Learning to Control Robots with Your Raspberry Pi

Physical computing / robotics has become a fun and potent force in the world of technology.   There’s something magical about writing software that moves stuff in the real world.   I love that my brother in another city can chase my kids remotely using our Raspberry Pi robot I built.

In the past week, I got my hands on a new Raspberry Pi 2.  This inexpensive Linux computer gives you the ability to interface with electronics, python tools and stuff to learn to code.   Over the weekend, I decided to upgrade my CoderBot design to the Raspberry Pi 2.   In moving the robot control program over to the Raspberry Pi 2, I found out that I needed to re-write some python code to control my robot.  This process wasn’t trivial and I needed a good coach.


Fortunately, I found a great set of Raspberry PI video tutorials by Paul Mcwhorter.   Make sure to check out his blog at http://TopTechBoy.com .   Paul recorded these video tutorials on Raspberry PI to serve the high school students he teaches.   He covers everything from setting up your Raspberry Pi for the first time, learning Linux to using the GPIO python API.  For my project, I needed to learn how to control servos using the Raspberry Pi.

Make sure to check out http://TopTechBoy.com to review Paul’s complete list of Raspberry Pi lessons.   He also offers content on Arduino and other micro-controllers.   So far, I have found his coaching complete and informative.   As he’s teaching you to use the GPIO API to interface with electronics, I really appreciate how he connected an oscilloscope to help you visualize the patterns of voltage levels.   Check out Paul’s links below.

I hope you find these resources helpful.

What kind of stuff are you building with your Raspberry Pi?  Leave a comment below!



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10 Tools You’ll Love at SparkMacon Makerspace

Spark Macon

SparkMacon is a community space equipped with the tools and grass-roots education required to convert your idea into a reality. We blend the best of art & technology. In this post, I wanted to give you a taste of the types of tools our makerspace can offer to makers of all ages.

Our Community: We’re very proud of our community. Many of our members go out of their way to coach, mentor, and teach the tools and their skills. Why? Because they love what they do and want to share that joy with others.

3D printing: Got an idea for a product? With our 3D printing equipment, you can create a prototype!

3D Modeling Software: With the high interest in 3D printing, it becomes important to know how to create 3D models. Our community will be offering additional workshops to train you in 3D modeling software that works for you. TinkerCAD is one of my favorite tools for beginners.

Laser Cutter: Laser cutting and engraving is such a fun technology. In the following video, you can how to use the laser cutter to create 3D structures. Great tool for artists and robot builders!!

Wood working space
Wood working space

Adobe Creative Cloud: Thanks to the generous support of Adobe, our space offers our members full access to the Adobe Creative Cloud. These are amazing tools for digital artists and creatives.

Robot building: We’re currently building out workshops to help you create your own DIY robot for tinkering and learning.

Electronics: The Arduino has become a popular open source electronics tool for prototyping products. If you’re interested in trying out Raspberry Pi’s, wearables, and other electronics tools, you have to visit our electronics lab.

Korg Kross: For our music creatives, we offer software and equipment for basic music recording and audio recording. When we first opened SparkMacon, it was REALLY fun learing our Korg Kross. We really need to have a SparkMacon Jam session soon!

HP Sprout

Make sure to visit SparkMacon.com to learn about our training workshops. There’s a maker and artist in all of us! We hope to support you in your creativity! Learn more at SparkMacon.com

I want to thank all of our members and partner communities. We’re very thankful for you, your support, and helping to grow our community by sharing your craft. We would be nothing without our community.

Hope you have a great week!

Minecraft Coding with ComputerCraftEdu #code #makered #edtech


Hi. As I was researching new ways to improve our Minecraft coding workshop coming soon, a friend of mine asked me to check out the ComputerCraftEdu MOD.   ComputerCraftEdu empowers young coders to control small turtle robots in your Minecraft world.   These little programmable robots can do many of the jobs a normal player can execute like digging, gathering inventory, building structure using blocks.   Trying to get younger middle school students to type well can be quite a challenge.   I appreciated that ComputerCraftEdu mod provides a drag and drop interface for laying out movement commands and action commands.    If you’re interested in getting students into real code, the environment enables players to script out actions using the Lua programming language.  Students will get exposure to the ideas of sequencing actions, planning, repeating, and variables.  I’m looking forward to trying this mod out with our young makers in our makerspace.

Computer Craft Edu - code view

To help you get started with ComputerCraftEdu yourself, check out the following video and links:



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