Schools Raspberry Pi competition reveals future talent

The Finals of PA Consulting’s Schools Raspberry Pi design competition were held at the Science Museum in London this week.

William Law CE Primary 490

FitDog… …and some humans

Intended for students from 8-20 years old in four age categories, the aim of this year’s competition was to develop products to support wellbeing and healthcare, with an emphasis on having interfaces to the real world.

Electronics Weekly was there, and was amazed. For more information and photos, see this blog

“One of the most exciting innovations of recent years is the Raspberry Pi. This affordable credit-card sized computer aims to educate the next generation of software and hardware engineers in programming,” said PA Consulting. “Recognising its potential, we teamed up with the Raspberry Pi Foundation to launch an annual competition that challenges school children, students and programmers to use a Raspberry Pi to make the world a better place: from innovating to help the environment to improving health and well-being.”

Amongst the finalists there was a high level of innovation, and a remarkable number included IoT style communication to phones.

The winners of the PA Consulting competition were:

Primary School (Years 4-6) FitDog – William Law CE Primary School

Their project is a robot dog that aims to encourage children to exercise. ‘Bolt’ the dog provides motivation for the child and is programmed with the following encouraging phrases.

Secondary School (Years 7-11) Pi-Scription – The Liverpool Blue Coat School

The team created an automatic prescription dispenser that works using QR codes given to patients by their doctors. The patient takes the QR code to the machine which recognises the code and dispenses the medicine.

Sixth Form and College (Years 12-13) Revolution Pi – Truro and Penwith College

Using a video camera, the system tracks and analyses eye movement, using results to move a cursor on a computer screen. The thinking behind the invention was to allow those who cannot use a mouse, such as amputees, to be able to communicate effectively with a computer.

Young Entrepreneur Award (undergraduate) Hamoudy – University of Birmingham
A wireless, internet-connected doorbell for the elderly and infirm. When the the doorbell is rung, it can perform various actions: call a phone so it can be used as an intercom, text someone, emailing a photo of the person at the door, tweet, live stream HD video locally, or live stream HD video on YouTube.

All finalist teams received a box of Raspberry Pi interfaces, and the winning team of each category received £1,000.

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