Happy 2014

Happy new year everyone!

This time of year usually gives you opportunity to look back on the last year and reflect, as look at where we are right now, as well as the future. So, I decided to do just that for Potteries Hackspace.

I trust you’ve all had plenty of turkey and enough drink to sink a small ship, but now all the kids are back to school it’s all back to normal.

The Potteries Hackspace group has been meeting almost every week throughout 2013 with the exception of the festive period, of course.

But we’re back! We’ll be open as normal on Tuesday 7th January (Tomorrow) at 7PM.

This year is set to be an interesting one for Potteries Hackspace. We’ve already got a few things lined up to get us going after the festive break.

Due to the success of the last Raspberry Jam at Newcastle College, there will be another on January 30th.

Also for 2014, we’ve got a challenge set.

Si said:

Hello Folks,
As you may remember, a little while ago I suggested we hold a line-following robot challenge at the end of December. Not sure if anyone has thought anymore about this so I thought I’d send out a post.

If you’re unaware what a line-follower is, its basically a small robot, normally 3 wheeled, that has light sensors underneath to detect a line on the floor, and follows it.  Normally you’d have a row of sensors, so it can detect whether it has strayed off the line.

A good and simple example is this: http://playwithrobots.com/make-it-form-scratch/simple-line-follower-robot

Here is an example of some rules: http://robogames.net/rules/line-following.php

This should be a interesting and simple way for people to build a robot, and if a few of us do it, any problems should be overcome easily.

I’ve designed some motor driver PCBs if anyone wants one, they will drive 2 motors independently of each other in both directions from any 5V board, e.g. Arduino, and could be interfaced to a Pi with a bit of jiggery pokery. They are 5cm x 5cm and I’ve got about 5 spare, PCB and components run to about £10.  Its mostly surface mount so should be a fun soldering challenge, or I can assemble them if its too daunting.

I’ll attach the schematic to this post, after the comp, they can be used to drive motors for other stuff, or a single stepper motor instead….

So who’s up for the challenge? The Gauntlet has been thrown…



You can read more about that on the Potteries Hackspace Google Group. We’re estimating a deadline for March. More information will follow once the details have been nailed down.

But that’s not all, some of our members have been busy working away on their own projects over the break which I’m sure they’ll be dying to show off.

What have you been working on?