While searching on my local Facebook gadget group and OLX Philippines, I’ve seen this ads about Raspberry Pi starter kit unit for sale and to tell you honestly, I don’t have even the slightest idea what it is all about and didn’t think of any possible purpose it can offer as I don’t really have any background information with that tiny piece of board.
So I did my homework and guess what? I’m enlighten already on what truly it is. Well I guess you are also looking for an answer on what is a Raspberry Pi, that’s why you are on this page. Actually it is a single board computer, yes it is a mini computer and it can actually do a normal PC can do, from internet browsing, streaming of files, listening music, document management and there are lot more it can that will surely amaze you once you continue reading this article.
Raspberry Pi is a single-board PC intended to run Linux kernel based operating systems. It was developed in United Kingdom by the Raspberry Pi Foundation. It has a small motherboard like PCB design with USB 2.0 ports, a CPU, a GPU, a LAN port and relies on SD card to boot and uses it for its storage instead of using a bulky 2.5” or 3.5” HDD/SSD. This little PC needs an external monitor and a keyboard/mouse to operate. It is used mainly for prototyping and testing of applications.
Raspberry Pi Available Models Online
Technological Advancement using Raspberry Pi Mini Computers
I have seen some who use Raspberry Pi to download Torrent files, watch 720p movies, browse the internet and some uses this device on their thesis subject in college. There are also Raspberry Pi enthusiasts who manage to utilize the device at its best by coding it and used it on their robotics project, DIY modding project, and many other cool stuff that you can’t imagine.
Check out this cool video of a Raspberry Pi-powered robot used to solve a Rubik’s cube.
Raspberry Pi Expansions and Add-ons
You can also read some of my Raspberry Pi related articles. Most of these are add-ons/expansions, and companion device for the Raspberry to perform a certain instructions or work. As of this time of writing , there are several add ons you can buy and install with the Raspberry Pi nano computer and by adding more add-ons or expansion, you can make it more powerful and able to perform new tasks.
PyID adds Optical Character Recognition to your Raspberry Project
I’m very interested on Raspberry Pi mini PC systems that’s why I keep on searching for the latest news and updates with this technology. On my last update it was all about UniPi, which is an expansion board for extra inputs and outputs connectivity for your Raspbery project. Now what I’ve recently read is a code called PyID that gives your system an Optical Character Recognition (OCR) intelligence. I’ve already seen its live demo and I was really amazed how the creator (Migel Tissera) of this code manage to read such hand writings from 0 to 9. He was really a genius! “PyID is a cutting edge machine-learning algorithm based on a novel neural network architecture written in Python. The neural network has been trained to recognise hand-written digits (0-9), but it can be trained on any compatible dataset with minor modifications to the source code.” Tissera explained.
He also stated that the PyID code was meant for Pi only. “PyID was written with a simple goal in mind – To bring some intelligence in to the most popular mobile computing platform. Over the past year alone I have seen some amazingly cool products coming out of the community with the Pi. But most of them lack intelligence. And by no means it is wrongdoings of the creators – it’s just that until now, there have not been an easy to implement source code or a package – They haven’t had the support from right researchers and engineers. Well, PyID is here to fix that.”
You can check more about the Raspberry Pi PyID code via Kickstarter crowd funding website looking to raise $2,000 in pledges.
UniPi Board Expansion for Raspberry Pi
This newest update is an expansion board for Raspberry computers called as UniPi Board and can be use by existing users of Raspberry mini PC systems. What you can get with this expansion board are useful connections like 14 x digital inputs, 2 x analog inputs with 0-10V, 1 x analog 0-10V output , and single channel 1-wire interface.
Other features of the UniPi board include 8 relays, real time clock, and EEPROM. While searching for other useful information about UniPi. I’ve found its manual online which can also be save as a PDF file if you want to start upgrading your Raspberry set-up.
Gert VGA 666 Adapter for Raspberry Pi
I know many would ask why a Raspberry Pi didn’t have a VGA output maybe because of the space that it will require and for that you will definitely need a larger board or it could possibly be the cost of adding one directly to the board as it will require a digital-to-analogue conversion, and VGA adapters can be quite pricey, and the same time can draw lots of power compared to HDMI port
Today with the newer versions B+ and A+ VGA output is now possible using Gert van Loo’s invention, dubbed as the Gert VGA 666 Adapter. The value 666 refers to as 6 bits per color channel and it will use the Pi’s 40 GPIO pins. With this add-on, also means you can use it as a secondary monitor alongside with the built-in HDMI port. Sounds cool right? The 40 pin header provides all the GPIO signals that the Broadcom SoC requires to construct the VGA signals wasn’t possible to implement on previous Raspberry Pi model B and model A due to the GPIO header config
The PiHut have launched a Kickstarter project to crowd fund this as a product before and it was successfully funded last October 8. Now you can get this kit for for only £6.
