Track your punches with Raspberry Pi

via Raspberry Pi

‘Track-o-punches’ tracks the number of punches thrown during workouts with Raspberry Pi and a Realsense camera, and it also displays your progress and sets challenges on a touchscreen.

In this video, Cisco shows you how to set up the Realsense camera and a Python virtual environment, and how to install dependencies and OpenCV for Python on your Raspberry Pi.

How it works

A Realsense robotic camera tracks the boxing glove as it enters and leaves the frame. Colour segmentation means the camera can more precisely pick up when Cisco’s white boxing glove is in frame. He walks you through how to threshold images for colour segmentation at this point in the video.

Testing the tracking

All this data is then crunched on Raspberry Pi. Cisco’s code counts the consecutive frames that the segmented object is present; if that number is greater than a threshold, the code sees this as a particular action.

Raspberry Pi 4 being mounted on the Raspberry Pi 7″ Touch Display

Cisco used this data to set punch goals for the user. The Raspberry Pi computer is connected to an official Raspberry Pi 7″ Touch Display in order to display “success” and “fail” messages as well as the countdown clock. Once a goal is reached, the touchscreen tells the boxer that they’ve successfully hit their target. Then the counter resets and a new goal is displayed. You can manipulate the code to set a time limit to reach a punch goal, but setting a countdown timer was the hardest bit to code for Cisco.

Kit list

Jeeeez, it’s hard to get a screen grab of Cisco’s fists of fury

A mobile power source makes it easier to set up a Raspberry Pi wherever you want to work out. Cisco 3D-printed a mount for the Realsense camera and secured it on the ceiling so it could look down on him while he punched.

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Build your own HF balun

via Dangerous Prototypes

Miguel, EA4EOZ, posted this great DIY tutorial on building your own balun:

A balun is a MUST for dipoles or similar antennas when they are feed with coaxial cables. Many hams connect the center conductor of the coaxial cable to one side of the dipole, and the shield to the other. Wrong!
From the RF point of view, the shield can be modeled as two conductors, the internal shield (the real shield, this is, ground) and the external shield, who is really far to be ground. In this way, your dipole has 3 arms, the two from the dipole and the coaxial cable shield (external face).

See the full post on EA4EOZ blog.

Circuit Sculptures as a New Hobby

via SparkFun: Commerce Blog

Circuit Sculptures are necessarily a new concept, in fact they've been around for almost as long as electronics as we know them today. About a year and half ago, Rob did a deep dive into this blend of technology and art to a pretty good degree, but we weren't living in the world we are now and maybe you need a new hobby while stuck inside.

If you aren't familiar, Circuit Sculpting is the art of creating a sculpture from electrical components using brass rods or wire to, if you're so inclined, build a circuit into form. These sculptures can include a few LED’s and resistors powered by a coin cell battery, to drivable robots, or more (heck, we've even seen applicable sculptures with no functioning circuit at all).

While in search of new projects and ideas to pursue, Creative Technologist Avra and Machine Operator Marcus decided to make a couple of their own! Maybe this will help show how easy it is to get started or maybe provide a fun idea for inspiration.

Avra's Clock

I love the look of open motherboards and how complex yet compact they look. So my thoughts were, why not make a useful sculpture like a clock? The disk fits perfectly for this kind of image, so now I’ve got a motherboard that tells the time! - Avra


Marcus went a slightly direction by creating an automated art piece with multiple configurations!

My sculptures are thoroughly inspired by the art of Arthur Ganson. After watching his Making Wire Gears video, I built a few jigs of my own and created a couple of DoodleBots. Both use the same handful of components: two hobby motors, a toggle switch, a microswitch, some wire, and a battery holder. DoodleBot 1.0 has a minimal form factor, and it doesn’t quite create the kinds of doodles I was hoping for. To achieve the helical patterns I wanted, I used the same circuit but beefed up the mechanical components with an oscillating drawing arm. The rail and gear jigs I created have sped up the process of creating kinetic parts considerably. I also adapted a handful of plastic spring clamps to hold hot wire without melting by attaching tiny MDF squares with hot glue. - Marcus


Circuit Sculpting is a fun and easy hobby to pick up and one that has a low barrier of entry in both cost and expertise. So, what have you made? Is there a sculpture that you've wanted to create or have these two projects sparked the creative side of your brain and given you a good idea? Let us know in the comments below or if you want to see more!

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New twist on Raspberry Pi experimental resin 3D printer

via Raspberry Pi

Element14’s Clem previously built a giant Raspberry Pi-powered resin-based 3D printer and here, he’s flipped the concept upside down.

The new Raspberry Pi 4 8GB reduces slicing times and makes for a more responsive GUI on this experimental 3D printer. Let’s take a look at what Clem changed and how…

The previous iteration of his build was “huge”, mainly because the only suitable screen Clem had to hand was a big 4K monitor. This new build flips the previous concept upside down by reducing the base size and the amount of resin needed.

