Controlling a network of raspberry Pi is serious work!

When you come to work with a system controlling tenth of pi cameras, you have to manage a real network of nano-computers comparable to a network you can find in a two/three story office building.

It is not because all your computers are concentrated on 2/3 square meters that it is easier to control.  Then having a software to manage all the computers and make them work properly is serious work and need real networking skills with optimization of the traffic, troubleshooting, procedure to add/register new computers, managing a NAS to upload the images automatically, etc…

I’m a computer specialist and I worked a long time as a data architect. I was in charge of several networks of hundreds of computers for major companies and know well how things can go wrong when you don’t take into account seriously the complexity of working with real time processing/transactions. After that I worked 15 years in 3D printing and 3D scanning. People working on this project are specialists in networking and transaction management.
Thanks to linux and raspberry processor, our system is highly based on multi-threading. With a raspberry pi 3, you can work with 4 threads because the raspberry pi 3 has 4 cores (our system works also on other type of raspberry but not as optimised as with pi3).

Networking based on a transaction system and distributed computing as we need to make a photogrammetry rig working in production need to take into account a real management of the network:

  • being able to list in real time all the computers connected to the network and their status.having a function to switch from video live views to still images to make the captures.
  • Being able to reboot the satellites nano-computers in case of problem.
  • Troubleshooting automatically the different programs involved in the different processes.
  • Having simple configuration procedures for the NAS, a SmartShooter PC machine (if used), etc…
  • being able to update all the system remotely

As a conclusion, managing a network is always something complex and can’t be done “so so”… Our system is tailored to be productive and we hope in our v1 something wich can be bulletproof.

F. Chauveau de Villoutreys

Author: Frédéric Chauveau

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