We have long been keeping our eyes and ears open to news on the progress on the Raspberry Pi. We first featured it in our Comms blog in 2013 with our blog post ‘Raspberry Pi Small But Powerful.’

So we are absolutely delighted at the progress that this stunning and affordable innovation has made. Remarkably, the Raspberry Pi has become the most popular British computer ever made, with more than 10 million now sold. Astonishing figures!

The Pi, which was originally manufactured in Wales, has been adopted by school children, programmers and inventors around the world. It is also increasingly being used by the business community.

As you may know, this incredible low-cost credit-card sized computer is widely used by schools and the maker community for programming devices. Now news reaches us that Google touched base with a host of makers and asked them which smart tools should be aligned with Raspberry Pi.

Well, great news! Google is intending to expand the tools currently available to makers. Ideas such as tools to aid face and emotion recognition, speech-to-text translation, natural language processing and sentiment analysis were mooted to go alongside previously developed tools such as internet of things devices, wearables, robotics and home automation.

The Raspberry Pi Foundation said the new tools could enable makers “to build even more powerful projects”.

“Google is going to arrive in style in 2017. The tech titan has exciting plans for the maker community,” said the foundation in its blog.

A Google spokeswoman told the BBC: “We don’t have any specifics to announce right now, but we’re excited to keep sharing more open source machine learning tools with the community – stay tuned for more this year.”

Eben Upton, founder of the Raspberry Pi Foundation, told the BBC: “It’s fantastic to see Google getting closer to the maker community.

“I’m particularly excited about the prospect of connecting Raspberry Pi to some of the machine learning work coming out of Google DeepMind in London, allowing us to build smart devices that interact in the real world.”

Upton also spoke to the good folk at TechCrunch “For me, the big opportunities are around deep learning and AI. Google are very strong in this area, particularly after the DeepMind acquisition, and there are obvious benefits to being able to connect their services to the real world using Raspberry Pi. It will be interesting to see the outcome of the survey, and what they choose to develop in response.”

With Google firmly behind it by bringing their AI tools to the platform, there are exciting times ahead for Raspberry Pi and makers alike. We shall keep a keen eye on developments.

Until next time…