Help Google develop tools for Raspberry Pi

Google is going to arrive in style in 2017. The tech titan has exciting plans for the maker community.

It intends to make a range of smart tools available this year. Google’s range of AI and machine learning technology could enable makers to build even more powerful projects.

A robot built at one of our Picademy@Google sessions

To make this happen, Google needs help from the maker community. Raspberry Pi fans are the best makers around, and it’s their ideas that will give the tech company direction.

Here’s what they have to say:

Hi, makers! Thank you for taking the time to take our survey. We at Google are interested in creating smart tools for makers, and want to hear from you about what would be most helpful.  As a thank you, we will share our findings with the community so that you can learn more about makers around the world.

The company can produce some serious tools for the maker community, so make sure you have your say to get the tools you need.

Let Google know what you would like by clicking here and filling out the survey.

What Google has to offer

Makers at PiCademy at Google

Makers at Picademy@Google

Google has developed a huge range of tools for machine learning, IoT, wearables, robotics, and home automation.

Its survey mentions face- and emotion-recognition and speech-to-text translation, to natural language processing and sentiment analysis, the firm has developed a lot of technology in the fields of machine learning and AI.

The tech giant also provides powerful technology for navigation, bots, and predictive analytics.

The survey will help them get a feel for the Raspberry Pi community, but it’ll also help us get the kinds of services we need. So, please take five minutes out of your day and let them know what you would like by filling out this survey.


Brian avatar

Pi Drones

Richard avatar

Already done with the Navio 2 (

Although adding their machine learning could be interesting.

Marcus avatar

Yep, didn’t see Navio2 in the list, which is pretty unfair. Even thought it is RPi HAT it can be listed separately.

Andy Baker avatar

Or you could do it without Navio to actually know all the gory details about how these things actually work:

Marcus avatar

Saw the link, thanks.

Still I love Navio2 because it has not only docs. Docs are not enough sometimes to understand and fix smth fast. Actual support is built around big and responsive community, that’s one of the points of paying for the shield.

Phil avatar

Disappointed there wasn’t a ‘Would you like Google to develop a Pi-specific app store with strong DRM?’ question …

Richard avatar

They not done it with the play store so why for the RPi? ;-)

I agree, a store where you can have some confidence that you can sell your apps without them being stolen would be nice. Although I think that it maybe a little off topic for what they are looking for. Also something that may meet some resistance from the community.

Winkleink avatar


LittlePlanetFX avatar

– 360º Live Street View data contributors
– Gameroom manager mini-servers
– SmartHome Control centers

Mark Carline avatar

Fully supported android nexus type installation which had support for play store plus own written apps would be nice.

John Anderson avatar

I wonder if they will support the open source traditions of the Pi?

Rob Crawford avatar

Why wouldn’t they? Google’s not hostile to open source.

Helio avatar

I was asked if I self-considered a maker, and I answered yes. Then they asked my ages and I did not lie and put under 18. Now they told me that I completed the 100% of the survey. Is this an error, or they don’t like the opinion of the under-18 makers? I’m really disappointed.

Liz Upton avatar

I’d guess that they’re not allowed to for child protection reasons, or because your age means you can’t make a contract – I’d very much doubt that they’re not interested in your opinion at all.

Helio avatar

I filled the survey from a private browsing window using the next age range. I hate doing these things, however I found the survey so interesting and I could not forget it.

I see no reason to be kept from filling a maker-oriented survey. However, the law doesn’t look for these subtle differences on the survey content.

Thanks for your response.

P. S.: Sorry for my poor English language, is not my mother tongue. The below paragraph can be omitted, as is fully off-topic.

I’m 16 years old and I’m learning on the computing field since I was 8 (well, I previously fiddled with Windows and PowerPoint, but that is not representative). At that age, my father taught me to do some basic programs with BASIC (sorry for the redundancy). Months later I discovered Linux with a project called MoLinux on my country. Since then, I started to learn a bit of Bash, Python and C. Now I have a few Raspberry PI (3 and B+) and I use them for semi-hardware projects.

Ending the off-topic block, I want to say that the Raspberry PI is a extremely good SBC, however it would be better being blob-free. I’m very happy with this project. Thanks for making commercial this great idea!

Liz Upton avatar

Thanks Helio – the off-topic bit made us smile!

Bob Waterson avatar

I’m surprised google haven’t complained at you for violating their pixel trademark which says they own it in relation to any device or software.

Simon Long avatar


Do you really think we would knowingly violate any of Google’s trademarks? (Or indeed anyone’s trademarks, for that matter?) Why don’t you go away and research what Google have *actually* trademarked?

The term “pixel” is a generic computing term. It is nigh-on impossible to get a trademark issued for its use in the computing sector for this reason. What Google have trademarked is a number of combinations of the word “pixel” with other words more specific to them, such as “Google Pixel”, “Google Chromebook Pixel” etc. They have one very specific trademark on the word “pixel” on its own, in respect of a piece of diagnostic software, and we were using the term to describe our desktop environment before this mark was registered. (And no, we won’t be complaining at them about that either – no confusion arises from our separate uses of this term.)

Mark Carline avatar

The pi use of the word pixel is all in uppercase so “PIXEL” which i guess makes it unique and trademark-able. Just like Windows *is* a trademark (as it uses an uppercase “W”) and “windows” isnt.

heater avatar

This all sounds great.

“…tools for machine learning, IoT, wearables, robotics, and home automation. … face- and emotion-recognition and speech-to-text translation, to natural language processing and sentiment analysis, the firm has developed a lot of technology in the fields of machine learning and AI…”

Now, if we can use all that without becoming dependent on Google’s “cloud” services it might be worth considering.

