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PIElement 14 has been running a competition recently called “Sci Fi Your PI” which looked to make science out of science fiction using Raspberry PI’s.

25 challengers have now been selected to continue forward. The ideas that have been selected are both creative and interesting.

Below is the list of the 25 chosen with their synopsis.

Brenda Armour from Canada –  Project: Rover Pi Protector

Synopsis: I am proposing a mobile motion detection device that can capture photos and videos of wildlife and be tracked using GPS and a small inertial navigation system. The Rover Pi Protector will use motion sensors (accelerometer and magnetometer) to calculate position, orientation and velocity. Audio processing will send a warning of noise that is not found in their environment. This may include helicopters and chain saws. These are instruments used by poachers to kill elephants and rhinos for their ivory.

Inspiration: My inspiration for this project is the first Alien movie where they detect a life form on a remote planet.

Neil Bizzell from United Kingdom – Project: Steampunk Navigation Aid

Synopsis: My plan to ‘Sci-Fi My Pi’ is to create a device inspired by the works of Jules Verne, HG Wells and the Steampunk sub genre or Sci Fi. The device is a navigational aid developed to make charting the progress of adventurers such as Prince Dakkar’s alter ego Captain Nemo around their world. The device will allow the discerning adventurer to see how to get to the destination required for his quest. It holds a list of preset destinations and start points which can be selected using a wheel. Once the destination is selected the directional indicator will show in which way the traveler should proceed. The chart position indicator shows the current position on the world map.

Joe Carender from United States – Project: Intelligent Body Armor

Synopsis: Intelligent body Armor with sensors for body temp, heart rate, hit sensors and wireless helmet mounted display that has readout for GPS location, body temperature, heart rate, humidity, wind speed and direction and Armor damage percentage and wireless weapon mounted camera and tracking system using voice commands with wireless wrist mounted keyboard control and all components would be networked together for use in airsoft war games and maybe for real life combat implementation, like the armor suit in the video game Crysis.

Vivien Chin from Singapore – Project: Advanced Dog Trainer

Synopsis: Our device consists of a food dispenser and a sound detector that picks up any sound that might trigger the dog to bark. It pre-empts the activity of barking and replaces it with the activity of eating the food. This method works well when the person training the dog is consistent and prompt with the food delivery.
A motion sensor can be placed at the entrance of a passage way and the dispenser will dispense a treat every time a person walks through. This device rewards the dog whenever it sees a stranger. The system consists of a food dispenser and a set of sensor devices. For example, the sensor in this application would be an motion detector that will detect whether a person or animal has crossed the threshold. When that happens, the dispenser will dispense food to the dog.

Inspiration: The inspiration comes from the hi-tech home of The Jetsons. For example, Astro, the dog has a treadmill to solve his problem of getting enough exercise. IOT is the future of homes and care for our pets will also follow that direction.

Trevor Clarke from United Kingdom – Project: I Ching Hexagrams

Synopsis: The design will cast I Ching Hexagrams and provide a visual depiction of the Hexagram it has cast via the PiFace Control & Display, plus deliver an audio description of the Hexagram and an interpretation of its meaning using the Wolfson Audio card.
A possible enhancement if time allows is voice activated casting of the Hexagram. Another possible enhancement is the ability to keep the hexagram history if storage capacity allows.

Inspiration: This idea is inspired by the computer on Hagbard Celine’s submarine from the Illuminatus Trilogy by Robert Shea and Robert Anton Wilson.

Eric Ellwanger from  United States – Project: Escape From the Past

Synopsis: I feel like the Raspberry Pi with its multiple serial ports (GPIO RS232 and USB ports) would be an excellent platform to be a “serial master” that can open up the number of communication channels for a PLC. In addition, the Ethernet port can act as a high speed communication method to send data to a centralized database for analysis not only for OEE and TPM programs, but for other engineering needs as well.
Inspiration: This project reminds me of the old 80’s film ‘Back to the Future’, where I (much like Marty McFly) find myself trapped in the past. This past is where the technology lacks the communication capabilities of modern day devices.

Ambrogio Galbusera from Italy – Project: Training Hover Sphere

Synopsis: In “Star Wars”, a young Luke Skywalker is trained to use the force and sense your enemy. In the training sessions, the enemy is an hovering sphere that randomly fires laser shots. The apprentice Jedi has to intercept the non-lethal laser beams with his light saber. For this challenge, I’d like to build a similar gadget.

Sebastian Groza from Romania – Project: Cybernetic Computer Interface

Synopsis: Star Wars was THE Sci Fi movie of my childhood and still one of my favorites. The Star Wars universe represents a great source of inspiration from starships to robots, weapons, armors, clothes and various gadgets.

