Raspberry Pi category

HealthyPi v3 – Health HAT for Raspberry Pi

An open-source, multi-parameter, full fledged human body vital sign monitoring HAT for Raspberry Pi as well as standalone use.

HealthyPi is a do-it-yourself, open-source vital sign monitor based on the Raspberry Pi. THe HealthyPi board itself is a HAT add-on for the Raspberry Pi 3 which measures all the human body’s vital signs and sends it over to the Raspberry Pi. Couple it together with the official Raspberry Pi touchscreen and you’ve got a full-fledged vital sign monitor.

HealthyPi v3 – Health HAT for Raspberry Pi – [Link]

ZeroPhone, A Raspberry Pi-Based Open Source Smartphone

Raspberry Pi is one of the most helpful innovations in the hardware industry. It has helped beginners and children learn programming and allowed the makers to develop powerful and cheap DIY projects. “ZeroPhone” is a new DIY smartphone that is built based on Raspberry Pi and cost about only $50.

ZeroPhone is an open source, Linux-powered smartphone, that has no carrier locks, bloated apps, or data mining. It is user-friendly and will have the typical features of a phone, but with more advanced features. It also can be modified and repaired easily.

The phone is built using widely available components, and its open source hardware and software  will give you as much control over your phone as possible.

ZeroPhone can be used for calling and SMS, SSH, pen testing, and experimenting in addition to all basic functions like calendar, phonebook, music player, and web browser. As it is a linux-based phone, you can run ARM compatible programs. SDK will be provided so you can then develop your own apps.

Features & Specifications

  • Based on Raspberry Pi Zero, ESP8266 and Arduino
  • Has Wi-Fi, HDMI, full-size USB and a 3.5 mm jack (Bluetooth as an option)
  • 2G GSM connectivity (3G coming soon)
  • 128 x 64 1.3” OLED screen
  • GSM/Wi-Fi/microphone hardware switch option
  • RGB LED and vibromotor
  • Uses of Extension Ports:
    • IR receiver/transmitter
    • Additional displays and buttons
    • 5 MP / 8 MP Pi Camera
    • Extended batteries
    • Various sensors, both analog and digital
    • Wireless radios for IoT
    • GPS, Ethernet and MicroSD expansion
    • …and much more.

The OS of ZerPhone is Raspbian Linux, which is currently based on Debian Jessie. This is because it is suitable for all functions, and will still be upgradable in the future. The user interface (controlling screen and buttons) is written in Python.

Compared with other open-source phones, ZeroPhone, as the maker said, is the only one uses affordable parts which are available on eBay, and its software will be always updated if the phone’s development will stop.

To make your ZeroPhone you will need:

  • Pi Zero
  • SIM800 modules
  • ESP8266-12E
  • Two-layer PCBs (two 4x10cm boards, one 4x6cm board)
  • ATMega328P
  • LCD screen
  • Battery
  • TP4056 battery charger
  • Buttons for keypad
  • 2.54 headers

More details about this project is available on its hackaday page, in addition to the project description and frequently asked questions.

Raspberry Pi Publishing MQTT Messages to ESP8266

Rui @ randomnerdtutorials.com tipped us with his latest tutorial. He writes:

In this project you’ll create a standalone web server with a Raspberry Pi that can toggle two LEDs from an ESP8266 using MQTT protocol. You can replace those LEDs with any output (like a relay that controls a lamp).

Raspberry Pi Publishing MQTT Messages to ESP8266 – [Link]

StromPi, The Uninterruptible Power Supply for Raspberry Pi

It seems evident that the Raspberry Pi and its clones have filled an enormous hidden need. The digital performance of such micro-computers is exceptional as long as they are used without any special dependence on power requirements, that is to say near an electrical outlet with power! Faced with the vagaries of the analog world, these tiny cards that fit in the palm of your hand are not as beefy as that. Their dependence on their power supply has highlighted a new need, well identified by the manufacturer JOY-iT. StromPi, their adaptable uninterruptible power supply (UPS) mini card lets you use a Raspberry Pi under conditions of unusual or unstable power, without taking up much space, and without risk of data loss in case of a power cut.

Two working modes are offered:

  • UPS (uninterruptible power supply), i.e. no break power
  • WIDE, which allows an extended range of input voltage

With the following characteristics

  • wide range of DC input voltage, from 6 V to 61 V in WIDE mode
  • 5 V power input on microUSB connector
  • maximum USB output current of 3 A
  • very low standby current
    • (in UPS mode): 20 to 80 μA (that’s between 175 mAh and 700 mAh per year)
    • (in WIDE mode): 3 to 7 mA

In the case of loss of power, the StromPi backup power card not only starts the process of data backup before the Pi is switched off, but it can also guarantee startup once the power is restored (this function may be deactivated with a jumper strap).

When that happens, you can even select to be informed by an email sent by the Raspberry Pi program (which you can download).

Source: Elektor

Ther Robot Core

Robot Core – The Ultimate Raspberry Pi Robot Controller

The Robot Core, which is a robot control board for the Raspberry Pi and Arduino, brings many different elements into one awesome package. It allows you to efficiently control motors, servos, and read sensor data without needing 3-4 additional boards to hookup. Several Robot Core boards can be connected together in a linear series to add even more functionality.

