What is The Matrix Creator?
The Matrix Creator is an impressive looking daughter board for the Raspberry Pi, and is loaded with masses of sensors and other gizmos. This makes it a great choice for a variety of different IoT applications such as drones, robots, home automation and security.
The board is driven by a Xilinx Spartan 6 FPGA, and includes all of the following features:-
- Ultraviolet sensor
- Pressure sensor
- 3D accelerometer
- 3D gyroscope
- 3D magnetometer
- Humidity sensor
- Array of 8 microphones
- Temperature sensor
- NFC reader
- Ring of 35 RGBW LEDs
- Ring of infrared LEDs for Raspberry Pi NOIR camera
- Infrared transmitter and receiver
- Thread mesh network support
- Zigbee support
- Z-Wave support
Although the Matrix Creator board does not actually include a camera, it does easily accommodate a Raspberry Pi NOIR camera board. To fit the camera to the Matrix Creator board, all that is needed is 4 M2 12mm nylon screws and matching nuts. We also used 4 nylon spacers to provide a little space between the camera chip and the Creator board. For maximum stability when mounted on the Raspberry Pi, a single M2.5 19mm standoff and matching screws could also be used.
Setting it Up
The Getting Started Guide for the Matrix Creator describes the setup for the Raspberry Pi, and how the Creator may be controlled from another computer using the Matrix Command Line Interface (CLI). However, we also found an excellent set of instructions at the Initial State web site, and following this guide allowed us to get the basic features of the Matrix Creator working.
Following these instructions, the first step is to update the Raspberry Pi software and then install NodeJS. This is done using the following terminal commands:-
sudo apt update sudo apt upgrade sudo reboot curl -sL https://deb.nodesource.com/setup_7.x | sudo -E bash - sudo apt install nodejs sudo apt install build-essential
Install Matrix Creator Software
Having installed NodeJS, the next stage is to install the software that would allow us to interface to the Matrix Creator. This requires the following set of terminal commands:-
echo "deb http://packages.matrix.one/matrix-creator/ ./" | sudo tee --append /etc/apt/sources.list sudo apt update sudo apt upgrade sudo apt install libzmq3-dev xc3sprog malos-eye sudo apt install matrix-creator-malos matrix-creator-openocd sudo apt install wiringpi matrix-creator-init cmake g++ git sudo reboot
git clone https://github.com/matrix-io/matrix-creator-malos.git cd matrix-creator-malos git submodule init git submodule update
Installing Additional NodeJS Modules
sudo npm install protobufjs sudo npm install zmq sudo npm install matrix-protos sudo npm install mic
Installing Additional Python Libraries
sudo apt install python-dev sudo pip install protobuf sudo pip install matrix_io-proto sudo pip install tornado sudo pip install pyzmq
Running The Examples Programs
To run the Python examples, navigate to the python_test folder:-
The Python test programs are run using the ‘python’ command; for example:-
These example programs can be used as the basis as something more complex, and this is where the Matrix Creator board comes into its own. The large number of sensors and other features available allow the board to be used for any manner of different applications.
— PiMinister (@PiMinister) August 7, 2017
Have fun with it.