Spring 2016 Projects

Pi Game Player

Raspberry Pi is an ideal platform to build a small robot. We get the idea from Lab3 which we can build a robotic car on a raspberry pi system by writing some controlling programming. But, in Lab3, our robot does not have “eyes”. So, here is our idea – we want to build up a robot with eyes and make it play some simple game apps, such as Lumberman. Lumberman is a mobile game app, where you need to avoid the branches when you chop the wood. We implemented the algorithm to detect where the branches are and make our raspberry pi to chop the wood happily!

CNPI: Improving CNC performance with a Raspberry Pi

The goal of this project is to develop a low-cost supplemental add on device to a CNC system to provide similar feedback control like a more expensive machine. This would allows smaller shops to produce higher quality parts, while avoiding the significant expense of upgrading machinery. The final result of this project would be to create a sub $100 easy to use device that can easily be integrated into the machine shop environment.

Raspberry Pi Car HUD

The goal of our project is to use the Raspberry Pi and create a touchscreen enabled Heads Up Display (HUD) for an automobile. The HUD would display useful, real time information through an easy-to-ready GUI onto a PiTFT screen. Some example information includes the automobile’s speed, acceleration, cabin temperature, and engine RPM etc. We interfaced with a 2007 model Toyota Yaris through its OBDII port using Bluetooth technology and was able to capture real-time engine diagnostics data. We also programmed an Inertial Measurement Unit (IMU) that contained an accelerometer, gyroscope, magnetometer, and temperature sensor in order to capture the vehicle’s directional orientation, acceleration, and cabin temperature.


The goal of this project is to develop an RFID based entry system for Cornell labs based on the Raspberry Pi. The current entry system for the labs features a magnetic card reader which requires users to swipe their ID to gain access to the lab. The magnetic reader sometimes fails to read the card in one swipe, which means that user might have to swipe more than once to get into the lab. Moreover, the current system maintains user information locally on each door which means security personnel have to manually program the sensor to authorize or remove users. We have addressed these problems by using a RFID reader and leveraging the mySQL support on Raspberry Pi. The RFID reader is guaranteed to read the card in on go (provided that the card works) which eliminates the need for users to swipe many times. The mySQL database allows security personnel to control access through one central database.


Inspired by open source live-coding and audio collaboration, using the Raspberry Pi, we have designed and built a sound synthesizer system. In this system, there is a front end web UI that users will be able to log onto and manage their music tracks. Upon user submission, the sound tracks will be sent through http to the back end server that process the track information and play out the mixed music by looping all tracks it received from all users. In principle, the system is able to support an infinite number of users and we didn’t encounter bottlenecks when multiple users are using the system simultaneously.

Classifier Robot

We plan to build a robot that would help users remotely explore a given space and identify key objects therein. Our robot will be instrumental in researching, analyzing, and documenting unknown areas. In particular, these spaces may be dangerous to human life. Our solution would provide humans the safety of not having to physically explore the location, but still the benefit of gathering all the necessary information. Additionally, to preserve the data, our robot communicates with social media to give constant updates of its findings.


ReflowberryPi endeavors to create a cost effective solder reflow oven utilizing the raspberry Pi’s versatile network driven Linux development platform. The ReflowberryPi utilizes cost effective materials and simplistic code to achieve this goal.


Nowadays, more and more people would like to keep a pet at their home. According to the 2015-2016 National Pet Owners Survey conducted by the American Pet Products Association (APPA), as of 2016 It’s estimated that 70-80 million dogs and 74-96 million cats are owned in the United States. Approximately 37-47% of all households in the United States have a dog, and 30-37% have a cat. Sixty-five percent of U.S. households, or about 79.7 million families, own a pet. They treat their pets as their friends, even members of their family. Therefore, most owners are curious about their pets’ timely behavior when they are not at home. Out of this purpose, we planned to design a robot as our final project for those pet owners to supervise their pets no matter where they are.

Whiteboard Plotter

When given the chance to choose our own final project, we were keen on incorporating a physical hardware component. While brainstorming ideas we stumbled upon a video on YouTube that grabbed our interest. We thought it would be interesting and challenging to attempt to build something similar, so we decided to make a 2D whiteboard plotter. This involved designing, laser cutting and putting together an assembly that could control the position of a pen using two stepper motors, some string, and sheet plastic. Along with that, we developed software to convert images into points and linearly interpolate between them to create a smooth drawing of the original image.

I2C Communication with RPi.GPIO

The objective of this project was to develop an I2C driver that can be used with RPi.GPIO to set up I2C communication with raspberry pi. RPi.GPIO currently does not support communication modes like I2C, SPI, single-wire interface etc. We have to use solutions like wiringPi for this purpose. We provide a python file which you can download here and plug it in your python code and this works in harmony with RPi.GPIO. There are some other alternative python drivers available for I2C which are listed in section Other Solutions.

Autonomous Wall-E

The Raspberry Pi is a powerful and robust computer that is excellent for portable embedded systems. So we used it to build an autonomous Wall-E robot that navigates obstacles through an ultrasound sensor and can also be manually controlled through voice recognition or by pressing buttons on another host computer.

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