Another week has passed for the challengers of the Pi Chef Design Challenge, bringing us up to week nine!  We’ve had some excellent updates in the past seven days and I would like to highlight a few of them, but before I get started let's take a moment to learn more about this challenge.



Pi Chef Design Challenge


About The Challenge


Featured as the first design challenge of 2018, the Pi Chef Design Challenge opened for project idea submissions in October of 2017, which was met with many submissions from community members. As I mentioned earlier, the challenge is based around the Raspberry Pi 3 Model BRaspberry Pi 3 Model B SBC. Challengers have eleven weeks to develop their project, and share their progress in a series of weekly update post. By posting a minimum of ten update post, challengers become eligible to win several awesome prizes, and the chance to become one of our prestigious design challenge winners.



Entering the challenge is not limited to just the ten chosen community members though,  anyone can join the Challenge as a non-sponsored Challenger. Here's how: Simply get buy  a Raspberry Pi 3 model B and integrate it into your project, as well as post 10 blogs chronicling your project’s progress into  the Pi Chef Design Challenge space (tagging your blogs 'IoT on Wheels'). All Challengers must build their projects in accordance with the Challenge's terms and conditions, and all projects must include the Raspberry Pi 3 Model B.



The Official Kit, and The Prizes


On January 10, 2018 Element14 announced the 15 community members that were picked to participate in this challenge, and those challengers received a kit of sponsored components to use in their design which was based around the Raspberry Pi 3. If you would like to purchase the official kit, click here.


Each kit contains the following items:


To learn more about each of these components or to purchase them to use in your own project, visit the official kit announcement at the links above.


Each challenger is competing to win one of three prize packs that feature the following prizes:


Grand Prize

        • Breville Barista Express Espresso Machine
        • $1500 USD Newark element14 / Premier Farnell Cart

Runner Up

        • Whynter Ice-Cream Maker
        • $750 USD Newark element14 / Premier Farnell Cart

Third Place

        • Breville Tea Maker
        • $500 USD Newark element14 / Premier Farnell Cart


A finisher who has completed their project, used the Raspberry Pi, posted 10+ updates in the Pi Chef space and adhered to the requirements in the Terms and Conditions will receive a mystery package of element14/Premier Farnell products valued at $65 USD.



The Past Week In Review


Over the past 7 days, March 11th - March 17th, we have had a total of sixteen updates posted across ten projects. I’m going to pick a few of my favorite updates from the week and highlight them below, but before we get into that lets take a look at which projects were updated this week!




This Week’s Top Updates


The challengers did it again, and posted so many excellent updates that I spent quite some time deciding on which update to feature this week. I narrowed it down to four, but could not drop any of them to have a list of three. This means that once again, we have four featured updates this week. There were many more excellent updates, but I had to narrow the list down. I would highly suggest checking out each of the projects I listed above, as all of their updates are worth a read.


Project: Smart Range Hood - Pi Chef Blog #9 - Can I have just a little more slice of PCB-pi?



The top spot this week goes to James O'Gorman (aspork42) and his project, Smart Range Hood. The project’s ninth update focused on the custom PCBs that James’ range hood would need to achieve it’s “smart” status. Using Autodesk’s Eagle software, he started designing the main hat that would connect to the Raspberry Pi, and then followed up with a custom PCB for the MQ sensors, and three GridEye sensor breakout boards as a bonus. “I ended up by making two different boards - one as the main "hat" and one to hold the air quality sensors. Since one is not much more than a mechanical mount, it was very straight forward. The other has to hold loads of components and serve many functions so took a lot more time. In reality, the "range hood" board (the main one) was designed first and probably took about 20-30+ hours to design; from schematic to ordering.  The air quality sensor board was done second, and took one morning, and I threw in a few extras while I was at it,” he wrote. James explains each board thoroughly in this update, and even shared a video of some of the PCB design. Head over to the link above to check out this excellent update!



