Raspberry Pi

Britain’s fastest selling personal computer

Raspberry Pi, the technological sensation sweeping through the world, has quickly become the UK’s fastest selling British personal computer with over five million units sold. Despite the original purpose of being a teaching tool for children learning to code, the uses of the credit-card sized computer has quickly expanded to include everyone and everything from automatic pet feeders, to gaming systems, to even remote  RC helicopters. The seemingly endless number of options is likely one of the reasons why the Raspberry Pi has reached such astronomical sales so far.

Raspberry Pi A+, RS Stock No.833-2699

Raspberry Pi 2 successfully builds upon the success of its predecessor, providing a major performance with an added 900MHz quad-core ARM Cortex-A7 CPU and a 1 GB RAM increase over the Raspberry Pi Model B+.  With speeds up to six times faster than its predecessor, the realm of possible projects and improvements broadens even further. It doesn’t appear to be a coincidence that a whopping 500,000 units sold within the first two weeks.

Raspberry Pi 2 Model B, RS Stock No.832-6274

Experts, hobbyists, and students alike have been accredited with creations that have amazed many. We have selected a few of these expert innovators to hear their opinions on the question: With such a wide array of possible uses, what are some innovative uses of the Raspberry Pi that our readers may not have already considered?

Grant Gibson

– “Raspberry Pi is one of the best supported and most flexible computing platforms on the planet.

For home users and hobbyists, whether you want to use the Raspberry Pi as a desktop PC, a media centre, a retro gaming emulation machine or even the brains of a drone, you'll find a pre-built software image and a tutorial to get you up and running in no time. 

At the more commercial end of things, the Raspberry Pi Compute Module has allowed experienced hardware teams to harness the power of the Pi inside new products like the OTTO digital camera and the Slice media player - boutique, crowd-funded products that simply wouldn't have been possible without Raspberry Pi technology.

But I believe we're still just scratching the surface of what's possible. 

The real, untapped potential of the Pi is as a general purpose bridge between the digital and physical worlds, allowing anyone with conventional workshop skills to make one-off objects that are filled with magic and wonder; a water cooler that dispenses beer instead of water if it likes your chat, a 1920s typewriter that types out tweets, or a door that automatically opens upon hearing a secret knock on the other side of the world.

We're a nation of hobbyist workshoppers, engineers and innovators.  At the same time, brands around the world are desperately clamouring for attention in an increasingly busy world - conventional advertising no longer works.  So there's a huge opportunity for talented people with traditional skills to grab a slice of this exciting new world - smart, beautiful or funny one-off things that have never existed before.  A good idea, a bit of talent and the magic of Pi makes just about anything possible.”

Grant Gibson

is a freelance software developer and exhibit designer based near Glasgow, Scotland.  His physical installations, for clients including Sony Pictures and Scottish Power, have been exhibited in museums and visitor centres in the UK and Europe.  Some of his stranger personal projects - like his biometric security toy box - have been featured in newspapers and magazines including Make and Popular Science.  www.grantgibson.co.uk