Thinking of building large gameshow-like interactive experiences? Want to use your Raspberry Pi to talk to your computer? Interested in integrating custom controllers with your games? If so, this blog is you. We were tasked with creating an interactive experience — a Plinko-like game — for attendees to play at a trade show. It was a pretty cool project. We're sharing this walk-through so you can build your own.
But first, let's get this out of the way: what exactly is Plinko?
Ever seen The Price is Right? Plinko is one of the show's most popular games. In the physical game,…
It's been more than six months since my last update, perfect time to review some of the recent happennings in the Raspberry Pi ecosystem.
The biggest news was the launch of the Raspberry Pi 3 Model B+, announced appropriately on "Pi Day," March 14, 2018. An incremental update to the Pi 3 Model B, it adds some features requested by customers and takes advantage of some new hardware improvements.
As compared to the Raspberry Pi 3 Model 3, the B+ features a CPU clock speed increase from 1.2 to 1.4 GHz. It uses the same 64-bit quad-core ARM Cortex-A53 CPU, but can run a little faster due to new…
Since my last update there have been some new happenings in the Raspberry Pi community. Here's a look at a few of the most significant events.
Raspberry Pi Zero W
[Photo credit: raspberrypi-spy.co.uk]
In late February 2017 the newest Raspberry Pi model was announced: the Raspberry Pi Zero W. Though similar to the previously released Raspberry Pi Zero, the W model adds WiFi and Bluetooth functionality. The retail price is US$10, higher than the $5 Raspberry Pi Zero, but still significantly less expensive than the $35 Raspberry Pi 3 Model B.
I recently purchased one, along…
While much attention has been focused on the built-in WiFi hardware, the Raspberry Pi 3 (1) also ships with on-board support for Bluetooth. Bluetooth is a wireless technology for exchanging data over short distances using 2.4 GHz radio signals.
When running the recommended Raspbian Linux distribution, the Raspberry Pi uses the standard Linux Bluetooth software stack called BlueZ (2). Qt's Bluetooth module (3) on the Linux platform also supports BlueZ, which means that it works on the Raspberry Pi.
Following the procedure in my recent blog post (4) to build Qt will provide support for…
Yocto(1) is a software framework for embedded Linux systems. We've looked at it in previous blog posts(2). It forms the basis of many embedded Linux distributions, including The Qt Company's boot2qt that is part of their commercial product Qt For Device Creation(3).
Knowledge of Yocto is a very desirable and marketable skill to have for anyone working with embedded systems. While you can use emulators that run on a desktop Linux system, there is no substitute for experience with a real embedded board.
Yocto supports a number of embedded hardware platforms, one of the most popular being…
It has been just over four months since my last blog post on the Raspberry Pi (1). Since then, the project has continued to move forward and I thought it was appropriate to write a new update.
The Raspberry Pi 3
Raspberry Pi 3 (image credit: Tech Radar)
In my last blog post I covered the Raspberry Pi Zero, which offers similar functionality to the Raspberry Pi 2 at the ridiculously low cost of 5 dollars. Shortly after that blog was written, the Raspberry Pi Foundation announced the Raspberry Pi 3 Model B. This third generation version of the device offers a faster 1.2 GHz 64-bit quad-…
The Raspberry Pi (1) is one of the more popular low-cost computers on the market. It has an ARM CPU, hardware video acceleration, RAM, SD card mass storage, and almost everything that a regular desktop computer has to offer at a fraction of the size and cost.
It also has a set of GPIO (General Purpose Input-Output) pins which permit you to connect sensors to it to perform tasks such as measuring the temperature or checking whether plants need to be given more water.
MRAA (2) is a library from Intel that simplifies the logic for connecting to different sensor pins. It allows you to program…
My last blog post on the Raspberry Pi was written last April, when I covered the release of the Raspberry Pi 2. Since then, a number of things have happened in the Raspberry Pi ecosystem and I thought it was an appropriate time for another update. Here is a list of some of the events that, in my opinion, were of interest or were significant over the past few months.
Despite the release of the newer Raspberry Pi 2, the Raspberry Pi 1 model A+ and B+ continue to be sold. In May, as a result of production optimizations, the price of the Raspberry Pi 1 model B+ was decreased…
The Raspberry Pi 2 computer, released in February 2015, is the latest generation of Raspberry Pi hardware.
