Wednesday, September 21, 2011

Realtime visualization for Xbee+Accelerometer data

Here is the long awaited follow-up to the Xbee experiments that my little brother outsourced to me.

Before I get to the description of the software itself, if you want to try this out, be sure to follow the guidelines in the previous post on the same topic. You are then ready to proceed.

And here is what you get with this software :
  • Realtime visualization of all three axis
  • Can be adapted to many different accelerometers by tuning some global variables
  • Recording of samples to file, with timestamps and X, Y and Z values
  • Automatically generated plots for each axis and a combined 3-axis plot
  • Exported files named according to experiment date and time (for easier sorting)
  • All the above, in pure opensource python goodness
  • English and French localization
  • Theoretically works from within a LiveCD

Now let me briefly describe what the software does. As you can see in the screenshot on the side, the user interface is quite easy to understand. The three rectangle-shaped black boxes are showing whatever comes from the Xbee chip hooked up to the USB port, in realtime.

There are also three clickable buttons. The leftmost button labelled 'start' triggers the beginning of the recording. You will usually push this just before your experiment. The middle button named 'stop' obviously halts the recording. It also takes care of dumping all the samples into a CSV and generating the four plots : a combined plot with all 3 axis and three separate plots, one per axis. Of course the last button closes the USB port and quits the program. Beware that it does not check if you have a running experiment and will hence lose some data unless you push the stop button first.

Enough talking now, here is the python archive, all you have to do is extract the contents somewhere and run the software by launching the script file.

I also uploaded this to the github social coding site, feel free to fork this, submit patches or whatever !

Thursday, September 15, 2011

Wanted: Volunteers to give a hand on next holiday

Dear readers,

Here is a quick call for volunteering.

An association I am working voluntarily is organizing a trip to Sendai area to deliver home appliances and furniture we have been gathering from the people who left Japan.

As we do not have enough hands for the whole work, we are actively recruiting people who would like to help. Here is the full text : 

Silver Week is coming, the "friends" are hiring
by Les Amis du Tohoku on Monday, September 12, 2011 at 11:20pm

EDIT: the day has changed from 23rd to 22nd in order to avoid congestion on the Tohoku expressway on a national holiday, moreover reduced to a single lane because of (long overdue) construction work.

Dear friends, through our Facebook page you have been able to follow us and our activities, picking up furniture and home appliances around Tokyo. You have been hearing our calls for donation but were not moving and had neither furniture nor home appliances to donate.

Now is your chance to make a difference, to show that you really love Japan, and that you are a friend of the disaster-hit Tohoku area.

Come join us, come help us for the preparations to the next journey, or even the journey itself, on September 22nd 2011.

We are looking for the following kind of volunteers :
- On the day of departure, people to help clean the goods
- On the day of departure, people to help load the truck 
- From the day of departure to following evening, people to drive the truck (standard driving license required*)
- From the day of departure to following evening, people to join us with their own car and come help to unload.

Don't hesitate to contact us if you would like to find out about this trip, to volunteer,or for any other reason. by mail:

[*]: for any inquiries about driving license, please contact us as well


 And here is the original post. les amis du Tohoku : silver week is coming