This is more a proof of concept project than a finished project. I’ve always wanted to build a tank drone controlled over WiFi with Video streaming and GPS navigation. So when I discovered the Carambola WiFi board back in 2011 I finally started to actually build it. This prototype has taken me about a week to develop, as such it is still rough around the edges. I wanted to test a few concepts with it to further my knowledge towards the end goal of creating a flying drone.
So I’ve recently bought a Cubieboard to use it as a file server. If you look closely at this posts featured image (or if you’ve already clicked on the link) you might notice why I picked this particular embedded board. Exactly, it has a SATA port for connecting a standard HDD or SSD to it. This should offer a huge performance improvement over USB connected HDD’s (albeit the Cubieboard still only has a 100MBit/s Ethernet interface).
I will describe what I’ve done so far with the Cubieboard and the Kinect, but it’s all on the “Hello World” level, so this post will mainly serve as a reminder for me, so that I don’t forget the basics.
Unfortunately my every day job has gotten most of my time lately and I haven’t been able to make much progress on anything. But today I had some time to play around with my new cubieboard based Fileserver and the old Microsoft Kinect I had laying around for a while now (I’ll write about that in the next post). And while I was playing around I got reminded of a very powerful Python library called numpy, which helped me solve a minor problem I still had with my TEMPer USB driver. Previously I had a problem with reading temperatures below zero, as the TEMPer protocol uses a signed integer as a datatype for the temperature and Python doesn’t have a native one Byte signed integer. But luckily numpy remedies the problem with its own datatypes, among them a one Byte signed integer (int8). So I shortly turned away from my Kinect/cubieboard endavour to fix the TEMPer driver. The solution is simple, I add numpy to my imports and convert the retrieved temperature value to numpys int8, so the final code looks like this: