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Rob Miles

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Rob Miles University Lecturer and Microsoft MVP. And tall.

Blog posts

Hull Pixelbot 2.0: The future is clear....

I've spent today working on the 3d printed parts for the latest version of the Hull Pixelbot. I'm now using laser cut perspex for the larger parts, which makes the robot look great and should mean that I can start to make kits of parts available for anybody who wants a Hull Pixelbot of their own....I was hoping that I could just use all the existing 3d printed parts for the rest of the robot, but… Read more →


World's Smallest Arduino compatible board at c4di Hardware Group

Did you know that the worlds smallest Arduino compatible device is made in Hull? I didn't until Hayden turned up with one at the hardware group at c4di tonight. He's designed and built a lovely little device. I've played with tiny Arduinos before. They are usually a bit hard to connect to a computer because they lack a proper usb connection and are a bit under-powered when you get them going. The… Read more →


Python output in FreeCAD

This is one of those selfish blog posts I make to remind myself how to do something that I'm bound to forget. But, if you're using the FreeCAD designer to run Python programs to design robots (as I am) you might find it useful. If you want to be able to print messages from your program onto the report console in FreeCAD you can the following:App.Console.PrintMessage('hello from the program\n')For… Read more →


Single Channel Lora

I'm learning more about the Lora network. Lora links tiny, low powered, devices to an application. The devices talk to a Lora "gateway". The idea is that any device can talk to any gateway. Lora networks use different radio channels to pass data, and the node can select any data channel to send any particular message. Nodes usually cycle through the available channels.A "proper" Lora gateway will… Read more →


Achievement Unlocked - got a mini SNES

Last year Nintendo released a miniature version of a game console with a bunch of built in games. And I failed to get one. This year they did the same thing, only this time the console was the awesome Super Nintendo or SNES. And I failed to get one. Until now. While I was in Leeds on Saturday I found one at a much smaller price than I was expecting to have to pay, and today I hooked it up to the T… Read more →


Star Trek Discovery is really, really good

I've liked Star Trek ever since I saw the very first episode on a cranky black and white telly when I was a kid way back in the sixties. For the last few years there's been a "Star Trek" shaped hole in my life that buying the boxed sets hasn't really satisfied. I was a bit worried when I heard about the latest incarnation of the franchise, as there were rumours of it being stuck in "development he… Read more →


Buying gadgets

We went shopping in Leeds today. And I managed to buy another gadget. I'm really pleased about this, and looking forward to having a play with it when we get back. Read more →


Students at c4di

On Wednesday this week we had a bunch of 30 Computer Science students from the University of Hull drop round to have a look at c4di. It was rather nice to see a few familiar faces and to chat about this and that. I was showing off my Pixelbots and one visitor made a rather interesting observation along the lines of "They've not come along much since last year". This is true, mainly because of Begi… Read more →


Writing DXF files from Python

I spent a bit of today creating design files for the latest version of the Hull Pixelbot. This version is going to be laser cut from perspex. This should make it much easier to produce large numbers of robots. Of course I'm not using a CAD package to produce the designs. It's a matter of personal pride that the Hull Pixelbot is entirely a software creation, and the designs are actually built by a… Read more →


Properly Broken Device

Last week I wrote about "The Broken Device Dilemma", when something you hardly use breaks. Do you try and fix it, or do you throw it away? Of course, if you're me you try and fix it. It's all about the journey. Right?Anyhoo, my lovely little Sony audio player failed. The battery refused to accept any charge. It was as if the cable was broken. Of course, being Sony, it's a special cable, not a stan… Read more →