Recently we’ve been experimenting with “smart features” which would help us gain points for the innovation category of the Evlocity competition. Throughout this project we’ve thought a lot about Tesla and just how cool that company is. The touchscreen in the centerpiece of the car – we decided – was one of the coolest bits about them. It’s a great advancement to a normal centerpiece of a car and means that controls can be changed in the future.
If radio dies off?
Tesla can remove it from the car.
We’ve taken a lot of ideas from the tesla touchscreen display and we want to see if we can manage something like it. Ideally the features that would be useful (and achievable) are:
- Speed monitoring
- Obstacle avoidance sensors
- Reversing camera
- Light controls
I had been personally researching how we could implement something like this into our . bike and learn a bunch along the way. Originally I thought we could buy an old android tablet and attatch that to the front of the bike. A couple problems arose: How would it measure speed? How could that work with sensors? Could the rider control the lights? How can we make a custom app?
It didn’t seem like the most ideal way to go about things, so I thought about alternatives. A windows pc with a touchscreen would have the same drawbacks, we needed something that could control sensors and turn on lights.
That’s when I remembered raspberry pi and arduino! If you haven’t heard of a raspberry pi, it’s basically a computer the size of a credit card running a low power chip and linux. I used to work with these boards a lot when I was younger, hacking together clever costumes for halloween and pranking my friends with shocking devices. The raspberry pi was the perfect device for doing all of this, it had it’s own touchscreen and camera you could buy and plug in, and all the sensors we wanted to use would work thanks to the GPIO pins on-board – it was perfect.
I quickly went out and bought myself the latest Raspberry pi, because even if we ran into troubles with it down the road I still wanted to be able to do cool projects again. When I was into raspberry pi 5 years ago it was a whole different world, not many people were using it and there weren’t many cool projects to do. That’s all changed now.