Inspiration: The source of inspiration for my project is “Borg Construct Aj^6” device, used by Lobot in Cloud City, Star Wars – Episode 5 – Empire Strikes Back. I believe this device is a good model of a Sci Fi device which can be turned into a real world tool.
Read Sebastian’s project blogs (tag cybernetic_interface)

Michael Hahn from United States – Project: Handheld Sensor Device

Synopsis: As an electronic technician, TV repairman, hobbyist, and ISP provider the thought of bringing another Star Trek concept to application is very intriguing. Specifically, a scientific and/or medical tricorder as seen in the ST: TOS. A device similar to one that the actors DeForest Kelly and Leonard Nimoy used on the show to evaluate the environment, atmospheric conditions, temperature, humidity, etc.
As part of this challenge I will attempt to incorporate various sensors into a compact handheld device with the RPi.

Augusto Lisbôa from Brazil – Project: Diplomatic Robot Head

Synopsis: My project consists from a C3PO-like head unit (from STAR WARS) that recognizes speech and text language (using Google or MS Bing translator API’s.), that can become even a “diplomatic” robot, using search API’s (Google or Bing), to search the requested laws that can be spoken, or captured by RPi cam.

Mark Loomis from United States – Project: Glove Computer & Control

Synopsis: On my left arm, I would like a Nintendo glove / gauntlet type computer and control system for control of the vehicle, cameras, sensors, interface to a quadcopter for extended range, etc. I will use a combination of crafted leather and 3D printed parts to make the electronics fasten to the gauntlet.

Inspiration: The source of my inspiration is Star Wars; the tricorder from Star Trek is also an inspiration.
Eric Lovejoy from United States – Project: The Empathy Box

Synopsis: In Philip K. Dick’s book, “Do Androids Dream of Electric Sheep”, Wilbur Mercer describes the Empathy Box as: “(it) is a networked appliance that connects many anonymous people through shared warmth.” “An empathy box,” he said, stammering in his excitement, “is the most personal possession you have. It’s an extension of your body; it’s the way you touch other humans, it’s the way you stop being alone.” My version of the Empathy Box will not be a phone, although ideally it would be portable like one. Controls (potentiometers or rotary (encoders so I don’t need to use an ADC) (3)) will control the level of “Pain” (annoying audio feedback).

Enrico Miglino from Balearic Islands, Spain – Project: Meditech

Synopsis: This project covers a Polyfunctional Multimeter equipped with built-in features for continuous and spot measurement applications by means of specific probes connected to the equipment.

Inspiration: the Meditech application is inspired by the medical tool used by Star Trek crew when they are on an hostile planet.

Wilson Oberholzer from United States – Project: KITT Car

Synopsis: I plan to turn my car into an emulation of the KITT 2000 from the original “Knight Rider” TV-series starring David Hasselhoff. The main parts of the project will be the “light scanner” on the front of the car, the display screen/”AI”, and the various control panels in the car. The function of the panels will be mostly cosmetic (“Turbo Boost” won’t actually make the car faster but may prompt responses from the system). I will need to construct a console to hold everything in place on the car as well as mounts for the special effect items. I’ll start by listing the features I plan to make a reality, draw some rough layouts of things, get basic systems working outside of the car, then design and fabricate the system, and finally debug it all.

Margot Paez from United States – Project: Pizza Pi

Synopsis:Currently a pizza box is nothing more than a cardboard container. It keeps the pizza from losing heat too quickly and from losing its shape during transportation. Some might say this is more than enough, but if the Internet of Things is truly meant to bring the future to us, then even pizza boxes need to be revamped.
Inspiration: This pizza box is inspired by the one featured in Neal Stephenson’s sci-fi novel, Snow Crash.

Cecil Perks from United States – Project: Visus Sancto

Synopsis: Visus Sancto which is Latin for “Ghost Sight”, is a project I have been thinking about doing for some time. It is based on the theory that IR cameras can detect the presence of ghosts or other paranormal entities. The setup uses a Raspberry Pi as the main unit to control an IR camera mounted on a headset with a small screen to give a real-time heads-up display. The IR camera will be mounted in front of the human eye with a pan and tilt mount.

Inspiration: My inspiration is “The Schufftein Glasses” from “Hellboy 2: The Golden Army”.

Arsenijs Picugins from Latvia – Project: PipBoy Personal Helper

Synopsis: There are a lot of different smartphones now, but none have all the things that I need. The personal helper I’d like to have resembles the PipBoy. A wrist-wearable computer that has all kinds of features incorporated into it. In Fallout, it’s a resource, health, travel and task management device. That’s what a Lone Wanderer needs. We, being trapped in urbanized environments, need that and even more than that. We also need communication and entertainment. That’s where my idea steps in.

K.C. Rajesh from Canada – Project: PiBo

Synopsis: The inspiration for my design is “Weebo” from the 1997 movie “Flubber” produced by Disney. Weebo is a robot that is able to float around and help the scientist Philip the main protagonist in the movie. Flubber is able to communicate with people using voice and video. In 1997 this was a treat to watch as part of the movie. Weebo was able to portray human emotion using lights and a video screen. Although this was way before the time, we continue to see toys like Zoomer, able to move and respond to human commands. It will be useful to have a helper that can move and provide information using multi media. In todays connected world, if the robot can connect to applications and websites over the network.
Inspired by Weebo, I plan to build PiBo who may have comparable functions to the original but will move using wheels and be a terrestrial robot rather than an air-borne one.

