1st Post -A Thank You on my RPi Project


#1

I wanted to take a moment to thank all of the contributors here for inspiring me to pick up an old hobby and begin to port my "innner nerd" to the next generation.

I have been interested in and worked toword building homemade ROVs since '97. Strong flurrys of activity were followed by long periods of inactivity but as we all have experienced - life gets in the way. I started with hard wired solutions, migrated to Basic Stamps, and then to PIC microcontrollers but the proliferation of open source development programs via the web have really changed the landscape since I've spent much time on this puzzle. Being a mechanical guy I've had to work a little harder at this aspect than some others.

Recently I poured over more PDFs and e-Books (I was R-ingTFM) than I care to share with you and decided to pursue an Raspberry Pi based solution. I am proud to say that through the use of Node.js with Express, Socket.io & SerialPort add-ons (server) and Arduino based boards (Alamode & Uno R3) I've been able to turn on LEDs and actuate servos from any web browser. I've also used MJPG-Server to stream from a USB webCAM. This is fun.

Here's where the thanks are given - it was extremely cool to see the light come on for each of my kids when they saw this working. I can't think of a better use of time than inspiring them to begin to understand the possiblities of current technologies and give reasons to lift their noses out of Minecraft. Heh. Thanks for the inspiration and hopefully the beginning of a love for technology for 6 budding nerds (Brady Bunch) between the ages of 7 and 13.

Kindest Regards,

John L Keahey, PE


#2

Hey John,

That's so great to hear! Do you have your ROV up and running? Do you have photos?


Cheers,

David


#3

Hey John,

I'm working with the Pi myself, and have a few questions:

  1. What linux distro are you using?
  2. For the Arduino boards (particularly the uno), did you use USB or serial communication?
  3. What software did you program the Arduinos with?

I'm in the process of figuring out how to make the standard OpenROV code work easily (preferably with minimal editing) on the Pi. I've been able to get the server running, but serial connection with the custom Arduino board (aka the OpenROV Cape) has proved difficult at best.

+1 for budding nerds - I'm hoping to demo my project (if it's ever completed) at some local schools to raise awareness of local ecological efforts as well as garner interest in robotics.


#4

David,
So far I’m still working on the electronics and software. When I get some new hardware worth showing I’ll post some pics. I plan to use the system for more than just an ROV.
John


#5

I’m using Raspbian Wheezy (latest), USB when using UNO and SoftwareSerial when using Alamode, and right now I’m programming the Arduino by unplugging and connecting to a Windows machine using Arduino IDE.

After beating my head against a wall for a few days I learned that my problem was that I had used an old version of Node. Once I upgraded all of the pieces ( dumped those versions you get using apt-get) things started working as intended (changed no code but errors went away).

Great to hear your plans to share with local schools. That rocks. Let me know if I can help.