Lincoln Heard, Minibeasts and Raspberry Pi

I often get asked how old the youngest kids we see using the Pi are. A lot depends on the individual kid’s dexterity: if they can handle a mouse with reasonable accuracy, they’re old enough to use Scratch. Usually the younger kids we see are the children of engineers or other people who are already confident around computers – and typically they start at about five.

Lincoln hooks up a camouflaged camera

Lincoln Heard a bit of an outlier. He is four years old. When he was three, he made a video with his Dad (an ICT teacher) about how to set up your Raspberry Pi (“So easy a three-year-old can set it up!”). Lincoln really loves his Pi, and, when he came home from school with a form inviting him to enter a Minibeasts habitat incorporating recycled materials, hit upon the idea of incorporating a Pi into the build.

A cereal box, a webcam, a Pi as a webcam server, some Minecraft cutouts and some weatherproofing later, Lincoln and Dad came up with this (the engineering knowhow is Dad’s, but the design and much of the work you see here is Lincoln’s):

And here’s snailcam in action:

If you’d like to make your own Minibeasts habitat like Lincoln’s, Dad has written the project up: you’ll find a full parts list and tutorial, as well as some discussion of design decisions he and Lincoln talked through (weatherproofing, wireless strength, power options). And, of course, you’ll find out how Lincoln did in the competition, in case you hadn’t guessed already.