• Product Reviews, Raspberry Pi
    3 min | 390

    #CrowPi2: a Raspberry Pi Notebook for Extended Creativity

    Product Reviews, Raspberry Pi | 3 min | 390

    Last year, Elecrow sent me the CrowPi and I used it in some of my projects, including this video:

    Together with the Corel USB accelerator, I programmed a YOLOv2 object detector, etc.

    The CrowPi kit is magnificent and has everything you need to start playing with the Raspberry Pi. Furthermore, you get everything in a suitcase, that you can close and clean your "mess" in seconds. :)

    Today, Elecrow is announcing a Kickstarter campaign to support the Crowpi2. This time, they integrated the Raspberry Pi in a notebook-like case (see fig. 1), and I think it is a great product for you and your kids to start playing with electronics!

    Fig. 1: The brand NEW Crowpi2 from Elecrow.

    CrowPi2 was designed for the Raspberry Pi 4 but is also compatible with Raspberry Pi 3B/3B+. The CrowPi2 specifications are the followings (check figs 2 and 3):

    • Compatible Raspberry Pi boards – Raspberry Pi 3B/B+, Raspberry Pi 4
    • Dimensions – 291 x 190 x 46 mm
    • Weight – 1.3 kg
    • Display – 11.6-inch 1920x1080 IPS screen
    • Camera – 2MB Camera
    • Audio – Built-in microphone and stereo speaker; 3.5mm audio jack
    • Keyboard – 2.4GHz detachable wireless keyboard (QWERTY only) with touchpad
    • Sensors and actuators under the keyboard:
      • Displays – LCD1602, 8x8 RGB matrix, GPIO LEDS, 7-segments
      • Sensors – Tilt (Accelerometer), PIR, Sound (Microphone), Touch, Light intesity (Lux), Ultrasonic, Temperature and humidity (DHT11)
      • Actuators – Buzzer, Vibration motor, Speakers
      • Interfaces for – IR sensor, 9g servo, Stepper motor, GPIO, Breadboard, Relay
      • HID – Joystick, RFID (RC522)
    • Misc – Volume and screen brightness adjustment, internal storage box
    • Power Supply – 12V DC via power barrel jack, or 5V via Micro USB port (it is not specified, how many ampers are needed for e.g. display consumption. Not recommended for motors, steppers, servos, etc.)

    Crowpi2 structure
    Fig. 2: CrowPi2 Structure.
    Crowpi development board
    Fig. 3: CrowPi2 Development Board.

    The CrowPi2 is designed to remove barriers, so you can directly start building your makers project. This simple notebook gives you access to all the possibilities that you can achieve with a Raspberry Pi. You don't need an extra monitor to connect it, you don't need to buy extra sensors or actuators. Everything is included in the kit.

    Because the core is Raspberry Pi, it can integrate various programming software such as Python, Scratch, Micro:bit, Arduino, etc. You can use CrowPi2 as a control center to run rich open-source hardware, such as Arduino, Micro:bit, BeagleBone, etc.

    This super early bird reward – limited to 200 sets – starts at about €124 for CrowPi2 with basic sensors and components (it not includes a Raspberry Pi): a 32GB MicroSD card, a 12V power supply, Micro and standard HDMI connectors, an IR remote control, an IR receiver, a stepper motor, a 9G servo, a DC motor with mini fan, a screwdriver, an RFID card & tag, a user manual, a components pack, a moisture sensor, and a Micro SD card reader. They also offer advanced kits with a Raspberry Pi 4 SBC with 4GB RAM and a 128GB MicroSD card, and even more external modules and accessories starting at €229. Shipping varies depending on the destination country starting at around €5.31 to Hong Kong up to €34,30 to countries in Europe. Backers should start getting their rewards shipped in August 2020.

    Go to the Kickstarter campaign and support Elecrow, and when you receive your CrowPi2 you can start exploring the following projects:

    Crowpi2 structure
    Face Recognition using machine learning
    Crowpi development board
    Voice recongnition using machine learning
    Crowpi development board
    Remote control car
    Crowpi development board
    Fruit piano
    Crowpi development board
    Play with Scratch and a flying cat
    Crowpi development board
    Play with Minecraft
    I do not usually support Kickstarter campaigns, because there is a risk that you don't get the product. However, this time it is different. Elecrow is a big company that has a focus on PCB manufacturing (I've been ordering PCB there since 2010) and since 2018, they've been extending it to STEAM education. They have great products! But more importantly, they also have the infrastructure to design, produce, and build them. Therefore, I think the risk of supporting this campaign is almost 0. Furthermore, you can find the comments of its last Kickstarter campaign here.