Build Yourself an AI Powered Microscope – DevConf 2024

Thank you everyone who attended my session at both DevConf Cape Town and Johannesburg
I met so many awesome people during DevConf inside and outside of my session! Thank you for making DevConf 2024 the incredibile conference it was!

I’ve included the slides for those interested in building your own DIY Microscope, or something similar to help you with your own accessibility challenges. If you have an imaging device with some intelligence, there’s so many things you can do!

The project is using a Raspberry Pi 3B (4 and 5 works too). It is build using C# and .NET 8. The user interface is created using AvaloniaUI. There’s nothing better that Avalonia if you need to create small, incredibly fast user interfaces on Linux using .NET. I really recommend trying it out!

The backend is using Azure CosmosDB for storage. The MongoDB VCore Implementation. This is chosen for it’s vector search capabilities. Perfect for a conversational solution using OpenAI.

The slides can be found below

The whole premise of the talk was to inspire developers to think about using all these tech components in your toolbox. Both AI and IoT bits and use it for good. There’s so many solutions that could be created especially for accessibility, to make people’s life a little easier. This is also exactly why I created this Microscope, to solve my own accessibility problems when building IoT solutions. Think about what you could do!

Recorded Demos

Demo of analysing a Gigatron board
Unicorn HATs and dynamic lighting!
Using a Conversational Interface
Looking a ZX Spectrum RAM Chips
Helios Speaks Afrikaans!

The Microscope Tech Stack

.NET 8 (C#) https://learn.microsoft.com/en-us/dotnet/core/whats-new/dotnet-8/overview

Avalonia UI https://avaloniaui.net/

SkiaSharp https://github.com/mono/SkiaSharp

Azure CosmosDB https://azure.microsoft.com/en-us/products/cosmos-db

Azure AI Vision https://azure.microsoft.com/en-us/products/ai-services/ai-vision

Azure Speech https://azure.microsoft.com/en-us/products/ai-services/ai-speech

Azure OpenAI https://azure.microsoft.com/en-us/products/ai-services/openai-service

Azure IoT Edge https://azure.microsoft.com/en-us/products/iot-edge

Docker https://www.docker.com/

Mosquito MQTT https://mosquitto.org/

The components used can be found here. You can put this all together yourself!

Some photos of the session at DevConf 2024

I hope to see you next time! Happy building and learning with cool tech!!! 😍

Keeping your .NET Apps Alive with Supervisor

Supervisor as a Background Service Manager

Supervisor is a service which can be used on a Raspberry Pi to ensure processes keep running. If there’s an app that requires execution 24 / 7 then SuperVisor is perfect for this. Perfect for kiosk solutions.

1. Install Supervisor

Log into the Raspberry Pi

At the command prompt type: sudo apt install supervisor -y

2. Start Supervisor the Supervisor Service

At the command prompt type:   sudo service supervisor start

3. Create a Supervisor Process

Use an editor such as nano to create a project file project.supervisor.conf in the /etc/supervisor/conf.d/ folder

Add this to the contents of the file

Create file project.supervisor.conf in etc/supervisor/conf.d/
and put:

[program:microlights]
user=pi
directory=/home/pi/MicroLights
command=sudo dotnet /home/pi/MicroLights/MicroLights.dll

autostart=true
autorestart=true
stdout_logfile=/home/pi/MicroLights/stdout.log
stderr_logfile=/home/pi/MicroLights/stderr.log


4. Request Supervisor to re-read configuration and Update

sudo supervisorctl reread
sudo supervisorctl update

5. Staus of Commands

sudo supervisorctl status microlights
sudo supervisorctl start microlights
sudo supervisorctl stop microlights
sudo supervisorctl restart microlights

Data Saturdays Cape Town 2023

Thank you so much to everyone that attended my session. It was a lot of fun and the audience was great!

Also thank you to the sponsors for making community events like this happen, the organizers and the amazing venue at the University of the Western Cape.

Here’s the slides as promised and also all the links to further learning and also links to our Cape Town MS Developer Community was more tech learning fun.

Home Agri-IoT experiment Part 2 – Composting

The home farm is working well, but time to try and make some improvements. I’m going to try my hand and “Smart” Composting. Going to start with a Bokashi and also some worms with VermiComposting.

More on the home Smart Farm here. Since this talk at DevConf 2023, I’m so happy and also inspired to see so many new home farm smart farmers!

Composting is a given as the soil here in the garden is not great.

Sensors and likely some AI is a given here to mazimize the output of the compost. I’ll post more on how things go and what I’ve learn from the process. It will be a lengthy process to measure the benefits.

Step by step instructions, when I know what I’m doing will follow. 😊

But the progress so far is below in pictures.

Azure Percept – AI on the EDGE

Thank you for everyone that attended the two AI on the Edge talks at MSDUG Johannesburg and Cape Town.

As promised I’m sharing the additional content from the Azure Percept.

https://www.meetup.com/cape-town-ms-dev-user-group/events/287139061/

https://www.meetup.com/johannesburg-ms-dev-user-group/events/287592457/

Some more information about Azure Percent

Learn about Azure Percept 

AZURE.COM page
Product detail pages
Pre-built AI models
Azure Percept – YouTube

Purchase Azure Percept
Available to our customers – Build your Azure Percept
    

Product Launch
Roanne Sones & Moe Tanabian Presentation from Ignite
MyIgnite – New innovations to bring AI to the edge (microsoft.com)

Announcement blog

Architecture and Technology

Technical Overview of Azure Percept with Microsoft Mechanics by George Moore 
Build & Deploy to edge AI devices in minutes

Azure Percept enables simple AI and computing on the edge: Check out the blog here

Audio Demo:

How to easily set up and use audio Edge AI with Azure Percept – YouTube

AI Models:

AI models supported by Azure Percept DK (microsoft.com)

Getting started with Advanced Development on the Percept DK via Jupyter Lab and Azure Machine Learning: Access here

Industry Use Cases and Community Projects

Internet of Things – Microsoft Tech Community

Azure Percept showing Edge Computing and AI in the Agriculture Summit keynote by Jason Zander – YouTube

Using Azure Percept to build the next Smart Building

BlueGranite’s Smart City Solution

Building the next smart city with Azure Percept

Industrial IoT and Preventive Maintenance

Technology for Ranching | upperyellowstone and Smart Video Cameras | upperyellowstone

Set up your own end-to-end package delivery monitoring AI application on the edge with Azure Percept

Live simulation of Azure Percept from Alaska Airlines: Azure Percept dev kit to detect airplanes and baggage trucks on an airport runway.

Using Azure Percept to build an Aircraft Part Checker

Azure Percept Audio – Home Automation with Azure Functions, Azure IoT Hub and Raspberry Pi

Face your fears, learn new stuff, and push out on the edges with Azure Percept

Perceptmobile: Azure Percept Obstacle Avoidance LEGO Car

Outdoor Irrigation

For this outdoor farm to be truely sustainable I decided to water it with rain water tanks and have it self powered by the sun with solar panels.

Eco Rain water tank and solar panel
Starting the sustainable solar powered watering system
Irrigation piping and fittings
Installing microjet sprayers in planters
Microjet sprinkler
Prototyping the solution using ESP32 and .NET Nanoframework
Testing Solar Panel and controller