The Robot Core board
The Robot Core board

Robot Core uses I²C (Inter-Integrated Circuit) to communicate with Raspberry Pi. I²C is a widely used serial computer bus invented by Philips Semiconductor. It is a very easy-to-use two-wire bus that your Pi has no difficulty talking with. A built-in level shifter ensures compatibility to both 3.3 volt and 5 volts I²C buses. The Robot Core supports all Raspberry Pi boards (the past and present versions) and some Arduino boards also.

Now, let’s talk about the technical details.

Software Support:

The board has software provided in the form of libraries and python example programs to get you started fast. Thanks to Second Robotics for making the software Open Source. All required resources will be available in July 2017. Currently, available links are – Drivers and LibrariesSupport Documents.

Software for The Robot Core
Software for The Robot Core
The Robot Core Python Script
The Robot Core Python Script

Motor Drive:

This board provides up to two 5 Amp continuous load DC motor outputs that can be used as a pair to drive a single stepper motor. The Robot Core’s built in safety protection prevents overheating and detects the motor failure.

Servo Control:

The Robot Core can set servos to exact position with the help of 16 bit PWM signal. It has eight ports for both analog and digital conventional servos. You can tune each servo using software-based GUI tuning method and also set their start-up positions individually.

Two ports are provided for connecting Dynamixel servos. Connecting multiple Dynamixel servos at the same time is supported. All functionalities are accessible by simple low-level commands. Many example python codes are available there to get started with Dynamixel servos.

Ultrasonic Sensors:

You can connect up to 4 ultrasonic sensors (HC-SR04) with the board. Given libraries convert measured distance into millimeter. The Robot Core board can provide filtered outputs with higher accuracy or raw outputs with greater speed, the choice is yours.

Analog Input:

Up to 8 12-bit analog inputs are supported for sensors or feedback. Each input has a range of 0-5V and the board also provides protection from exceeding the input limits. The additional analog reading for main power voltage lets you monitor supply voltage in real-time. The Robot Core has configurable warnings for low power.


The range of input voltage is 6.4v to 14v. An onboard DC-DC regulator is there for generating 5 volts, capable of providing 6 Amps current to the load. Optional separate power supply inputs for servos and for Dynamixel servos are also present.

Other Technical Information:

  • Clear on-board labeling. Each port and screw terminal has its pins labeled.
  • Prototyping space for adding more functionality. This space removable to make the board smaller.
  • Easy to access voltage rails.
  • Access to the Raspberry Pi I²C at 5V logic level.
  • Status LEDs are for main power voltage, DC motor status, and script controllable status.
RobotCore board details
Robot Core board details

Application Of The Robotcore Board:

The Robot Core is an all-in-one solution for many projects. One can do pretty much any autonomous and/or robotics projects with this board. The possibilities are endless. Below are just some example projects:

  • A smart plant monitoring system that reads ambient light, temperature, plant moisture, and even uses two water pumps to water two different plants.
  • Using a single board, you can build a 2 wheeled robot with a ring of 8 analog ultrasonic sensors and a strong Dynamixel smart servo arm.
  • With an IMU (Inertial Measurement Unit) tied into the I²C bus, you can create a two-wheeled self-balancing robot.
  • Build a biped walker robot with sensors to navigate based around the board and a Pi using powerful servos or Dynamixel smart servos.
  • Make an automated greenhouse. Have analog sensors for light, temperature, carbon dioxide, moisture, water leaks, and also control two water pumps.
The Robot Core plant watering system
The Robot Core plant watering system

Raspberry Pi LCD Touchscreen Rotation

In this video, Circuit Basics walks us through the steps to change the screen rotation on an LCD touchscreen for the Raspberry Pi. Since there are separate drivers for the display and the touchscreen sensors, we need to change the orientation of both. It’s pretty simple to do, but a couple packages need to be installed first.

Raspberry Pi LCD Touchscreen Rotation [Link]

$10 Orange Pi 2G-IoT Competing With Pi Zero W

A new competitor to Raspberry Pi Zero W is just out! A new single-board computer by Orange Pi that is now available at AliExpress is competing against Pi Zero W, the Orange Pi 2G-IoT. Using this powerful SoC you can build a computer, a wireless server, games, musics and sounds, a speaker with Android, Scratch and a lot of other options since Pi 2G-IoT is open source.

The Orange Pi 2G-IoT has ARM Cortex-A5 32bit clocked at 1GHz with 256MB DDR2 RAM, 500 MB of on-board NAND storage to go along with an SD card slot for larger storage. It also has a CSI camera connector, WiFi, Bluetooth, an FM Radio and GSM/GPRS with a sim card slot on the bottom. It is pin compatible with Raspberry Pi’s almost standardized GPIO layout.

This $10 board is impressive especially the addition of GSM/GPRS, but it is not promised to kill other competitors in sales, even though it is a powerful little computer. Since the community of Raspberry Pi product is much more larger and more supportive, Orange Pi fails in engaging its audience with the products it makes.

Unfortunately, Orange Pi website is not updated yet to include its newest product. However if you are interested in getting one for yourself right now, head over to AliExpress to get your 2G-IoT for only $9.90 and to know more details.

Via Hackaday

thepilocator.com – check the availability of Raspberry Pi

ThePiLocator is a website aims to help you check the availability of pi zero and pi zero w on various online stores.

thepilocator.com – check the availability of Raspberry Pi – [Link]