Project: The Cooker Connector  - Pi Chef Blog #8 - Mobile App and Cloud Function



Every good project deserves an equally good app right? That is exactly what Jonathan Schooler (jschools) thought last week when he began developing the Android app that would allow him to control his BBQ smoker via his phone. The early version of this app only featured two temperature graphs, but with the addition of the automated air vents he needed to write in a feature to control how much air that vent would let in. He also added features such as temperature alarms, push notifications, and various features pertaining to specific cooking session types. He also managed to integrate everything in with the Firebase Real Time Database which will allow for some cool features to be added in the future.


“If you have read my post on the Firebase Realtime Database, then you may remember that it doesn’t operate like a typical database. When you use a SQL database, you usually receive one fixed-size set of results from a query,” he wrote. “When you query Firebase, you pass it a callback, and it gets called once for every object in the result. And, when new data is appended, the callback is later called again for each new object as soon as one is inserted. This callback mechanism is what gives Firebase its “realtime” capability.”



Project: Bake Mate - Pi Chef Blog #12 - Stretch goal 1: A visual indicator using Sense HAT's RGB LED Matrix - Part 2



My third featured update this week comes from project Bake Mate by Avner Fernandes (avnrdf), and is centered around the second part of the project’s first stretch goal. (Part 1 here) In this update Avner shows us how he will be using the Raspberry Pi Sense Hat’s RGB LED matrix as a visual indicator to signal when the right amount of a specific ingredient has been reached.


“The loop starts at pseudo value 0 (which is the lower left most pixel). Let's say that the percent of the ingredient added is 75%, which means that 75% of the grid needs to be filled, or 48 pixels. The color for 'filled' pixels is PALE_RED, and unfilled pixels is PALE_DON. The loops start at the lower left most pixel (pseudo value 0 - row 7, column 0) and increase (they move right along the bottom row). This covers pseudo values 0 to 7  (from the formula of current). The value of p (the scaled percent relative to 64) is 48, so the 'if' condition sets all these pixels to PALE_RED (since they're filled because pseudo value is less than 48). The loops now move to row 6 and move left to right from column 0 to 7 and set all the values to PALE_RED,” he wrote. “This continues till the value of the pseudo value of a certain pixel exceeds the value of p (scaled percentage), and the remaining pixels get set to PALE_DON”



Project: Automatic Dough Shaper - Pi Chef Blog #7 - Mechanical Construction Part 1



My final featured update from the past week is from project Automatic Dough Shaper by AnnaLisa Davis (a_davis_22). In the project’s seventh update AnnaLisa begins building the mechanical assembly that will eventually shape the dough. “I decided that this machine could mostly be built out of wood. My father-in-law owns a cabinet shop, so I just used scrap pieces and built it there,” she wrote. “For the base, I wanted to use a box, but the one I found was pretty heavy and bulky and didn't allow for easily adding things to the inside. I decided it would be best to just build my own.”



That is going to wrap up this weekly summary of the Pi Chef Design Challenge. Remember to check back each and every week for the duration of this challenge for a summary post from the previous week’s updates. If you would like to learn more about this challenge, and to see what progress has already been made, head over to the its official challenge page, and if you would like to follow what I am up to these days, follow me on Instagram. I will see you next week, and as always, remember to hack the world and make awesome!


Weekly Summaries About This Challenge

  1. Design Challenge Weekly Summary: Intro to the Pi Chef Design Challenge
  2. Design Challenge Weekly Summary: January 14 - January 20, 2018
  3. Design Challenge Weekly Summary: January 21 - January 27, 2018
  4. Design Challenge Weekly Summary: January 28 - February 3, 2018
  5. Design Challenge Weekly Summary: February 4th - February 10th, 2018
  6. Design Challenge Weekly Summary: February 11th - February 17th, 2018
  7. Design Challenge Weekly Summary: February 18th - February 24th, 2018
  8. Design Challenge Weekly Summary: February 25th - March 3rd, 2018
  9. Design Challenge Weekly Summary: March 4th - March 10th, 2018
  10. Design Challenge Weekly Summary: March 11th - March 17th, 2018
  11. Design Challenge Weekly Summary: March 18th - March 24th, 2018
  12. Design Challenge Weekly Summary: March 25th - April 1st, 2018