First Impressions and Stuff

Hi Guys,

Nice one on finally shipping these. HW is really sweet. If anyone is interested in talking to it directly without using any of the Pimoroni SW, I’ve documented the serial protocol here: Based on that it should be possible to hook it into more or less anything with a USB port.

One question… Light sensor reports 3 values internally, but API only uses one. Are the second too interesting for anything?

Sniff support for all the Medium components should be working in an hour or so - just finishing off, so if anyone wants to try it let me know. Runs on Mac, Windows, Pi, Linux etc. Flotilla is wasted a bit on Pi, you can already hook up hardware to it (just a bit more work). It’s much more of a breakthrough to have a simple way of hooking up neopixels and the like to a PC or Mac.

hint: if you are using Rockpool - it can run over the network, so once you’ve started it on a Pi, you can go to a PC, and open rasperrypi.local.:8000 in a browser. You’ll probably need to enter the IP address of your Pi too, but running the browser on a bigger machine makes the experience a LOT more smooth.

suggestion: Loving the starter kit, hoping its going to grow… how about some longer “ropes”? The standard ones are a good length for most stuff but being able to add one or two longer ones would let you put sensors further apart, say for two light sensors? Not sure if this is possible with a simple cable, as i2c might glitch over the longer distance - might be possible to add a booster to join two short cables?

[UPDATE: Sniff Drivers for Flotilla and bunch of Demo’s are here:]

hope this is useful



Yes I agree longer ropes would be useful - I’d like to hang the weather sensor out of the window, for starters!

Just got my Flotilla large starter kit and I dived straight in without really having a clue what I was doing. Here are my first impressions, including (near the end) what I think is quite a cool very simple demo of the colour sensor:

I didn’t seem to have any recipe cards in my kit, unless I mislaid them in the frenzy of unwrapping - I did have the diorama and cards though.

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@gadgetoid is currently working on some cookbook recipes, which I guess are what Pimoroni initially intended as printout.

What’s already up there is pretty ace though, but I think they should have included a tablecloth like yours in every flotilla pack ;-)

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Yes a snippet of the tablecloth would be a great addition!

I made a new quick video to show how you use Rockpool when making my colour sensor project:

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Hello @sniffCode,

Thank you, this looks great, I’ll give sniff a go on my mac.

Sorry for the very, very, very basic question but when it comes to “output” do you have the option of influencing Mac OS? (sound volume, screen brightness, keyboard presses etc)

Hi Terry,

I’ve not done those specific things but they would be possible. They’re not quite trivial, but once set up they’d be easy to use.

There would be two approaches: the simplest is if you have a program to do it from the command line already (these exist for both brightness and sound), then for example if you had a program called brightness, you could use the sniff code something like:

make system device
make command string

when start
.set command to "brightness 0.5"
.tell system to "run"

Alternatively, the “fancy” way to do it would be to write a library in C to do it. There’s documentation on how to do this in the Sniff distribution, or drop me an email, and I’ll look into doing it at some point.

@Ian, thanks for sharing; I have learnt something totally NEW today > Sniff =>It’s awesome! I feel empowered to find out more about Sniff now.

Just to update, I’ve put out a new release (24) of Sniff ( which includes Flotilla support “out of the box”. Works on Linux (including Pi), Mac and Windows.

Following Ian’s invitation to try sniff I have done just that over the past few days, and he has been very helpful to me in getting it going on my mac. I think it is a great language to use to control flotilla, and I have just completed my first project to produce a joystick driven buggy using the Flotilla robot chassis. You can drive the chassis forward or backward a varying speeds set by the Y axis of the Joystick and turn it left or right using the X axis.
A video of the project in action is at