Robotics Line Follower Tracks

Tracks that can be used for the challenges in A0 PNG format.  The first track is a racetrack format

The second is a “hill climb” style” track with lots of twists and turns.  Print these off in A0 format for best results.  I used blackboard paint to finish the lines and give the sensors better definition.








Fastest Roboteer in a Reasonably Priced Robot

This is the high score leader board for Line Follower robots for the Race Track. This is nothing to do with Top Gear… 🙂


Results from the Race Track Challenge
No Student When School Time
1 Louis and Tom 27th November Sir John Deane’s College 12.3
2 Janer and Bradley 27th November Sir John Deane’s College 12.5
3 Bradley and Elliot 27th November Sir John Deane’s College 12.6
4 Joe and Leon 2nd February Kings Leadership 12.7
5 William and Ferrari 25th September St Thomas More 12.94
6 Megan and jack 27th November Sir John Deane’s College 13.30
7 Chris and Sam 27th November Sir John Deane’s College 13.86
8 Callum and Josh 25th September Great Sankey 13.96
9 Paige and Krishma 25th September Great Sankey 14.03
10 Kaden and Kevin 25th Setember St Thomas More 14.18
11 Oliver and Andrew 25th September Great Sankey 15
12 Tom and Dan 25th September Eaton Bank 15
13 Shannon and Chloe 25th September St Thomas More 16.5
14 Louise and Natalie – First to complete U-Turn Challenge!!!!!! 27th November Sir John Deane’s College 16.7
15 Dave 31st October Harvard 123.65



OpenALPR Install for RPI and UDOO and TRE and YUN

This is the way to install on Linux systems like RPI and UDOO – should work well.  thanks to Simon Eriksson

1. Remove the Tesseract and OpenCV packages with apt.  It seems the UDOO libs are at OpenCV 2.3.1 which wont work with the openalpr distro on github.

How to remove an apt application

2. Install all dependencies we will need:

sudo apt-get install autoconf automake libtool
sudo apt-get install libpng12-dev
sudo apt-get install libjpeg62-dev
sudo apt-get install libtiff4-dev
sudo apt-get install zlib1g-dev
sudo apt-get install git-core
sudo apt-get install cmake
sudo apt-get install liblog4cplus-dev libcurl3-dev uuid-dev
sudo apt-get install build-essential (you may already have this)

3. Clone the openalpr repo to the /home/pi directory and extract it:

cd /home/ubuntu  ( or /home/pi ) 
git clone

4. Create a directory to hold our libraries and download them all:

cd openalpr
mkdir libraries
cd libraries

(the last step is required because of the way SF does its direct linking, there may be a better way to do this)

5. Extract all the packages ready to compile them:

tar -zxvf tesseract-ocr-3.02.02.tar.gz
tar -zxvf leptonica-1.70.tar.gz

6. Compile Leptonica:

cd leptonica-1.70
make install

7. Compile tesseract:

cd ../tesseract-ocr
sudo make install
sudo ldconfig
export TESSDATA_PREFIX=/home/pi/openalpr/libraries/tesseract-ocr/tessdata

8. Extract the tesseract language data:

cd ..
tar -zxvf tesseract-ocr-3.02.eng.tar.gz

9. Compile opencv:

Try this first – it has a good tutorial on OpenCV

cd opencv-2.4.8
mkdir release
cd release
sudo make install

10. Update the CMakeLists for openalpr:

cd ../../../src
nano CMakeLists.txt
Change line 22 and 23 to:
SET(OpenCV_DIR "/usr/local/lib")
SET(Tesseract_DIR "/home/pi/openalpr/libraries/tesseract-ocr")

11. Compile openalpr:

cmake ./

That should then allow you to run as per the instructions on openalpr



PI and the Proxy

So we need to connect a pi on the network to update and stuff with apt-get or aptitude.  This is blagged from

http://%5Busername%5D:%5Bpassword%5D@%5Bproxy-webaddress%5D:%5Bport%5D – assume this is Windows based

For our Windows network our username is in the format:


For example:


This was added to the following NEW file (it doesnt exist by default):

gksudo gedit /etc/apt/apt.conf.d/01proxy

The following text was added:

Acquire::http::Proxy "http://mywindowsdomain\";

If you are using an anonymous proxy then you don’t need your login credentials:

Acquire::http::Proxy "";

Save the file and then checked that all was ok with:

sudo apt-get update

Raspberry Pi – Building the Basic Streamer

1. Install build dependencies

You need to be connected to the internet. The following command installs the three libraries that MJPG-Streamer uses:

$ sudo apt-get install libjpeg8-dev imagemagick libv4l-dev

2. Add missing videodev.h

The videodev.h header file that MJPG-Streamer needs has been replaced with a videodev2.h. To make MJPG-Streamer happy you have to create a symbolic link:

$ sudo ln -s /usr/include/linux/videodev2.h /usr/include/linux/videodev.h

3. Download MJPG-Streamer

The source code for MJPG-Streamer is available at, but it is tricky to find the direct download link:

$ wget

4. Unzip the MJPG-Streamer source code

The source code download is a compressed zip file. Put the file in your home directory (or a temporary folder, if you prefer) and run the following to extract the files:

$ unzip

5. Build MJPG-Streamer

MJPG-Streamer comes with several plugins – we will build them all

$ cd mjpg-streamer-code-182/mjpg-streamer
$ make

6. Install MJPG-Streamer

Copy the required files to the install dirs. The following commands copy all the needed files into system directories:

$ sudo cp mjpg_streamer /usr/local/bin
$ sudo cp /usr/local/lib/
$ sudo cp -R www /usr/local/www

7. Start the camera

We are almost there. Now it is time to start the camera module:

$ mkdir /tmp/stream
$ raspistill --nopreview -w 640 -h 480 -q 5 -o /tmp/stream/pic.jpg -tl 100 -t 9999999 -th 0:0:0 &

Of course, you can use different options to raspistill if you like.

8. Start MJPG-Streamer

The camera is now writing images, so all that is left is to start MJPG-Streamer:

LD_LIBRARY_PATH=/usr/local/lib mjpg_streamer -i " -f /tmp/stream -n pic.jpg" -o " -w /usr/local/www"

9. Watch the Stream!

Now you can connect with your web browser and watch the stream live. If you want to watch from within the same Raspberry Pi you can enter http://localhost:8080 in the browser’s address bar. If you want to watch from another computer in your network use http://<IP-address&gt;:8080.

Pi in The Sky… Stage 1 – The Build Up

The first  part of the Pi in the Sky project is to get your RPI ( Raspberry Pi ) up and running and usable.

Every one follow this tutorial and get the Pi up and running.

next steps will be to add camera and stream software

Adafruit is a really excellent site for everything so Adafruit and Google are your friends…