Tag Archives: competition

Sonic Pi Competition

via Raspberry Pi

Coding music on a Raspberry Pi with Sonic Pi has quickly become a great way to learn programming concepts and to pump out some thumping beats. Last year I worked with Dr Sam Aaron, live coder and academic at the University of Cambridge, to teach KS3 pupils text-based programming on Raspberry Pis as part of their ICT & Computing lessons. Since then Sonic Pi has proved incredibly popular in classrooms worldwide. The scheme of work we used is available for free in the ‘Teach’ section of our resources for any educator wanting to teach computer programming in a fun way.


Since our classroom collaboration, Sam has been busy working on Sonic Pi version 2.0 and together we have been wowing attendees of Picademy with the potential of Sonic Pi for the classroom. We have also been working on Sonic Pi: Live & Coding, a digital research project to turn a Raspberry Pi into a musical instrument with Sonic Pi, working with schools, artists, academics and the Cambridge Junction, which will culminate in a Sonic Pi: Live & Coding Summit this November. In fact, this week at the Cambridge Junction, 60 children have been participating in the project, having coding music battles, and jamming with musicians.

Sonic Pi

Push Sam’s buttons and watch his eyes pop at Sonic Pi Live and Coding!

To coincide with the summit, we will be launching a Sonic Pi: Live & Coding competition in September to find the best original sonic pi composition created by a child or young person in three age categories. We will have a significant number of Raspberry Pis to give away at random for those who take part, and the semi-finalists of the competition will be invited to perform their original work live at the summit in November in front of an audience and panel of judges to potentially be crowned the first ever Sonic Pi Competition winner!

So what are you waiting for? Download Sonic Pi version 2 for your Raspberry Pi by following these instructions, and then take a look at the Sonic Pi 2 article by Sam in the MagPi magazine, and our new Sonic Pi Version 2 Getting Started resource. Take this opportunity to practice and get a head start on the competition!

Get your pratice in for the Sonic Pi version 2 competition with our new resource.

Get your practice in for the Sonic Pi version 2 competition with our new resource.

Adafruit’s Raspberry Pi Photography Award

via Raspberry Pi

Our good friends across the pond at Adafruit are running their first ever Raspberry Pi Photography Award – and I’ve been roped into helping judge this year’s entries.

Robot photographer

Lady Ada and PT say:

Anyone, worldwide, with a Raspberry Pi and camera can enter. All photos must be taken with Raspberry Pi + Raspberry Pi camera and/or webcam/camera connected to the Pi. The photos cannot be altered “post” in an image editing program (GIMP, Photoshop, etc) but you can use the built-in filters that the Pi Camera has such as “Sketch”, “Oil Painting”, etc! Be creative and take a photo using a Raspberry Pi of something interesting, like this cat (Carmen) and clock, taken with a Raspberry Pi.

carmen and clock

It’s a charming sample picture, but, cute as Carmen is, you’ll need to do something more exciting if you want to win.

We do not want photos taken of Raspberry Pi units, please take photos using the Raspberry Pi. Grand prize is $314 in the Adafruit store, and we have 14 $30 winners too!

You can find full instructions on how to enter at Adafruit’s site. I am looking forward to finding out what you end up sending us, and I am instructed to inform you I am incorruptible in these matters: bribery will not work if you’re looking to affect the judging process. If you’re looking for inspiration, check out the posts here tagged “photography“. Good luck!

Free goodies for good causes from Pimoroni

via Raspberry Pi

Our  friends at Pimoroni have some good news for you. To celebrate making their 100,000th Pibow case, they’re giving away 512 Pibow Rainbow cases (and some accessories) to good causes. Updated to add: Cyntech have just thrown their hat into the ring too: they’ll be supplementing the prize pool with some more PiHubs and Pibrellas, alongside some seven-segment displays – all of which are very useful in the classroom. Thanks folks!

The Pibow Rainbow: Liz's Raspberry Pi case of preference.

The Pibow Rainbow – Raspberry Pi case and thing of beauty

Are you a charity, educational establishment or other worthy cause with a bunch of naked Model B Raspberry Pis? Maybe you’re such a place and you want to buy a bunch of Pis with a free case, or upgrade to something a bit more shiny?

All you need to do is comment below with a valid email address, or email support@pimoroni.com with the subject “WE NEED FREE PIBOWS”.

Say briefly who you are (School, Charity, Good Cause), what you do, and why a classroom kit would be really useful to you. Each kit contains 10 lovely Pibow Rainbow cases (or more!) plus a PiHub, Pibrella and PiGlow to play with. Here’s a video of a PiGlow doing its thing to whet your appetite – you’ll find a tutorial in our Resources section to get you programming yours using Python in easy steps.

