Showing Students When And Where They Need To Be At The Turing School Using @Raspberry_Pi #piday #raspberrypi


Regis Boudinot combines IoT, C, Python, Rails, NodeJS, Linux, a VPS, API’s, Webhooks, four Arduino Yuns, and a Raspberry Pi to help students see where they needed to be and when at the Turing School. via

A personal project at the Turing School of Software and Design

It all started with a simple idea. Output relevant data to an LCD screen based on the information found on a website to inform students where they need to be.

At turing there are four classrooms. Classroom A, B, C, and the Big Workspace. All students can check a website that we all call “today” ( and figure out where they need to be.

Sometime “today” gets updated at the last minute, or multiple times throughout the day.

In Module 3 (The third module of four), we have a 2 week sprint to work on a personal project that involves a certain level of complexity. I decided to use an Arduino Yun (a wifi ready Arduino with a tiny linux computer and a microcontroller) and output which cohort/teacher need to be in a certain classroom at 9:00AM.

The Challenge

First came the true test, how do I scrape the webpage?

The answer was simple at first. I decided to use nokogiri (a ruby tool that scrapes websites and pulls down the information for parsing) and some ruby logic. Turns out that “today” has no divs. This means I have no way of finding the parent, children, or sibling elements. I essentially had to build order out of chaos.

Once the I was able to make some order out of this data, I then had to organize/reject the data based on what kind of information it contained. This proved to be strange. I had to program ruby in a functional way for this to work. Having a functional rails app is a new concept to me and I find it to be awesome.

I then moved on to creating tables for each classroom, creating API endpoints that serve JSON and XML, and pushing my app to Digital Ocean.

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