Raspberry Pi gets snappy with camera add-on
While the the Raspberry Pi foundation continues to struggle to meet the demand for its £16 Linux machine, it has already revealed improvements. The latest: a prototype camera add-on.
The peripheral plugs onto the CSI pins found in the middle of each Raspberry Pi board by means of a ribbon cable.
Although the version on show packs a 14Mp sensor, the organisation says this may have to be downgraded to keep things über affordable when the module ships later this year.
So there's no word on pricing yet, just an array of smily prototype pics on the Raspberry Pi blog, which talks up the add-on's potential for robotics and home automation applications.
Unfortunately, it might not fit too well in your custom Raspberry Pi fag packet, though. ®
Re: Funny how a £16 Linux computer becomes £30.87 at RS...
Got my one the other day. Still dealing with lots of niggling issues after updating the default software and firmware to the latest available from git / apt-get.
USB is sometimes unreliable (recorded cases of USB packets just disappearing into the ether despite being acknowledged by the device - which hit me by disconnecting my 3G USB stick at random points while on 3G but no problem on GPRS, etc.), a couple of people have hit heat problems on the Ethernet/USB chip (hot to the touch when there should be no real temperature there), there are power problems galore because it needs such a regulated supply (and thus battery use etc. requires additional circuitry), SD cards are still a bit up in the air - ones that I've used for years in a myriad devices start spewing out errors and putting it into unfathomable boot loops (but then, next time, it just boots fine) and the online compatibility lists are a load of junk (too many false negatives AND false positives). I also can't get it to put out a composite signal that my old Sanyo 32" TV will actually see as a colour signal (strange that every other composite device works fine including brand-new DVD players, Wii, etc.)
That's AFTER you read about people breaking off one of the capacitors quite easily / accidentally, finding incomplete solder points on their new boards, etc.
The default (and recommended) Debian image is supplied with the iptables command but without any iptables modules, rendering it useless unless you feel like recompiling the kernel yourself. The default firewall is thus "ACCEPT ALL" while some people are demoing it downloading things in Midori (which is being universally commented on as "slow").
There's a lot that's nice about the device but it's far from ready for mainstream use yet, so the camera is the LAST thing to be worrying about.
Hell, I still can't work out how to get it to boot reliably from several of the handful of SD cards that work perfectly in every other SD device I own.
Pointing out that the £16/$25 dollar target price is for the Model A which is not yet being produced hardly makes me a fanboy. (I actually think the 'launch' was a shambles not matter what I think of the intentions of the Raspberry PI org. The org and the two distibutors were by no means 'on the same page' for quite a while over the launch)
however, something you'd be interested in knowing apparently: http://www.raspberrypi.org/
But alas where there are perceived fans rabid anti fans are sure to follow.. sigh.
Re: I LOVE the Pi
that made me laugh my ass off!!!
I got mine last week, and to be honest you need to be well keen to get it all working and set up. but hey, this thing is new and bugs'll get ironed out eventually ... oh and the documentation needs a bit of commitment too.
i took it into work and the guys there got it connected and running citrix over bb and got xen desktop working and running windows 7 on the corp network.
we showed it to the managers and they are well impressed. as far as they are concerned, this does have the potential to save us loadsa money in the near future ... as they're thinking that when it comes round to refreshing the PC estate, we should be able to go thin client for very low cost.
the main issue with this tho is that peeps expect this thing to kill windows now! it will kill windows eventually, it just needs to do a bit of rocky balboa training first (... running up steps ... chasing chickens ... kinda thing)
Heck, if showing enthusiasm for a cheap-and-probably-cheerful gadget on a tech-site forum gets frowned upon, I don't know what's going on : D
I don't doubt that a fair few buyers will have have a play with it and then consign it to the drawer of yesterdays toys, but even if the pleasure is mostly in the anticipation it has got people thinking about what they might do with it. And that seems a good thing to me, even if most people don't use it make their own motion-tracking paintball turret gun.
Similarly, Tripath-based class D audio amplifiers... it's not so much that that people think they are the best amps in the world, but just that they sound good and only cost £20, so any shortcoming are more easily overlooked. And you get to make your own case for them too!
The "£16" Pi is the future"Model A" coming later in the year and will be £16 + delivery + VAT (and should be inclusive of case I believe). Wish The Register would get the basic facts right.
The "£30" Pi is the current "Model B" which costs £21.60 (a fair exchange rate for $35) plus VAT and delivery. Its slighly less than £30 from Farnell / Element14 when delivered in the UK.
The RasPi foundation FAQ has always stated the pricing was $25 (A) or $35 (B) PLUS taxes and delivery. The fact they have managed to get 2 global distributors on-board and kept the baseline price the same everywhere (delivery and taxes vary country by country) .. is pretty good going for an NPO.
I believe the RasPi foundation would be very happy if someone in China produces an even cheaper "PC" as well.
I got my first one from RS last week and it seems to work fine (key is decent pwr supply) .. this one is going in the car for OBDII / GPS / 3G Access Point / front+rear webcam trip recording / HUD, all using open source and as cheap and low-power as possible components.