electronic skateboard with raspberry pi

Raspberry Pi: Super Power in a Tiny Package!

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.

raspberry pi applications

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!

The brains is a Raspberry Pi Zero, and the speed is controlled by a Nintendo Wii Remote over Bluetooth.  With a motor from Alien Power Systems attached to the rear axle, a speed controller from the same company, and a battery offering a range of 10km.
The project is the brainchild of the Raspberry Pi Guy, the man behind the popular series of YouTube tutorial videos, and features just 100 lines of code!
Meantime, check it out: