MMS Photo-inator Xsi

Introduction: MMS Photo-inator Xsi

About: I am a beginning Maker trying to learn about electronics, welding, alternative energy, and anything else handy that I can pick up. I want to make things that are useful, save a few bucks on repairs or things I…

Behold! The MMS Photo-inator Xsi.

This is a work in progress. The MMS Photo-inator Xsi is currently a working prototype. All of the features are not complete at this time. I will continue to work on it and refine this Instructable until it is complete.

The Milwaukee Maker Space participated in the May 2015 Build Night sponsored by Instructables. The 'space received 5 Raspberry Pi 2 model Bs with power supplies and SD cards, 2 Adafruit Pi T-Cobbler Plus Kits, and 5 Adafruit Perma-Proto HAT for Pi Mini Kits. The idea was to make something awesome that used all of the donated parts.

My idea was to make a photo box to take pictures of new members at the Makerspace. We have a wall with pictures of some of our members. Ideally, we would like as many pictures up there as possible. The problem is that its a pain to find the camera, take someone's photo, download it to a computer, make a document, print the document, cut out the picture, and display the picture.

Enter the MMS Photo-inator Xsi. The Photo-inator is designed to make most of this work effortless. Any member or visitor who wants their picture taken can simply turn on the Photo-inator Xsi, press a button or two, and, in a few seconds, get their printed picture off of the printer.

The MMS Photo-inator Xsi has the following features:

  • Portable
  • One-shot mode that interacts with the human like so:
    • Wait for the user to press a button to start the process
    • Instruct the camera to take a picture and download it to the Pi
    • Display the picture on a monitor
    • Allow the user to keep the picture or discard it by pressing one of two buttons
    • Create a document with the picture, if the person chose to keep it (coming)
    • Print the document (coming)
    • Send the picture to the Makerspace's server (coming)
    • Reset for the next customer
  • Continuous mode to take a picture every 60 seconds and store it on the Pi's SD card

In case you were wondering, continuous mode is meant to be used at events like a Maker Faire to capture the awesomeness in a random way. Attaching the MMS Photo-inator Xsi to a robot that wanders around with the Photo-inator running in continuous mode would be either very awesome or very creepy.

Here is the bill of materials (incomplete)

  • (1) Raspberry Pi 2 Model B
  • (1) Adafruit Perma Proto Pi Hat
  • (1) Canon EOS Rebel Xsi digital SLR camera
  • (1) Computer monitor
  • (3) momentary buttons
  • (4) LEDs with light covers
  • Miscellaneous wires, and other electrical components

Software used in the solution (incomplete)

  • Python for the coding
  • gphoto2 to interact with the camera
  • fbi to display the photo
  • ?? to build the document
  • ?? to print the document

An Adafruit T-Cobbler Plus was used to protoype the design.

If you want to read more details about this process, check out my blog posts.

Acknowledgements. The following websites gave me ideas for this project.

Let's get to the instructions...

Oh, one last thing. If you will be anywhere near Milwaukee, WI September 26 and 27, 2015, come to the Milwaukee Maker Faire. You won't regret it. (If you are reading this in the future, come to the next one.)

Step 1: Setup the Raspberry Pi

First things first. Get the Raspberry Pi up-and-running.

Step 2: Build the Proto Board

In this step, I will explain how to make all of the connections on the Adafruit Perma-Proto Pi Hat.

Step 3: Build the Box

In this step, I will explain how to build the box to house the Pi, and camera.

Step 4: Assembly

The final step is to install the Pi and camera in the box.

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