Help Send Tech Kits and Books to a Malaysian School in Need!

As part of Redditgifts For Teachers (a special Secret Santa exchange), I was matched with a Form 2 (Grade 8) class in an underdeveloped school in Penang, Malaysia, where the teacher has taken the initiative to teach his students programming in Python. His class is funded entirely by himself and donations from friends.

He is looking for some specific kits and books for his computer literacy class, and I would like to get more people to chip in and send stuff over. He’s the only Malaysian schoolteacher to have signed up, and as a geek myself I wish I had a teacher like him growing up in JB!

His wishlist - all of this can be new or used:

  1. Lego Robotics kits
  2. Arduino kits
  3. raspberry pi kits
  4. Textbooks on Java, Python, C for the school library

What I am asking for:

1. Shipments of smaller sets or books to be sent to his class
Some Malaysian distros (some of them have starter packs for about RM100 - RM200, ~US$30 - US$40):

2. People to chip in and get one of the bigger education-level sets, such as the Lego Robotics Education set (over RM2000, close to US$700)
I’m a little wary of being the financial point person for this but if someone else wants to help out please do so.

3. Connections to organisations or clubs that want to help
I contacted edu360 as well as Penang Science Cluster. If you are a regular member on LowYat please post this there!

4. Resources for other places to buy stuff on his wishlist, especially affordable ones

I am specifically targeting Malaysians, but if you are elsewhere in the world and want to help out feel free! Shipping deadline is Sept 18 and I plan to send out a starter kit by then so at least they have *something*, but more is always handy.

Contact me (Tiara, notyourexrotic, me[at]creatrixtiara[dot]com) for details: I asked the redditgifts staff and they said I can make the general details publicly known but not the teacher’s name or school.

And do share! Thank you!

Finished coding my comm link for my Knights of Sidonia cosplay!
Actually finished it a long time ago, just held off on adding a bilingual/Japanese interface.

It reads luminosity, humidity, temperature, and dew point because… I dunno, SCIENCE!
The other page reads G-force in all X, Y, Z axes (there is a warning that says if G is zero, you’re adrift in space (!!!), and to turn on your SOS! :O ).
Definitely basic environmental info a space suit should need, especially when humanity is looking for a new, extraterrestrial home, right?!

This was pretty easy and quick to do, since all it really does is read input values from 3 sensors (humidity/temperature sensor, accelerometer, photosensor), adjusts/scales them to values meaningful to us humans, and outputs it on the LCD.
One button is all that’s needed to switch from 2 (or more if so desired) pages, and to toggle the language (hold the button for 5 seconds) between English and Japanese.

Another feature I wanted to add was a gyro, so it can continuously point to the user where Sidonia is (or in my case, my car or hotel room, lol). But that required more math and pricey components than I have resources for at the moment.

Now just gotta paste this entire contraption into my glove!:D

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Knitting Machine Hack and Glitch Knit

Created by Nukeme () + So KANNO () + Tomofumi YOSHIDA () Supported by Emi YAMAMOTO and FabLabShibuya ()

Arduino LED Bicycle!


A bike that has an LED light speedometer? Why not? Check out this cool tutorial on how Arduino was used to make this creation:


What could you create using Arduino? Keep an eye out for "The TAB Book of Arduino Projects: 36 Things to Make with Shields and Proto Shields,” by our very own electronics guru Simon Monk, due out very soon!

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Beat Buddy is a fun, assistive device designed and constructed for the Victoria University of Wellington Physical Computing course (MDDN251). Beat Buddy can be placed on any firm surface to detect when the user taps on the desk. These taps and knocks are then fed into a companion program where they are recorded as beats and looped. The companion program also displays the loop in such a way that the user’s beats become a generative art piece. Beat Buddy is powered by an Arduino Pro Mini and the companion program was written with Processing.

Starfinder, Part 4

Internet’s back for now! (Thanks janie!) So I can run my mouth about my hobbies on the internet some more.

Finally got a chance to mess around with this in MATLAB. To recap, I’ve got a magnetometer that I need to calibrate. In a perfect world with a perfectly calibrated magnetometer, you should be able to move it all around in random orientations and get a set of points that, when graphed in three axes, form a sphere centered on the origin. Normally, however, what you get is more of an ellipsoid somewhere out in no man’s land.


Like that. (I got this dataset by the very scientific method of shaking my breadboard around while taking readings.) You can see it’s nowhere near the center. It’s also nowhere near spherical. This picture shows it a little better.


So I need to take this thing and move it onto the center, rotate it to align its axes with the coordinate axes, scale it onto a sphere, and derotate it. (The reason to rotate and then derotate is to get a set of scaling factors you can apply after calibration without going through all this mess to do it.)

Calculating the offsets I need to get this centered is pretty easy.

x_off = (xmax - xmin)/2 - xmax

Same deal for y and z axes.

I then found the major axis of the ellipsoid by calculating the magnitude of the vector to each point and finding the maximum of these. Rotating it to align with the x-axis is a little trickier. There are lots of ways to do this, but many of them are fairly computationally heavy. I wound up following the method outlined here, which is fairly simple.

Once I had the ellipsoid’s major axis lined up on the x-axis, I then found the largest axis in the y-z plane by finding the largest radius in those two dimensions. I then rotated again to line this up with the y-axis.

From here I calculated scaling factors in each axis to map the ellipsoid onto a sphere. I didn’t derotate in MATLAB, but it would done by multiplying by the inverse of the rotation matrices I already applied. Here’s what I got.


Way better.

There’s almost certainly a better way to do this, and I suspect I’ll find things I missed here, but for now this is a good first step. Next to translate into some code an Arduino can handle.

MATLAB code under the cut. (Again, there’s likely a much better way to do this - rotation matrices aren’t an area I’ve dealt with much. MATLAB is also something I’m not anything like an expert in.)

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Final Project Checkpoint 2 – Building Connection Between Processing and Arduino

Step 1 Refine Processing Sketch

Since this project is built on my former Processing project (a game, Bubble Burst), firstly, I need to refine the processing code to open up new variables to receive data from Arduino.

The key variable is the X position of the control bar (at the bottom of the screen).


Step 2 Set the port

To have processing communicating to Arduino, basically, we need to set these two thing to respond to a same port. I referred to this tutorial from Arduino’s official site.

Here my port in Arduino is the fifth, so in Processing, I also set the port to be the fifth.



Step 3 Test

Then I ran the Processing sketch to see whether the control bar in the game responds to the physical position.


Current Circuit

Testing Video

Next Step

  • Test more to find the most suitable distance range. Map the data to the range
  • Use 3D print to create a controller

A TFB reader purchased a damaged EOTech very cheaply, then gutted the internals and replaced them with custom electronics. This video shows the result: The possibilities are endless. Rangefinders, shot counters, timers etc. could be easily integrated and the data shown on the Heads Up Display (HUD). It was built using a Arduino Pro Mini (about $7 on … Read More …

This is awesome! One of the coolest bits of hackery I’ve seen in a long time. I wonder if I could source a cheap, broken EOTech myself and do something similar….