Eduponics Mini v2.0 Smart Agriculture IoT kit gets more flash, new sensors, 4-channel valve board (Crowdfunding)

Eduponics Mini 2.0 Smart Agriculture IoT Kit

Eduponics Mini v2.0 is a Smart Agriculture IoT kit based on the ESP32 wireless microcontroller with built-in sensors to measure temperature, humidity, barometric pressure, and ambient light, and interfaces to connect water level and soil moisture sensors. The new board builds upon the Eduponics Mini introduced two years ago, but based on the 8MB flash version of the ESP32-WROVER-B module, a different mix of sensors, a BM8563 RTC module replacing the DS1307 RTC chip, and the addition of Grove connectors for external sensors from companies such Elecrow. Eduponics Mini v2.0 specifications with highlights in bold or strikethrough showing the differences with the first revision of the board: Wireless module – ESP32-WROVER-B module with ESP32 Wi-Fi and Bluetooth SoC, 8MB QSPI flash loaded with MicroPyhon firmware, 8MB SPRAM, PCB antenna Built-in sensors BH1750 I2C light sensor Footprint for BME280 I2C temperature, humidity, and barometric sensor QMP6988 I2C Barometric air pressure sensor […]

FOSSBot open design 3D printed educational robot is made with Raspberry Pi and off-the-shelf parts

DIY open design robot Raspberry Pi SBC

FOSSBot is an “open design” 3D printed educational robot comprised of a Raspberry Pi SBC and various off-the-shelf modules, as well as open-source software that can be used for education purposes. The FOSSBot DIY robot has been developed by the Harokopio University of Athens and the Greek Free and Open Source Software (GFOSS) community, and builds upon the “GSOC 2019 – A DIY robot kit for educators” with the main goal being to have a platform to “familiarize teachers with modern education models based on the S.T.E.A.M approach. (Science, Technology, Engineering, Arts, Mathematics)”. FOSSbot key components: SBC – Raspberry Pi Zero W, Raspberry Pi 3, or Raspberry Pi 4. Mechanically and electrically compatible Raspberry Pi alternatives could be an option too although part of the software would have to be modified Storage – 32GB MicroSD card Expansion board – Adafruit Perma-Proto HAT for Pi – No EEPROM to connect sensors […]

ultraArm P340 Arduino-based robotic arm draws, engraves, and grabs

ultraArm P340 robotic arm draw engrave grabber

Elephant Robotics ultraArm P340 is a robot arm with an Arduino-compatible ATMega2560 control board with a 340mm working radius whose arm can be attached with different accessories for drawing, laser engraving, and grabbing objects. We’ve previously written and reviewed the myCobot 280 Pi robotic arm with a built-in Raspberry Pi 4 SBC, but the lower-cost ultraArm P340 works a little differently since it only contains the electronics for controlling the servos and attachments, and needs to be connected to a host computer running Windows or a Raspberry Pi over USB. ultraArm P340 specifications: Control board based on Microchip ATMega2560 8-bit AVR microcontroller @ 16MHz with 256KB flash, 4Kb EEPROM, 8KB SRAM DOF – 3 to 4 axis depending on accessories Working radius – 340mm Positioning Accuracy – ±0.1 mm Payload – Up to 650 grams High-performance stepper motor Maximum speed – 100mm/s Communication interfaces – RS485 and USB serial Attachment […]

TwoTrees TS2 laser engraver review – Part 2: A beginner’s experience with LaserGRBL and MKSLaser

TwoTrees TS2 laser engraver with MELE PCG02 PC stick

I’ve now had time to play with TwoTrees TS2 laser engraver after doing an unboxing and providing assembly instructions last month, so I can report my experience in this review using LaserGRBL program and MKSLaser mobile app. Note that this is my first laser engraver, and I’ll detail the many issues and mistakes I’ve come across so it might be useful to other beginners. Testing TS2 laser engraver assembly Before doing some engravings and cuts, we’ll have to test the TS2 to make sure it was properly assembled and we can operate it normally. The company is recommending the open-source and free LaserGRBL or the paid Lightburn program to control the TS2. I went with the former which happens to only work in Windows or macOS, while most of my hardware is running Linux or Android. So I dug out an older HDMI PC stick, the MeLE PCG01 running Windows […]

Making a DIY Raspberry Pi camera mount with privacy mode!