Photon Elephant 3D Printer Operating System
The Photon Elephant is a hardware and software combo and it utilize Raspberry Pi micro computer to control a 3D printer without the need of Arduino which is commonly used to controls the motors and sensors of a 3D printer. But because Arduino doesn’t have an OS, Photon Elephant use the Raspberry Pi’s GPIO pins to directly drive the motor controllers for your printer.
The company has invented this hardware and software combo as a simplest solution to the emerging 3D printing technology if you just want to set it up and make it run. For more information on this latest Photon Elephant 3D Printer OS SDK, you can head over to the Kickstarter website for more details.
PaPiRus eInk Display for Raspberry Pi Project
I have good news for all Raspberry Pi enthusiasts who want to add a low power display to your project. Introducing PaPiRus ePaper screen HAT for Raspberry Pi systems, this display utilized eInk/ePaper display technology which is said to conserve energy on your project systems as it only require a very small amount of power but still efficient in displaying text/images of your project even under the sunlight.
The PaPiRus Raspberry Pi eInk display is available in 1.44 to 2.7-inch of size and it is capable of displaying text and images indefinitely even without electricity. This new display technology is perfect to the Raspberry Pi model B and later model, instead of using external LCD or LED monitors especially if you are just going to use your tech project as a downloader/streamer or media player.
The PaPiRus project was announced on a Kickstarter crowd funding website to raise the £5,000 goal funds needed to make the jump from concept to production. As of today, they have already got their target funds and already exceeded with £13,000 pledged.
While waiting for PaPiRus for Raspberry Pi, you can also check these alternative energy-efficient displays for Raspberry Pi single board.
Raspberry Pi-Powered Devices and Gadgets
MINI EMU: Raspberry Pi Powered All-in-One Retro Game Console
MINI EMU is an All-in-One Retro Game Console powered by Raspberry Pi that lets you play classic games from previous generation gaming consoles such as Atari, Sega, PlayStation One and etc.
The MINI EMU Raspberry Pi game console was built by Sumbo Design and it comes preinstalled with open source emulation software that allows you to store thousands of games from different classic gaming consoles.
You can pledge for the Raspberry Pi MINI EMU gaming console for €99 and get the 8GB MINI-EMU Console Bundle which includes game console, game controller, 8GB Pre-Loaded OS Card, Quick Start Guide, HDMI and Power Cables.
You can also check their stretch goals (other bundles) on their kickstarter page.
SpotiBear: 3D-Printed Teddy Bear runs Spotify using Raspberry Pi
I am really amazed with the power of 3D printing which is trending right now not only because of the 3D model that it can produce but also the fact that 3D enthusiasts manage to create a fully working 3D model such as the automotive transmission, electronic drill and now a Teddy Bear printed using MakerBot Replicator 2 and runs Spotify with Raspberry Pi computer.
This Teddy Bear called SpotiBear 1.0 was built from scratch by Andreas Lindahl as he tries to hone his skills in 3D modeling and to have a better understanding how 3D printer works. I’m sure not just children will be amaze but also adults who have the same interest of creating 3D models as this 3D Printed Teddy Bear can play children’s music, lullabies, tell stories using a speaker embedded to the model and of course it has a battery, buttons and needs to be recharge using micro-USB.
Andreas is the designer and his co-worker Pär Johansson did all the hardware and coding for the Teddy Bear.
Watch the demo of the SpotiBear 1.0
Kano Computer for Kids Powered by Raspberry Pi 2
Kano has just announced an update to its Raspberry Pi learning kit now using the latest Raspberry Pi 2 for Kano computer. I’ve already featured the Raspberry Pi 2 model here in Techie-Pinoy a few months ago, but for a quick recap this Raspberry Pi model features a 900MHz quad-core ARM Cortex-A7 processor, 1 GB RAM and now supports Windows 10 operating system as well. You can also check my initial post about its predecessor Raspberry Pi model B.
I’m sure your kids will enjoy the newest Kano Raspberry Pi powered computer because it is much faster than its predecessor and they will learn more from this kit once they have assembled it. Kano’s Raspberry Pi 2 DIY programming kit is now available for pre-order for £120 and it will be ship later this month. While waiting for the kit, you can check my first post about how Kano computer teaches kids to assemble a PC.
Kano Raspberry Pi 2-powered Learning Kit is now available in Amazon priced at $149.99 using the link below.
AxiomAir Raspberry Pi-Powered Multiroom Wireless Speaker
Axiom Audio, a Canadian speaker maker has announced its latest technology in the form of a Raspberry Pi-Powered wireless speaker dubbed as the new AxiomAir wireless multiroom sound system. This speaker has been announced via a Kickstarter campaign with a goal of raising $75,000.
The AxiomAir utilize Wi-Fi technology with a Raspberry Pi mini-computer at its core and comes preloaded with Axiom Audio’s custom Linux-based operating system. The advantage of streaming music files using Wi-Fi is that – it has more wireless range compared to Bluetooth and the bandwidth that it can handle is much higher quality making it more appealing to your ears. Another advantage of Wi-Fi streaming is that multiple users can connect to the speaker system simultaneously that’s why – it’s called multi-room audio system. It can be synchronized throughout the home or set up to operate individually or in groups.
