The Raspberry Pi eco-system goes interstellar with the new Raspberry Pi Sense HAT from element14

Raspberry Pi Sense HAT

element14 has today globally launched the latest addition to the expanding ecosystem of Raspberry Pi accessories, the Raspberry Pi Sense HAT, as featured in the ‘Astro Pi’ space mission. The Sense HAT will enable enthusiasts to control the same hardware used in space.

The Sense HAT attaches to the Raspberry Pi board, and can be used for many different types of experiments, applications and games, including those due to be carried out on the International Space Station by UK ESA Astronaut Tim Peake.

The Sense HAT is compatible with Raspberry Pi 2, and Raspberry Pi 1 models B+ and A+, and connects to the Raspberry Pi via the 40 GPIO pins.

It has the following technical specifications:

  • Gyroscope – angular rate sensor: +/-245/500/2000dps
  • Accelerometer - Linear acceleration sensor: +/-2/4/8/16 g
  • Magnetometer - Magnetic Sensor: +/- 4/8/12/16 gauss
  • Barometer: 260 – 1260 hPa absolute range (accuracy depends on the temperature and pressure, +/- 0.1 hPa under normal conditions)
  • Temperature sensor (Temperature accurate to +/- 2 degC in the 0-65 degC range)
  • Relative Humidity sensor (accurate to +/- 4.5% in the 20-80%rH range, accurate to +/- 0.5 degC in 15-40 degC range)
  • 8x8 LED matrix display
  • Small 5 button joystick

Claire Doyle, Global Head of Raspberry Pi at element14 commented: “We are really excited to add such an inspirational new product into the Raspberry Pi ecosystem. The Sense HAT is the perfect product to learn about programming  and how we interact with the world around us; I’m sure that with its full array of sensors we are yet to discover all the weird and wonderful applications that the global Raspberry Pi community will invent on this planet and beyond with the Sense HAT.”

The LED Matrix displays the data from the various sensors, it can show which way is geomagnetic North by programming a compass using the magnetometer, or simply be used to play games like Tetris, Pong and Snake with the joystick. The joystick can also be used to enable interaction with the programs running on the Sense HAT.

The ‘Astro Pi’ space competition offered students the chance to devise and code their own app or experiment, to run on a Raspberry Pi, which will be taken to the International Space Station as part of Tim’s mission. Themes include space measurements, spacecraft sensors, space radiation, satellite imaging and remote sensing, and data fusion. The Sense HAT uses orientation, pressure, humidity and temperature sensors to measure whether the Raspberry Pi is accelerating, how hot the environment is, how humid it is and which direction the Raspberry Pi is facing.

The Raspberry Pi Sense HAT is priced at $30 and is available from Farnell element14 and CPC in UK and Europe, Newark element14 and MCM in North America, and element14 and Embest in China and Asia Pacific.


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Farnell Global is a fast and reliable distributor of products and technology for electronic and industrial system design, maintenance and repair.  From research and design through prototype to production, Farnell helps its customers access the products and services they need 24/7.  With more than 80 years of experience, 47 localised websites, and a dedicated team of over 3,500 employees, Farnell provides every component its customers need to build the technology of tomorrow.

Farnell Global trades as Farnell in Europe, Newark in North America, and element14 in Asia Pacific.  It also sells direct to consumers through its CPC business in the UK.

Farnell Global has been part of the established global technology distributor, Avnet (Nasdaq: AVT), since 2016. Today, this relationship allows the company to support its customers at every stage of the product life cycle, offering a truly unique distribution model, as well as expertise in end-to-end delivery and product design.

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