The Raspberry Pi is a little computer around the size of a credit card that was designed to help children learn about programming while doing some of their own. The team behind the charity that makes the Pi identified a lack of grass roots teaching as a potential break on future skills development, but since then the humble Pi has demonstrated breakout potential as take up from the wider computing community burgeons.
The main benefit of a Raspberry Pi is that it is very cheap to buy, and can be put to many uses from controlling cars or boats remotely, to running cameras and playing games or using spreadsheets like a standard computer. A major advantage is that it has no affiliated operating system so can be integrated with anything – great for the development community and a good way in for young people who are just starting out. Children can also quickly and easily get an understanding of programming without the possibility of breaking an expensive piece of equipment or software. The foundation responsible for the Raspberry Pi encourage the use of it for anything the user would like, and there is a regular release schedule of add-ons and updates so the device remains current.
Here are our Top 3 real world applications of the Raspberry Pi
1. The media streamer
2. The portable games console
3. The camera
Pretty sweet. I'm sure you'll agree.
The Raspberry Pi is cool as it allows anyone to try their hand at programming, and kids can do some fun and exciting things with it easily which keeps them interested. Used imaginatively, it can also stimulate a desire to get into digital science and programming later on in their studies. From an economic point of view, it is essential that children learn these skills as the demand for programming and technical knowledge is only going to increase as the multi-billion pound digital industry grows.
The Raspberry Pi has been put to work in a huge range of applications; the BBC program Springwatch used the little computer to count birds using nest boxes, and the Pi is being used in remote rural schools in Ghana to run internet services with the help of a 3G dongle. London Zoo have been putting the Pi to work catching poachers hunting Rhino in Kenya, and schools all over the country are using them for almost anything the imagination can come up with.
This tiny, simple computer really does have the power to inspire those both in the development world and those with limited and in many cases no technical knowledge to have a go at programming, and, in the majority of cases, succeed.