Laika: a hardware control platform for the Raspberry Pi

Laika is a modular add-on board for the Raspberry Pi that allows control of motors, switches, lamps, robots and more. There are plenty of great hardware control boards out there for the Raspberry Pi but we especially like this one because of the educational focus.There’s lots more information on what it can do and how you can use it on their Kickstarter page.

How a learning environment should look

In 2014 computing is coming back into the UK school curriculum. And whilst this makes many of us run outside at random intervals to do Snoopy’s Happy Dance we shouldn’t underestimate the challenges involved. Computing is effectively a brand new subject and there are currently few specialist teachers, so the easier we can make it to teach (and learn) computing in an accessible, engaging and creative way the better. This is especially true in primary school.

So anyone creating educational resources to go along with their hardware or software makes us happy and the Laika team are doing just that. Here they are running a robotics workshop at Highgate School in London.

You can read more about Laika here and if you’d like to get hold of one for yourself or for your school then their Kickstarter has just a few days left to run. We think that Laika has great educational potential but of course you don’t have to be in school to start learning.

A Laika-Pi powered rover wandering the icy wastes of Europa, the smallest of the Galilean moons.

7 comments

MissPhilbin avatar

I met the Laika guys at the mini maker faire in London recently and was impressed by their low cost educational approach to robotics. I’ve backed their kickstarter. I hope they make their target!

JBeale avatar

Looks nice. Do they mention what is the resolution or sample rate of the ADC inputs? I assume they use something like a PIC processor?

Jim Manley avatar

About halfway down the page, in the Scratch section, it says, “The Explorer board includes two analogue inputs which give 10-bit resolution”. It’s impossible to tell what devices are being used based on the fuzzy-photo, but they look pretty simplistic, on the level of a PIC.

AndrewS avatar

I thought I read somewhere that it was using an AVR chip, but now that I try to double-check I can’t find any reference. So maybe I imagined it, or possibly I’m getting confused with one of the other multitude of add-on / expansion boards for the Pi ;-)

Gareth Evans avatar

Just passed their Target! Congrats!

clive avatar

That’s great, news — thanks Gareth and well done Team Laika! And a huge thanks to the Raspberry Pi community who pledged after reading this. I’m personally looking forward to getting to play with one :)

Christo avatar

I saw his project advertised on here and had to go donate! Awesome that he’s made his goal. I can’t wait for my Laika board to turn up!!

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