Credit card-sized, and low-cost, this powerful little device is a computer designed initially for education, to improve programming skills and hardware understanding for young people, pre-university. Due to its size, affordability and versatility, the Raspberry Pi quickly inspired the interest of hobbyists, makers, inventors, and electronics
geeks enthusiasts for projects requiring a little more oomph than the basic microcontroller like the Arduino.
While slower than a modern desktop or laptop, the Raspberry Pi is still a complete, yet mini, Linux computer providing physical computing capabilities beyond that of a regular PC allowing you to connect electronic components and program physical devices in the real world.
Here are just a couple of examples of possible applications of the Raspberry Pi, from the fun to the practical, this tiny computer having the ability to help with environmental study in the field:
Using the Raspberry Pi and open source software, a team of National Geographic Explorers were able to more easily measure water quality, wildlife sightings, and more. Using the tiny hardware, they created a portal to share data openly, helping to preserve a portion of African wilderness.
According to Shah Selbe, one of the Explorers, they implemented the Raspberry Pi in their conservation work as the brains of a data station custom-built into his mokoro (traditional canoe) as he travelled the entire expanse of the Delta. You can read the full interview here.
For a little fun, here’s an example of a project combining the fun of a skateboard and some Raspberry Pi ingenuity: an electric skateboard that can zip you around town at up to 30kmph!