It is a significantly faster machine than the original Raspberry Pi, with a new Broadcom BCM2836 system on a chip that has a quad-core ARM Cortex A7 CPU running at 900 MHz. The GPU is a VideoCore IV dual-core GPU, the same as on the original Raspberry Pi.
RAM has been increased from 512 MB to 1 GB, and the number of USB ports from two to four.
The video support is unchanged, although the composite video output is now provided via a 3.5mm TRRS jack that also provides audio out, rather…
As the year draws to a close, I thought it would be good to take a look back at some of the major events of the Qt world in 2014.
Qt is now on a regular schedule of two major releases per year. We saw Qt 5.3.0 (1) come out in May and Qt 5.4.0 (2) in December. More minor releases occur, as needed, between the major releases.
Qt 4 continues to see maintenance releases with a Qt 4.8.6 (3) coming out this year, and a 4.8.7 release planned in the first quarter of 2015. As announced at Qt Developer Days, Qt 4 will be officially supported for one more year. If the experience of Qt 3 is any…
Since my last blog about the Raspberry Pi in August, there have been a number of interesting new developments and the Raspberry Pi project has continued to move ahead.
As expected, the new Raspberry Pi Model A+ was released. With the Model A+, the Raspberry Pi Foundation has been able to achieve a price reduction over the $25 Model A, with a suggested retail price of only $20. Like the Model A, it has 256MB of RAM, 1 USB port and no built-in Ethernet. Like the model B+, it features a 3.5mm TRRS jack providing composite video and audio output, uses a MicroSD card for…
In this post we'll look at the Raspberry Pi camera module, a low cost hardware module that supports still picture and video recording and is the first official hardware add-on for the Raspberry Pi. We'll also look at the camera's features and specifications, how to set it up and examine the software that supports it.
This post is based on a lightning talk I gave at Qt Developer Days 2013, updated with some additional information since then.
Learn more about Programming with Qt for Embedded Devices with ICS Training
Since 2012, the Raspberry Pi…
This document will explain how to build Qt 5.2.0 beta1 and QtWayland for Raspberry Pi (http://www.raspberrypi.org/). The procedure will likely work with the Qt 5.2.0 release candidate and final release, once they become available.
There are a variety of HOWTOs and other documents on the web on how to build one or the other – this document will attempt to walk you through each step. As Qt and QtWayland are constantly under development, this document may not be precisely up to date going into the future.
For a good overview of Wayland, see the Wayland wiki page here .
We will build Qt 5.2.0…
This is a HOW TO guide for building Qt 5 for the Raspberry Pi, and building and deploying Qt 5 apps using Qt Creator. This guide will be using Raspbian “Wheezy”, a Debian based distro designed for the Raspberry Pi. This guide also assumes the use of Linux or UNIX on the workstation side.
Note: Throughout this guide the symbol “$” denotes a command prompt on the host workstation, and “pi$” denotes a command prompt on the target Raspberry Pi.
You will need the following downloads:
The latest Raspbian “Wheezy” version of Debian Linux [2013-02-09]
This week was another slow week as many people were off part of the week due to New Year's or extended holidays.
PhoneGap, recently renamed to Apache Callback, is now being renamed as Apache Cordova. There is discussion on the mailing list about where the code repositories will reside. It may be on github or the Apache git or both. There are also discussions on what Wiki to use. We're waiting for the dust to settle before we can commit any code changes.
On the Qt mailing list, release plans for Qt 5 are starting to shape up. To meet the goal of a release for this summer, the first…
This week we did some marketing to promote the project. I made a posting to the callback developer mailing list and we put a link to this blog from the ICS web site. Quim Gil of Nokia kindly made a posting to the Nokia Qt blog. I also recorded a podcast with Mark Hatch for the ICS This Week in Qt podcast. All of this effort stimulated some good discussion on the blogs and callback developer mailing list.
Based on comments from some of the Qt 5 and WebKit developers, we will need to implement the Web View differently in Qt 5 since the QWebView widget will likely not be available on mobile…
This week we finished implementing some Cordova APIs (at least for the Qt 4 version). Compass and Accelerometer are done and some of Events was implemented. Notification is done as is most of File support and we are starting work on Contacts and Camera.
Note that I am going to start consistently using the name Cordova rather than Callback orPhoneGap for this project.
Since the last posting we properly set up deployment of Cordova Qt for MeeGo Harmattan (e.g. the Nokia N9 phone). We also got Qt 5 packages including WebKit built for MeeGo Harmattan and tested it on a Nokia N9. Incidently, a big PR1.2 software update rolled out this week for MeeGo Harmattan phones.
