Hello everyone, and welcome back to another weekly design challenge summary. It’s the fifth week of the PiCasso Design Challenge. Lots of progress has been made over the past week, but before we get to the good stuff, let’s take a few moments to learn more about the challenges, their challengers, and what hardware they are using. 


PiCasso Design Challenge


About The Challenge


Featured as the first Design Challenge of 2019, this challenge task its twenty participants with creating their artistic masterpiece using a Raspberry Pi Model 3B+. Challengers can either push their boundaries by using the computing power of Pi as the brains of their artistic work or to improve the aesthetics of their surroundings.


While twenty project proposals were chosen to be the official projects of the challenge, entering the challenge is not limited to just those twenty community members. Anyone can join the Challenge as a non-sponsored Challenger, and still be eligible win one of the three prizes. If you are a non-sponsored challenger all you need to do is integrate the components from the official challenger kit into your design, and post 10-weekly blogs detailing your project’s build.



The Official Kit


The PiCasso Design Challenge is sponsored by the Raspberry Pi Foundation. Each challenger will receive all of the components below plus a wide assortment of additional passive, and digital components to build their projects with. If you would like to enter the challenge for yourself, or if you just want to follow along at home, you can purchase all of the components in the kit right here at Element14.



To learn more about each of these components as well as the other components included in the kit, visit the official kit announcement page or click the links above to purchase them for your project.


The Prizes

      • Grand Prize: DJI Mavic 2 Pro Videography Drone
      • Runner Up Prize: Nikon D3500 DSLR & Lens Kit
      • Finisher Prize: Raspberry Pi Arcade Kit. To be eligible, a challenger has to complete their project, use products from the challenger kit, and post at least 10 updates in the Sixth Sense Design Challenge space.


To learn more about the prizes, head over to the PiCasso Design Challenge Prize Page.



The Past Week In Review


Over the past several days, April 7th - April 13th, we have had a total of nine updates posted across seven projects. This week, I will be highlighting three of my favorite updates from this past week, but before I get to that, let's take a look at which projects were updated. 




This Week’s Top Updates


Project: Art-a-Tronic - PiCasso Design Challenge Blog  #9 - The Mannequin Development Kit (MDK)



With the majority of his art pieces moved into the exhibit hall, Enrico Miglino has had to devise a way to push updates to his autonomous mannequin without disturbing the exhibit. To do this he has developed his own Mannequin Development Kit or MDK for short. An even bigger challenge is that Enrico does not work on the project’s development at the exhibit hall, but rather from a remote location, so he needed to figure out a way to connect to the mannequin’s Raspberry Pi 3B+ remotely using something like the program RealVNC. “Having all the parts assembled and connected as should be in the final version, most of the work is a question of software, also expecting that some minimal change on-the-go to the hardware setting may be needed. This kind of approach has been possible with a proper configuration of the development environment on the Raspberry PI 3B+ that is the external door of 7 of 9,” he wrote. “The considerable processor power and speed of this last model of the Raspberry PI board covered a key role, as well as the availability on-board of the WiFi connection.”


With that issue solved, Enrico was on to tackle an even bigger issue. The lack of software updates for the PiFace Digital that would bring it in line with the current Raspbian image. It appears that the developers of the PiFace Digital have all but abandoned the project as of January 2018 as that is when the last fix for a problematic bug was published on GitHub. Fortunately, being a competent engineer allowed Enrico to work around the issue he was facing and was able to get things working using Python 3. Head over to the full post at the link above to find out how he fixed it, and to grab the code fixes necessary to get the PiFace Digital working correctly with the current version of Raspbian.



Project: Adapting Art to Viewers - PiCasso Design Challenge Blog #6 - More on Cabinet Design



It seems like Frank Milburn is trying to set a record for the most updates featured in my weekly updates. I promise that I am not biased, and I feature him because his updates are usually very informative, and well written, or they are just funny like the Grandpa Shark update. This week, in the sixth update to the project, Adapting Art to Viewers, Frank got to work on tidying up the Cabinet enclosure that houses both the Raspberry Pi 3B+, and the Raspberry Pi Camera module. I am personally a big fan of the Smarti Pi Touch case that he is using to house the 7” Raspberry Pi Touch Screen, and use several of them around my home myself, but I had never considered making a faceplate for it to dress things up. Kudos to David for taking the extra step to make his project unique and quite good looking too! Head over to the full post for more info on how he made the faceplate.



Project: Hologram Pi-ramid - PiCasso Design Challenge Blog  #3 - 3D printed Parts and Initial Assembly


Rounding things out this week is an update from Luis Ortiz and project Hologram Pi-ramid. If you are a long-time follower of my weekly updates, you will know that I love seeing 3D Printers utilized in Design Challenges. I will admit that they have become a lot more common in these challenges than they used to be, but I still enjoy seeing them used well, and that's exactly what Luis has done in the third update to his project. Using a 3D printer he won in a previous contest here at Element14, he created the parts needed to get his hologram up and working and even detailed the settings he used to get the prints looking so good. Unfortunately, he did not share the .STL files so those of us following at home could play along too, but I am sure he will do so later as the project progresses. 



That is going to wrap up this weeks coverage of the Picasso Design Challenge. If you have not yet done so, please take a moment and check out all of this week's updates, and show our challengers some love in the comments section of each update post. Check back next week for another weekly design challenge summary.