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UC Davis Center for Integrated Computing and STEM Education (C-STEM) --- Research and Outreach
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C-STEMbian is a free open source Linux operating system based on Raspbian for absolute beginners to use Raspberry Pi effectively. It extends Raspbian with easy installation of many additional components, including C-STEM Studio and user-friendly C/C++ interpreter Ch,  to help absolute beginners learn coding, making, robotics, and STEM.

C-STEMbian is an ideal solution for coding,  do it yourself  (DIY) and making,  Internet of Things (IoT) applications,  and Cyber-Physical Systems (CPS)  using Raspberry Pi and Arduino boards.

C-STEM Studio can be used to control  Barobo Linkbots and Lego Mindstorms NXT/EV3.

GPIOviewer in C-STEM Studio allows students easily get started tinkering with electronics and testing circuitry using  general purpose input/output (GPIO) pins on Raspberry Pi.

C/C++ is the programming language of choice for interfacing hardware and electronics. The scripting and plotting capabilities in C/C++ interpreter Ch allow for rapid software development using Ch WiringPi Package with visualization. The step-by-step debugging feature in the user friendly ChIDE helps students learn problem solving with critical thinking and reasoning.

Web-based computing in Raspberry Pi can be used for web-based data acquisition and visualization.

C-STEMbian runs in Raspberry Pi  and Pi compatible computers, including Pi 1, 2, 3, Pi Zero,  and Pi Zero W. Raspberry Pi computers are ultra-low-cost, fully functional tiny computers that sell for as little as $5 dollars. They are developed by the UK-based Raspberry Pi Foundation, with the goal of putting “digital making into the hands of people all over the world.” C-STEM Studio for Raspberry Pi makes building  your own digital and hardware systems easy and fun.

A Raspberry Pi computer can run stand alone, connected with a monitor, keyboard, and mouse. However, C-STEM Studio on Raspberry Pi can also be  accessed through Windows, Mac, or Chromebook computers  using existing peripheral devices  through Virtual Network Computing.

C-STEMbian is a superset of the latest Raspbian. C-STEMbian contains the following major components for  education, research, and applications in  STEM fields, IoT, and CPS.

  • Raspbian, the Raspberry Pi Foundation’s official supported operating system.
  • Ch, a C/C++ interpreter for script computing in C/C++ with high-level extensions, including ChIDE,  simple numerical computing,  plotting,  QuickAnimation, etc.
  • ChIDE in Ch can be used to edit, debug, and run C/C++ program with syntax highlighting, and can readily compile and link C/C++ programs using gcc for C and g++ for C++ compilers (in ChIDE->Tools->Compile/Link/Build/Go). It is a better alternative than Geany Text Editor in Raspberry Pi.
  • C-STEM Studio, a platform for hands-on integrated learning of computing, science, technology, engineering, and mathematics (C-STEM) using Linkbot, Lego Mindstorms NXT and EV3, Arduino boards, and Raspberry Pi, Pi Zero, Pi Zero W. C-STEM Studio can be used to teach C-STEM Math-ICT Curriculum which provides K-13 students with  up to 12 years of hands-on integrated math  and computer science education with coding in Blockly and Ch/C/C++.
  • Ch Mindstorms Controller in C-STEMStudio is the only platform in Raspberry Pi that allows you to control Lego Mindstorms NXT/EV3 from Pi directly. A single program can also control multiple NXT/EV3 at the same time.
  • GPIOviewer, a simple GUI to interact with general purpose input/output (GPIO) pins on Rasperry Pi
  • Ch WiringPi Package, a Ch binding to WiringPi  to use WiringPi C functions for interfacing  GPIO and other devices.
  • Ch Arduino package in C-STEM Studio allows the same C/C++ code to run in both ChIDE and Arduino IDE without any modification.
  • Ch Common Gateway Interface (CGI) Toolkit for processing fill-out forms in Web development and Web-based computing.
  • Linkbot Labs for control Barobo Linkbots.
  • Using Ch Mechanism Toolkit for  Web-Based Mechanism Design and Analysis for design and analysis of many different mechanisms such as fourbar linkage, crank-slider mechanism, sixbar linkages, cam-follower system, etc.
  • Ch Control System Toolkit  and Web-Based Control System Design and Analysis for modeling, design, and analysis of continuous-time or discrete-time linear time invariant (LTI) control systems.
  • Apache Web Server for web development and Web-based computing  (The user needs to start the server)
  • Embedded Ch for embedded scripting and IoT by embedding Ch engine into a binary C/C++ application program so that the program behavior can be changed by C/C++ scripts later without recompilation.
  • Mobile-C, an IEEE FIPA compliant mobile agent platform  for mobile agent-based computing and applications for IoT and Cyber-Physical Systems.
  • (More packages will be added. Practically all C libraries can be ported to work in Ch using Ch SDK. We can help you port your favorite C libraries to run in C-STEMbian)
  • (Ch OpenCV for machine vision will be ported to run in C-STEMbian soon. If you are interested in beta testing, please contact us.)

C-STEMbian  and C-STEM Studio can be downloaded from our Downloads page.


Free Training with Free Raspberry Pi and Arduino Kit

You can visit our Professional Development page to register for Free 1-Day Workshop on Raspberry Pi and Arduino for Physical Computing and  a free C-STEM Starter Kit for Raspberry Pi and Arduino with C-STEMbian pre-installed.


(Video: Introducing C-STEM Studio for Raspberry Pi.)