March 20th 2018 - Project Proposal
March 27th 2018 - The city of the future challenge began as a very basic idea that was presented to me by Mr. Hallihan at the beginning of the year, it took me a while to actually decide to take on the challenge but eventually I decided it would be interesting to do. After I did decide to choose the challenge as my first project, I enlisted the help of our German exchange students to design some buildings in Tinkercad while I designed a basic city plan. The original plan was very basic and didn't outline all that much, just roads and houses, but in the following few days I added industrial areas, some small shops, and water to the design. At this point the actual design was very rough and hurt to look at, so I took a day to resize all the blocks so they fit together and looked nice. Over the next few weeks I poked around online to think about different materials that I could make my city and it's building out of, Mr. Hallihan suggested recycled materials since it was a city of the future and perhaps people realized that making their homes out of recycled materials is a better idea, who knows. Brilliant labs also suggested that we take on a larger aspect of the challenge, such as designing a transportation system or power grid for the whole collection of cities. A couple ideas bounced through our heads such as using the line following Sumobot we designed for the tournament or using the Sphero to follow a set path to mimic an automated bus service. However it seems at this point that I'm just not interested in the city of the future challenge and I'm likely going to drop it in favor of a more interesting project in the second half of the semester. As of right now I'm doing my Instructable and PowerPoint on the Sumobot project that I started helping on 2 weeks ago. The line following bot was unfinished when we actually went to the tournament so we actually had to finish it in the car on the way to the tournament using a WiFi hotspot graciously provided by Mr Hallihan, and I must say, it got pretty crowded in the front seat but we pulled through in the end and won the line following tournament by default since we were the only ones who actually made a line following robot.
May 7th 2018 - For my second project I chose the SenseHAT weather station project since I had experience with the Raspberry Pie and how it operates and the subject of weather interests me. When we began we immediatly had troubles with the SenseHAT, as it was freezing on boot and the Pie would not detect it therefore rendering it useless. It took us a few days to figure out what was wrong and lo and behold it was a hardware issue with the SD card and was caused by a corrupted SD card that was not letting us modify and files and resetting them upon a reboot of the system. This caused up quite a bit of frustration since we tried 3 different SenseHATs and all 3 of them worked on other Raspberry Pies so we believed it was a hardware issue, what was strange though, is that even after we replaced the SD card with a working one, 2 of the SenseHATs still didn't work on any Pies, we're still investigating this. Once the SenseHAT was working it was on to making it into a proper weather station, I found some sample code and instructions on how to use it from this website. I followed the instructions pretty much exactly and got it to broadcast the temperature via LED lights mounted to the SenseHAT. The next step was internet, and since we were on a school connection we had to use Mr. Hallihan's login and password to connect and after every restart we would have to ask him to input his information again, since it doesn't save. After this, we began experimenting with Initialstate, a service that is compatible with the SenseHAT and can be used to directly transmit data and view it as soon as it comes in, I initially had troubles getting the required software to install but I eventually realized that I wasn't actually connected to the internet and was trying to download while offline. After that, it was a simple matter of replacing print commands with log commands and putting in an access code from the site and we were good to go. I was pretty happy with it but Mr. Hallihan wanted more, so I inputted some code that let us measure speed and G forces, it took a while to make it work since it is measured quite strangely, but I used some math operations to have it converted into Meters per Second and broadcasted it in a simple line on the website. I attempted to get it to detect altitude, but so far I haven't been sucessful, but I am looking into previously used code to try and find a working example that I can use, for now we are using an Altimeter to measure height. Once all this was said and done, I took it for a test run through the school to see if it could work when moving, everything went well and we got some very good data.