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Hackable CrowPi2 STEAM education laptop available with 8GB Raspberry Pi

Jun 16, 2020 — by Eric Brown — 1251 views

Elecrow is Kickstarter-ing a $140-and-up, 2nd gen “CrowPi2” STEAM education laptop and hacker kit for the Raspberry Pi with a 11.6-inch HD screen, 2MP camera, mic, speakers, and a hacking bay full of sensors and modules.

Hong Kong based Elecrow has followed up on its 2018 Kickstarter campaign for its Raspberry Pi based CrowPi computer education laptop with a CrowPi2 model that is available with an optional Raspberry Pi 4B with up to 8GB RAM. While the original CrowPi has a 7-inch touchscreen and is set inside a briefcase, the 291 x 190 x 46mm, 1.3 kg CrowPi2 looks more like a standard laptop, and it offers even more embedded Linux hacking opportunities than the original.



CrowPi2 (left) and with hacking bay exposed
(click images to enlarge)

The new model advances to a 11.6-inch, 1920 x 1080 IPS screen and adds a 2-megapixel camera, dual speakers, an integrated mic, and more. You get an even larger collection of sensors, motors, and other gizmos and a host of STEAM and computer education software and games.

As before, the 2.4GHz wireless keyboard with integrated touchpad can be removed to reveal a breadboard and sensor hacking bay. This was previously how you accessed the Raspberry Pi. The CrowPi2, however, places the SBC under the breadboard and offers access via a new compartment on the bottom. The Pi’s USB and GbE ports are now exposed on the side instead of internally. There is also a new storage slot under the keyboard for storing spare components and connectors.

Elecrow achieved its $20K Kickstarter goal within the first 12 hours. Packages are available with or without a pre-installed Raspberry Pi 4 through Aug. 15, with shipments due later that month. A basic package that requires a BYO Raspberry Pi 3B, 3B+, or 4B sells for $140 (Super Early Bird) or $170 (Early Bird). The packages ship with a variety of components listed farther below, including a 32GB card pre-installed with Raspberry Pi OS (AKA Raspbian) and a suite of educational and gaming software.



CrowPi2 RPi installation (left) and Deluxe package features
(click images to enlarge)

A $260 (Super Early Bird) or $260 package designed for gaming adds the Raspberry Pi 4B with 4GB RAM plus a game controller and a second 32GB microSD card, this time preloaded with RetroPie. The $260 model also supplies Minecraft carton paper, 10x NFC cards, and Scratch and Python programming books.

A $290 (Super Early Bird) or $330 Advanced Kit gives you an RPi 4 and the other gaming kit features and boosts the standard educational microSD card to 128GB. It also adds a 5V/3A power bank, a storage bag, an IIC (I2C) hub, a pulse sensor, an accelerometer and gyro, an IR reflective sensor, and a Gas Sensor 2.0. A $310 (Super Early Bird) or $350 Deluxe kit gives you everything in the Advance Kit and moves up to the new 8GB RAM version of the Raspberry Pi 4.



CrowPi2 components storage bay (left) and closeup of sensors
(click images to enlarge)

Other standard features include a wireless mouse, a 3.5mm audio jack, a 12V power supply, a fan, and a microSD card reader. There are also standard and micro-HDMI ports, an IR receiver and remote controller, a stepper motor, a DC motor with mini fan, and a 9G servo.


CrowPi2 detail views
(click images to enlarge)

Other basic components include an internal LCD display and mini-joystick, a components pack, and an RFID card reader and tag. Sensors include temperature/humidity sensor, moisture, tilt, sound, touch, light intensity, ultrasonic, and PIR, many of which are supported by sensitivity adjustment controls. You also get a segment, relay, fan, 4×4 button matrix, 8×8 RGB matrix, vibration motor, and a buzzer. There is also a GPIO export and LED and an IO/ADC/I2C/UART expansion interface,


CrowPi2 educational software (left) and basic specs
(click images to enlarge)

The CrowPi2 comes pre-installed with a customized educational and entertainment stack with step-by-step learning of Scratch, Python, Minecraft, and face and speech recognition. The software includes 18 Python games, as well as an offline account manager for tracking learning progress. The system supports multiple Linux operating systems, including Ubuntu, as well as numerous open source games.

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Further information

The CrowPi2 is available on Kickstarter through Aug. 15 starting at $140 without the Raspberry Pi 4, with shipments due in August. More information may be found on the CrowPi2 Kickstarter page and Elecrow’s website.

 

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One response to “Hackable CrowPi2 STEAM education laptop available with 8GB Raspberry Pi”

  1. chip says:

    It would be really interesting if it could host other non-Pi boards with similar form factor and possibly connectors. I would instantly purchase one in this case as the RPi is too closed for me and except for video playing I always use other boards (Odroids, NanoPIs, OrangePIs etc.).
    Some software should be ported, but that’s education as well.

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