Kano: a Raspberry Pi computer that snaps together like Lego in 107 seconds

New development kit for the credit-card sized computer aims to open up basic computer coding to younger students

A new development kit for the famed Raspberry Pi offers users the chance to build their own computer in just a couple of minutes.

The credit-card sized Raspberry Pi has now sold more than two million units and has powered an amazingly diverse array of computer projects (including replicating Felix Baumgartner's skydiving record with a teddy) but some fans worry that the computer’s bare bones aesthetics are putting people off.

The Raspberry Pi: what is it and what can I do with it?

Kano aims to fix this, offering a “computer and coding kit for all ages” that is “simple as Lego [and] powered by Pi”. Buying the Kano gets you everything you need to set up a computer apart from a display: there’s a manual, an operating system on a SD card, a keyboard with built-in touchpad, all the necessary cables and – of course – the Raspberry Pi itself.

Once the computer has been snapped together and hooked up to a display, the custom Kano operating system will load (it’s based on Debian Linux), offering users a number of challenges to introduce them to the Raspberry Pi and its possibilities.

The custom Kano OS will offer users challenges to improve their coding ability.

As well as hoping to attract more young people to the world of coding and computer engineering, Kano also has worldwide ambitions, with the non-profit Kano Academy aiming to place the “low-cost, homebrew tech into the hands of smart young people worldwide.”

"We've been a global project since day one," co-founder Alex Klein tells The Independent. "The next invention generation is rising now, and in places that have traditionally been ignored - Sierra Leone, Harlem, Mongolia, Hackney.

"We think it makes more sense to take nothing for granted, and provide a simple, open playkit for the curious, wherever they live - they'll hack to purpose to solve local problems rather than the western buzzwords or imaginings surrounding what 'the Third World needs.'"

Kano is far from the first project to “stand on the shoulders of giants” (their own words) and attempt to expand upon the success of Raspberry Pi, but they may have created the most beautiful solution to the Pi’s sometimes-intimidating simplicity.

The instruction manual for Kano will be available in Mandarin, Arabic, Spanish and English.

The London-based creative consultancy MAP is responsible for the look of Kano and this design heritage shows. The components are brightly coloured and robust looking, managing to blend the primary-colour obsessed design language of Google with a certain Scandinavian functionality.

It may sound trivial to praise a computer designed to teach coding purely on its looks, but this could be the key factor for the project’s success. The Kano team cites the “the intimidation factor” as one of the divisions between the “tech-literate 1%” and the rest of us, but with the Kano computer this barrier looks set to vanish.

Click here to read more about Kano

Life and Style
ebookNow available in paperback
ebookA delicious collection of 50 meaty main courses
Latest stories from i100
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Independent Dating

By clicking 'Search' you
are agreeing to our
Terms of Use.

ES Rentals

    iJobs Job Widget
    iJobs Gadgets & Tech

    Recruitment Genius: Office Manager - Part Time

    £16000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: This digital agency based in Ashford, Ke...

    Recruitment Genius: Technical Author / Multimedia Writer

    Negotiable: Recruitment Genius: This recognized leader in providing software s...

    Recruitment Genius: IT Sales Consultant

    £35000 - £40000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: This IT support company has a n...

    Recruitment Genius: Senior IT Project Manager

    £55000 - £70000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: This is a fantastic opportunity...

    Day In a Page

    Isis profits from destruction of antiquities by selling relics to dealers - and then blowing up the buildings they come from to conceal the evidence of looting

    How Isis profits from destruction of antiquities

    Robert Fisk on the terrorist group's manipulation of the market to increase the price of artefacts
    Labour leadership: Andy Burnham urges Jeremy Corbyn voters to think again in last-minute plea

    'If we lose touch we’ll end up with two decades of the Tories'

    In an exclusive interview, Andy Burnham urges Jeremy Corbyn voters to think again in last-minute plea
    Tunisia fears its Arab Spring could be reversed as the new regime becomes as intolerant of dissent as its predecessor

    The Arab Spring reversed

    Tunisian protesters fear that a new law will whitewash corrupt businessmen and officials, but they are finding that the new regime is becoming as intolerant of dissent as its predecessor
    King Arthur: Legendary figure was real and lived most of his life in Strathclyde, academic claims

    Academic claims King Arthur was real - and reveals where he lived

    Dr Andrew Breeze says the legendary figure did exist – but was a general, not a king
    Who is Oliver Bonas and how has he captured middle-class hearts?

    Who is Oliver Bonas?

    It's the first high-street store to pay its staff the living wage, and it saw out the recession in style
    Earth has 'lost more than half its trees' since humans first started cutting them down

    Axe-wielding Man fells half the world’s trees – leaving us just 422 each

    However, the number of trees may be eight times higher than previously thought
    60 years of Scalextric: Model cars are now stuffed with as much tech as real ones

    60 years of Scalextric

    Model cars are now stuffed with as much tech as real ones
    Theme parks continue to draw in thrill-seekers despite the risks - so why are we so addicted?

    Why are we addicted to theme parks?

    Now that Banksy has unveiled his own dystopian version, Christopher Beanland considers the ups and downs of our endless quest for amusement
    Tourism in Iran: The country will soon be opening up again after years of isolation

    Iran is opening up again to tourists

    After years of isolation, Iran is reopening its embassies abroad. Soon, there'll be the chance for the adventurous to holiday there
    10 best PS4 games

    10 best PS4 games

    Can’t wait for the new round of blockbusters due out this autumn? We played through last year’s offering
    Transfer window: Ten things we learnt

    Ten things we learnt from the transfer window

    Record-breaking spending shows FFP restraint no longer applies
    Migrant crisis: UN official Philippe Douste-Blazy reveals the harrowing sights he encountered among refugees arriving on Lampedusa

    ‘Can we really just turn away?’

    Dead bodies, men drowning, women miscarrying – a senior UN figure on the horrors he has witnessed among migrants arriving on Lampedusa, and urges politicians not to underestimate our caring nature
    Nine of Syria and Iraq's 10 world heritage sites are in danger as Isis ravages centuries of history

    Nine of Syria and Iraq's 10 world heritage sites are in danger...

    ... and not just because of Isis vandalism
    Girl on a Plane: An exclusive extract of the novelisation inspired by the 1970 Palestinian fighters hijack

    Girl on a Plane

    An exclusive extract of the novelisation inspired by the 1970 Palestinian fighters hijack
    Why Frederick Forsyth's spying days could spell disaster for today's journalists

    Why Frederick Forsyth's spying days could spell disaster for today's journalists

    The author of 'The Day of the Jackal' has revealed he spied for MI6 while a foreign correspondent