The Raspberry Pi and the book monster
The Curriculum Innovation team was contacted by Dan Copley, the Headteacher of St Francis Catholic Primary, to discuss an idea he had on creating a man size book monster. The book monster would be located in the library and children would ‘feed’ the book monster with books when they returned the books to the library. He enlisted the help of a local model maker / special effects expert Ellie Morley to work with the children to design and build the 1.5m models. Dan wanted the book monsters to interact with the children when they posted the books and discussed this with me (Paul Scott from the Curriculum Innovation team). Discussions included parts of the monster moving but from a technical perspective it was clear this would be prohibitively expensive to achieve so it was agreed that the monster would have eyes that lit up and it would speak to the children when fed by books.
I looked at several ways to achieve this and decided that the most cost effective solution would be to use a Raspberry Pi.
I visited some very helpful staff at Bradford University’s Pi Nest who gave some good advice on what I would need to use the Pi to control external components such as LEDs and switches. With this information and access to on-line resources such as www.raspberrypi.org and YouTube I decided to investigate a solution coded using Python on the Pi.