Raspberry Pi-powered robotics kit debuts at CES
The kit will give makers access to other electronic components, including a wide-angle camera, servos and motors.
The pi-top  Robotics Kit will debut officially today at the first-ever virtual edition of Consumer Electronics Show (CES).
The robotics toolset combines the power of Raspberry Pi with the modularity of LEGO Technic. It works when plugged into the pi-top , the world’s first Raspberry Pi 4 powered, “go anywhere, do anything” computer.
Last year, at the .NET conference, the pi-top combo piqued the interest of Jeff Teper, Microsoft's corporate VP for Teams, SharePoint and OneDrive, who said: “In the last year of seeing so much creativity in remote education via #MicrosoftTeams this is one of the coolest yet.”
A wide range of projects
The pi-top  has already grown in popularity among 'makers' and schools since it was introduced in 2019. ‘Makers’ are part of a subculture representing a technology-based extension of DIY culture, and they create new devices and tinker with existing ones.
Makers and pupils are able to create a wide variety of electronics projects, such as automated vehicles, smart cities, or drones, using a constantly growing range of kits and accessories. These include a ‘bento box’ of components containing LEDS, buzzers, connectors and sensors, the pi-top FHD Touch Display and Bluetooth Keyboard.
The kit will give makers access to other electronic components, including a wide-angle camera, servos and motors. The kit itself is comprised of strong metallic build plates and brackets that snap together with rivets in a never-ending number of configurations.
A complete family
Jesse Lozano, co-founder of pi-top, said: “We’re really excited about the launch of the pi-top  Robotics Kit. It’s the culmination of years of work by everyone at pi-top and feels like the final piece of the puzzle. Our pi-top family is complete, for the moment.”
Something that sets the pi-top  Robotics Kit apart from other products, is that it offers users access to a powerful suite of open-source libraries. Makers will have the choice of working in any open source software from Python to Robot Operating System (ROS) and even full deployment in a .NET environment.
The kit is the result of over six years of work which began in 2014 when Lozano and co-founder Ryan Dunwoody set out to create the world’s first 3D printed laptop. Today, pi-top employs a team around the world and its products are used globally in thousands of homes, maker spaces and schools.
“We can’t wait to see what makers will create with our Raspberry pi powered toolset,” says Lozano.
The pi-top  Robotics Kit with Expansion Plate will be available to buy in the US for $199.90 from Amazon, b8ta stores, Newark, Digi-Key, Chicago Electronics and Arrow.
The 51st edition of CES is taking place online from 11 to 14 January. To find out more about the event, go to the Web site here.