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PA Consulting shortlists ingenious Raspberry Pi challenge ideas

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London: PA Consulting Group and Raspberry Pi have selected the finalists of their programming challenge, which was launched in September 2012. The finalists will present their ideas to six expert judges at PA's Cambridge Technology Centre on Wednesday 20 March.

The competition challenged schools, universities and inventors to use the Raspberry Pi, a credit-card-size computer, to 'make the world a better place'. The innovative line-up of entries has been whittled down to a select few whose ideas demonstrated key programming skills and a touch of creativity.

Ideas that have made it through to the final round include:

  • an automated pill dispenser which makes managing medicine easier. The Raspberry Pi connects a pill dispenser and a GP, who can programme the administration of a patient's drugs through a website; the correct dosage then drops out of the pill dispenser at specific times
  • an automatic door answering system designed to help elderly and disabled people answer their front door
  • an air quality and weather surveillance device which takes in information about air quality through its sensors and uploads it directly to the internet, where it can then be viewed and analysed on a smartphone or tablet
  • a parental protection system for mobile devices in the home. The device ensures that children can stay safe on the internet, regardless of which device they pick up; a mobile phone or a tablet
  • a device which allows school children in developing countries to communicate with other schools across the world

The competition was launched to stimulate interest in programming amongst younger students. By using a Raspberry Pi to practise programming, students were able to see what they can achieve with their programming skills.

Frazer Bennett, a technology expert at PA Consulting Group, who has been involved with the Raspberry Pi project said, "We had some great entries to choose from and it was encouraging to see groups of students as young as 8 years old getting to grips with programming skills. We're now really looking forward to the judging day and awards presentation in Cambridge and seeing which teams will take the top spots and be crowned as Raspberry Pi programming champions!"

The panel of judges includes: Alan Middleton, CEO of PA Consulting Group; Eben Upton, Founder of Raspberry Pi; Andy Hopper, President of the IET and head of computer technology at Cambridge University; Rory Cellan-Jones, BBC Technology Correspondent; Zillah Bing-Maddick, CEO of Trader Media group and Barak Regev, Cloud platform sales lead at Google.

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