Google AI On Raspberry Pi: Now You Get Official TensorFlow Support

- Sep 05, 2018-

Besides putting a Raspberry Pi to work on a mini Mars rover, it's now going to be a lot easier to use Google's TensorFlow artificial-intelligence framework with the low-powered computer.

Developers with Raspberry Pi have already been able to use TensorFlow in a variety of ways to add deep-learning models so that cheap or expensive hardware can do things like image classification.

While TensorFlow can be used on Linux, Windows, Android, macOS, and iOS, it's hard to find cheaper hardware than the $35 Raspberry Pi.

But as noted by Pete Warden, a software engineer and lead of the TensorFlow mobile and embedded team, running TensorFlow on Raspberry Pi "has involved a lot of work".

However, the TensorFlow group's recent work with the Raspberry Pi Foundation should make it more straightforward for developers using the Python programming language to build AI applications on hardware integrated with a Raspberry Pi device.

"Thanks to a collaboration with the Raspberry Pi Foundation, we're now happy to say that the latest 1.9 release of TensorFlow can be installed from pre-built binaries using Python's pip package system," wrote Warden of TensorFlow release 1.9.

Lowering the bar for running TensorFlow on Raspberry Pi obviously is a win for Google's developers given the popularity of the developer board, which last year reached the 14 million units sold milestone. Raspberry Pi founder Even Upton is upbeat about its prospects for Pi users too.

Getting TensorFlow to run on Raspberry Pi "has involved a lot of work".

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