The Raspberry Pi sense hat was released back in 2015 and is an incredibly cool device that allows you to add a bunch of sensors easily to the Pi. It also adds an 8×8 LED matrix display and a joystick that you’re able to use in your programs.
In this guide, I go through the basics of what the sense hat is and anything else you should be aware of. If you rather implement these sensors separately than be sure to check out the sensor guides page.
What is the Raspberry Pi Sense Hat?
The Raspberry Pi sense hat is an add-on board that makes use of all the GPIO pins on your Pi. By sacrificing these pins, you gain access to a range sensors that will allow you to read the temperature, pressure, humidity, and orientation of the Pi (using the accelerometer, 3D gyroscope and magnetometer).
As I also mentioned earlier you get access to an 8×8 LED matrix that you’re able to display messages or even make use for simple games such as Tetris.
For anyone who just wants a good list of all the parts that are included on the device then you can find everything below.
- Gyroscope: Angular rate sensor (dps): ~245/500/2000
- Magnetometer: Magnetic sensor (gauss): ~4/8/12/16
- Accelerometer: Linear acceleration sensor (g): ~2/4/8/16
- Temperature sensor: Accurate to ~2°C in the 0-65°C range
- Relative humidity sensor: Accurate to ~4.5% in the 20-80%rH range, accurate to ~0.5°C in 15-40°C range
- Barometer: 260 – 1260 hPa absolute range (Accuracy varies depending on the temperature and pressure, it is usually ~0.1 hPa)
- 8×8 LED matrix display
- Standoffs, can be plastic or metal.
- Onboard 5 button Joystick
Programming for the board is incredibly handy as there is a Python Library readily available to use. You will need to learn Python but once you get the hang of it you will be surprised how easy it is to learn. You can find all the documentation you need at the dedicated sense hat python library website.
For more detail: Raspberry Pi Sense HAT: Supercharge your Pi