GESS Dubai 2018 – Come meet us!

We are on a mission to bring the power of physical computing to the world of education and help educators from all around the world bring science, technology, engineering, arts and mathematics to life. In January, the pi-topTEAM showcased our learning by making ecosystem at Bett in London and FETC in Orlando and just a few weeks ago, they were at TCEA in Austin.

In less than a week, we are packing up our mean green dream machines to GESS Dubai from the 27th of February till  the 1st of March at stand M10. The show is free to attend and CDP accredited, so if you are happen to be in Dubai , come join us! Here’s a taster of everything we’ve got planned.

Free STEAM education workshops

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Experience pi-top’s modular products and get making, innovating and inventing with them! Run by our in-house educationalists, we will explore a whole new chapter of computer science, STEAM education and learning by making.

Join us for a hands-on workshop session in a collaborative classroom setting. Learning with pi-top is about solving problems together, applying knowledge and collaborating with others. Does this sound appealing to you? There are a limited number of spaces available, book yours quickly to join us at stand M10.

pi-top stand

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The pi-top ecosystem for collaborative learning provides a transformative maker-centered learning experience. Come meet the team on stand M10 to find out how you can empower students to become collaborative, critical and creative thinkers.

In today’s increasingly interconnected world, we encourage teachers and learners to think beyond the screen and spend less solitary screen time and more collaborative ‘creative time’. We want to equip students with the necessary skills to thrive in the 21st century.

GESS Talks

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As we’ve highlighted in the pi-top magazine, we are on the precipice of what the World Economic Forum calls the Fourth Industrial Revolution. The evidence of dramatic change is all around us and it’s happening at exponential speed. Graham Brown-Martin, Learning Reimagined’s author, broadcaster and pi-top’s Chief Education Adviser, will present  on the 27th of February at 15:00 those changes and how education is at the heart of preparing present and future generations to thrive.

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On the 28th of February at 14:00 pi-top’s CEO and co-founder, Jesse Lozano, will share pi-top’s story; from his kitchen table he made to the world’s leading learning by making platform, where computer science and STEAM education are brought to life via the medium of physical computing and collaborative problem-solving. The talk will be followed by an interview with Graham Brown-Martin, and we are sure you wouldn’t want to miss!

See you soon,

pi-topTEAM

pi-top’s Bett workshops: create, share, collaborate and learn by making

With a limited number of free spaces still available, pi-top’s hands-on STEAM workshops at Bett 2018 are designed and run by our in-house educationalists.

We are on the precipice of the Fourth Industrial Revolution, characterised by artificial intelligence, automation, self-driving vehicles, ubiquitous mobile super-computing and so forth. These advances will create new and unexpected employment opportunities as well as new pressures caused by technological unemployment.

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We know that present and future generations will face unprecedented challenges in the form of climate change, population growth, antibiotic resistance and an ageing population.

The vital question we must ask is this: how can we equip our children with the knowledge and skills to thrive in a transforming world? Come to pi-topCORNER (stand G480 in STEAM village) to find out.

Register quickly if you want to join pi-top’s education team at stand G480 in STEAM village for a genuinely fun and enlightening workshop in a hands-on collaborative classroom setting.

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The pi-top workshops will focus on solving problems together, applying knowledge and encouraging learners to discuss with others what will work best. We will explore a whole new chapter of computer science, STEAM education and learning by making.

Get involved! And get making, innovating and creating with pi-top’s modular products. Learn how to code in Python and do some real-life physical computing. Build your own circuit with lights, buzzers, sensors and motors and learn how pi-top can facilitate a meaningful learning environment for both students and teachers, addressing curriculum requirements through project-based learning.

Each pi-top workshop will last between 30 and 45 minutes. You will leave with a thorough understanding of how pi-top can help your school to fully embrace and benefit from our learning by making philosophy. We hope you come join us! 

