Dinky OSC “Paw Game”

Phil is experimenting & learning how to control text / images on the #SSD1306 (128×64 px OLED display) attached to the #RaspberryPi #Pico – he’s ended up making a little game that involved moving a “Cat Paw” around with a slider & potentiometer and a button press “grabs” at what’s underneath the paw.

Phil is experimenting & learning how to control text / images on the #SSD1306 (128×64 px OLED display) attached to the #RaspberryPi #Pico – he’s ended up making a little game that involved moving a “Cat Paw” around with a slider & potentiometer and a button press “grabs” at what’s underneath the paw.

the code for the game is here

There are 8 “targets” to grab (you can change that by changing the line:
dots = 8 ) & the targets fly around with a random vector, each connecting to the next target with a line. The paw has a “hot spot” (the middle of the paw) and a “circle object” draws around it using the distance from it to the 1st target in the list (calculated by some simple trig in the utilities.py module, after an angle & radius has been calculated from the two objects’ positions)

Phil’s commented the main.py script as best he can, but, if you need any explanation, just holler!

Dinky OSC “image objects” drawn on SSD1306 128×64 px OLED screen controlled by GPIO pot, slider, buttons.

OOP Orbits

Phil has been learning OOP (Object Orientated Programming) in Python & applying it to his #dinkyOSC development on the raspberry pi pico. We’re aiming for two styles of GUI, a “simple” numbers / settings interface (like digital representation of a “normal” midi device, and a “visually creative” interface (what ever that develops into!)

Phil has developed an OOP system to create & manage “orbiting objects”

This “Orbit OOP” script creates an object that keeps track of a centre point, and equally spaces points around it using some simple trigonometry based on the slider & rotary Potentiometer’s values. (Slider = Length of radius to orbit, pot = angle (0-259° (converted to Radians (Degree * (Pi / 180.0)))

Button 1 & 2 “add & subtract” points (with a minimum of 1 & maximum of 9 points). When a point is added, the “orbit object” calculates the angular segments (4 objects = 90° segments, 5 object = 72° etc) and re-draws the objects accordingly. Phil also created different “image objects” that can follow the orbit points, but stuck with a simple BOX object (text box with padding) that follows the orbit point from its own centre (x,y for an object is usually top, left, so he subtracted 1/2 the width & height from the x,y orbit).

These scripts are still considered “experiments” but Phil had been asked by a few people online (when posting videos) if the code was available… so, here it is in a zip for you to play with. Remember, Phil’s still learning, so if it doesn’t “look like professional python code” do let him know where he can improve!

Dinky OSC – Raspberry Pi Pico

Eye Script test for the Dinky OSC with #Micropython on the #RaspberryPi #Pico

With the release of the #RaspberryPi #Pico in the last week of January 2021, we jumped at the chance to use it & the power of the newly developed RP2040 chip at the heart of the #DinkyOSC .

Using #micropython – we started exploring some of the initial components we think we’ll need for the DinkyOSC, buttons, potentiometers (“pots”), sliders and, the tiny 128×64 px SSD1306 OLED Display unit. Phil made an “eye Object” that takes values from the slider & pot & converts it to an X,Y position for the pupil of the Dinky Eye (graphic).

You can download the script (in a Zip) from here

Phil, as part of this project, will be writing guides & creating “step by step” procedures – so, he will work on this example as a first port of call. He himself is on a learning curve of how to write better python / micropython scripts & focussing on #objectOrientateProgramming to create shareable “modules” for the Dinky OSC, so if you see any glaring errors, do let him know as helpfully as you can. 😉

For an excellent start to using your own #pico – check out https://datasheets.raspberrypi.org/pico/raspberry-pi-pico-python-sdk.pdf

Dinky OSC – First Post!

We’ve been funded by Creative Scotland to explore the creation of a prototype “Dinky OSC” device to use with Sonic Pi

Hello! We’re so happy to be writing this post!

We had a tough 2020, with all of our (much loved) STEAM workshops cancelled due to #Covid19 – Everyone’s offering free online “how to” videos so we (Digital Maker CIC) needed to develop something to support our business while we wait for the ability to “run workshops physically” gets back to some sense of normality.

One of our most successful workshops so far (for WOW factor, creativity, ‘lightbulb’ moments) has been using Sam Aaron’s Sonic Pi – so we thought about making something that not only supports learners using Sonic Pi – but even advanced users, (musicians!) with an external OSC (“open sound control”) device. A small interface that can be programmed (or used “out the box”) to manipulate parameters in Sonic Pi “Real Time”.

We applied to Creative Scotland’s Open Fund: Sustaining Creative Development & have been successful in securing funding to develop our idea…

Our mission is to create a small, affordable OSC unit that is easy to use and helpful when creating music with Sonic Pi.

We will keep you posted through this blog on our journey.


Big Lottery funded DM CIC workshops start in Peterhead

We have been fortunate to be awarded a Big Lottery grant for 5 Driverless Car workshops in the North East of Scotland! We have arranged with Peterhead Academy & Inverurie Academy to start this term, Peterhead have an Afterschool Club for S2+ and We’ll be working with the Inverurie S3 Engineering class.

We’re running the Driverless Car workshop we piloted with Northfield Academy & Transition Extreme after school clubs (funded by ACC’s U-decide (participatory Budgeting)) – so a five week course, introducing the concepts of Machine Learning & Driverless Car technology.

