“Our aim is to have fun exploring the Raspberry Pi’s capabilities,” said Ellen “and the club is very much guided by people’s interests and abilities,” she continued. “The Raspberry Pi is excellent for practising electronics as well as robotics, and the club is aimed at students with an existing knowledge of coding.”
Raspberry Pi is a microcomputer capable of a variety of functions like any desktop PC. “It’s portable and compact and can be mounted on a basic structure which makes it ideal for robotics,” says Mikey. “It has GPIO pins which mean you can attach other elements to it that can then enable you to do a variety of things, for example, you can attach a small camera and programme it to follow coloured lines.”
Ellen and Mikey have been having fun with Raspberry Pi since they were in Latymer Prep. Mikey attended Mr Hughes’ Pi Wars club as did their younger sister, Catie. (Pi Wars is an externally organised event in which schools compete against each other in different robotic challenges).
Inspired by what they’d seen in the Prep, the siblings wanted to introduce the idea into the Upper School, and decided to start the Raspberry Pi club. They are keen to look at general robotics and not just focus on a Pi Wars entry. In the Autumn term, the club looked at the main components and basic functions and this (Spring) term the club is starting to put its robot together. By the end of the academic year the aim is to have a fully functioning robot.
The Raspberry Pi was first created in the early 2000s and became commercially available in 2012. There are lots of different models available today and they were even used during the pandemic to work ventilators. There are also Raspberry Pis in the International Space Station; the Astro Pi project is encouraging school students around the world to create code that can then be tried out in orbit. A piece of technology that is truly out of this world!