My idea of being a “maker” is being independent.

Google is now famous for dropping projects it gets bored with. So think before investing any significant time into building anything that depends on these services.

Of course if they want to me “makers” they could just make this stuff and put it up on github or whatever, like everyone else.

No, I don’t have a downer on Google as such. I do have a downer on getting tied into things that are not available elsewhere.

pradeep avatar

Platform for iris movement analysis. Something like a small cam and a software/API.

Steve Williams avatar

I think this is an endorsement by Google of how much difference the Raspberry Pi Foundation is achieving with the education of future analyst/programmers. Obviously Google want a lot of exposure with this group, hence this initiative. After all a large part of the pool of analyst/programmers staffing Google in future will be those who learned their craft on the Raspberry Pi. Would be good if Google adopted the Creative Commons licensing too for what they produce for the Raspberry Pi.

TCnFL avatar

Among the huge range of tools referenced in this article, what Google tools are available to us for home automation?… aside from purchasing the Google Home smart speaker device.

solar3000 avatar

doing the survey right now…
this is definitely good.

solar3000 avatar

Huh? What the? It was only 3 questions. I was done in 30 seconds.

Carl Jacobsen avatar

If you got only 3 questions, likely they figured out they couldn’t use your answers (literally couldn’t – some above mentioned getting the same effect by stating they were under 18). I found the survey took perhaps five minutes to go through, with dozens of questions.

Carl Jacobsen avatar

I found this survey interesting – made me think a bit…

Q: What inspires you to make?
A: Programming gives me the ability to teach computers how to do things inside of themselves – this has always been extremely alluring. Making gives me the ability to have those computers interact with the world beyond themselves, even if it starts with just turning the lights on and off. Everything is up from there.

Guy COLIN avatar

I did the survey.

Google announced “Android things” a few weeks ago. Some topics have started on the forum about it.
Does this new anouncement on this blog mean the RPF supports Google works?
BTW is this Google survey in relation with “Android things”?


Nithyanandan avatar

Hello Team,
Will Raspberrypi will support RTOS application as well as Audio & Video codec’s like HEVC 10 bit.

SC avatar

There is an exciting future in AI on low power devices. Looking at swarms of RL data.

Jordan avatar

Seek inspirations from makers? Why Google don’t use a conquest for ideas?

Dimitris avatar

You could also let and people under 18 participate on the survey beacause they also have good ideas

Liz Upton avatar

Google are running the survey, not Raspberry Pi – it’s them you should mention this to! I don’t think anybody there is reading these comments.

Jorn avatar

Please make better firebase support so we can store data on firebase easier.

Mä avatar

Raspberry Pi and Google …

For me its a littlebit like the angel is collaborating with the evil.
At the end Google will grab good ideas to turn them into money.

Marc Draco avatar

Please, please don’t sell out to Google Liz. We think Google is our friend but the reality is Google only does things to help Google and the USA surveillance community.

Google has comodified us to extents I never dreamt possible and is almost impossible to describe to non-technical people.

Seriously, everything Google does or gives away requires us to sign away our rights to our most basic privacies. I’m working on a series of videos that will hopefully make this clearer, but the tech community needs to stop treating them like something other than an evil corporation.

Google reads our mail, our documents and even knows every website we visit. Often without our explicit knowledge.

We need to take the web back, not keep giving it away piece by piece.

keith peckett avatar

I think that wearable/ portable tech would be a really interesting thing to get into such as pi watches and gps units which are customisable. I know the pi is meant for creation rather than consumption but why not consume your own creations!, I’m loving how much joy the pi brings my family!

Pete Warden avatar

I wasn’t involved in this survey, but I wanted to plug the fact that TensorFlow offers support for the Raspberry Pi, and there’s great community involvement too. Here are some bundled examples:

Sam Abrahams has some great instructions on getting the full training framework installed too:

Maker avatar

TJBot is already there!!!!

AntonyIndia avatar

For our Pi usage the only thing we need from Google is more Chromium browser improvements to support Pi video hardware.

Simon Long avatar

All the work to support Pi video hardware in Chromium has been done by us, not by Google. It’s unlikely to be something they would want to invest time in.

Johnny avatar


This is very cool! I am 2-month user of the Raspberry PI 3 and wow lol I love it!!! I can’t decide what not to do on it :) I use Mycroft now on my PI and it works smoothly :)

Where can I follow this news when a testing image will be available for Pi? Google Home website maybe?

Thank you

Steve Gulick avatar

If the Raspberry Pi is to be a serious platform for AI, the GPU needs to be available. What about Google and/or porting OpenCL to the PI!

Fusi Enrico Maria avatar

Well, being honest, the best thing Google did was to have a great support for golang and ARM.

Golang runs well with Raspis , and compiles pretty well.
I compiled things like syncthing or gogs, which are quite complex, and it worked fine.

Maybe we miss a real IDE for Raspi/Golang?


Bobby Mussara avatar

Says survey no longer active, however I am new to the raspberry pi community but I have recently finished my first smart mirror, complete with my google calendar and it works awesome! I am struggling with the programming but with research I managed to get everything working great. I would like to see more compatibility with additional modules or possibly some smart phone apps.

Mesh Mesh avatar

Can Google App Maker be used to develop Raspberry Pi 3 desktop apps? I am aware it simplifies the app-development procedure especially for starters/novice and/or for just making basic apps.

I wanna try it out to make an app for my Pi 3, running the latest version of raspbian jessie. Response will be much appreciated!

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