I have lost count of the number of different embedded computing boards I have used over the years, and “yes” the Raspberry Pi is one of them. The Pi has sparked a bit of a revolution – equipping young (and older) engineers with a remarkable toolkit for hacking together solutions to all sorts of problems.
In the past, I have nto used Rasberry Pi as they can an overkill for a very simple tasks. Arduino boards are in my mind simpler to program, and we used one to simulate signals for the test of a tool. That being said this is more the exception than the rule. In the smartphone world, everyting goes very fast so you need some very specialised tools that do not need much configuration.
That being said, the Raspberry Pi is definitively a great choice for home projects and creations. And the skills learned while using it can be transposed to many other systems.
Yes, I’m a university lecturer and I write new experiments to use in our teaching labs. I have a particular interest in spectroscopy (how light and matter interact) and am currently writing an experiment where the students will build their own spectrometer, I’m planning on using raspberry pis to get the information from the instrument into a form they can use.
The fact that the Raspberry Pis are cheap, and easily modified means we can change the experiment to something else, or let the undergrads develop their instruments further.