The PiPiano is a new add-on board for the Raspberry Pi which plugs into the GPIO header and gives you access to 13 buttons, 3 LEDs and a buzzer. It’s been designed to be used as a piano input device for the Pi. It does this via a port expander chip which uses the I2C protocol and leaves most of the rest of the GPIO pins available.
The PiPiano is the brainchild of 14-year old Zach Igielman who has designed not only the hardware but the software as well. I know Zach well from the Cambridge Raspberry Jams where he has helped to run workshops and has co-presented a talk on PID controllers for robotics. He’s a really trustworthy guy with bags of enthusiasm for this project. I volunteered to help him by documenting the assembly of the board and commenting the code modules and it’s been a great experience. He’s very dedicated and focused on making the project a success.
So, where can you get a PiPiano? Simple, by backing it on IndieGoGo. The boards start from £16 for an unsoldered kit with a standard header. It’s excellent value for all the components you get and soldering it all together is great fun. You can, of course, get the soldered version, which starts at £22.
I’m proud to say that even though I’ve already got a PiPiano board that Zach sent to me for doing the assembly guide, I’m still backing the project to get another one!
If you need further convincing, please read the IndieGoGo page or view the video below and watch Phil Howard (@Gadgetoid) and Zach introduce the board.