Blogs

Subscribe to messages from an iRobot Create3 using ROS
Subscribe to messages from an iRobot Create3 using ROS

In my last post I showed how I connected a Raspberry Pi to an iRobot Crete3 robot. In this post I show how to subscribe to messages sent by the robot to the Pi using rclpy, the ROS Python library. One downside to ROS is that the documentation needs some love. It covers in great detail how to do …

Connect a Raspberry Pi to an iRobot Create 3
Connect a Raspberry Pi to an iRobot Create 3

iRobot, the makers of robotic vacuum cleaners also make educational robots designed for learning how to do robotics programming. I recently managed to get my hands on one of their new Create3 robots as part of the Microsoft Global Hackathon, one of the cool perks of working for Microsoft. These …

Led Ticker Tape
Led Ticker Tape

Anyone who knows me knows I’m a big fan of IoT and LEDs. I love using IoT devices to control lights, from the LEDs behind my desk to smart pumpkins! I’ve been giving the .NET IoT libraries a spin for an upcoming project using a Raspberry Pi Zero W 2. I’m usually a Python person …

Auto-posting to dev.to using a GitHub action
Auto-posting to dev.to using a GitHub action

I’ve been wanting to build a tool to post markdown automatically to blogging platforms. That way I (or anyone else) can write a blog post in markdown, save it in a GitHub repo, and have it automatically posted to a blogging platform of their choice. I’ve created a small Python app to do …

Getting started with GitHub Codespaces
Getting started with GitHub Codespaces

The bane of every new developers life is getting your environment set up to be productive. And when I say new developer - I don’t just mean a dev who is new to a team, but every developer who needs to work on a project they haven’t worked on before. Each project has it’s own …

New year - new me!
New year - new me!

Jim’s got a new job as a Regional Cloud Advocate in Redmond, Washington.

Announcing a New Free Curriculum: IoT for Beginners
Announcing a New Free Curriculum: IoT for Beginners

It is our very great pleasure to announce the release of a new, free, MIT-licensed open-source curriculum all about the Internet of Things: IoT for Beginners. Brought to you by a team of Azure Cloud Advocates, Program Managers, and Microsoft Learn Student Ambassadors, we hope to empower students of …

Using TinyML to identify farts
Using TinyML to identify farts

TLDR; Find a complete hands-on lab to build a TinyML audio classifier at github.com/microsoft/iot-curriculum/tree/main/labs/tiny-ml/audio-classifier. My 8-year-old daughter bought me “Farts - a spotters guide” - a book with some buttons down the side and when you press them, they make …

Installing Scikit-Learn on a Apple Silicon
Installing Scikit-Learn on a Apple Silicon

At the end of last year I splashed out on a shiny new Apple MacBookAir with the M1 processor as I was fed up with an old Intel-based MacBookPro that was quite honestly crippled by corporate anti-virus software. Out the box this machine is amazing. It’s ridiculously fast, and lasts for ever on …

Build a virtual IoT Lab with Raspberry Pis and Azure IoT Hub
Build a virtual IoT Lab with Raspberry Pis and Azure IoT Hub

The rise of virtual education has led to sweeping changes in how students are taught. A lot of computer science lessons can be run with only small changes thanks to the cloud - Azure Lab Services can provide virtual machines with developer tooling, or GitHub Codespaces can replace the physical lab …

What is edge computing, why do it, why send IoT data to the cloud?
What is edge computing, why do it, why send IoT data to the cloud?

I recently had a student reach out to me with some great questions around Edge computing and how it matches to IoT, and indeed why even use the cloud with IoT. They have to write a paper on the difference between edge computing and just using the cloud, and were researching these terms and trying to …

Control holiday lights with Python, Azure IoT and Power Apps
Control holiday lights with Python, Azure IoT and Power Apps

As the nights draw in here in the northern hemisphere, there are a number of winter celebrations that happen - and one thing they all have in common is lights. In the past I’ve just purchased strings of lights from the nearest retailer, strung them up to a tree or around my house, and fought …