Imagine that you have this credit card-sized and affordable computer that you can use for all sorts of cool projects. Something that is like a brain for your creative ideas. Well, that’s a Raspberry Pi for you. This tiny computer is similar to a regular computer but smaller and simpler. People use it to build things like robots, smart gadgets, or even mini-game consoles. Just like a mini-computer that helps you make fun things and learn about technology.
In a world where technology is constantly evolving, Raspberry Pi stands out as a game-changer. This palm-top computer might look unassuming, but it’s a powerhouse that can be transformed into virtually anything. This innovative gadget is not just for the tech-savvy; it’s a gateway for beginners to dive into programming, electronics, and do-it-yourself projects, all in an approachable and captivating manner.
In an interview with Technext, UK-based Data Analyst, Peter Adeyemo Adepoju describes Raspberry Pi as a bridge between software and hardware.
“By visualizing mirrors that display real-time weather updates, and notifications, and even control home appliances, Raspberry Pi serves as versatile hardware for achieving seamless integration between digital systems and the physical world”, he added.
According to Peter, this integration extends to the Internet of Things (IoT), where the Raspberry Pi demonstrates its capability to connect devices and enable intelligent interactions. Through its adaptability, it contributes significantly to shaping the future of interconnected technologies and enhancing convenience and efficiency in our daily lives.
Raspberry Pi was initially designed as an affordable educational tool. However, it has since evolved into a powerful computing solution with global significance. The creation of the Raspberry Pi Foundation in the UK aimed to promote computer science education, resulting in a credit card-sized computer that delivers processing capabilities.
The UK-based Data Analyst, Peter Adepoju noted that Rasberry Pi offers a range of endless possibilities and models that address diverse needs, from basic programming to advanced projects.
Its standout feature is the General Purpose Input/Output (GPIO) pins, allowing seamless interaction with hardware components and sensors. With support for various operating systems, Raspberry Pi OS with its specialized options serves as an accessible platform for learning programming languages like Python and Scratch.Peter Adeyemo Adepoju
Beyond education, Raspberry Pi finds application in numerous fields, from retro gaming consoles to robotics and the Internet of Things (IoT). Its real-world impact is evident in weather stations, medical research, and more. It democratises technology and is embraced globally by educators, innovators, health practitioners and several other professionals.
Most importantly, it has redefined education, innovation, and connectivity, transcending its origins to become a force in modern computing.
Kenyan-made Raspberry Pi Pico boards are now on sale in Africa
With a retail price of $4, Raspberry Pi was first released in January 2021. The RP2040, built by Raspberry Pi in the UK, was the company’s first board based on a single microcontroller chip. However, Pico boards are now made in Kenya and can be bought at stores that sell electronic items in Africa. These boards are manufactured by a company called Gearbox Europlacer in Kenya. The significance of this in Africa is that Africans can now have easier access to these boards for their projects and learning about electronics.
The Raspberry Pi Pico boards made in Kenya will be sold to stores that sell electronic items in Kenya, Rwanda, and Ghana. However, the manufacturing company plans to make them available in shops all across Africa soon.
Gearbox Europlacer is a hardware accelerator that provides members with access to modern machines for prototyping and low-volume manufacture including electronics PCB fabrication. Dr. Kamau Gachigi is the Founding Executive Director of Gearbox Pan African Networks.
Gearbox Europlacer is an electronics manufacturer that focuses on mechanical, electrical, and electromechanical hardware innovation. They primarily produce Printed Circuit Board Assemblies (PCBA), often known as motherboards.
In 2021, the company commenced operations in Kenya. It established a cooperation with the UK-based computing solutions supplier Raspberry Pi last year. Raspberry Pi is collaborating with community partners to incorporate computing into the local STEM curriculum. The collaboration with Gearbox Europlacer will increase access to previously difficult-to-obtain computers.
The fact that the Pico boards are now being manufactured locally is a positive development for the technology sector in Kenya and the surrounding region. Africa will have easier access to modern computer technologies thanks to Kenyan production. This demonstrates progress in the tech industry’s capabilities and reach.
Get the best of Africa’s daily tech to your inbox – first thing every morning.
Join the community now!