Raspberry Pi Zero: What You Can Do With This $5 Computer

Cheap computer can be used for making everything from games to robots.

ByABC News
November 26, 2015, 11:51 AM
The official Raspberry Pi blog announced the five-dollar Raspberry Pi Zero computer on Nov. 26, 2015.
The official Raspberry Pi blog announced the five-dollar Raspberry Pi Zero computer on Nov. 26, 2015.

— -- The makers of Raspberry Pi announced today the company's latest fully functioning computer will be available for $5.

The Raspberry Pi Zero is about the size of a stick of chewing gum but comes with endless possibilities for everyone from programmers looking to create fun new projects to students learning about programming in the classroom.

Popular projects with Raspberry Pi include connecting the computer to home devices to create an "Internet of Things" ecosystem, building an inexpensive robot and creating games.

"The original Raspberry Pi Model B and its successors put a programmable computer within reach of anyone with $20-35 to spend," Eben Upton, founder of Raspberry Pi, wrote in a blog post today. "Since 2012, millions of people have used a Raspberry Pi to get their first experience of programming, but we still meet people for whom cost remains a barrier to entry. At the start of this year, we began work on an even cheaper Raspberry Pi to help these people take the plunge."

Despite its cheaper price, the latest addition to the Raspberry Pi family runs the Raspbian operating system and various applications including Minecraft, Sonic Pi, which allows users to play with code to produce new sounds, and Scratch, the programming language that lets people create their own stories, games and animations.

The hardware is also impressive for the price. The Raspberry Pi Zero comes with a 1Ghz chip, a micro SC slot and micro USB ports for data and power -- allowing a user to connect to the Internet with a WiFi dongle.

While the possibilities for creating are endless with Raspberry Pi Zero, the computer also comes with a mini-HDMI socket for 1080p60 video output, meaning with the right tools and direction, someone could take an old television or monitor and with Raspberry Pi Zero, turn it into a fully functioning computer.

With tens of thousands of units available now, according to Upton, customers in the United States can order online from Adafruit or at their local branch of Micro Center. The computer is being given away for free in the UK with copies of MagPi Magazine, prompting some people on Twitter to remark on just how crazy it is you can get a computer at the news stand.