PiWars 2018 – It Starts…

When we started our robot plan way back in September, it all seemed fairly straightforward: We build a robot, we write some code, we modify it to suit the challenges and ‘Bob’s your uncle’. Turns out, things are never that easy – the first thing we had to decide on was how independent did we want to go – did we want to go for a complete kit build or to try and freestyle it all ourselves? Then we had to make decisions on which kit to actually buy, whether we wanted to get one quickly just to get started, or make an informed decision to actually start thinking about our final design.

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Full of enthusiasm

Of course, we had to put a lot of our build on hold while we were all heavily involved in the launch of the amazing new pi-top with Inventor’s Kit (not that we’re super proud of all our hard work). But this meant that we couldn’t really do much until the latter end of October once things settled down.

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The new pi-top with Inventor’s Kit

As a start point, we bought a couple of quick and easy kits like the CamJam EduKit 3 and the Monk Makes kit, however, we quickly realised that these wouldn’t be powerful enough for what we had in mind. Still, Angus had great fun playing with the first robot and getting a feel for programming it – he is converting its code to Node.js as “the real world is event driven and asynchronous Python stinks”. Let’s hope our final robot can be coded in JavaScript too!

We spent a fair bit of time discussing wheel-types, especially after looking at the cheaper kits. So we originally settled on a three-wheeled model, but saw on the PiWars forum that it was recommended to go for four wheels instead. There were some crazy ideas from Alan about machine learning and openCV which left a muggle like me a little bit confused.

By the middle of November, we realised it was going to be essential to schedule in not only a regular meeting to discuss strategy, but also a regular building session to ensure that everyone gets a chance to be involved in the robot as our team was full of so many people with sometimes contrary ideas that it became essential that we work together.

Team 2
check out Mic’s Movember moustache

After a lot of question-asking, we eventually narrowed it down to two kits – either the DiddyBorg by PiBorg or Brian Corteil’s ‘Max’. At this point I should point out how supportive Brian has already been towards the pi-top team, offering us advice, ideas and support and so when we came to make the final vote, the decision was easy. We originally got in touch with Brian as we loved his Tiny 4WD, but were looking for something with a bit more power, Brian was really helpful and suggested that we consider his Max robot, which is not currently available as a kit, but he was happy to custom build one for us!! Brian’s kit will provide us with everything that we need except a motor board, but fortunately he was also able to recommended the Pololu board recently released at Pimoroni and so we now want to try out different torque motors and different wheel sizes to ensure our robot is able to complete all of the challenges effectively.

As you can see, we’re all taking this super seriously 😉

 

PiWars 2018 – Meet the team!

Here at pi-top, we love getting involved with the Raspberry Pi community and taking part in events so when the opportunity to enter PiWars 2018 came around, we couldn’t resist submitting a team. With a range of skills, talents and opinions, the pi-top team spent several weeks… only to decide on a name for our robot, eventually settling on Robo-Top.

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We’ll be updating you on our build progress over the next few months, but first we thought it was important that you got a chance to meet the team!

Name: CatCat
Role at pi-top: Education Outreach Champion
Role on the PiWars team: Chief Kitten Wrangler
Fun Fact: I sleep walk and talk so can often be found wandering around the house at night, confused and half dressed
Inspirational Quote: The most dangerous phrase in the language is, ‘We’ve always done it this way.’ Grace Hopper
Favourite pizza topping: Good ol’ margherita (now spelt correctly thanks to Mic)
Most likely to…: disappear early to sneak off home to bed
What you’re most excited about for PiWars: Meeting (and beating) all the other teams

MicName: Mic
Role at pi-top:  Software Developer
Role on the PiWars team: Chief Artillery Officer
Fun Fact: When shaking a drink carton I have the compulsive need to break out into a rendition of Shake Your Booty by KC & The Sunshine Band
Inspirational quote: If it ain’t broke you ain’t trying hard enough
Favourite Pizza topping: Burrata
Most likely to…: Start an argument about pizza toppings
What you’re most excited about for PiWars: Practice for the imminent robo-pocalypse

