HATS OFF!: Raspberry Pi gains a new accessory

26th August 2015
Posted By : Mick Elliott
HATS OFF!: Raspberry Pi gains a new accessory

The ecosystem of Raspberry Pi accessories has been extended. element14 has launched the Raspberry Pi Sense HAT, as featured in the ‘Astro Pi’ space mission. The Sense HAT will enable enthusiasts to control the same hardware used in space. The Sense HAT attaches to the Raspberry Pi board, and can be used for many different types of experiments, applications and games, including those due to be carried out on the International Space Station by UK ESA Astronaut Tim Peake.

The Sense HAT is compatible with Raspberry Pi 2, and Raspberry Pi 1 models B+ and A+, and connects to the Raspberry Pi via the 40 GPIO pins.

It has a gyroscope with an angular rate sensor, a linear acceleration sensor, a barometer, temperature sensor, relative humidity sensor, 8x8 LED marix disdplay and a small 5 button joystick.

Claire Doyle, Global Head of Raspberry Pi at element14 commented: “We are really excited to add such an inspirational new product into the Raspberry Pi ecosystem. The Sense HAT is the perfect product to learn about programming and how we interact with the world around us; I’m sure that with its full array of sensors we are yet to discover all the weird and wonderful applications that the global Raspberry Pi community will invent on this planet and beyond with the Sense HAT.”

The LED Matrix displays the data from the various sensors, it can show which way is geomagnetic North by programming a compass using the magnetometer, or simply be used to play games like Tetris, Pong and Snake with the joystick. The joystick can also be used to enable interaction with the programs running on the Sense HAT.

The ‘Astro Pi’ space competition offered students the chance to devise and code their own app or experiment, to run on a Raspberry Pi, which will be taken to the International Space Station as part of Tim’s mission. Themes include space measurements, spacecraft sensors, space radiation, satellite imaging and remote sensing, and data fusion. The Sense HAT uses orientation, pressure, humidity and temperature sensors to measure whether the Raspberry Pi is accelerating, how hot the environment is, how humid it is and which direction the Raspberry Pi is facing.


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