Introducing the Raspberry Pi

By David Cirella | February 27, 2017

The Raspberry Pi is a small, single-board computer capable of many of the computing tasks as the desktop or laptop computer that you are likely most familiar with. What makes the Raspberry Pi special is its extendability and low cost.

The board brings enough computing power to run a desktop operating system and programs including web browsers, word processing, spreadsheets, and graphics editing applications. The board features standard connections including:

  1. HDMI (for a monitor or to connect to a TV)
  2. USB (for everything from a keyboard and mouse, printer, scanner, USB flashdrive/hard drive)
  3. Bluetooth (wireless speakers, headphones, keyboard and mouse)
  4. Wifi (wireless networking)
  5. Ethernet (wired networking)

The GPIO (General purpose input-output) connector provides 40 pins that be used for interfacing the board with a wide variety of different sensors and electronic components. The GPIO connector is commonly used for connecting with LED lights, motion senors and temperature sensors.

The Pi uses a full-featured Linux operating system and is able to run a wide variety of applications including popular web servers. Coupled with the ability to interact with the real world via GPIO connected sensors, the Pi is a suitable platform for building internet connected prototypes.

There is an enormous amount of projects possible and a wealth of sources online that provide step-by-step instructions. Ready to try it out? Stop into to the Innovation Labs and checkout one of our Raspberry Pi project kits for a 2 week loan or visit the resources linked below: