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Learn to Build Raspberry Pi Controllers Using Python

Learn to Build Raspberry Pi Controllers Using Python

Raspberry Pi has become a popular entry door into the design and construction of electronic gadgets, whether toys or commercial products. Beginning July 6, the Design News Continuing Education Center will present a week-long set of free classes that cover the use of Raspberry Pi for building controllers that use Python. Classes will be held each day of the week beginning at 2 p.m. Eastern.

The Raspberry Pi is a user-friendly, credit-card-size, Linux-based computer that design engineers (and educators and makers) can use as a rapid development platform to design products for the consumer and industrial markets. Building Raspberry Pi Controllers with Python will offer an overview of the Raspberry Pi's architecture. This will be explained, along with a presentation of examples that illustrate the uses of Raspberry Pi, specifically in the context of the Python programming language.

The class will be taught by Don Wilcher -- known to many Design News readers as Dr. Don. He is a frequent speaker at the Design News Continuing Education Center and a passionate teacher of electronics technology. Wilcher has worked as an electrical engineer for 26 years -- on industrial robotics systems, automotive electronic modules and systems, and embedded wireless controls for small consumer appliances.

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Part of the attraction of Raspberry Pi is its ease-of-use, low cost, and open-source model. "The Raspberry Pi provides an opportunity to rapidly develop embedded controllers using a low-cost and powerful Linux-based computing platform," said Wilcher. "This course will provide information on how class participants can start to build sophisticated electronic controllers for such vertical markets as industrial, consumer, entertainment, and automotive industries."

Specifics covered in the course will include the use of Linux and Python. "Course content will provide information on how to use Linux commands to organize files and execute applications aided by the Python programming language," said Wilcher. "With the release of Windows 10 around the corner, makers, educators, design engineers, and hardware developers can prepare to use this low-cost computer in anticipation of the new Microsoft operating system."

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Wilcher will also explain how Raspberry Pi can be deployed for a variety of hardware products. "Attendees will learn the Rapsberry Pi architecture as well as hardware applications such as robots, cellphones, or Internet radio," he said. "The users can include makers, educators, and design engineers."

Going further, the course will cover the more detailed aspects of Raspberry Pi and Python, from circuit analysis to RPi GPIO. "Attendees will learn how to program and build a circuit analysis calculator in Python," said Wilcher. "Other subjects will include how to control LEDs and read switch data using the RPi.GPIO (Raspberry Pi General Purpose Input/Output) library."

Registration is free, and each class will run a hour -- Monday, July 6 through Friday, July 10. Register here.

Rob Spiegel has covered automation and control for 15 years, 12 of them for Design News. Other topics he has covered include supply chain technology, alternative energy, and cyber security. For 10 years he was owner and publisher of the food magazine, Chile Pepper.

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