Hello everyone, and welcome back to another weekly design challenge summary. It’s the fourth 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, March 31st - April 6th, we have had a total of sixteen updates posted across thirteen projects. Since there were so many great updates this week, I will be highlighting my four favorites,  but before I get to that, let's take a look at which projects were updated.  




This Week’s Top Updates



Project: DiPinto Da BRACCIO - PiCasso Design Challenge Blog  #2 - Meet the Stars



Milos Rasic is back with the second update to project DiPinto Da BRACCIO, and in this week's installment, he walks us through the intricacies of the TinkerKit BRACCIO robotic arm kit for Arduino. After playing around with the robotic arm for a few months now, Milos has developed a simple UI to control it from a PC via a USB connection to the Arduino. This he says will allow those interested in the BRACCIO to play around with its capabilities before writing application-specific code. “This was something that I've done in my free time, a month or two ago, a simple GUI for just playing around with the robot. I plan on developing this further and whenever I get it to any real usable state without any bugs I will be posting the whole code on GitHub, so anyone can try it out and add their features if they wanted to,” he wrote. “For now the GUI can send values to the Arduino Uno via USB cable, by either clicking the button or using the "live movement" which still has a couple of bugs and sends the BRACCIO on an unknown adventure sometimes, which in the end led to breaking one of the motor mounts. Here is how the GUI looks for now as well the code on the Arduino.”


He has also begun work on creating a 3D CAD model of each part of the BRACCIO so that he can play around with the robotic arm in a simulated space, and prevent part breakage. In theory, this would also allow him, or anyone else, to 3D print parts of the arm that will inevitably break when testing out new code and accidentally pushing the parts beyond their limits. Milos has included the source code for the C# GUI application and supporting Arduino Code in case anyone at home wants to play along, so head over to the link above to check it out!



Project: 9 Pieces of Pi - PiCasso Design Challenge Blog  #1 - The Long Way Around



Our first independent participant of this Design Challenge has entered the arena and his name is Jon Clift. Instead of a single project, Jon has decided to create nine weekly works of electronic art which he says will not be very complicated, but interesting, and on-topic nonetheless. The first week’s work of electronic art is based around the Raspberry Pi 3B+ and LEDs. “I decided that I wanted to use canvases for at least some of the pieces. Some of the later slices will also involve paint, though for some reason the first one has ended up being more spare and conceptual. Conveniently, I've got a few spare canvases that I bought years ago and never used for anything,” he wrote… “I initially thought of either having the LEDs projecting light forward onto the back of an acrylic sheet ahead of the canvas or from the front back onto the canvas but, after a bit of experimenting, discovered that it would work by projecting the LEDs onto the back of the canvas which would act as a diffuser.”


Jon utilized s pair of  TPIC6B595 shift registers to handle driving the LEDs without using an unnecessary amount of GPIO pins on the Raspberry Pi. “The Pi has enough GPIO lines to drive all 16 LEDs directly but I wasn't very sure about powering them from the 3.3V supply generated on the board so I used a couple of shift register ICs as drivers running on the 5V supply that comes from the power input.”



Project: POV Globe - PiCasso Design Challenge Blog  #3 - LEDs and the Base



In his third update to project POV Globe, Dale Winhold showed off his work on the globe’s frame, and LED mounting. Instead of making the project boring (yeah right like that is even possible!) with just one POV globe, he decided to practice what I like to call “Globeception” by putting a second LED strip inside an inner portion of the frame. This will allow a second POV image to be displayed “under” the larger POV image. “As you will see I created the base for the globe, top part to support the north end of the globe and have the LED's attached. I am trying to see if I can make it more 3D by giving it depth with a second row of LED's on the inside of the globe. This way I can produce 2 pictures at 2 different depths at the same time,” he wrote. He also included a short video of the assembly spinny by hand to give us an idea of how it will operate once power has been applied.


Persistence of Vision has to be one of the coolest phenomena that a maker can easily explore at home, and it's something that has always captivated me when seeing it in person. This might be another Design Challenge project, I tackle over the winter, so Dale, if you are listening, send those design files over! Head over to the full post to watch the demo video that Dale posted, and to check out how he mounted the second set of LEDs.



Project: Adapting Art to Viewers - PiCasso Design Challenge Blog #5 - Grandpa Shark



Our final update this week comes from Frank Milburn’s project Adapting Art to Viewers. I choose this update because of its rather humorous take on a meme that is quite popular right now. Unless you have been living under a rock on Mars, you have most likely heard the song “Baby Shark” or seen some version of it being passed around on social media. Frank felt that the version of Grandpa Shark in the original meme was pretty weak, so he decided to make his own version that features a more fearsome Grandpa Shark. To do this he used Scratch, a GUI-based code teaching tool that comes preloaded on Raspbian. I don’t want to spoil too much of the fun, so you will just have to head over to the full post yourself to see how the new, more Jaws-esque, Grandpa Shark animation turned out.



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.