Despite the oh so quintessential Manchester weather this Saturday, it didn’t stop the ‘summer’ Manchester Raspberry Jam Show & Tell.
Saturday 11th June 2016 saw another successful Manchester Jam held at its home The Shed, Digital Innovation Manchester Metropolitan. This month’s Jam was different to the previous 36 as we invited the community, old and new, to come and show and tell their projects, creations and ideas with one another alongside the traditional hack style activity.
As the rain bounced down outside the Pi projects and activities flowed inside, from robots that follow lines to Dr Who’s TARDIS consoles. The wealth of imagination and passion was awesome, and it’s safe to say that MCR has a burgeoning Digital Maker Community.
For those of you who missed it don’t worry we’ll be holding another show and tell in the Shed in 2017. For now, check out some of the project and people who made them…
Upcoming Manchester Raspberry Jam events will now be occurring every other month. As before, the provisional date of each event will be the second Saturday of each scheduled month.
Following the success of other Raspberry Jam events with a less frequent schedule, such as Cambridge Raspberry Jam, we have decided to trial a bi-monthly schedule, with events held every other month. Our goal is to have several different activities and workshops at each event in the near future.
Manchester Raspberry Jam and Python North West regular Dave Jones has been working hard on a pure Python implementation of the Pi camera module – of which he recently released a feature complete v1.0. The announcement was made by Ben Nuttall on the Raspberry Pi blog, along with example usage and demonstration of its application in a web app:
If you have a Raspberry Pi camera module, you’ve probably used raspistill and raspivid, which are command line tools for using the camera. Dave Jones, a Database Admin, software developer and SQL know-it-all based in Manchester has been working on an equivalent, feature complete implementation of these in Python. This means you can access the camera module directly from a Python script, without using os.system or executing a subprocess.
Manchester-based sysadmin Will Jessop, who presented his robot (mostly made at the Manchester Hackspace) at our 16th Jam last month – has had his story featured by Ben Nuttall on the Raspberry Pi blog:
Will Jessop is a systems administrator for 37signals and he runs the North West Ruby User Group in Manchester. I bumped in to him recently and discovered he was working on a personal project with a Raspberry Pi. The aim of the project is to solve the problem of ping pong balls on the floor at the 37signals office in Chicago. The solution is a web-enabled robot with mounted camera allowing people to collect balls in to a basket.
Andrew Robinson and the PiFace team wrote up their bullet time project, which was demonstrated at Jam 16:
Some people said we were trying to build a Raspberry Pi time machine. In some ways they were right. Others compared it to the LHC at CERN and said we would warp time and space when they saw our pictures on Facebook. They were partly right too.
And on the Friday night before the Jam it felt like we were building the LHC! With nearly half a kilometre of network cables, 48 Raspberry Pis fitted with cameras and PiFace Control and Displays we wondered if we’d finally been too ambitious with a project!
Our Founder, Ben Nuttall, recently moved to Cambridge to begin working at the Raspberry Pi Foundation. He’ll be doing web development work and some outreach – including education, workshops, talks and projects.
We’re welcoming a new member to the team at Pi Towers today. Some of you already know Ben Nuttall from his work on the Pi Weekly email newsletter (if you haven’t signed up already, you should), his hosting of the Manchester Jams, and his STEM activities.
I learned a lot, and it was great to meet most of the Pi foundation people for the first time.
Two things in particular stood out for me, one about how to work with schools and one about the mobile hot-swap UPS battery gizmo that we’ve been building (and which I demo’d in various applications at the Jam).