Stranger talks: Walter
What’s stranger talks? It’s a new series in our blog: we interview members of our community to get to know them better and share some gratitude for their support. Want to be the next one to be interviewed? Send an email to firstname.lastname@example.org
In this blog post, you’re going to get to know better one of the pillars of the UDOO community: Walter is a member of our forum since 2015 and from day one he’s been always there, helping users figure out how to make their projects reality using UDOO boards and answering question after question. He’s currently written almost 2000 posts and we’re happy to have him in our community.
We want to show him how grateful we are by making him the first community member to be interviewed. But enough chit-chatting, here is the interview.
UDOO: First, the basics. Who are you?
Walter: I am Walter, living in The Netherlands, 52 years old, 3 children, educated as a mechanical designer and now an application manager for a Product Lifecycle Management application at a big factory of high tech machines.
UDOO: How did you first learn about UDOO?
Walter: I was looking for an integrated Raspberry Pi and Arduino for a project I planned to do and ran into the Kickstarter event of the Udoo Neo, at that time just closed (end of 2015). So I bought the board from the shop.
UDOO: Is UDOO BOLT your first UDOO product? / What was your first UDOO board?
Walter: No, the Udoo Neo is my first board. I also got a second hand Udoo Quad later. I further bought a Udoo X86 when I wanted some more computing and display power.
UDOO: How are you using your UDOO board(s) at the moment?
Walter: I moved recently and I now only use the Udoo X86 as a Domotica server with Zigbee devices. The Neo and Quad I used as a Proof of Concept for a project I had in mind some years ago. I wanted to set up a business in a kind of escape room but then 20-30 small rooms and all controlled by a computer and all connected to 1 main controller. The UDOO’s were perfect for this idea. I never worked with Linux so I learned a lot. The Arduino part of this application was rather simple but it was nice that it all fitted on 1 board.
I still have a mobile platform (base plate, motor and wheels) and a lot of sensors lying around so soon I will build an autonomous vehicle based on the Neo or Quad.
UDOO: What are your future projects using UDOO BOLT?
Walter: I haven’t received mine yet but it could be possible I will use it in an autonomous robot mower and surveillance unit at night. It will be a big project.
UDOO: Can you confess a noobie mistake you did in the past that you learned from?
Walter: I made them all 😉 Just a couple of them:
I struggled with compiling Arduino sketches and not understand what the error message means, Google helps!
I struggled with not writing an Udoobuntu image correctly to an SD card: Following the documentation helps!
I made simple type errors and only found them after 2 days of debugging. It does not help staying up to 2 in the morning to find the solution. Better sleep well and try the next day….
I copied source code directly from websites and found out the hard way you that there are hidden characters in HTML. Use the raw mode of Github or first use a standard text editor like notepad(++).
UDOO: What’s your tech guilty pleasure?
Walter: See computers and robots helping humans in doing the boring stuff. I now use domotica remember me that I have to close my garage door instead of my wife asking me in bed if I checked the garage door and I have to get out again….
UDOO: Did you overcome a tech challenge you’re proud of? Would you like to tell the tale?
Walter: I am proud of being able to make my Proof of Concept and programming and configurating a network of Udoo Neo’s each controlling an escape room, entrance control with RFID tags and a main controller (Udoo Quad) storing all scores of participating teams in a central database. Also the updated Arduino software was centrally pushed to each node (Neo). Unfortunatly I did not proceed in making this a business as I found out I am not an business man….
UDOO: Do you have any IT unrelated hobby?
Walter: I like to ride my motorcycle (1500cc cruiser) and I have an oldtimer American van (1986 V8, 5.0L)
in which we take the motorcycle, wife and dog for small holidays abroad. So my hobby vehicles are big, my hobby computers are small…..
UDOO: Is there a dream piece of software or hardware you’d like us to create?
Walter: 1. Make a new version of the Neo (cheap sbc) but then with the same technical concept as the Bolt (standard CPU, standard OS and standard Arduino IDE).
2. For each Udoo supply a connection kit with all non-standard connectors that can be used to connect devices to the board. I see a lot of questions about requesting where to buy this fan plug, this speaker connector etc.
UDOO: Your last words?
Walter: Keep the forum alive. It is an important source of information for users of Udoo’s. And keep developing new hardware!
UDOO: Now you shall forever be remembered by the internet and us
I loved to read the interview and sure can’t wait to see the automatic mower and surveillance unit. Seems like the everyday life tool we all need! Want to say hi o Walter? This is the link to his forum profile.
A huge thank you to Walter for participating and to the other amazing members of our forum. If you’re not a member yet, join us!
See you in the next post!
The UDOO Team