In terms of specifications of the speaker, it has a built-in DAC which helps the AxiomAir handle music files up to 24-bit/192 kHz resolution, 150 watt RMS amplifier driving two 6.5-inch aluminum cone speakers and two 1-inch titanium tweeters.
The speaker is an open-source, it means it is also a programmable speaker. You can also attach a USB thumb drive and use its companion app called AxiomAirApp as a remote control to the speaker system. User can purchase an optional 9 or 18 hour battery packs when there’s no power source available nearby. Lastly, the speaker has three USB ports and one of these can be used to share the speaker’s battery juice with mobile devices.
For more information on the latest AxiomAir wireless multiroom audio system. Visit the Kickstarter website for details and you can also make a pledge from $475.
Raspberry Pi Learning Materials
MagPi – Raspberry Pi Community Magazine Now Available on iOS
Good news for raspberry pi enthusiasts and iOS lover because your favorite magazine for Raspberry Pi called Magpi can now be downloaded via Apple iOS Newsstand application. If you want to know the latest and hottest news about Raspberry Pi, then you might want to subscribe now!
Raspberry Pi mini pc systems is very powerful despite of its size and now you can find several add-ons, expansion board to this mini computer locally and online. The official Raspberry Pi magazine called MagPi is now available to subscribe to via Newsstand application.
There are several subscription option like for single issues which are available to purchase for only £2.99, while a one month subscription will costs you about £2.29 per issue. You can also opt with an annual subscription for only £19.99 where you can save 45% if you purchased them singularly.
For your information, The MagPi has been run by volunteers, with no input from the Foundation, for the last three years. Ash Stone, Will Bell, Ian McAlpine and Aaron Shaw, who formed the core editorial team. To know more about Magpi visit the link below.
Learn How Raspberry Pi Systems Work by Tony Chang
If you are very interested and looking for more information how Raspberry Pi systems work then you might want to check out this Raspberry Pi Education Learning kit by Tony Chang via Kickstarter.
Tony Chang developed the Raspberry Pi EDU Learning Kit so that kids and even adults will learn the basics and how such systems work, how to program, and how to control different electronic devices using Raspberry Pi models.
I’ve seen how powerful and useful Raspberry Pi computer systems can be when used in our everyday lives. You can head directly to the crowdsourcing page and see different expansion boards that can be purchased when it jumps into production.
Kano Computer Helps Children Build Their Own Computer
Kano DIY raspberry pi computer kit is designed for kids of ages 6 to 15 years old for them to learn how to assemble a Kano computer. In this DIY kit, your kid gets a Raspberry Pi Model B mini computer board, a wireless keyboard with trackpad, a tiny speaker, WiFi adapter, an HDMI cable , a transparent case and an 8GB SD card that comes pre-loaded with Kano OS.
If this is your first time to read about Raspberry Pi computers then you might want to check my previous posts, the Raspberry Pi and its latest model Raspberry Pi 2 that is announced a few months ago. Raspberry Pi is one of the great inventions and it can do many things that you can’t imagine. The Kano computer DIY kit also includes two kid-friendly booklets with illustrated instructions on how your kid will going to assemble the raspberry pi computer. This kit is available for $150 and I’m very sure your kid will enjoy and will learn a lot from Kano Computer.
Kano HD Display Kit Now Available for Pre-order
Kano has announced its HD screen kit for their Raspberry-Pi powered learning kit that I’ve featured here in my blog a few months ago.
In a nutshell, Kano’s learning kit is all about the basics on how to assemble a computer and how it works. Once you have purchased the said kit, there is an included easy to follow guide with photos so that your child will not experience hard time assembling their newest minicomputer.
The Kano kit includes a Raspberry Pi 2 mini computer, which is a very popular nowadays because of its huge potential and great features. If you will try to search online, you will see how incredible it could be as it can be used on many applications that’s is the reason even adults enjoyed using Raspberry Pi starter kit on their projects.
Kano was able to raised a whooping $15M in May for that product.
According to Kano CEO Alex Klein, the HD display add-on to the Kano learning kit is now available for preorder for only $109 until September 11th.
The 10.1-inch high-definition screen for Kano features a sleek design that perfectly matches your existing raspberry-pi powered computer. With this you have a more compact system where you can bring anywhere you go, as long as there is an extra battery available.
It can also be ordered as bundle with the original kit by Kano for $250 powered by latest Raspberry Pi 2, faster and more powerful successor of the original Raspberry Pi.
The Screen Kit is a portable, playful HD display you build yourself. It’s a new make-it-yourself moment, to demystify the display, and take Kano portable. Billions of liquid crystals. Two million pixels. The Screen Kit has a unique modular design. You learn how alpha, gamma, and pixels work by putting them together yourself. It’s creative learning for kids and big kids.
Availability and Pricing
It’s already available in some gadget stores in Manila, Philippines with a price range around 6500 – 7500 pesos for the Raspberry Pi – Model B (512 MB / Revision 2) complete set. Raspberry Pi 2 is already been released and posted here in my tech blog via this link.