Move Over, Raspberry Pi: Bigshot Is A DIY Digital Camera

Like the Raspberry Pi, Columbia University professor Shree Nayar's device helps kids learn the basics of hardware design, and he also plans to donate some to underprivileged communities.

What's the Latest Development?

Shree Nayar, head of Columbia University's Computer Vision Laboratory, is the creator behind an innovative DIY project, targeted towards kids, that was recently launched in North America. Out of the box, Bigshot is simply a bunch of parts that need to be assembled in a certain order. However, once it's put together, the result is a fully-functional digital camera with a variety of lenses as well as a hand crank that will provide power when the battery runs out. Nayar developed the device with funds from the US Defense Department and Google, and it's currently available for US$89.

What's the Big Idea?

Nayar says that, as is the case with the increasingly popular Raspberry Pi, Bigshot is designed to "[get] kids' hands dirty...We describe concepts that children would normally encounter at college, but try to make them accessible even to an 8 or 10 year old." Part of the proceeds will be used to give cameras to underprivileged children around the world. In September, 50 of them will be given to a pilot group in New York by the nonprofit Center for Arts Education, and if they prove successful, the organization plans to donate another 950.

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