Paul, who is half of Pimoroni and who also designed the very fruity Raspberry Pi logo, says:

“We love the things people do with the Pi and Pibow already, and now seems like a perfect time for us to spread a bit of colour and joy to the places where the Pi makes the most difference. Learning about computers, electronics and other geekery should be fun and friendly and for everyone.”

Hack the Arduino Robot: the results are impressive! (And you can vote them)

via Arduino Blog


During the last months we’ve been involved with RS components in launching the “Hack the Arduino Robot” competition. It has been a bit of a special competition where people would participate by posting their ideas and a committee of experts would choose which could be the most interesting challenges for the Arduino Robot to perform.

I was part of the committee and I am pleased to say that I am not disappointed. The level of the projects is in general pretty impressive, specially considering the amount of time they had to put into making something innovative. I am really thrilled about getting to know which team will be the one voted as the final winner of the challenge, I have my favorites, but I will not say publicly.

I think everyone should look at the videos just to see that robots can be so much more than whatever it is we conceptualized them for.


Now it’s time to express your vote too: the likes of the videos on the playlist will be counted until 23rd of March 2014. The project with the most likes wins the community award!

Time to “Hack the Arduino Robot” – second phase

via Arduino Blog


Arduino Robot

RobotChallenge staff updated us with some numbers regarding the “Hack the Arduino Robot” competition launched at the end of January and sponsored by RS Components. They received 58 submissions from 20 different countries of the world! 10 projects were then selected by an international Jury composed by David Cuartielles (Arduino), David Tarrant (RS Components, Design Spark), Karim Jafarmadar (INNOC) and Pavel Petrovic (Robotika.sk).

Now it’s time for the second phase. They are going to receive an Arduino Robot each, implement  the project they submitted and  publish the results (including a short video) by the 23rd of February.

The 10 projects selected are the following:

  •  OFF RObot / John Rees

“I plan to design and 3D-print different legs for the robot, so that it can be placed in a dock and the rotation of the wheels can enable it to ‘walk’. The primary goal would be to design and print a spider-legs (octopod) or beetle-legs (hexapod) attachment, enabling the robot able to travel on uneven surfaces such as grass. After this has been tested and is functional I would like to add sensors to the legs to enable me to design optimal walking attachments with maximal efficiency, as well as explore the use sensors on the feet to measure things such as such as moisture/temperature/rigidity of the surface and potentially adjust the walk cycle to suit the conditions.”

  •  An under floor doctor / Naoki Fujihara

“My proposal is using an Arduino robot as an extermination of harmful insects machine for house. In Japan, there are white ants or rats under floor of houses . These under floor sometimes unsanitary but workers have to into there and exterminate them. I want to solve this real life problem. My idea is mounting on some items on an Arduino robot as follows: a camera for catching situation in real-time and a function to put pest poison or traps on a appropriate place. And some sensors that can measure humidity whether the under floor condition is a room for improvement. With an Arduino robot’s smallness and mobility, this idea can be a good solution.”

  •  EnergyBot / Alex Shaw

“The Energy saver robot will travel round its location detecting the number of lights that are on and windows that are open and rooms that are unused, temperature, drafts, cold spots, carbon monoxide, co2 or other hazardous substances. Energybot will tweets/message to the owner to remind them to be more energy efficient and of any impending dangers. It also records data to allow the user to find out how efficient and safe each area is over time. Energybot helps to keep running costs low and automates the experience of chasing my family to shut the window!. Energybot keeps an eye on heating efficiency, average temperature, energy consumption by room and helps me to maximise the usage of my energy.”

  •  RoboPet / Roberto Riggio

“Pets often feel alone at home when their guardians are out for work. RoboPet is a robot companion for pets. It is able to play sounds either pre-recorder or directly streamed from the guardian smartphone. The guardian can control the robot remotely using a simple web browser or a smartphone. RoboPet is also equipped with a camera and a laser pointer to interact with the pet.”

  •  AWBB – ArduWellBeingBot / Florent Brodziak

“This small autonomous robot, free to move itself in a place is able to measure surrounding environment quality. It can track humidity, temperature, ambient noise and light, Air quality in the way to map and classify this place as a pleasant or nasty for humans. All the data can be consulted via internet on a map indicating the place location and a note. This robot could be used for example in public places (Mall, Railway Station , Airport, Park…) where people needs or want to stay for a moment. It will allow people to find the best place for them, for their health and it will imply more place’s responsible to improve the environment quality.”

