Raspberry Pis Found in Abandoned Spin Scooters in Seattle

It’s not uncommon to find scooter rental services is many major cities across the world. But when things don’t work out and the businesses close shop, they usually take spare stock with them. However, when Spin backed out of Seattle, many residents discovered unused scooters scattered throughout the city. Upon closer inspection of these abandoned devices, or should we say dissection, it was uncovered that they each have a Raspberry Pi 4B inside.

This discovery was recently shared to social media where Pi enthusiasts are simultaneously befuddled and ready to book their tickets to Seattle. Legally speaking, if the scooters are abandoned then snagging one for the Pi inside is fair game but it’s currently not clear if Spin has plans to recover their remaining assets.

The Seattle government has an official blog available to the public where we were able to confirm that Spin was originally welcomed to the city back in 2021 as a fourth scooter rental option. However, the company did not renew its license for the most recent cycle as they gear up to shift focus to other markets. Because of this, you can find a few remaining Spin scooters around the city.

As of writing, it’s not clear what the Raspberry Pi 4 Bs were actually used for inside the scooter. At first glance, it seems like an overpowered option for something like an electric scooter but without exact confirmation of its purpose, we can only speculate. No doubt it requires much more power than something smaller like a Raspberry Pi Zero.

In the meantime, residents have taken to finding these scooters and exploring their insides for the hardware left behind. We can see the Pi 4 is attached to a HAT and has something resembling a NoIR connected to the camera module port. Again, the exact purpose of each component and how it was implemented is unclear.

If you want to get a closer look at the insides of one of these Spin scooters, check out some of the pictures shared to social media. We’re not suggesting anyone fly out to Seattle any time soon just to harvest Pis as they’re much more affordable now that the supply has replenished. That said, it’s still fascinating to find something like a Pi 4 out in the wild and in an abandoned state.