sharing wearables projects this month using microbit and  Codebug, alongside other creators building and hacking games.

This slideshow requires JavaScript.


Clear skies on a Wednesday evening also gave us the fantastic opportunity to track the ISS with Mark’s build from this original project.

Using the SenseHat gave more visuals on the matrix in the form of country flags as the space station passed over each country.

Quick video link below as we tracked it over Ukraine, and speed over distances surprised many of us as the ISS clocked up Vietnam to Armley in 20 minutes.


If you’re interested to see when the ISS is next over your neighbourhood, then this alert link from NASA is an excellent reminder.

Next Raspberry Jam in Leeds is Wednesday 2nd November.  Link for free registration is here.

‘Quality’ decision making without peer pressure using Picap

Christmas came early last week.  Got to admit that we became embroiled in Quality Street-gate with forceful opinions expressed about which choc should have been replaced.

The trouble was that peer pressure swayed some, and anecdotes through rose tinted spectacles blurred others, into thinking that another choc should’ve been booted first.

Out came the first choc box of the season with a bit of tinkering with the Picap.

Soon we had a set up to give a truly anonymous and representative taste test and decision.

img_1161

Must be noted that we’d started with a healthier option for a blind taste test of tomatoes from a plant grown and sold by Ganton School in Hull, and another from a well known supermarket chain. The data confirmed our hunch – the school tomatoes were far more tasty 🙂

For both trials we used the simple touch Python script that allowed us to collect data showing which electrodes had been touched and released.

img_1149

And the verdict?

The data suggests that the orange creme should’ve been ditched before the toffee choc.  In our humble opinion of course.

img_1162

Hull Raspberry Jam, September 2016

Another great community learning event when over 80 people registered, and this time planned with more support for a wider array of digital making projects.

We were joined by friends from GPIO and Code Club  who added to the workshop programme and gave more opportunities for hands-on learning, collaborating and networking.

This slideshow requires JavaScript.

Highlights above from Trevor’s ‘Introduction to GPIO – Hello World in lights’ workshop and creative inventions from the ‘Wearable wonders with Codebug‘ activity.

Great also to see projects used before the Summer inspiring new challenges away from the Jam, and bringing them back to share with others.

This slideshow requires JavaScript.

With that, peer to peer collaborations focused on IOT using the Pimoroni Flotilla packs and MinecraftPi builds continue to inspire our younger members.

The hackspace gives the chance to work on individual robot projects and we also had a couple working on a flight simulation digital making piece using Scratch on the Pi.

This slideshow requires JavaScript.

We shared our ‘Do not feed the bears’ project, demonstrating text to speech and an intro to capacitive touch with Bare Conductive’s PiCap using Python on the Raspberry Pi.

So much more code and tools to explore for next time 🙂

Sharing ideas and resources, along with a chance to catch up, are all part of the spirit of the Jams.

This slideshow requires JavaScript.

And great to see our Jam library expanding and being used 📚

This slideshow requires JavaScript.

Hands-on training from Victoria, our regional Code Club coordinator, for volunteers about to launch a club for 9-11 yr olds and an overview for those planning to offer a club:

img_1015

Great to be able to use our Codebug devices (thanks again CPC!) and offer a practical session as a starter to the wonders with wearables.

We’ll continue to develop opportunities to extend digital making activities for everybody coming along to Malet Lambert.

This slideshow requires JavaScript.

Look closely and you’ll see some of our younger members helping others to write and download the code onto the device.  We do say we’re all learning together!

Below is a snippet of Anne’s #TedBot8 project that she’s been nurturing with her grand daughter over the Summer.  Inspiration comes from a film and together they’re building the project and creating a guide which we’re looking forward to seeing next.

Big shout out to our friends from Huddersfield Raspberry Jam who came to support and inspire, then set off on a Jam Coast to Coast journey to finish their Saturday in Blackpool.

img_1004

Last we heard from them,  they’d arrived in time for the Blackpool Raspberry Jam birthday pizza 🍕.

Also to mention is Jon for his brilliant new logo for Hull Raspberry Jam. With a backdrop of Amy and Jason we’re looking forward to more digital making projects and STEM to STEAM collaborations across the city :

new-hull-jam-logo

Leeds Raspberry Jam September ’16

An introduction to IOT or programming with Python?

Our ‘Sensing the Environment’ workshop gave opportunities to explore data logging, RGB values through animations and smart citizen applications using Raspberry Pi.

This slideshow requires JavaScript.

Crazy lights:

image

Next Raspberry Jam will be at Swallow Hill on Wednesday 5th October.

Registration link here.

 

Making circuits play ball with Makey Makey Go and electric paint

A Summer of sporting optimism and the anticipation of the start of the US Open after th’olympics and Wimbledon.  That’s the background to our latest project, with an intention to nurture problem solving skills and perseverance alongside paddle prowess.

And not forgetting role models though making.  In this case though, linking the sound of successes from Serena Williams and Andy Murray to our own game.


 
The initial idea was to link an extended circuit for the Makey Makey Go to add sound using Soundplant. That meant tinkering with materials such as electric paint, crocodile clips and aluminium foil to get a connection with the bat and ball.

Working from the snickometer concept in cricket, and activating a sound from the ball hitting the bat, soon evolved into a tennis player’s voice from this year’s Wimbledon commentary.

Step One:

IMG_0919

Step Two:

IMG_0922

Step Three:

IMG_0957

And finally:

 

Robotic arms: Clutching at computational straws

I wanted to link computational thinking to tinkering with a low tech approach to explore artificial intelligence for children.

Moreover, to support design thinking skills as we inspire the next generation of digital makers at Raspberry Jam and other maker events with projects sharing robotic arms and other AI examples.

Construction-based activities with the clear focus on high tech progression of learning possibilities.

This slideshow requires JavaScript.

Understanding robotics and then design using straws, string and tape was the starting point to launch a series of challenges based on problem solving.

From that led to the inclusion of Strawbee kits.  Whilst still keeping to low tech resources, more robust structures made successfully accomplishing more complex challenges possible.

This slideshow requires JavaScript.

Next steps: Debugging to be continued and then programming 🙂

Previous Older Entries Next Newer Entries