The Raspberry Pi as a tool for biological sciences

Ashley Whittaker explored the various ways the Raspberry Pi can be used in scientific research. She referenced a paper by Jolle Jolles called “Broad-scale Applications of the Raspberry Pi: A Review and Guide for Biologists” that listed a bunch of biological use cases, including:

  • Image and video recording for observing animal behaviour
  • Plant phenotyping
  • Ecosystem monitoring
  • Closed-loop VR
  • Bioacoustics
  • Environmental monitoring

It’s worth reading Jolles’s guide as it might inspire you with future Raspberry Pi projects but I’ll leave you with this closing remarks:

By reviewing the use of Raspberry Pi’s across the biological domain, it is clear that these low-cost devices are already being widely used, and a hugely diverse range of applications exists, including nest-box monitoring, wildlife camera trapping, high-throughput behavioural recordings, animal home cage monitoring, large-scale plant phenotyping, lab and greenhouse monitoring, underwater video and surveillance, fluorescent microscopy, virtual reality experiments, low-cost integrated RFID-tag solutions, field audio recording, automated playback devices, autonomous operant learning devices, and long-term ecosystem monitoring. It is also clear however that despite the high diversity in applications, the Raspberry Pi is not yet widely used (or known) by the broader biological community, but from the increasing number of papers that mention the use of Raspberry Pi every year it is clear that this is increasing.

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