Breaking out of the axis

To resize the project effectively, Clem came out of an X,Y axis and into Z, reducing the surface area but still allowing for scaling up, well, upwards! The resized, flipped version of this project also reduces the cost (resin is expensive stuff) and makes the whole thing more portable than a traditional, clunky 3D printer.

Look how slim and portable it is!

How it works

Now for the brains of the thing: nanodlip is free (but not open source) software which Clem ran on a Raspberry Pi 4. Using an 8GB Raspberry Pi will get you faster slicing times, so go big if you can.

A 5V and 12V switch volt power supply sorts out the Nanotec stepper motor. To get the signal from the Raspberry Pi GPIO pins to the stepper driver and to the motor, the pins are configured in nanodlp; Clem has shared his settings if you’d like to copy them (scroll down on this page to find a ‘Resources’ zip file just under the ‘Bill of Materials’ list).

Raspberry Pi working together with the display

For the display, there’s a Midas screen and an official Raspberry Pi 7″ Touchscreen Display, both of which work perfectly with nanodlip.

At 9:15 minutes in to the project video, Clem shows you around Fusion 360 and how he designed, printed, assembled, and tested the build’s engineering.

A bit of Fusion 360

Experimental resin

Now for the fancy, groundbreaking bit: Clem chose very specialised photocentric, high-tensile daylight resin so he can use LEDs with a daylight spectrum. This type of resin also has a lower density, so the liquid does not need to be suspended by surface tension (as in traditional 3D printers), rather it floats because of its own buoyancy. This way, you’ll need less resin to start with, and you’ll waste less too whenever you make a mistake. At 13:30 minutes into the project video, Clem shares the secret of how you achieve an ‘Oversaturated Solution’ in order to get your resin to float.

Now for the science bit…

Materials

It’s not perfect but, if Clem’s happy, we’re happy.

Join the conversation on YouTube if you’ve got an idea that could improve this unique approach to building 3D printers.

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Bring two analog meters out of retirement to display temperature and humidity

via Arduino Blog

Tom of Build Comics created a unique analog weather station that shows temperature and humidity on a pair of recycled gauges. An Arduino Nano reads the levels using a DHT22 sensor and outputs them in the proper format for each display.

Both units have a new printed paper backing to indicate conditions, along with a trimmer pot for calibration. To set the build off nicely, the Nano and other electronics are housed inside a beautiful custom wooden box, to which the antique meters are also affixed.

Code and additional information for the project is available on GitHub, while a short demo of the gauges can be seen below.

Raspberry Pi calls out your custom workout routine

via Raspberry Pi

If you don’t want to be tied to a video screen during home workouts, Llum AcostaSamreen Islam, and Alfred Gonzalez shared this great Raspberry Pi–powered alternative on hackster.io: their voice-activated project announces each move of your workout routine and how long you need to do it for.

This LED-lit, compact solution means you don’t need to squeeze yourself in front of a TV or crane to see what your video instructor is doing next. Instead you can be out in the garden or at a local park and complete your own, personalised workout on your own terms.

Kit list:

Raspberry Pi and MATRIX Device

The makers shared these setup guides to get MATRIX working with your Raspberry Pi. Our tiny computer doesn’t have a built-in microphone, so here’s where the two need to work together.

MATRIX, meet Raspberry Pi

Once that’s set up, ensure you enable SSH on your Raspberry Pi.

Click, click. Simple

The three sweet Hackster angels shared a four-step guide to running the software of your own customisable workout routine buddy in their original post. Happy hacking!

1. Install MATRIX Libraries and Rhasspy

Follow the steps below in order for Rhasspy to work on your Raspberry Pi.

2. Creating an intent

Access Rhasspy’s web interface by opening a browser and navigating to http://YOUR_PI_IP_HERE:12101. Then click on the Sentences tab. All intents and sentences are defined here.

By default, there are a few example sentences in the text box. Remove the default intents and add the following:

[Workout]start [my] workout

Once created, click on Save Sentences and wait for Rhasspy to finish training.

Here, Workout is an intent. You can change the wording to anything that works for you as long as you keep [Workout] the same, because this intent name will be used in the code.

3. Catching the intent

Install git on your Raspberry Pi.

sudo apt install git

Download the repository.

git clone https://github.com/matrix-io/rhasspy-workout-timer

Navigate to the folder and install the project dependencies.

cd rhasspy-workout-timernpm install

Run the program.

node index.js

4. Using and customizing the project

To change the workout to your desired routine, head into the project folder and open workout.txt. There, you’ll see:

jumping jacks 12,plank 15, test 14

To make your own workout routine, type an exercise name followed by the number of seconds to do it for. Repeat that for each exercise you want to do, separating each combo using a comma.

Whenever you want to use the Rhasspy Assistant, run the file and say “Start my workout” (or whatever it is you have it set to).

And now you’re all done — happy working out. Make sure to visit the makers’ original post on hackster.io and give it a like.

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