Alex Eames from RasPi.tv has really outdone himself this time: he’s using a Wiimote and a Gertboard to make his Pi control a splendid array of motors and solenoids, complete with little flags and metal teacups that go ping. More flap-whizz-ding-vroom to your elbow, Alex. This is one of the best Gertboard demos I’ve seen so far. You can read more at RasPi.tv.
Gertboard is, of course, produced by Gert van Loo, one of the volunteer engineers who has given a huge amount of his spare time in doing Pi work over the last couple of years; he designed the large beta boards we used to develop the final Raspberry Pi that you’ve got on your desk right now, he works on the camera board, and he knows more about stepper motors than is strictly healthy. (Because Gert is not employed by the Foundation, you’ll occasionally find him in the comments and the forums here saying stuff like: “I am not part of the Foundation! I just help.” This is total nonsense; we wouldn’t have a Pi without Gert, and I’m pretty sure he knows it.)
The Gertboard is an expansion board for physical computing-types, making your Pi a powerful piece of kit in the real world: you can use it to detect and respond to external physical events, detect and output analogue voltages, drive powerful motors, detect switch presses, flash LEDs and drive relays.You can buy one from element14. (It also comes with a very fine manual which you can download for free from the product page.)
I’m hoping to meet Alex from Raspi.tv at Oxford Geek Night on March 13, when Eben and I will be dropping by for beers, a talk, and chat. The guys behind Manuel, the talking moose, and plenty of other Pi hackers will be there – I hope some more of you will join us!