Week one is always relaxed, fun & creative, with the teams creating their car chassis, camera mounts and raspberry pi placements. The Peterhead pupils were fantastic, engaged, entertained, interested, enthusiastic and inquisitive, all the attributes we love to see in innovators of tomorrow!

Below are a few photos from tonight’s session, we look forward to working with the class for the next 4 weeks!

If you’d like to know more about the Driverless Car workshop, want to get us into your school, or have any other questions about our STEAM activity, do email us! we’re getting busy!

Big thanks to the Big Lottery funding, it’s been invaluable! A lot of kids that wouldn’t usually get this type of STEAM education are now, thanks to this funding.

Driverless Car workshops – a five week course

Digital Maker CIC recently completed two 5-week driverless car workshops in Aberdeen. Northfield academy’s Science Club & Transition Extreme After School Club each had an exciting and challenging set of workshops for children aged 12+. Digital Maker CIC believes that these workshops are a “first” for the UK. Both projects were funded by Aberdeen City Council’s “U-decide” (participatory budgeting project).

The participants learned about Machine Learning, Engineering & design of the 1:16th scale cars, raspberry Pi terminal commands, to interface with the cars, computers    & cloud computing interfaces and driving the remote-controlled cars.

Working in teams of four, the pupils were given tasks of constructing & managing their cars, “training” and improving their driving skills, as the better the car is driven, the better the Machine Learning model will be. The pupils could quickly train & then produce ML models (via cloud computing), giving exciting results, as the cars drove themselves around the 4m2 tracks we use. The pupils quickly learned that the better they drove the cars, the automated driving improved.

The teams also tried to add obstacles (orange cones) into the modelling, creating various results (success & failure), but, with more training & time, the pupils understood that their cars would “get better” with time.

We’d like to thank Northfield Academy & Transition Extreme Sports Ltd for their support & use of space, in order that we could run the workshops. We are working on extending the workshops to Aberdeenshire & eventually have a North East interschools competition for the Driverless Car technology.

If you’d like more information, or want your school to participate in this project, please do get in touch!


Digital Maker CIC – CPD for the College Development Network

Digital Maker CIC had the privilege of being asked to run a robotics challenge workshop for the CDN (College Development Network Scotland) in Dundee & Angus College’s Gardyne campus on Friday 28th of September for over 20 College Lecturers.

Teams from all over Scotland joined us for a fun day, exploring, building & programming robots in order to compete in various challenges once the teams were ready. We gave each team a CamJam robotics kit with minimal worksheets / instructions and spent around 30 mins building the kits, using raspberry Pi Zeros & piTop Ceeds (to control / interface with the robot rover via  5 meter USB cable). the Edinburgh team took the initiative to make their rover wirelessly controlled, downloading & installing software through their own phone (extra points there!)

Once everyone had built & played with their rovers, controlling it via simple on-screen button & programmable interfaces (Custom Adapted Blockly by Digital Maker CIC), we then added a line detection sensor, giving the participants experience in electronics & GPIO use on the Pi Zero. The challenge was to create a line following algorithm using only 1 sensor & the Blockly interface, to get the team’s rover around a line path in the quickest time. There were a lot of different approaches, using repeat loops, “if statements” and more. One of the most elegant solutions was a simple algorithm by West Lothian College.

All teams produced line following algorithms with varying degrees of success, but, all teams were resilient & spent time honing their algorithms, trying various tweaks & fixes based on their observations, critical thinking & experimentation, which was great to see. The fastest line follower was under 1 minute, the longest (complete circuit) was just under 3 minutes.

Some teams managed to start exploring adding an ultrasonic distance sensor (HC SR04) to tackle the minimal maze we had brought along too, but, time had got the better of us, and after 6 hours of playing, experimenting, trying and learning, time was up!

We’d like to thank Kenji Lamb for organising the event & asking Digital Maker CIC to facilitate the workshop. We are planning to run a 2nd CDN Robotics CPD challenge with Kenji in 2019… so if you are interested, or want more information, please do get in touch!

College Development Network – DM CIC Robotics workshop

We were asked by the College Development Network to put on a robotics workshop for their CPD provision, so we gladly said YES!

Here’s a link to the course in Dundee & Angus College. They have kindly agreed to host the event at their Gardyne campus, and CDN are looking for college staff keen to exercise their engineering, programming and design skills on the 28th of September. 

Full details & links are here : https://www.events.cdn.ac.uk/ehome/362505?&t=30f2d8676e7ed69370facb7507bd3a4e

First Class for Driverless Car workshop in Northfeld Academy

Digital Maker’s Martin & Phil rolled out the first class of the five week Driverless Car workshop in Northfield Academy yesterday, with 20 pupils ranging from S1 – S6.

An introduction to the areas covered & straight onto building the 1/16th scale cars that are used with the Raspberry Pi & Camera. Everyone was fantastic, really productive, inquisitive, collaborative, it was a real pleasure to work with the Pupils. Also a special mention to science teacher, Mr Hunter, his help & assistance during the 2 hour class was brilliant, thank you so much for a great start to what we hope is a very rewarding & challenging class, which we believe is a first for Aberdeen, and Scotland!