How the new $4 Pico microcontroller can power a new generation of teaching robots for coding clubs.

Top view of the Raspberry Pi Pico Collision Avoidance Robot programmed with Micropython. This robot forms a platform for about a dozen other robots used in CoderDojo coding clubs. Image by the author.

I finally got some time this weekend to test our new Raspberry Pi Pico-powered collision avoidance robot. This blog describes the robot and some of the design considerations to make sure this robot is a stable platform for sustainable robotics labs for CoderDojo coding clubs.

Video of the Rasberry Pi Pico executing a simple collision avoidance program. The full program is available on the CoderDojoTC Micropython microsite.

We want this robot to be the foundation of many other robots. They will extend this base design using the breadboard. …


What upgrading my robots taught me about designing sustainable robots for the classroom

We are upgrading our $25 CoderDojo robot from an Arduino Nano to the powerful new Raspberry Pi Pico by just swapping out the processor on the solderless breadboard. A robot architecture with upgradable CPUs will add three points to your robot sustainability score—image by the author.

Many of my readers know I am passionate about teaching AI concepts to both programmers and non-technical business strategists. Many of you may not know that I am the co-founder of a group called the AI Racing League. Our mission is to promote equity and innovation in AI education. We are doing this through the design and use of low-cost robots for teaching AI that is affordable even by schools with modest budgets.

This blog is a story of my work upgrading these robots and what I have learned about sustainability in the process. I think you will see my…


I think the biggest skill that QBS people need is fraud detection. This is a HUGE problem in the industry!


Dataflow architecture and how it may influence your IT strategy

SambaNova is an example of a Dataflow Architecture that has many architectural similarities to the human brain. This figure is my own intuitive measure of a similarity score between hardware, knowledge graphs, and the human brain. Note that I rank Dataflow as having a .9 similarity score with the human brain. Artwork by author.

This week a new AI startup SambaNova landed $676 million in Series-D funding, making it the best-funded AI startup in the world. Many of my colleagues that study enterprise knowledge graphs and large-scale machine learning may be a bit confused by the scale of the funding. Indeed, at first, even I was surprised by the large funding for such a small company. However, after studying SambaNova’s 40B transistor dataflow chip architecture, I now understand why their system deserves this level of attention.

This blog will review what dataflow architecture is, how SambaNova implements this architecture, why this funding makes sense…


The Four Lands of EKG Adoption

The four lands of Enterprise Knowledge Graph (EKG) adoption. What land you live in impacts how you think about business problems. Image by the author.

This blog is a metaphorical journey that many of us are taking toward the concept of building large enterprise-scale knowledge graphs (EKGs). We will look at the three transitions that teams need to make to go from problem-solving using flat representations of data to billion-vertex EKGs running on hardware-optimized graph servers.

To help teams make these transitions, we must understand the new cognitive styles teams must learn when promoting EKGs. We will show how people can transition from problem-solving styles using flat data representations, through small graphs, to large graphs, and finally, the problem-solving involving Hardware Optimized Graph (HOG) databases…


A sample workflow for autogenerating documentation for large-scale enterprise knowledge graphs. Image by the author.

As Enterprise Knowledge Graphs (EKGs) grow, support teams will see an increase in demand for documentation about your EKG and how to access it. This means you will be spending more time writing and maintaining documentation.

This blog will review some of the best practices for generating high-quality, up-to-date documentation directly from your EKG’s metadata.

The Microsite Revolution

In the past, high-quality documentation was created by separate teams of technical writers that had the task of interviewing IT staff and then using tools such as Microsoft Word, Adobe Illustrator, Adobe Photoshop, and other expensive proprietary documentation tools. …


Lead by Intel Capital and Dell Technology Capital, venture capital investors set the EKG industry on fire! Photo by Jp Valery on Unsplash

The last few weeks have been busy in the Enterprise Knowledge Graph (EKG) space. This blog will review the key events and put them in context for a new generation of Graph Systems Thinkers trying to understand the big-picture trends that will dominate the computing industry for the next few years.

The first event was the announcement that TigerGraph got an additional $105M in venture capital in its Series C fundraising round. This should be no surprise since TigerGraph already has a wide lead in the EKG market because of three facts:

  1. It was designed from the ground up to…


The Raspberry Pi Pico has 1/625th the cost/KB SRAM as the Arduino Uno. Artwork by author.

On January 21st, the Raspberry Pi Foundation (a UK-based Charity) announced a new silicon chip that it designed. This chip, called the RP2040, has become the hottest development in the Maker Movement in the last five years. The RP2040 is at the heart of the $4 Raspberry Pi Pico development board.

The Pico is revolutionary because it offers over 100x the capabilities of the industry-standard Arduino Uno system at 1/5th the cost. At 2 cents per KB of SRAM, the Pico has 1/625th the cost-per-KB cost that of the Arduino Uno. There are many other blogs that compare the “Speeds…


Unlike the Raspberry Pi, the NVIDIA Jetson Nano does not come with a builtin sound device. To get sound working you have to purchase an additional USB sound dongle for $7.99. Getting this working with the new NVIDIA Jetson Nano LXDE desktop is a non-trivial process.

TL;DR; Check the device is present with lssub. Use the pmac list-cards command to find the driver name. Then use the Sound & Video ->PulseAudio Volume Control to set the correct Output for sound. Plug you speaker into the Green jack.

Getting sound working on the NVIDIA Jetson Nano is required for you to…


Some attributes of a sustainable scale-out enterprise knowledge graph (EKG). Drawing by the author.

Last week, I was discussing the key features of an Enterprise Knowledge Graph (EKG) with some colleagues, and I realized that although we were using the same words, we were talking about different things. We had a problem with the semantics of the word “Enterprise”. This is a bit ironic since many of these people I was talking to had a strong background in semantics.

Many people co-mingle the terms from open linked data world and the semantic web stack's role with the concepts related to sustainability and scalability of enterprise knowledge graphs. My assertion is these are independent and…

Dan McCreary

Distinguished Engineer with an interest in knowledge graphs, AI and complex systems. Big fan of STEM, Arduino, robotics, DonkeyCars and the AI Racing League.

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