20431392_10155582276409265_159485426494440223_nName: Alan (also goes by Steve)
Role at pi-top: Generic dude who engineers from time to time
Role on the PiWars team: Chief Director of Shuffling
Fun Fact: I like to move it move it, I like to move it!
Inspirational Quote: If you’re going to be thinking, you may as well think big
Favourite pizza topping: Any pizza that doesn’t have cheese on it
Most likely to…: Build a robot that will start the robo-pocalypse
What you’re most excited about for PiWars: The cool conversations that will probably go down

AndreaName: Andrea
Role at pi-top: Digital Marketing and Social Media Manager
Role on the PiWars team: Chief Prettifier and Head of Glitter
Fun Fact: I follow more pet’s accounts on Instagram than people. A girl needs her dose of #dailyfluff!
Inspirational Quote: “Tonight I say, we must move forward, not backward; upward, not forward; and always twirling, twirling, twirling towards freedom!” from one of the best TV shows, The Simpsons.
Favourite pizza topping: Pepperoni, pepperoni and pepperoni. Oh, did I mention pepperoni?
Most likely to…: Dance the night away
What you’re most excited about for PiWars: Glitter, glitter and more glitter

Matt

Name: Matt
Role at pi-top: Senior DevOps Engineer
Role on the PiWars team: Make things work team
Fun Fact: I once ran over a dolphin
Inspirational Quote: I reserve the right to have an opinion, no matter how wrong I probably am.
Favourite pizza topping: Cheese, any kind, lots of it.
Most likely to…: be found down the pub
What you’re most excited about for PiWars: Yeah, I’ll have a steak and ale pie, thanks

 
IMG_20160325_132440 (1)Name:  Val
Role at pi-top: Intern
Role on the PiWars team: Lead engineer
Fun Fact: I like to read medical textbooks for fun
Inspirational Quote: Shoot for the stars. That way, even if you miss them, you will smack into the moon.
Favourite pizza topping: Pineapple
Most likely to…: eat all the cake in the office (or team up with the robots in case of a robo-pocalypse)
What you’re most excited about for PiWars: Showing everyone what a real engineer looks like

 
Chris_HantonName: Chris
Role at pi-top: Mechanical Design Engineer
Role on the PiWars team: CAD monkey
Fun Fact: My neighbour knocked on my door at 2:30am this morning- luckily for him I was still up playing my bagpipes!
Inspirational Quote: You don’t want to take your product out while it’s still floppy – discussing Injection Moulding
Favourite pizza topping: Macaroni Cheese
Most likely to…: Complain about missing the rugby
What you’re most excited about for PiWars: Use this as a stepping stone to enter Robot Wars next year!

 
AngusName: I am Angus.
Role at pi-top: I am Angus.
Role on the PiWars team: I am Angus.
Fun Fact: Angus Angus
Inspirational Quote: Angus Angus Angus
Favourite pizza topping: Angus
Most likely to…: I am Angus.
What you’re most excited about for PiWars: We are Angus

Meet the new pi-top!

It has been a pretty busy year so far here at pi-top: from winning Edtech Start Up Company of the Year at the BETT awards to attending ISTE, passing by welcoming a new accessory to our product family, pi-topPULSE. At the same time, during these months, we’ve been working on a (*super secret*) project and we thought that today, our 3rd birthday, was the perfect day to share it with you.

Let me introduce you to the new pi-top, our new fully modular laptop with endless hours of fun activities. It’s the new generation of simple, engaging and versatile technology to explore, create and invent. We want to inspire the new generations to seek the skills of tomorrow and create their future, today.

Among other features, the new pi-top, introduces a sliding keyboard that reveals a large magnetic rail. Slide it back to discover an exciting new world of electronics, coding and science you can enjoy, regardless of your age or computing ability.

 

 

The new pi-top comes with an inventor’s kit to take you beyond the screen and keyboard. Explore the world of making and use your limitless imagination to build computer science and electronic inventions. Invent like never before.

Key technical features of the new pi-top:


  • Vivid colours with 14” 1920×1080 FHD LCD display screen
  • Sliding keyboard – reveals magnetic rails for hands-on building of invention and adding your own hardware projects!
  • Flexible 180° Lid opening viewing angle
  • 8+ hours of battery life
  • More muscle from the Raspberry Pi microcomputer with integrated custom cooling bridge
  • Full OCR (Oxford Cambridge RSA Review Board) endorsed software suite (pi-topOS Polaris) bundled on the 8GB SD Card with hundreds of hours of project based learning on board.

