It’s impossible to chat about the Raspberry Pi and not include The Raspberry Pi Guy. He isn’t a master at pies (or maybe he is?!), but he certainly knows his way around a Pi.
Matthew Timmons-Brown, also known as The Raspberry Pi Guy, is most known for his popular and inventive electric skateboard. He’s built a massive YouTube following with his creative and helpful Raspberry Pi tutorials, and it would seem that, for him, the sky’s the limit.
Digital Link had the opportunity to ask Matt a few questions to get a taste of what led him to the Raspberry Pi and some juicy details of what he has in the works.
Digital Link (DL): We love your electric skateboard, and it clearly caught the attention of an incredible amount of people. What was the best part about building this particular project? Can you tell me the about a couple other projects you built that were the most fun?
Matthew Timmons-Brown (MTB): The electric skateboard is definitely my most popular and fun project. The best part about the whole process was actually when I first started programming the Pi Zero that controls the whole board. I had to work out the pulse-width modulation signals that the motor controller wanted to receive (there was no documentation). Getting the motor to spin in a controlled way for the first time was an immensely satisfying feeling! I’ve done all sorts of other projects, lots can be seen on my YouTube channel. I am currently working on a GPS-enabled bicycle dashcam, something I am doing to perhaps improve bicycle safety in my native Cambridge.
DL: At what age will kids be able to explore and use Raspberry Pi? How are younger ages using it?
MTB: I got my first taste of Pi around the age of 12-13, and I think this is the ideal age to play around with a system like the Pi independently. But with the support of friends, family and teachers, the Raspberry Pi is really accessible for all ages. Younger children are using Pis in lesson to learn how to program with applications such as Scratch and with languages such as Python.
DL: How did you get involved with Raspberry Pi?
(MTB): I got involved with Raspberry Pi back in late 2011 at the age of 12. I was never interested in computer science, though I did have a passing interest in gadgets. I used to read a magazine in the UK called Stuff, a tech and lifestyle publication. One day, I saw a tiny corner article, no more than a few sentences long, talking about this fruit-named, ultra-cheap computer. It piqued my interest as a young teenager with not a lot of money. So I found their website and went down the rabbit hole from there. I got my first Raspberry Pi in the summer of 2012, and it kickstarted my love of computer science.
DL: In the coming Human-Robot war, who do you think will win and why?
MTB: Humans. Undoubtedly. With the likes of Elon Musk protecting us from AI becoming evil, I have no doubt in believing that humans will trump any robot uprising.
DL: For people who would be easily bested by a computer, what would be a rewarding, but relatively simple, place or project to start?
MTB: The best simple, yet rewarding, project is to use the Pi’s general purpose input/output pins to interact with the outside world and flash a light-emitting diode.
DL: What are your future plans? Do you have any fun projects in the works?
MTB: I am currently writing a book. No Starch Press will release Learn Robotics with Raspberry Pi in 2018.
DL: What is the best fruit and why is it raspberries?
MTB: Raspberries are refreshing, tasty and easy to take a byte out of!
Thank you so much to Matt for chatting with us! If you are looking for great ideas or helpful tutorials for all things Pi, he’s the guy. Find him on social media.