Raspberry Pi-powered robotics kit debuts at CES
An exciting new robotics kit that is highly versatile yet simple to use is being launched onto the market by ed-tech pioneer pi-top.
Already billed as one of the “coolest” new computer devices by Microsoft’s Jeff Teper, the pi-top robotics kit will be officially launched tomorrow (Monday January 11) at the first-ever virtual edition of CES.
The unique, game-changing robotics toolset, which combines all the power of the Raspberry Pi with the robust modularity of LEGO Technic, is the long-awaited addition to the pi-top product range.
It works when plugged into the pi-top, the world’s first Raspberry Pi 4 powered, go anywhere, do anything computer. Raspberry Pi has expanded massively in the last few years from its Cambridge base where the new microcomputer IP was born.
The pi-top combo caught the attention of Teper, Microsoft's corporate vice president for Teams, SharePoint and OneDrive, at the .NET Conf in November.
After catching a sneak preview of remote computer science with pi-top smart rover, .NET interactive Microsoft Bot & Microsoft Teams, Teper said that “in the last year of seeing so much creativity in remote education via #MicrosoftTeams this is one of the coolest yet.”
The pi-top has already become a popular portable computer amongst the making community and in schools worldwide since it was launched in 2019.
Makers and pupils alike are able to create a wide variety of electronics projects using an ever-expanding range of kits and accessories. These include a ‘bento box’ of components including LEDS, buzzers, connectors and sensors, the pi-top FHD Touch Display and Bluetooth Keyboard.
Coupled with the revolutionary new kit, makers will now be able to go that one step further in their creations thanks to the device’s own amazing electronic components – such as a wide-angle camera, servos and motors.
The kit itself is made up of strong metallic build plates and brackets that snap together with rivets in a limitless number of configurations. Whether designing an automated vehicle, creating a smart city, or making the coolest drone in the class, pi-top  Robotics Kit will be able to help.
Jesse Lozano, co-founder of pi-top, says: “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)!
“The sky's the limit for anyone using our pi-top  computer in conjunction with the pi-top  Robotics Kit. Whether it’s a robot you’d like to make, or an environmental station or autonomous vehicle, they’re the only tools you need. We can’t wait to see what makers will create with our Raspberry pi powered toolset.”
Another factor that makes the pi-top  Robotics Kit stand out from other products on the market is that it offers users unique 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.
pi-top’s Robotics Kit is the culmination of more than 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. pi-top now employs a global team and their products are used around the world in thousands of homes, maker spaces and schools.
Founded in 2014, pi-top’s mission is to inspire the makers of tomorrow to have a positive impact on the world by solving global challenges through STEM.
This is achieved by fusing technology, entrepreneurship and social values to unlock the innovation mindset the pi-top team believes resides in everyone.
With its ever-expanding universe of products, it delivers unparalleled learning by making experiences that are fun, engaging and produce high-impact results.