Howto get an idea to the DesignSpark Mechanical Tool with a Coggle Mindmap

At this moment the folks at Design Spark run a “Design Spark Mechanical Challenge“. As I am always in for a challenge I downloaded their free software and twittered that I would create a “hello world” project.

Installing the software is easy and the learning curve is not that steep.

Meanwhile I looked at some of the already submitted projects that are presented on their website. If you are willing you can join some of those awesome projects! How about creating a water purification system that can be printed with a 3D printer and does not need any other high tech materials at all?

Yes, that sort of neat projects are already on the roll..

DesignSpark Mechanical project from

DesignSpark Mechanical project from

Now back to the drawing board. You can use prefab components from different companies or design it yourself. a Very usefull resource can be find here.

So, with that many awesome projects already arround, I decided to let the challenge the challenge and try to use it with a project we are working on behind the scenes.

If you think about a project you need to keep a focus on all the different aspects of it. Therefore some genius invented a pencil and paper  mindmapping software!

Searching the internet I settled with Coggle. a Free webbased mindmap platform.

a coggle from

a coggle from

True, there are many other mindmap packages to be found. Some look better, have more tools but this one is good enough for me. Did I mention its a free service and has some powertools in it that are very usefull?

Back to the story board.

Wirh Coggle my project will become a mindmap. After that I can build pieces of the mindmap with tools like DesignSpark Mechanical (its free too!) or other 3d software.

More about the project and prototype later!

Testing facebook intergration

We all have different websites we like to post to.

Facebook, twitter, your own personal blog, the companies news page etc etc.



So now I try to connect this blog to facebook to see if thats working..


HC-SR04 Ping distance sensor

Working on a small mockup that should read sensors, [do some stuff here] and send it to clients website/server..

Using a sensor like the HC-SRo4 Ping distanse sensor to send a signal to the RasBotPi when someone walks inside the range is a nice idea for the moment. Although for the project I am working on, this is not the best idea 🙂

But Arduino and a breadboard gives you the power to fool arround and see if it fits your needs.

On twitter I found out about this guy: Hazim Bitar.
His website is and you can follow him on twitter too.  He created an app that reads Arduino sensors using bluetooth. Got me thinking about the final project and how we can overcome the distance without the needs of cable (or to setup a complete wifi network) on the “moving” location.

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HC-SR04 on breadboard

Anyway, this sensor came from china ( There are lots of sketches to find if you do a  google. The one I post here works too. Dunno exact where I found it..



Watch the sky (simple python ftp script)

So you got the raspberry and the camera board.

With a cronjob you can let it take pictures every few seconds or hour and do something with it. Might be  a timelaps video or send it to twitter. In this case I added a simple script to the “RasBotPi” so it can send a picture every hour to this website.

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The “RasBotPi”

a Simple script will capture a jpg and then send it to this website with python and its ftp library.

Here an example of the snapshot that the camera board takes..

Some clouds..

Some clouds..


Problem parsing dependency Depends

Got this message this morning while trying to do an update/upgrade check…

E: Problem parsing dependency Depends
E: Error occurred while processing zita-rev1 (NewVersion2)
E: Problem with MergeList /var/lib/apt/lists/mirrordirector.raspbian.org_raspbian_dists_wheezy_main_binary-armhf_Packages
E: The package lists or status file could not be parsed or opened.

You can fix this with the next command:

-v means verbose and the f stands for force.. (Remove all files and show the user what it is doing.

After that do the update as usualy: