Named Raspberry Pied, the event got teams intensely planning, coding and engineering to see who could win the competition on the day, and enter the best piece of work into PA consulting’s national Pi challenge.
The challenge was to “Use a Raspberry Pi to help the environment” – for those who do not know; a raspberry Pi is a small credit card sized computer that can be programmed to do different things.
International technology consultancy, PA Consulting, set the challenge in October and is looking for entries from across the country to 4 different age categories – There is a £1000 prize for each of the 4 winning teams.
Students from the University of Plymouth and Exeter arrived, wide-eyed and bushy tailed. In teams of 2, the 20 participants split up to set upon the challenge – with such a broad challenge and a blank canvas we looked forward to the results.
Each pair had 10 hours to think of an original idea and code their solution. Thanks to the University’s Computer Science department, Electrical Engineering department and the Computer Science Society, teams had a Pi each, and a ream of hardware they could choose from.
We kept participants fed and watered with the help of Dominos Pizza, energy drinks and biscuits.
At 9pm, 10 hours after teams started their marathon coding session they prepared to share their work with the rest of the group. Given centre-stage each pair had 4 minutes to demonstrate their work and present its positive environmental impact to their peers and a judging panel.
The results were awesome – presentations varied form a Tamogotchi style children’s pet that was cared for through recycling, to a GPS car emission tracker and a real time light monitor.
The winning prize on the day went to Tomas and Pierre of Exeter University. They built a Pi controlled rotating platform that followed the sun to maximize the sun exposure of a solar panel.
Every team is being entered into the PA consulting challenge and we hope to see some of them on finals day at the National Science Museum – 2nd April 2014.
For more information on the challenge please see the challenge page.
Please be aware that the deadline for submissions is 31st January!