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The Raspberry Pi Wins UK's Top Engineering Award

Wednesday, August 30, 2017 11:40:11 AM America/Los_Angeles

The RaspBerry Pi has achieved yet another milestone as it was able to secure the top position among the contestants competing for UK’s top engineering “MacRobert” award. The core initiators and founders behind this device were presented the Royal Academy of Engineering’s MacRobert Prize at the ceremony held in London meaning that the originators of the Raspberry Pi took home a gold medal, along with a £50,000 prize, not to mention a wheelbarrow full of tech kudos.





Some previous winners of this revolutionizing award include the inventors of CT (computerized tomography) scanner, the originators of the Severn Bridge, the Jaguar Land Rover and the development team for the Kinect motion sensor at Microsoft. The MacRobert managers tweeted regarding the Raspberry Pi’s triumphant win calling it an innovative and affordable computer, and also acknowledging the fact that all three finalists were ‘fantastic visionaries’.


What is MacRobert Award?




The MacRobert Award is considered the UK's longest running and most prestigious and leading national prize for engineering innovation. It was introduced in 1969 by the MacRobert Trusts and is now offered by the Royal Academy of Engineering and supported by the Worshipful Company of Engineers as well as industry sponsors. Each year, the winner of the award receives a gold medal and a cash sum of £50,000.



2017 MacRobert finalists:


Three international game-changers were competing for this year’s coveted MacRobert Award. The worldwide impression of this year’s finalists proves that the UK innovation scene is stronger than ever.




The three finalists included:



  • Darktrace, for their cyber ‘invulnerable system’ that makes use of machine learning to detect ‘normal events’ for an organization’s computer network and uses those data mining techniques to perceive and fight back against evolving threats that human operators might miss.


  • Raspberry Pi, for its low-priced credit card-sized microcomputers, which are completely revolutionizing the concept of home computing, motivating students to learn coding and computer science while providing state-of-the-art control solutions for industry simultaneously.


  • Vision RT, for the world’s most precise real-time 3D body surface imaging system that allows doctors giving radiotherapy to spot cancerous tumors with accuracy, increasing the pace of treatment while reducing distress for patients during radiotherapy and minimizing collateral damage that might cause serious side effects.



Raspberry Pi- The journey to success:


The RaspBerry Pi was launched in 2012 with the objective of introducing novices to coding concepts in the engineering context. This encouraging device for programmers was the idea of a team of Cambridge University researchers and scientists. The impression was to sell at least a few thousand items but they didn’t expect their innovative device to surpass a sale of 14 Million and still counting. Today, Raspberry Pi finds its major applications in industries as well as in learning classrooms and at homes.

The small engineering team behind Raspberry Pi has successfully redefined the concept of home computing. Over the years, they have managed to achieve things that all major computer companies and dominant chip designers aspire to attain.

The Raspberry Pi has now marked its ground as the best-selling British computer in history as it surpassed Sinclair’s ZX Spectrum and the Armstad successfully. This device is the major trend in the computer engineering industry today and its being used in all major and minor applications ranging from high-level robotics to simple home-based projects all built with the core aim of simplifying our lives. This outstanding dominance has recently compelled Intel to cancel all of its three devices targeted at competing with Raspberry Pi in this area. However, despite all of its commercial success, Raspberry Pi has never deviated from its fundamental mission: imparting education to young programmers.


An astounding count of 12 million units of this innovative computer have been sold and it just partnered with Google in order to add artificial intelligence.

Since the release of the first device in 2012, numerous iterations have been sold, the most recent being Raspberry Pi Zero W, which charges just £10, comprises of Wi-Fi and Bluetooth as well as 512MB RAM. The first and foremost generation had 256MB RAM and was quite large in size as well.

The chief executive, Upton, acknowledged that the company's primary emphasis will now be on software. He said they are targeting to double down on the number of children learning to code with the device.


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The Raspberry Pi is now on its third set of iteration, with an excess of accessories being released for the device, including a kit offering the capability of adding voice control proficiencies via Google Assistant.



