Input Meets Output

This week:

  • Piratebox projects - No mas
  • GPIO
  • Artists and the Pi: New Digital Senses

Present Pirateboxes


Raspberry Pis are digital swiss army knifes of computing. They can run any Unix/Linux operating system, and others as well.

Let’s review the layout of our Pi’s hardware.

Raspberry Pi 3B+ hardware layout

GPIO stands for General Purpose Input Output. The GPIO pins (a collection of 40 sharp pins on your Raspberry Pi) allow you to connect external hardware such as buttons, sensors, power and more. These are hardware additions that go beyond the basic functionality of your out-of-the-box Pi.

26 pins are controllable.

Pi GPIO pins

The USB ports are to the right of this above diagram.

Pins interact with the sensors and get data. Output can include buzzers, motors turning, LED blinkings, or a display.

A guide to the pins:

The two top left red pins supply 5v power.

The two mustard yellow pins supply 3.3v power. It is always on, so you could leave an LED plugged in to this to indicate that power is on.

The black pins are ground. For all circuits, you connect one side to positive and the other to negative or ground.

Two white pins are ID EEPROM. These shouldn’t be used by you but may be used by any commercial HAT you want to connect.

Pin labelling

Note: There are multiple ways to number PINs, depending on the manufacturer or depending on how you want to count (from the top left?). Make sure to double check what pin is really indicated. Different Pis have different pins mappings.

What can work with the GPIO pins? Any language can access or write to the pins. It’s common to use Python, but Processing and now even Javascript, can access the pins.

IF you don’t have the GPIO package installed:

sudo apt-get install rpi.gpio


HAT stands for Hardware Attached on Top. They are essentially add-on boards to the Pi to get additional physical computing capabilities. HATs conform to a specification, which means that any board labeled a HAT is guaranteed to work in conjunction with your Raspberry Pi.

There are dozens of HATS available, from a large number of manufacturers.

Resources for working with GPIO on the Pi

NodeJS with GPIO - Use Javascript to control the GPIO pins

Official Raspberry Pi documentation on GPIO pins

Processing 3’s GPIO reference

Intro tutorial on using Processing to trigger LEDs on the Pi

Adafruit tutorial on using Processing with Pi

Pinout Diagrams

Complete Raspberry Pi tutorials

Artists and the Pi: New Digital Senses

Social Media Without The Internet

“Social Media without the Internet” is an interactive performance art project, created as an examination of the human sense of touch. The work is created to accompany the research project entitled “Digital Senses,” as a research innovation that examines how a new developing sense –digital sense—is applied to human sense of touch. Social Media without the Internet consists of two mediums: art object and performance. The art object is a tech wearable. Its functions are designed to be operated by hand gestures when people are socializing, i.e. handshaking, hi-fiving, shoulder-tapping, and handholding. The performance is a medium of investigation of the way social media’s interactions can be introduced into the real world. The project encourages people to socialize and invites them to have more intimate interactions with one another. These two aspects, the wearable and the live performance, were created to invigorate and inform each other. The interactive part of the wearable functions as a collector to amass data from interactions with participants, while the performance works to make that interaction happen. The wearable is designed as a blazer, an informal suit jacket without matching pants, that looks casual enough to be worn with other street-style clothing. In the gallery setting, there is live video of the jacket wearer and participants interacting streaming on monitors, which represents the broadcast of interaction between users on social media. However, without the Internet, the live stream operates as a “local area network” only.

by Tuang Thongburisute. additional info

She Bon

She Bon

SHE BON is a collection of wearable augments capable of sensing various forms of the wearer’s bio-data as input, in order to indicate their level of arousal with electronic and mechanical devices as output!

I view SHE BON as my personal suite of amour that enhances my ability to express aspects of my physical state that might be subtle and thus go unnoticed.

by Sarah Petkus. info

The Cyborg Foundation

The Cyborg Foundation is a nonprofit organization created in 2010 by cyborg activists and artists Moon Ribas and Neil Harbisson. The foundation is a platform for the research, creation and promotion of projects related to extending and creating new senses and perceptions by applying technology to the human body.


  1. On-going progress on your Pi group project
  2. Final project proposal
  3. Weekly log of work toward final project
    • each participant writes up their activity of the week (ideally, write a log every 20 minutes with your activities during that time)
    • photo documentation (which can include screenshots)
    • a writeup that ends with: what didn’t work? what are your next steps?
Final Project proposals
  1. What is your project concept idea?
  2. Who is on your team?
  3. What resources will you be using?
  4. What are you having trouble with or need help with?
  5. What are you planning on doing next?

Your outcome will be due :

  • a completed project.
  • project building tutorial
  • project manual (how to use it)
  • weekly logs of your activity and weekly photo documentation