Raspberry Pi Project Update

I’ve made some progress on the Raspberry Pi based traveling mascot for the makerspace. I’ve figured out how to connect the GPS unit, and configure the software on the Pi to read the data. The makerspace’s metal roof well insulates the inside of the building from the GPS frequencies, so the device doesn’t receive location data in the electronics lab.  The wooden roof of my home is much more transparent to these frequencies, so I’ve tested the GPS at home. I’ve got the C libraries loaded, and started a program to check and record the current location of the mascot.

Unfortunately I’ve run into a few setbacks. For some reason it keeps corrupting its file system, and failing to boot. A few times it’s happened has been when I made a configuration change and then rebooted. So I blamed myself. But today the Pi wouldn’t boot. The last time I used it I properly shut it down before tucking it in its box and putting it away. I had the Pi configured to register itself on the network so I could work with it remotely. It wouldn’t come online. So I grabbed the monitor and keyboard to figure out what’s going on. The monitor showed the Pi would start booting, but pause with a “PANIC: No init found.” message. A bit of web searching found that other people have had similar problems and fixed it by using different keyboards and different SD cards. Trying a boot without the keyboard and mouse plugged in gave the same panic message. So I think I need to try another SD card.

My son has a Raspberry Pi of his own, and a few SD cards he’s had success with. He has agreed to let the mascot project borrow one of his cards to figure out if this card is the problem. I’ll post about my results after I try with the different card.

Once I figure out the file system corruption problems, I can continue writing the C code. After that I’ll work on the other parts of the project. These parts include the website, battery pack, camera, and body. I think those denim monsters some members will be making in an upcoming sewing class could make a great form for the mascot. Would any of those members be interested in making a custom one for the mascot? Would any members be interested in helping out with any other part? Would any members just like to play with the Raspberry Pi? If you want to help, participate, or just check out the project talk to me when I’m at the space, or post a message on the mailing list.