What is a Raspberry Pi?






A Raspberry Pi is basically a credit card-sized computer initially designed with the sole aim of educating beginners in programming, inspired by the 1981 BBC Micro. Its creator and chief executive Eben Upton's goal was to produce a low-cost device that would improve programming skills and hardware comprehension at the pre-university level. As a result of its miniature size and handy price, it was rapidly approved by tinkerers and electronics enthusiasts for projects that require something more than just a basic microcontroller (such as Arduino devices).

The Raspberry Pi might not be as fast as a modern laptop or desktop computer but is still a comprehensive Linux computer and can provide all the anticipated abilities that indirect, at a low-power consumption level.

The Raspberry Pi is open hardware, except the primary chip on the Raspberry Pi, the Broadcomm SoC (System on a Chip), which is responsible for running the major components of the board–CPU, graphics, memory and the USB controller, etc. Most of the projects developed with a Raspberry Pi are open and well-documented as well.


What sort of operating system does the Raspberry Pi operates?

The Raspberry Pi was originally designed for the Linux operating system, and many Linux distributions now have a version enhanced for the Raspberry Pi.

Two of the most prevalent options are Raspbian, based on the Debian operating system, and Pidora, which is grounded on the Fedora operating system. For learners, any of these two work well. However, a good practice may be to go with the one which thoroughly resembles an operating system that you’re familiar with, in either a desktop or server environment.

If you intend to experiment with multiple Linux distributions and aren't aware of which one you want, or if you just want a simple experience in case anything goes wrong, you might want to try NOOBS, abbreviating for New Out Of Box Software.

On initially booting from the SD card, you will be provided a menu with several distributions (including Raspbian and Pidora) to choose from. If you choose to try a different one, or in case anything goes wrong with your system, you can simply hold the Shift key at boot time to return to this menu and start over.

OpenELEC and RaspBMC are both prominent operating system distributions based on Linux that are aimed towards using the Raspberry Pi as a media center. Some non-Linux systems, like RISC OS, also run on the Pi. Some followers have even used the Raspberry Pi for learning about operating systems through designing one of their own.


What are the alternatives to Raspberry Pi?


To be precise, the Raspberry Pi is not the only miniature computing device out there. In fact, there are a lot of options available that we could list here. The Arduino is another common board, which is intended for those desiring to build out electronics projects. But, despite the fact the Raspberry Pi is a fully efficient Linux computer, the Arduino is only a microcontroller. This means that it does not run an operating system, but in its place, runs very definite, small blocks of code written by the person consuming the device. Another considerable option is the Beaglebone series of boards, which bear much similarity to the Raspberry Pi, but they are a little bit more powerful (not to mention a little bit costlier, too).

One major advantage of using the Raspberry Pi over any other alternative is the size and scope of the community. If you have any query regarding a RaspBerry Pi project that you are working on, there are a whole bunch of people who might be able to help you because of the large spread of the community.


Some featured Raspberry Pi Projects:


The original Raspberry Pi first went on sale five years ago. The single-board miniature-sized computer was developed to promote the teaching of basic computer science and programming in schools, but it was immediately cherished among gadgeteers and tech tinkerers alike.

In recent times, Raspberry Pi devotees have worked hard, finding progressively clever uses for the credit card-sized computing genius, turning it into all kinds since its launch. Raspberry Pi has successfully found its way in many simple and complex applications at the same time. Some successful and innovative projects that can be built using Raspberry Pi are listed below:


Dedicated Minecraft machine:


If you're partitioning your PC with a Minecraft fanatic, you'll be eager to get their own dedicated computer. Enjoy Minecraft: Pi Edition, which only requires a Pi and Raspbian SD card, and permits you to control your block world with Python script.



Solar smart meter:


Nowadays, everyone's going towards solar energy sources these days, and you would be curious to know about the performance of your panels. This project takes the data from your off-grid electric system as input, feeds it through a Raspberry Pi and beams it out through a basic web server to anywhere you are over the net.