  •  Eyeduino / Eduard Petrenko

“Let your Arduino robot see the world! An idea is to capture low-resolution image (estimation is 32×32 black&white) from analog camera using some kind of video sync separator like Texas Instruments LM1881 and some comparator schema. We plan to use prototype regions on the robot’s control plate to mount the schema. Modern technical vision approach requires more powerful CPU and much more memory for image processing, but for some tasks low resolution seems to be enough. We plan to demonstrate this by exercises like dotted line following and “cockroach hunting” – following some little movement changing target. We expect this approach to be an effective introduction step into technical vision in robotics.”

  • Nemo / Rajan Ayyappan

“I would build a Hide and Seek Robot: We create a set of hiding places, draw lines and feed the location data into the robot. At the start of the game, you close your eyes and count up to 20. The robot will go and hide somewhere. You will start a timer on the robot as you finish 20. You have to find the robot and stop the timer within a certain period to win that round. The game makes robots look more human. It will be a teaching aid and we could add sensory experience to influence the robot in selection of hiding place. This data could be analyzed for insight into decision making process.”

  • PendelBot / Dieter Schön

“The PendelBot has oversized wheels (diameter ~30-40cm), so that the Robot in between them acts as a pendulum. A battery pack underneath the motor board ensures that the center of weight is extentric. When the motors accelerate the wheels, the torque turns the chassis in the opposite direction. An acceleration sensor will limit the angle of the chassis to 90°. The robot can be remotely controlled via bluetooth by an app on an android device. This app uses yaw and pitch angles of the device to control the robots speed and direction. This setup can work as pendulum or inverted pendulum (thus posing as a mini segway(c)).”

  • Battery robot / Sebastian Groza

“Arduino robot will be used as a core for a used battery collector system (robot). Robot can be mount on top of a usual battery collector container and will have a receptacle for used batteries. Arduino robot is used to sort the batteries by size, AA, AAA and others. AA and AAA batteries will be harvested for remaining power with a step-up converter. Recovered energy is used for charging a backup accumulator, power a LED banner or even charging the robot. After complete depletion, batteries are dumped in collector container along with other battery types.”

  • Garment Transporter / Jacob Glueck

“A couple of years ago, I built an Arduino-powered shirt-folding machine which folds clothes. Using the Arduino robot from the RobotChallenge, I will build a device to remove folded clothes from the machine and to stack them. My idea is special because it will involve two Arduinos (the Arduino Uno in the shirt folder, and the Arduino robot) which will have to communicate, and because it will be very useful. The robot will solve the real life problem of laundry folding by making the task easier and faster and by doing so nicely; the robot will use a custom-designed gripper to transport garments while keeping them perfectly folded.”

Two projects will receive an award donated by RS Components:

- Best project & documentation Award
- Community Award.

Check this PDF to discover the details and the cool prizes are visible in the pic below!

ISO-TECH Benchshot


“Hack the Arduino Robot”: join the competition!

via Arduino Blog



RobotChallenge is an international championship for self-made, autonomous, and mobile robots taking place in Vienna (Austria) since 2004. Each year robots compete in different competitions – Robot Sumo, Line Follower, Air Race, Humanoid Sprint, Puck Collect and Freestyle . This year RobotChallenge in cooperation with Arduino and RS Components presents a new open source competition called:  ”Hack the Arduino Robot!”.

If you like robot and feel like you could hack the Arduino Robot in a great way, submit a short description of your project idea (up to 120 words) before the 26th of January responding to the following questions:

  • What would you do with an Arduino Robot?
  • What makes your idea special?
  • What real life problem does your robot solve?

An international jury will select the 10 best project ideas based on feasibility, creativity and innovation.

The selected teams will receive a brand new Arduino Robot for free to implement their project ideas and are invited to present their robots at RobotChallenge 2014 on 29th and 30th of March.

Open source is all about sharing with the community: Therefore each team has to document their project online and submit a short video (3 – 5 minutes) by the 23rd of February.

What about the Prizes? They are donated by RS Components which will  award the winners in two categories:

  • Best project & documentation Award
  • Community Award.

Read the details in PDF

2013 UK Beaver Computing Competition: an introduction to computational thinking for 10-18 year olds

via Raspberry Pi

Chris Roffey, creator of the excellent Coding Club books, got in touch to tell us about the 2013 UK Beaver Computing Competition. He says:

“This November there is the chance for all school students to enter the UK’s first Beaver Competition for FREE!

