Sunday, 19 May 2013

Pebble Controlled Raspberry PiBot

The Pebble 2 way Communication SDK for Andoid and iOS has just been released, so what better way to try it out than by adding Pebble controls to my Raspberry PiBot Controller.

Pressing up on the Pebble steers left, select is a toggle between forwards or stop and down steers right.

The web service on the Pi returns a Json status message which is displayed on the Tablet Console. The tablet app also features voice commands via Android Google's android services.

This is also repeated onto the Pebble when a command is sent from either device.

The code for the Pebble app can be found at and is based on the examples included with the Pebble SDK.

Tuesday, 14 May 2013

Walk the Wight 2013

On Sunday I took part in Walk the Wight 2013, a 26.5 mile sponsored walk in aid of Earl Mountbatten Hospice. The route takes in most of the length of the Island incorporating the Tennyson Trail and includes some wonderful views of the island (weather pending).
Walk the Wight Route plotted via RunKeeper

In keeping with my usual habit of  using gadgets in everything I do I decided to try and record my progress via one of the fitness apps available on my phone. I backed the Pebble smart watch on and one of the first apps to support it is Runkeeper so that was a logical choice. Runkeeper tracks the route, speed and altitude and lets you view you result via a web portal (the Runkeeper results can be view at

The Pebble has it's own application running on the phone managing the blue tooth connection and providing some notifications, this can be further extended using Pebble Notifier which relays notifications displayed on the phone to the pebble so any tweets or SMS messages I received during the walk were displayed on my wrist instead of having dig my phone out of my bag. This was especially nice in the last few miles of the walk when the weather took a turn for the worse and it was nice to get encouraging messages coming through from friends.

Pebble Watch showing data from the RunKeeper App running on my Nexus S
Keeping the GPS running on a phone is a sure way to flatten the battery, so keeping it running for 9+ hours of the walk was going to be an issue. When I was building my Pi Bot project I used a Pebble Smart stick as a power supply, so this was ideal to extend the power to my phone. I have recently switched to using a LG Nexus 4 but it is rather power hungry compared to my older Nexus S so I decided to use my Nexus S instead to further improve the power consumption.

I raised around £120 for the hospice and for most of the walk the weather was sunny and enjoyable even if the last bit did end up rather wet. This was the third time I have taken part in Walk the Wight and every time it is wet I say I am not doing it again but I suspect once my aching muscles have recovered I will think about doing it again sometime.

Finished and you even get a medal!


Earl Mountbatten Hospice

Pebble Notifier
Pebble Smart Watch
Pebble SmartStick