IoT with Raspberry Pi Pico in Kenya

We were proud to provide free IoT workshops in Kenya last month for the burgeoning hardware community in and around Nairobi. We worked in partnership with Gearbox and Safaricom to bring a group of technology enthusiasts together and get them started with Raspberry Pi Pico W, basic circuits, MicroPython, and cloud connectivity.

Made in Kenya

These workshops are part of Raspberry Pi’s effort to support tech innovation throughout Africa. As you may know, many of the African market’s Pico microcontrollers are manufactured in Kenya by Gearbox Europlacer.

Participants in the workshops put those microcontrollers to good use, first learning the basics of MicroPython and then quickly getting to the “hello world” of physical computing — blinking an LED. Then they moved into more advanced topics, learning how to work with motion and proximity sensors, and with environmental sensors which measure temperature and humidity via the I2C protocol.

For the final learning module, participants connected their Raspberry Pi Pico W to the internet via Wi-Fi and uploaded their data to Adafruit IO, Adafruit’s cloud platform for the Internet of Things. From there, they were able to graph their data, set up alerts, and make dashboards.

Problem-solving prototypes

Participants were then challenged to use what they’d learned to build a prototype solution to a real-world problem. They broke out into teams and started concepting, coding, and creating. What they accomplished in just a few hours was amazing. One group created a dashboard which remotely showed the availability of parking spaces. Another set up text message alerts for when a public trash bin is overflowing.

Workshop participants were able to keep the hardware to continue their prototyping and were encouraged to stay in touch with each other to develop more ideas. I, for one, hope to see a Raspberry Jam in Nairobi one day soon!

Thanks to our partners in Africa

Thank you so much to our key partners, Gearbox and Safaricom, for teaming up to help make this workshop happen. And thank you to Nairobi-based Raspberry Pi Approved Reseller Ivyliam for sourcing and building the kits.

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