Raspberry Pi – It’s Alive!

I got a Raspberry Pi (RPi) model B when it first came out. BTW, the RPi just turned 2 years old a few days ago. After waiting quite a while until it shipped, I opened it up, plugged a bunch of stuff into it, booted, and then said, “now what?” It seemed to have so many possibilities that I was excited about, but I got too busy with other stuff, to do much with it at first – story of my life.

A month or so ago I started looking into my next long-term project and the RPi seemed to fit in, so I decided to get it going again. This time I ordered the RPi camera, a USB wireless dongle, and a motion sensor so I could have something to play with.

Right away I realized that I needed a case to stabilize the RPi and mount the camera. I was tired of ordering things so I just made one real quick (see the pic).

Raspberry Pi in case

I still need to come up with a way to mount the motion sensor. Shouldn’t be a big deal. The wireless dongle is a lot cooler than I expected. With it, the current setup is only the power and hdmi cables connected to the RPi instead of power, hdmi, USB hub, and wired ethernet. I SSH into it to run scripts and management tasks. I setup an AFP share so I can drag and drop files to and from it via my Mac’s Finder.

Programming the RPi with Python is fun and there are lots of examples out there. I already have it snapping pictures and uploading them to Dropbox. I also have the motion sensor working. At the moment, the sensor will trigger the camera to come on for 10 seconds.

For the time being I’m going to set it up to spy on my dogs. Their movement will turn the camera on and snap a few pictures for now. I can add motion video to the mix later. When I get that set up the only cable needed will be for power.

When I can set aside more time, I’ll get openFrameworks running on it and play around with its graphics capabilities. I’m still on the fence as to whether I am going to keep moving forward with openFrameworks or if I’m gonna go another route with my long-term project. Once I nail that down, I’ll get the RPi setup to support the project.

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