3d scanner:


This 42-Pi 3D scanner can seize a complete 360 degree image of any object including a human-sized one. Although it's not cheap and you'll also require 42 SD cards and cameras to integrate with the computers - but assumed you could program it for a bullet-time cinematic capturing, it's worth it for the credit alone.


Music master:


Although it’s fun to create amazing things with a Raspberry Pi, it’s also a good feel when somebody else does the hard work for you. This program converts your Pi (and Mac or Windows desktop) into an instrument that you play by entering in commands to stretch and slice beats or loops.


Raspberry Pi VS Imagination Technologies Creator CI20

The Raspbery Pi was projected to sell about 10,000 units when it initially went on sale two years ago. Four million boards later, it's the tinkerer's primary choice for most projects, even today. Imagination Technologies' latest Creator CI20 is quicker, encompasses a second ARM core to the CPU and provides features such as Wi-Fi, Bluetooth 4.0 and an IR blaster built-in, along with a pre-installed operating system, which can be a proper, full-strength Android KitKat or a desktop Linux but on the other hand, it also costs twice as much.





It has been a long and eventful journey for Raspberry Pi and the progress is still in continuous development. The miniature device which started off as an education tool for basic programming has completely revolutionized the computer engineering industry today and the acquisition of the 2017 MacRobert award will only increase the motivation of the originators behind Raspeberry Pi and we can hope to see many more advanced features and applications of this innovative navel in the upcoming days.

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Saturday, August 26, 2017 2:06:27 AM America/Los_Angeles

Summers are fantastic, but considering going to watch the latest summer flick at the cinema when it’s scorching hot outside makes one wish to just stay confined to the cool living room, all the while enjoying the big screen experience similar to that of a cinema at home and at a cheaper price, with a home projector. Additionally, there are no aggravating loud popcorn munchers, no person with a crazy hairdo or tall height sitting in front of you and perhaps best of all, no one constantly checking their phones which emit a blinding light in the dark theatre.

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LG TVs 2017: Everything you need to know about this year's lineup

Thursday, August 17, 2017 3:57:02 PM America/Los_Angeles

It is no unknown fact anymore that OLED TVs are fantastic. The good news is that we will be seeing more of the technology now this year; what with Panasonic, Phillips and Sony entering the OLED arena, in competition with LG. The new entrants in the field are not being taken lightly by LG though, which has announced at least five various OLED television models for the year 2017.

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What To Watch On Your Home Theater This Summer

Tuesday, August 8, 2017 1:44:58 PM America/Los_Angeles

The only thing better than binge-watching television shows to relax and get entertained during summers, is watching them in their best format via your Home Projector. Not sure what to watch? The following is a list of running and upcoming shows that we feel will truly give an amped up viewing experience on a cinema-like quality display.

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Experience the New & Modern Gaming - Nintendo Game Manufacturing

Monday, July 24, 2017 12:42:59 PM America/Los_Angeles

The E3 is officially over and Nintendo has left the event with a considerable mark. Before the start of the E3, Nintendo had not really shown interest in participating in conferences, with sparing presence in third party companies like Ubisoft and Microsoft. In the E3 as well, the Japanese video game veteran did not opt for a glitzy presentation; instead it delivered a 30 minute recording from Nintendo Direct stream, which was full of the latest updates, launches and game footage.

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HomePod – a speaker that will ‘reinvent home music’

Friday, July 7, 2017 9:56:20 AM America/Los_Angeles

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Wednesday, June 21, 2017 2:39:45 PM America/Los_Angeles

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The wait is over and the Nintendo Switch is here at last, featuring a hybrid looks which will give the best of both worlds with both console and handheld gaming on the go. So, was it worth waiting for months for Nintendo’s latest release, or is it nothing but gimmicks and flashy advertising? After testing the product for a week, here is what we think…

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The Samsung Galaxy S8's release date is fast impending, as the hotly-anticipated Samsung leading smartphone prepares to go head-to-head with the Apple iPhone 8. Though, the fight could be slightly one-sided, according to one expert.

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