I think it is a great opportunity for all groups of students to find out, in an enjoyable way, whether they have an aptitude in Computational Thinking.

I would like to see entries from students of all age groups [for example] it would be great to see a Maths A level group entered and for them to discover that they might like to take CompSci at Uni when they had not thought of this as an option.

France had 90 000 students sit their first year doing this competition last year – it would be good to beat them!”

Registration closes on 27 October and the competition itself is 45 minute during the week of November 11th. There are four categories and the competition is open to students of all abilities. Chris points out that, “entry is only through a school and as such any individual wishing to enter would need to nag their ICT/Computing teacher.” So if that’s you then get nagging!

If you are that teacher then this is a great opportunity to do something a bit different and to introduce your students to computational thinking. The competition is all about using your grey stuff to solve problems — there is no programming and no preparation. You can see some of the past questions here. The solutions show how the problem is related to Computer Science so could even be used for future lessons.

Meet Babbage the Bear!

via Raspberry Pi

Your votes have been counted: there was a clear winner. Congratulations to Fergal Butler, who was the first person to respond to the original post with the name Babbage.

Well done Fergal! Emma will be in touch with you next week to get your address. The prototype bear has already found a home with Clive’s little girl, and production Babbage won’t be with us for a couple of weeks, but we’ll make sure yours is the first to be sent out.


Bear deadlock

via Raspberry Pi

We’ve been choosing bear names for the competition today.

A name has been chosen! See our latest post to find out what it was.

We ended up with a shortlist of the best names, and set to voting.

Thirty seconds after this, the shouting started. Note that Gordon has drawn a Darlington pair (badly) to explain things to the software guys, who are slow to catch on.

Unfortunately, we ended up in deadlock, with four votes each for Darlington and Babbage. Eben went so far as to try cheating, and added some extra ticks when he thought nobody was looking.

Eben, cheating

So we’ve decided we need your help. The two choices we’ve boiled things down to are Babbage and Darlington. We’d like you to let us know which you prefer. Please leave a comment letting us know which is your favourite! (Babbage and Darlington only, please; we know some of you want to call the bear Pinus after Linus Torvalds, but there were all kinds of problems with that.)

Competition: name our bear!

via Raspberry Pi

In about a month’s time, we’re going to be launching a brand-new range of Raspberry Pi merchandise. (My desk is currently awash with notebooks, gym bags, pencils, mugs, umbrellas and…stuff.)

This little guy is going to be one of the additions to the line-up.

He’s soft, he’s cuddly, he’s only about 20cm tall, and he doesn’t have a name yet. That’s where you come in.

To win a bear, as well as some other goodies I’ll select from what’s kicking around in the office, and to have your choice of name used in the shop, leave a comment below with your chosen name, with an explanation of why you selected it. (Make sure the email address you log in with is a genuine one, so we can get in touch with you if you win.) The competition ends at midnight on Tuesday April 16.

Win a pre-production camera board!

via Raspberry Pi

We’ve sent the first camera boards to production, and we’re expecting to be able to start selling them some time in April. And we’ve now got several pre-production cameras in the office that we’re testing and tweaking and tuning so the software will be absolutely tickety-boo when you come to buy one.

Gordon is in charge of things camera, and he’s got ten boards to give away. There is, however, a catch.

The reason we’re giving these cameras away is that we want you to help us to do extra-hard testing. We want the people we send these boards to to do something computationally difficult and imaginative with them, so that the cameras are pushed hard in the sort of bonkers scheme that we’ve seen so many of you come up with here before with your Pis, and so that we can learn how they perform (and make adjustments if necessary). The community here always seems to come up with applications for the stuff we do that we wouldn’t have thought of in a million years; we thought we should take advantage of that.

So we want you to apply for a camera, letting us know what you’re planning to do with it (and if you don’t do the thing you promise, we’ll send Clive around on his motorbike to rough you up). We want you to try to get the camera doing something imaginative. Think about playing around with facial recognition; or hooking two of them up together and modging the images together to create some 3d output; or getting the camera to recognise when something enters the frame that shouldn’t be there and doing something to the image as a result. We are not looking for entries from people who just want to take pictures, however pretty they are. (Dave Akerman: we’ve got one bagged up for you anyway, because the stuff you’re taking pictures of is cool enough to earn an exemption here. Everybody else, see Dave’s latest Pi in Space here. He’s put it in a tiny TARDIS.)

