Raspberry Pi is a small computer that you can use for computing task and run programs. You can connect it to a monitor and keyboard and it will act as a small computer. However, it has been used extensively as the brain of a robot, in an IoT application, in smart devices, and to run the AI applications.
What we can do with Raspberry Pi?
It is important to realize that Raspberry Pi is being widely used in automation tasks. We can connect a variety of sensors to it. Hence, mostly it receives the input from these sensors, rather than receiving input from a keyboard. Then, it processes the received data and may send it to a web server also, if some kind of communication module is there. Hence, Raspberry Pi can work as an independent device without the need of human involvement. The use of AI and machine learning algorithms can make it an intelligent device. As, a Raspberry Pi system can work as autonomous system, it has large number of applications in robots, farming automation and industrial automation.
Characteristics of Raspberry Pi
Raspberry Pi is a low cost system. Hence we can use it in a variety of projects. Not only we can use it in IoT devices, but also we can connect a number of devices with the board. For instance, we can connect keyboard, mouse and monitor to the board to make it a small computer. We can also make it a composite audio and video device. Additionally, we can capture pictures and video using the device. At the same time we can also perform various image processing functions and run machine learning algorithms.
The board is energy efficient. It has very low energy requirement and can run on a battery. Therefore, we can use it for data collection for a longer duration of time without the need of replacing the battery frequently.
Raspberry pi Architecture
RaspberrY Pi 3 board has following main components.
Broadcom BCM2835 ARM CPU with Videocore GPU
CSI Camera Connector
5V Micro USB
SD Card Slot
Broadcom BCM Arm CPU acts as the brain of Raspberry Pi and performs all computation. The computation has been accelerated by Videocore GPU which helps in object recognition and image processing. It makes it possible to run deep learning algorithms.
General Purpose Input Output (GPIO) pins serve a variety of applications. You can use these pins to provide input to the board as well as to fetch the output. In an IoT application, you can use GPIO pins to connect sensors and actuators. Sensors collect data from the environment whereas actuators can control the movement of a device such as motors.
The peripherals such as mouse and keyboard are connected to the board with the help of USB ports. The Raspberry Pi 3 model has two USB Ports.
The Ethernet port available in the board connects the board to the Laptop or PC through wired network and share the Internet.
We can connect our video and audio devices such as as speakers and microphones to the Pi board using RCA Jack. In this way, we can achieve composite audio and video function with Raspberry Pi.
We can take pictures and capture video with Camera Serial Interface (CSI) connector available in the board. Attach the Pi Camera Module directly to the CSI Camera Connector using 15-pin ribbon cable and perform HD Video Recording.
If you want to connect the monitor or TV with the board you can do it by connecting HDMI cable to the HDMI Port available in the port.
SD Card Slot
Finally, the SD Card slot available in the port works as the hard drive of the board. You can use an SD card as the storage device for the board and install the operating system and other applications. For installing the OS in SD card see the details here.
The official documentation of Raspberry Pi is available here.