Community innovation group Manchester Raspberry Jam offered a glimpse into the future at the Business Rocks 2016 event at Manchester Central on 21st & 22ndApril by showcasing the latest high-tech inventions made by their members (some as young as 7) from the North-West.
Highlights on show included the CodeBug RPi3 Pano Hat, which takes instantaneous 360° pictures using CodeBug, 8 Raspberry Pi3 and 8 Pi cameras.
After wowing influential people in the technology industry with the Jam members' innovations, Pete Lomas, co-creator of the Raspberry Pi and co-organiser of the Manchester Raspberry Jam, also met with Apple co-founder Steve Wozniak, who topped off a great day by signing a Raspberry Pi gift box for the Foundation to give away as a prize.
The Raspberry Jam takes its name from the Raspberry Pi, a low-cost computer the size of a credit-card. The computer can become the “brain” of robots that drive themselves or the means for members to make smart projects, like a camera that automatically takes a picture of a bird in a nest box. This means that, with a little know-how, members of the Jam can build, prototype and innovate whatever they imagine.
As such, a key feature of the Manchester Raspberry Jam is learning to code – an increasingly important skill for children to learn, as it also develops other essential skills, such as problem solving and computational thinking. But at Jams, it's not about dry theory and lectures; coding is brought to life and put into practice – what could be more exciting than integrating making and coding in order to produce your own creations? Welcome to the world of Digital Making where members (young and old) are encouraged to innovate and create, rather than just consume technology.
The Manchester Raspberry Jam was one of the first two in the UK, but it is now part of a network of more than 180 Jams worldwide. Dr. Andrew Robinson, creator of CodeBug (an innovative, Manchester-designed device for getting kids into coding) and co-organiser of the Manchester Jams commented:
“The success of Raspberry Jams internationally shows the truth of the old adage ‘What Manchester does today, the rest of the world does tomorrow’.
At Manchester Jam we are committed to providing opportunities for people to get involved in digital innovation – whether experienced makers or complete beginners. It’s always exciting to see the huge variety of creations that our members develop and the potential they have to change society.”
Suffice to say, opportunities for grassroots innovation in the form of Digital Making is alive and well in Manchester. If you missed the Manchester Raspberry Jammers at Business Rocks, why not register for the next Jam session at “The Shed” at Manchester Metropolitan University (MMU) on Saturday, 11th June?
Notes to Editors
About Business Rocks
Business Rocks is Manchester’s Annual Tech, Music & Investment Summit. The event is designed to raise the City’s profile on the international tech and investment scene, painting Manchester as the vibrant, multi-cultural, music and tech hub that it is.
About Raspberry Pi
Just four short years ago, the Raspberry Pi computer burst onto the tech scene, selling out its first tranche of 10k units in just 6 minutes. The online buying frenzy temporarily brought the foundations and distributors websites to a grinding halt. At $35, it was the cheapest fully functional Linux computer to hit the tech streets.
The current incarnation Raspberry Pi3 Model B is a full Linux based computer the size of a credit card with:
Broadcom BCM2837 64bit ARMv7 Quad Core Processor running at 1.2GHz.
Onboard WiFi and Bluetooth BLE. 1020p HDMI Display Port.
4 x USB2 Ports. Ethernet 10/100 (RJ45). CSI Camera Module Port. DSI Display Port.
microSD Card Boot Device.
40 Pin General Purpose Input/Output (GPIO) connector. Variety of Linux implementations including Debian Jessie port known as Raspbian.
About Manchester Raspberry Jam
Manchester Raspberry Jam is a place where anyone can learn to make and build whatever they can dream of. Formed of a diverse group of people – from hardened computer enthusiasts, who bring their skills, knowledge and enthusiasm to the Jam, through to children and families embarking on their first project – they meet 6 times a year united by a shared passion for technology innovation.
The Jam focuses on encouraging and providing support for new users, as well as a space for members to share ideas and demonstrate and discuss projects they have been working on. Raspberry Jams around the world all share a similar ethos, but they are independent community groups that raise funds from membership fees and/or sponsorship from both educational institutions and commercial companies.
Twitter: @McrRaspJam Web: www.mcrraspjam.org.uk
Raspberry Pi Foundation
Web: www.raspberrypi.org Twitter: @Raspberry_Pi Facebook: raspberrypi Google Groups: +RaspberryPi