So if you have a magnificent, imaginative, computationally interesting thing you’d like to do with a Raspberry Pi camera board, email iwantacamera@raspberrypi.org. In your mail you’ll need to explain exactly what you plan to do; and Gordon, who is old-school, is likely to take your application all the more seriously if you can point to other stuff you’ve done in the past (with or without cameras), GitHub code or other examples of your fierce prowess. (He suggested I ask for your CVs, but I think we’ll draw the line there.) We will also need your postal address. The competition is open worldwide until March 12. We’re looking forward to seeing what you come up with!


Blue Pi!

via Raspberry Pi

To celebrate our first anniversary, RS Components, one of our two main manufacturing distributors, are releasing a limited edition of 1000 blue Raspberry Pis. These Pis are very cute: there’s something really handsome about that blue. They come with a certificate of authenticity signed by Eben and a matching blue case from One Nine Design in Wales; and blue, as drinkers of Slush Puppy should be aware, is the canonical colour of raspberry flavouring. (Do not eat this Pi.)

There’s a catch. You won’t be able to buy these Pis. The majority of them are being donated to charitable causes involving kids and education. But some are also being held back as competition prizes, and you can win one yourself.

For four weeks from today, everyone who tweets #bluepi to @RSElectronics along with a suggestion for uses for a blue Pi, or with a great Pi design idea, will be entered into a competition to win one. (Please tweet your entries to @RSElectronics – don’t leave your entry here in the comments, because it won’t be counted.) Every week, the top ten entries will be selected by a panel from RS and the Raspberry Pi Foundation, and those ten winners will be sent a blue Pi. Easy! There will be another competition when these four weeks are up – RS will be running Blue Pi events until June.

Terms and conditions are available at RS’s website.


Super-duper special Pimoroni competition

via Raspberry Pi

We first met Paul Beech in 2011, when he won a competition we were running to find a logo design. (That’s it, up at the top of the page.) Paul, Eben and I hit it off immediately over a shared love of toast and dripping. Since then, Paul’s become a familiar face here at the Raspberry Pi farm, especially since he set up a small business called Pimoroni with his friend Jon Williamson, and started making the Pibow, which we still think is the best-looking case that’s available for the Raspberry Pi.

This is a bit of a special time for us. It’s the first anniversary of the Raspberry Pi’s launch on Friday (or Thursday, depending how you count; we launched on a leap day last year). You’ll be able to read more about that on Friday, but to celebrate, Pimoroni have launched a competition with one of the most drool-worthy prizes I’ve seen. Paul says:

A lot of you have asked for custom Pibows. Alas, we’re not set up for it, but you can always grab the design and get your own cut. For everyone else, there’s this competition.

The aim is simple, show us your tasteful/useful/insane* vision for your own custom Pibow.

The person who comes up with the best design wins a customised Pibow – and everything that’s in this box. (And the box.) Click the image for the entry page.

 What’s in there? You’ll get a special Pibow, made to your custom design, AND:

  • The awesome Sortimo compartment case that contains all this fine loot!
  • Raspberry Pi Model B (512MB from the Sony plant)
  • Raspberry Pi Model A with Pibow Model A
  • Pibow VESA mount
  • 25W Antex soldering iron (like the one Jon has been using since he was 12)
  • Brass soldering sponge essential tip cleaner
  • Desoldering wick
  • Multi-colour Sugru pack (this stuff is amazing)
  • Breadboard jumper leads
  • Six coloured mini breadboards
  • Luminous cable ties
  • Adafruit ADC breakout board
  • Adafruit T-Cobbler (essential GPIO hacking fodder)
  • Adafruit Pi-Plate
  • Digital calipers (useful more often than you’d think)
  • A selection of components
  • Crocodile clip leads
  • Sparkfun cerberus USB cable
  • Sparkfun hydra USB cable
  • HDMI noodle
  • Pink and blue USB noodles

Jon adds:

This is a totally spiffy and positively super collection of useful stuff to pimp, mod, and extend your Raspberry Pi with. Even better you can tote it around with you as your own awesome mobile hacker space! This is all stuff we use ourselves at Pimoroni Towers so we know you’ll love it. :)

Paul interrupts:

Gotta mention the mini-servos and the 7-seg displays, and the range of resistors and caps. anna anna pony anna anna hekiloptor!

(Have to admit, I have absolutely no idea what Paul is on about – I’m not sure if you get mini-servos, and I’m almost certain you don’t get ponies or helicopters as part of the prize.)

So get to it, and submit your designs for the competition. We’ll be featuring the winner here so everyone else can sulk jealously at your good fortune.