I’ve been a coder for over 30 years and been involved in a number of hardware and software projects. Projects have included a satellite communication system for fishing vessels, a chart plotter for the fishing industry, beef cattle management using RFID tags, differential GPS system, tracking hovercraft in the Amazon basin and a communications and tracking system for a company to manage their offshore supply vessels.
In 2010 I became self employed trading as Pewter, designing and producing websites mainly for local business’s. More recently a greater proportion of my time has been taken up working on other projects and writing a book. The book “Arduino in Action” was published in June 2013 by Manning publications, it has since been translated into Polish, Portuguese as well as Simplified and Complex Chinese.
My Arduino journey started after watching Elise Huard present her talk, “The internet of things,” at Rails Underground in the summer of 2009. Following the conference, I immediately purchased a copy of Massimo Banzi’s Getting started with Arduino (O’Reilly, 2008), which I read from cover to cover on the train back to where I was staying.
Shortly afterwards, I purchased my first Arduino and started playing, experimenting, and building small projects. My first major project was an obstacle- avoidance robot, which I presented at the 2010 Scottish Ruby conference in Edinburgh, Scotland.
I’ve had a life- long interest in underwater vehicles (my blog) and the marine environment, and following the conference I started work on an Arduino- controlled underwater remote operated vehicle (ROV), which I duly presented at the 2011 Scottish Ruby conference.
Since then, I’ve toured the UK and Ireland displaying my ROV at a number of Maker Faires, where it has generated much interest and discussion.
I built a new ROV in 2013 based on OpenROV, an open source underwater robot, and still continue working on improvements.
I’m currently starting the design and build of a new autonomous underwater robot based on a Raspberry Pi.
I started a Code Club at my local primary school in Early 2013 and gave a presentation along with my son at the 2014 Scottish Ruby Conference, in addition to the Code Club curriculum we have experimented with Arduino, Makey Makey and Sphero. The club built a small robot at the end of last term.