Today, to celebrate their 5th birthday, the Raspberry Pi Foundation announced an exciting new version of the Raspberry Pi Zero. Our favourite mini single board computer now includes a feature that many of us have wished for: wireless connectivity!
(The second part of a running mini-series about the Raspberry Pi Zero, the first part is here).
The Raspberry Pi Zero is an amazing little tinkering trinket. It is among the smallest, cheapest and most efficient single board computers currently on the market, because of its radical design choices. First, it features almost no additional components besides the system-on-a-chip (SoC) and the RAM, which are stacked on top of each other. And second, its connectors are all chosen to be as flat as possible, making this the flattest offering on the market. Logically, these choices open up some doors while it closes others. Because of my personal interest in low-cost embedded/mobile/robotics projects, I’m mainly interested in the doors that open. What follows is thus a slightly biased analysis of the pros and cons of the Raspberry Pi Zero (version 1.3 available since May 2016).
This Christmas, I got myself a nice never-grow-up toy: the GoPiGo robot kit from Dexter Industries (€ 76, http://www.dexterindustries.com/gopigo/), with servo kit (€ 16) and ultrasonic sensor (€ 20). The intent is to make an autonomous robot car. I have some experience with the Raspberry Pi, and some elementary grasp of electronics, but these are my first steps in the realm of robotics. What follows is my account of getting acquainted with this kit.