Kenny Rasschaert from Belgium – Project: Real-Life Holographic Projector

Synopsis:Holograms have appeared in many works of science fiction, most notably in the Star Wars trilogies. Through these projections, pre-recorded messages could be displayed in the air and Jedi Masters are able to attend council meetings even when they are away from Coruscant. Tupac Shakur’s appearance on Coachella in 2012 was a sudden reminder to the world that we have had this technology for a while. Through a technique called Pepper’s Ghost, an image can be projected onto a transparent surface and appear as if it’s really there. In essence, a hologram. For this design challenge, I would leverage Pepper’s Ghost to give an R2D2 model a real-life holographic projector to be used for telepresence video conferencing.
Shrenik Shikhare from India – Project: Sci Fi Advanced Controls

Synopsis: My first idea is the one where Tony Stark interacts with his computers with hand gestures. Picks up file from One computer monitor and Puts in other Computer and starts interacting with. In my project I would love to do similar thing with Images/ Pictures first. If possible same thing I would love to do with Videos and supported file. I feel it’s a very cool project.

My second idea is a Surface Table: we can find this in many movies from Mission Impossible to Amazing Spiderman to Iron Man once again. Those are mostly touch based, but I am looking to use the Microchip’s MGC 3130 GestIC kit that I have from element14 to interact with displays. Here As I don’t have such big monitor, I would use my laptop display as surface display.

My third idea is a Wrist Computer: if time permits I would love to implement a wrist computer, just like personal assistance we would have seen in movies. A Raspberry Pi + PiFace (though it’s bulkier) would do this job. Also if possible a GPS integration with this computer enable a Door unlock mechanism based on my location. And Door lock unlock can be handled by Gertboard.

Harsahib Singh from India – Project: Verbal & Physical Morality Monitor

Synopsis: This project is inspired by the movie Demolition Man and the future society it envisions. The movie is set in the 2030’s when crime has been completely eradicated inside a tightly controlled society. Swearing is a violation of the ‘verbal morality statues’ and its enforcement is done through monitoring devices mounted in each room. These verbal morality statute monitors are a running joke in the movie as characters use profanity and trigger violations. This project is an attempt to recreate the verbal morality statute monitor from Demolition Man as well as a practice to enhance the same concept for physical morality which is very common in workplaces and houses.
The project will work on the speech recognition program which is to be loaded for the first time, the device will continuously take the voice signals as input through the microphone module and will be checking the words against the programmed code for any verbal morality and in case it finds out any abusive speech the camera module will be switched on to record the current situation.

Inderpreet Singh from India – Project: VIRUS (Voice & Gesture Instructed Robots & Control of Universal Systems)

Synopsis: My proposal is conceptualized atop the fusion of JARVIS from Iron Man which is a voice Home Automation System and the Minority Reports gesture Control System, merged with robots such as R2D2, C3PO (StarWars), Rosie (Jetsons), Wall-E and possibly leverage the power of IoT by offloading Computational components to the cloud like SkyNet (Terminator). The idea is to create a reconfigurable robot that can be “Transformed” and can link up to a central computer.

Joey Thompson from United States – Project: QuadCop

Synopsis: The QuadCOP will be a low cost and custom built quadcopter.
Inspiration: In many sci-fi movies there are flying vehicles that perform some sort of security or searching. These vehicles are typically autonomous and feature dramatic reactions when something is detected. Lights, voices, or even gun fire are common.
My favorite examples are from the Terminator Franchise which are called “Hunter Killers”. Hunter Killers (HK) are used in the movie to search for humans. In the movie they roam around slowly and methodically using huge search lights that sweep the ground below.
A couple of other great examples are the areal drones in the latest Robocop and in the video game Call of Duty: Modern Warfare. In that game several quadcopter drones are used to perform security and fly set paths scanning for intruders. The quads are constantly interlinked so damaging one quad will alert all the others. The quads are also used remotely to search areas via a live stream and the quad has a certain level autonomous movement assisting the user.

Frederick Vandenbosch from Belgium – Project: Touch / Motion Controls

Synopsis: When thinking about science-fiction, things that come to mind are touch / motion controls, things that slide in and out of place and bright lights. This is why I would like to propose to build the desk of the future, inspired by some visual effects of the Tron Legacy movie.

Jeremy Walker from United States – Project: Robotic Assistant for Everyday Delegations

Synopsis: Smart-phones enable us to communicate in more fantastic ways than some sci-fi predictions, and offer incredible computing power. The rise of 3D printing is the precursor to more fantastic replication machines – yet we still don’t have a general purpose household robot. Roombas are a great start, but where is our version of the Jetsons’ Rosie? Our C3-P0? Our CL4P-TP? The duties commonly attributed to this role are within our reach, and with your help, I intend to achieve them through RAED (Robotic Assistant for Everyday Delegation).

The ideas that have not been chosen also have some excellent innovative ideas. There are projects here that may end up being the next big thing if they are successful with their solutions.

I will certainly be following these with interest.

The source for this blog post, links to the individual blogs and full list is available at: http://www.element14.com/community/docs/DOC-76303/l/sci-fi-your-pi-challengers