At Wednesday’s Raspberry Pi meetup, Steve showed us his smartphone-controlled model rocket launch system. He has his Pi acting as a wifi hotspot. The Launch Control Officer connects with her smartphone and enters the launch code; a button appears on the screen and, once the countdown reaches 0, the LCO presses the button and WHOOSH the rocket leaves the pad on a pillar of fire and smoke. Of course at the meeting there was no fire or smoke, just a couple of light bulbs standing in for igniters, but Steve showed how one could select a pad (currently two are implemented) and ignite a rocket.
Meanwhile, concurrent but unrelated to the RPi meetup, was a robot build session. Xandon and his team were working on a Robomagellan robot for the upcoming Robothon (9/20) at Seattle Center. Robomagellan is an outdoor contest in which autonomous robots navigate varied terrain to reach traffic cone targets while avoiding obstacles and people. Xandon and co. were attaching a cool LIDAR unit to the robot (looks like a hockey puck in the picture above).