XYLITOL Raspberry Pi Camera Mount

I’ve just repurposed an empty XYLITOL gum bottle into a DIY camera mount for the Raspberry Pi Camera Module 3 with privacy mode to boot… In order to avoid confusion, while Xylitol is a chemical compound, it’s also a Japanese brand of chewing gums (Lotte XYLITOL) that is sold in Thailand and other countries. I’m specifically talking about the latter in this post. Raspberry Pi Trading has just sent me a bunch of Raspberry Pi Camera Modules 3 for review, and since I don’t have any camera mount I initially thought maybe I’ll laser cut some mount or use some LEGOs as I did with the e-CAM20_CURB camera for Raspberry Pi 4. But then I saw some empty XYLITOL gum bottles, noticed the cap would open vertically, and it seemed like the modules might fit in there as well. And indeed they do with the Raspberry Pi camera modules snugged […]

Adding an external serial console port to NanoPi R6S

NanoPi R6S DIY external UART console

I had no trouble with my first experience with NanoPi R6S while installing and running the FriendlyWrt/OpenWrt 22.03 image, but that was another story when testing Ubuntu or Debian as the mini PC would not boot at all after flashing the images with eFlasher apparently successfully, but suspiciously fast (under 2 seconds). I spent nearly four hours trying the different images and then the Rockchip Windows utility, but all my attempts failed, and FriendlyElec was not overly helpful. So I decided to connect a serial console to see what was going on. The NanoPi R6S comes with a 3-pin header for the serial console, but it’s not populated. So I soldering one, but not at the top of the bottom, and instead at the bottom since it would allow me to still use the metal enclosure to cool the processor. Some readers, or at least one, often complain about the […]

TOOCA Laser L1 review – An affordable 5W laser engraver

TOOCA Laser L1 review

ELECFREAKS’ TOOCA Laser L1 is an affordable 5W laser engraver with a sturdy yet lightweight structure and that can engrave various materials including metals. It’s easy to use with a one-button press and suitable for education in schools. TOOCA Laser L1 laser engraver unboxing The laser engraver comes as a kit with components that can be easily assembled. It was well-packed with little risk of being damaged during transport. It also includes tools and instructions for assembly, and you don’t need any extra tools to complete the assembly. TOOCA Laser L1 specifications The machine measures 568x632x198 mm, weighs 3.2 kg only so it can easily be carried around, and offers a 400×415 mm working area. It works with Windows and macOS and only requires 24V power available through the provided power adapter. A wide range of file types are supported, and the device can engrave many types of materials and […]

LapPi 2.0 – A DIY laptop for Raspberry Pi 4 and other single board computers (Crowdfunding)

LapPi 2.0 DIY Raspberry Pi laptop

The LapPi 2.0 is a DIY laptop kit with an acrylic enclosure, a UPS HAT with a 18650 battery holder, and off-the-shelf parts including speakers, a touchscreen display, a Raspberry Pi camera, and a wireless keyboard that’s suitable for the Raspberry Pi 4 and pretty much any other small single board computer from Radxa, Orange Pi, Banana Pi, FriendlyElec, Hardkernel, and others. We’ve seen several Raspberry Pi laptops over the years with the CrowPi L and Pi-Top, and I have to say the LapPi 2.0 is not the most eye-pleasing or sophisticated design, but at least, it’s versatile and not limited to the Raspberry Pi family. LapPi 2.0 kit content and highlights: Display – 7-inch 5-point capacitive touchscreen IPS display with 1024×600 resolution support for audio output via 3.5mm audio jack and 4-pin header Camera – Official 8MP Raspberry Pi Noir camera with night vision support Audio – 2x 5W/8 […]

ASUS Tinker board - Raspberry Pi alternative