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Raspberry Pi Projects

1 Post authored by: jtoccidental

Overview

Transportation is an essential part of our daily life especially for college students. Going from point A to point B without any hassle is always a must. However, if you are in a university that has over 66,000 students spanning across five different campuses (2,681 acres of land), there would definitely be issues specifically when it comes to scheduling. Having a PDF copy of the bus schedules is not enough to know when the bus is arriving because there would always be issues like traffic or mechanical failure as the bus goes along its route.

 

Buses are an important mode of transportation to college students

 

Technology has been trying to help alleviate this issue by providing real-time updates on when the bus would be arriving. Buses are now equipped with GPS systems that send data to a server that computes for the time a bus arrives at a stop. You can check these times on the internet, through an app, or on a LED matrix screen on the bus stop. This technology gives convenience to students as it tells if the route is active and what time will the next bus arrive.

 

NextBus-300x225.jpg

 

Even so, the technology is not perfect. There would be times that the algorithm that computes the time of arrival make errors. You relax because you think your bus is coming in 12 minutes, then you turn around and the screen jumps to “Arriving in 2 minutes.” Having the system intelligently compute for the schedule would be good if it done its made more reliable. Thus, students have made mobile apps that simply displays the location of the bus in real-time. No computations, no fancy algorithms, just helps you know where the bus is and if its moving fast or slow.

 

This is good, but some bus stops do not have internet access for students. Also, what if your phones ran out of juice or you want to conserve battery on your phone. This is why I am proposing a project which solves these issues. With the Raspberry Pi 2 and 7" touchscreen, an android interface can be developed so that the bus real-time tracking app can be installed. This device can be placed in the bus stops along with the LED screens that post the schedules. They already have access to the internet so having the Pi 2 connected is not an issue for stops without wireless connectivity. This device will be called "Where R U?" referring to RU as Rutgers University, my school.

 

This project is in line with the Halloween Raspberry Pi Build-a-long which I got the key materials (Raspberry pi 2 and touchscreen) for this build.

 

Materials

Element 14 sent me the package containing all the materials needed to build the Raspberry Pi Trivia Candy Dispenser

Thank You Element14

Raspberry Pi Trivia Candy Dispenser:

Raspberry Pi2

Raspberry Pi 7" Touchscreen Display

Amplifier Kit

Mini WiFi Module

4GB SD card

Usb Power Supply

2 Servos

Adafruit Neopixel stick

Adafruit Neopixel RGB

LED's, Resistors, Capacitors

 

Where R U Build

 

Not all the parts provided will be used for the build.

Where R U?:

Raspberry Pi2

Raspberry Pi 7" Touchscreen Display

Mini WiFi Module

Usb Power Supply

8GB Micro SD Card


Raspberry Pi 2

It is my first time to use a Raspberry Pi 2 since my last device was a Raspberry Pi B+. This was definitely more powerful as it now has a 900 MHz (Broadcom BCM2836 ARM v7) quad core processor in contrast to B+'s single core 700 MHz (Broadcom BCM2835 ARMv6). This new version now has the ability to support Windows 10 IoT which I will fiddle around in my next builds. Instead of installing the standard Raspberry Pi OS, I will be searching for a means to install an Android OS for the device. This makes it much simpler to install the real-time tracking application to the device. More on the details of this in my next post.


Raspberry Pi 2


Touch Screen

Although touch screen implementations for the Pi is not a new thing, having Raspberry Pi have its own brand of touch screen ensures maximum compatibility. I tried using third part screens before in some of my builds in the Raspberry Pi and Arduino and it was definitely a challenge. You need to know its model number and the microcontroller or microprocessor you are using it on. Sometimes, these components may not work well together which makes this a really big gamble. Now, with RPi having its own 7" touch screen, makers would now have the convenience and assurance that it will definitely work on your Raspberry Pi device. I will be working on how to make a neat casing for these two components so that it can withstand the elements. More on the design will be discussed in my next posts.


Raspberry Pi Touch Screen


Project Timeline

Some of the key milestones for this project:

1. Installing the Android OS

2. Installing the real-time bus location app

3. Interfacing the Touch Screen

4. Designing the Enclosure

5. Installation and Test

 

Each milestone would be discussed in my future posts. Right now, I am already done installing the Android OS and I am currently in the process of testing it. The update would hopefully be up real soon when I address any issues I encounter.

 

Thank you for reading and keep making!

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