What are the main differences between the new pi-top and pi-top?


  • Full-sized sliding keyboard and central trackpad
  • Free inventor’s kit with guide booklet highlighting over 20 hands-on projects
  • Comes with cut-out robots, spaceships and fun games to bring the projects and inventions to life
  • Improved display screen and 180° Lid opening
  • Easy access to all external ports via the back of the device (including AUX port)
  • Heat sink for faster stable processing with the Raspberry Pi micro PC

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We want to turn kids’ passive screen time into countless hours of active, fun, hands-on inventor activities. That’s why the the new pi-top comes 20+ hands-on activities, divided into three journeys:

  • Smart Robot
  • Music Master
  • Space Race

You can get now the new pi-top with inventor’s kit from our website.

 

We couldn’t conclude this post without thanking you. Thanks for sticking with us for the last three years and for allowing us to be part of your coding journey. Here’s to many more.

Now, let’s get hands-on inventing! And don’t forget to share your projects it with us using #DareToInvent ;).

With love,

pi-topTEAM

 

The new pi-topPULSE is here!

 

Be the first to get yours exclusively from RS Components now

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CLICK ON IMAGE ABOVE TO PLAY THE VIDEO

We are welcoming a new accessory into the pi-top product family! 

The new pi-topPULSE add-on board for pi-top or Raspberry Pi was made to learn, play and create! pi-topPULSE is an accessory to help you build fun STEAM (Science, Technology, Engineering, Arts and Maths) projects with music, lights and sound. It has full Amazon Alexa integration, the cloud-based voice service!
OR
Get your pitopPULSE from Allied if you’re based in the US!

What is pi-topPULSE?


You can spruce up your pi-top or pi-topCEED with the pi-topPULSE! pi-topPULSE brings the Arts into STEAM. It is an integrated solution for music, lights and sound. Easy to transport and deploy in any classroom.

It can be used both, as an accessory for the pi-top or pi-topCEED modular rail, and additionally, as a HAT/ add-on board to the Raspberry Pi 3. pi-topPULSE allows all functionalities to be used simultaneously to enhance its application in the classroom. The microphone can be used to record music, as a DIY cloud-based voice service with Amazon Alexa for students to ask computer science related questions and more!

Key features: 

pi-topPULSE

  • 7×7 RGB LED matrix array – so you have 49 lights to code!
  • Speaker and microphone – for your musical adventures and projects
  • pitopPULSE cloud-based voice service integration with Amazon Alexa (Only with Raspberry Pi 3)

 

 

 

It comes fully assembled and ready to go. A suite of python libraries is provided to make usage simple with lots of example programs, demos and pi-top lesson plans (pi-topOS only) available to get you started.

PurpleLights

 

pi-topOS Polaris Update for pi-topPULSE


We have updated pi-topOS Polaris! This release is focused on allowing you to get started using pi-topPULSE, and immediately explore & create your own fun projects. This includes seamless integration with Amazon Alexa – simply log into pi-topDASHBOARD, and follow the on-screen instructions to get set up.

Check out the “Getting Started with pi-topPULSE” worksheet in pi-topCODER to see some hands-on examples of how to interact with the on-board LEDs, microphone and speaker!

For more information, check out the Github page for pi-topPULSE.

 

What can you use it for? 


There’s a ton of fun projects you can do with your pi-topPULSE. Find some examples below:

  • LED Array
    • Snake
    • Pong
    • Flappy Birds
  • Speaker
    • Sonic Pi to code music
    • General for listening to music
  • Microphone
    • Sample music recording
    • Real-time graphic equaliser (responds to music you’re playing!)
    • Voice recording
  • Combined projects:

game rail

As always a huge thank you to all. We hope you enjoy the new family addition, pi-topPULSE. We’re extremely excited to hear about the creative and innovative projects you create!

With Love,

pi-topTEAM