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PICYCLE

Why picycle?

Do you have an unused Raspberry Pi board locked away in a cupboard? Please donate it for scientific research.

We are investigating networked single-board computers (like Rasberry Pi devices) for micro-datacenters and federated micro-clusters. Currently, we have around 1000 Raspberry Pis at various UK university sites (Cambridge, Glasgow, Loughborough and Southampton). We want to scale up this number, to build a distributed UK-wide testbed for system experiments. This research project is supported with funding from EPSRC.

How to picycle

If you are in the UK (otherwise see FAQ for international posting):

(1) Put your Raspberry Pi back into its original box. If you do not have a box, wrap it in an antistatic bag or a sheet of paper.

(2) Put your packaged Pi into a Jiffy bag or similar padded envelope.

(3) Address the parcel FREEPOST PICYCLE. No stamp needed!

(PI) Optionally, include a note with:

  • your email address, if you want acknowledgement when we receive your donation.
  • your full name, if you want to be listed on our Wall of Fame.

(4) Drop your parcel in a Royal Mail post box in the UK.

Objectives

We aim to set the Guinness World Record for the Largest Raspberry Pi Cluster. We believe this record is currently held by the Seemore 256-node cluster.

We also want to break into one of the energy-efficient supercomputing league tables, perhaps Green500 or GreenGraph500.

Finally, we see Raspberry Pi based federated clusters as a means of tackling computational inequality across the world. We support social enterprises with Networks4Learning and Madanyu, deploying Raspberry Pi solutions in Africa. We are using Raspberry Pi to support social networking in rural Amazon communities. Further, we want to use our cluster devices to support #dataforgood initiatives, providing light-weight, low-power compute devices for big data processing in life-saving scenarios.

FAQ

Shall I send you my SD card as well?

Thanks. We happily accept Raspberry Pi boards with working SD/microSD cards still inserted. Note that we will blank the SD card and write our own image to it.

My Pi is broken. Do you still want it?

Sorry. If you have fried your Pi then it is no use to us. We recommend you dispose of it responsibly.

How do I donate several Raspberry Pi devices at once?

Brilliant! Thanks for your generosity. If the devices will fit into a single parcel weighing less than 1kg then please post the parcel to FREEPOST PICYCLE. For larger consignments, please contact us directly to arrange pickup.

I live outside the UK. Can I send you my Raspberry Pi?

We welcome international donors. However you will have to pay international postage rates, which could be expensive. Please address your parcel to:

PICYCLE
University of Glasgow
G12 8QQ
UK

and post via your local mail service.

Do you want power adapters for the Raspberry Pi, or other cables?

We are building custom racks for our Raspberry Pi clusters, so we do not require mains power adapters. Save these power adapters for your other devices at home. USB A-Male to Micro B cables would be welcome however.

Which models of Raspberry Pi can I donate?

We accept all models of Raspberry Pi. Our current collection is highly heterogeneous.

Do you accept other Single-Board Computers apart from Raspberry Pi?

Yes please. We welcome donations of clones like Banana Pi, also BeagleBone boards. If you have anything particularly exotic, please contact us to check whether it is a suitable donation.

Since the Picycle project has funding from EPSRC, why don't you buy lots of Raspberry Pi devices yourselves?

As part of the interconnected testbeds initiative, we have received generous funding from EPSRC. However this funding is explicitly targeted towards researchers and software development, not purchasing hardware. We are relying on your kind donations to grow our testbed. Thank you!