Spaced out; element14 awards RaspberryPi prize to ‘Pi in the Sky’ project

July 02, 2013 // By Graham Prophet
An image of the Earth from 38.9km (128,000 ft) has today been confirmed as the winner of element14’s global Raspberry Pi camera competition. David Akerman used a weather balloon to fly his Raspberry Pi and camera module up into the Earth’s stratosphere to capture the image of Devon and Cornwall in the UK.

Entries to the competition came from all over the world including Taiwan, The Czech Republic, Canada, Germany and Australia and varied from traditional photographs, to stitched images as well as stop motion and video. The finalists included Tyler Crumpton with his image of hot air balloons in Alabama, USA and Mike Cook’s cross section of the tongue of a common frog.

The camera board, which retails at $25, is available through Newark element14 and MCM in North America, Farnell element14 in Europe, CPC in the UK and Ireland and element14 in Asia Pacific.

David Akerman said: “I'm delighted to win this competition which caps off a year since my first "Pi In The Sky" high altitude balloon flight. Since I took that image I've flown six Raspberry Pi missions, mostly using a webcam to take photos for transmission down to the ground, but more recently using the new Pi Camera. The images I can now capture are much better quality than before, plus the savings in weight and power mean my flights can go far higher.”

The camera board itself is tiny, at around 25mm x 20mm x 9mm weighing 0.04kg with a five megapixel native resolution sensor.

As David’s prize he will receive each of the exclusive element14 accessories developed to enhance the Raspberry Pi experience including the Pi-Face, Gertboard, XBMC kit and the Embedded Pi all launched in 2013 with more exclusive add-ons to follow.

Claire Doyle, Global Head of Raspberry Pi at element14 said: “David certainly deserves to win this competition, I was very impressed with his image which generated a lot of excitement across the globe when it was posted. The camera board is just one of a strategic pipeline of accessories we will be launching in 2013 to allow people to do more with their Raspberry Pi.”

The Raspberry Pi camera board is a custom designed add-on which attaches to one of the small sockets