A UNIVERSITY student has become a viral sensation after his videos offering tutorials on robotics gained a cult online following.
Matt Timmons-Brown has more than six million views on his homemade computer coding videos using a beginner’s programming system.
Dubbed “The Raspberry Pi guy” after the tiny computers he uses during the videos, Matt has won thousands of fans with his innovative projects – including building an electric-powered skateboard controlled by a Nintendo Wii remote.
The simplistic single-board computers were first released in 2012 with the intention of promoting the teaching of basic computer science in schools in developing countries. The miniature computers range in price from around £4 to £25 and provide students and young people with an introduction to computing technology.
And Matt has now penned his first book on the technology after his YouTube channel attracted more than 66,000 subscribers.
His amazing ideas even led to him being invited to the Raspberry Pi headquarters in Cambridge to meet and interview CEO Eben Upton for the channel.
Matt revealed the inspiration to write his first book came from his own experiences after first becoming interested in programming and robotics.
He said no guide was available to him at the time and he wanted to create something that would allow other young people to pursue a career in the field.
Matt said: “I wanted to create the ultimate beginner’s guide to this exciting field, the kind that I would have liked to have read when I was just starting out.”
Among his most popular videos, Matt’s guide on how to set up the official Raspberry Pi camera module attracted more than 587,000 unique views, while another, on using the device to control a motor, was seen by more than 520,000 people.
Previous projects included programming a version of the computer with a mini OLED display to play a game of Tetris and how to install the popular videogame Minecraft on the system.
Matt is currently in the second semester of his first year at the University of Edinburgh School of Engineering and Informatics.
He said it did not take long for him to appreciate both what his opportunity to study and the city as a whole had to offer.
“I’m in my second semester at Edinburgh and enjoying every moment. I quickly realised that it was the place for me.”
Matt continued: “Not only is the university fantastic, the city itself is the perfect balance of history, culture and entertainment.”