Both the Qt 4 and Qt 5 versions now use a QML WebView as there is no support for widgets on some mobile platforms. However, Symbian S60 systems may still be using Qt 4.6 which doesn't support QML so it looks like we still need to maintain a widget-based version for these systems.
More of the…
Throughout this project one thing that has been constantly changing has been the source code repositories, both due to several project names changes and with the move to being run as an Apache project.
This last week the old repository at http://github.com/cordova/cordova-qt was removed and replaced by the read-only repository at http://github.com/apache/incubator-cordova-qt. The upstream repository is at http://git-wip-us.apache.org/repos/asf?p=incubator-cordova-qt.git. Changes made to the Apache repository get mirrored to github. Developers who are not maintainers can submit pull requests…
Work has been slowing down somewhat as Qt 5 has been firming up for release. The Qt 5 alpha came out on April 3rd and we tested our code with it. Work is moving ahead for a Qt 5 beta release and then the 5.0.0 final this summer.
Qt 4.8.1 also came out and we tested Cordova Qt with it. A 4.8.2 is expected in the next few weeks, indicating that Qt 4 is still actively being developed and is expected to do so for some time until Qt 5 is stable. Realistically I would expect many people to continue to use Qt 4 at least until Qt 5.1 is out, as some of the Qt Quick 2 C++ APIs will not be…
We've recently been running the Cordova tests and making some fixes to get them to run better. We've documented on the Wiki how to run the Cordova tests. See the section "Running Cordova Tests" at this wiki page. We hope to have a demo video up soon showing the tests running on the simulator and Nokia phones.
Incidently, the Qt Wiki recently moved from http://wiki.qt-project.org/ to http://qt-project.org/wiki/ The older Wiki will go away at some point.
We made a couple more videos showing a preliminary version of Wikipedia Mobile running on Cordova Qt. The first video shows it running on a…
About three weeks ago, Nokia arranged for ICS to gain access to the Raspberry Pi board so that we could help with an exploratory open source effort to get Qt working on this platform. That is how I got my chance to hack some code for this amazing board. The idea was to get a bleeding edge version of Qt 5 to run and to experience first hand hardware accelerated QSceneGraph based QML. And indeed bleeding edge it is - but also blazing fast. Now, first things first:
We have all by now heard of Raspberry Pi, the newest entry into the world of dessert named geek toys. Actually we are talking real…
Good talking to you all at Qt Dev Days Munich. We captured some of our Raspberry Pi thoughts in a podcast posted here: This Week in Qt Episode 23
We'll be at Dev Days in San Francisco beginning Nov 29 - hope to see you there!
Here's a video of my colleague, Roland Krause, demonstrating Qt 5 + Raspberry Pi at Qt Dev Days in Munich. Stop by our booth in San Francisco next week to see it first hand...and for your chance to win one of your very own!
Be sure to stop by the ICS stand at Qt Developer Days this week for a chance to win a Raspberry Pi. We'll be giving away 50 boards over the course of the conference!
As part of the initiative to put Qt 5 on Raspberry Pi, ICS gave away over 70 Raspberry Pi boards to interested developers at Qt Developer Days last week. If you were one of the lucky winners, be on the lookout over the next few days for an email from ICS so you'll know how to go about receiving it once they are available. More details and a video demo are available here: Qt 5 + Raspberry Pi
The Raspberry Pi folks report that the first batch of production boards is finally in production. The first 10,000 units should start becoming available around the end of this month.
ICS should be getting a number of boards from this first batch which we will distribute among our developers.
The people that won boards in our booth at Qt Developer Days should also shortly be receiving vouchers to claim their boards.
Ten of the beta boards went up for auction on eBay as a fundraiser for the non-profit Raspberry Pi foundation. The first board sold was bought by an anonymous buyer and donated…
The Raspberry Pi boards are now shipping in volume from the distributors and unboxing videos are showing up all over the Internet.
If you were one of the winners of a board from ICS you should have received an e-mail today with the details on how to redeem your voucher. If not, check your spam filter (we've had some reports of the e-mails being marked as spam) and if you didn't receive it, e-mail Amy Zinkann and we'll check the status for you.
For the latest developments on Raspberry Pi check the website and for Qt on Raspberry Pi check this Wiki page.