I love talking to people about Raspberry Pi, but quite often I hear people say, “I just bought a Raspberry Pi and I don’t know what to do with it!” I understand this dilemma. When I’m playing with a cool new technology that has so many possible uses, it can sometimes feel a bit paralyzing when the time comes to decide what to do with it. This is especially true when each project requires an investment of considerable time and resources. Like the paradox of Buridan’s ass, this means that many Raspberry Pis are left to gather dust on shelves and in drawers. We want to do our part to fix that.
If you have a Raspberry Pi that’s collecting dust, this post is for you. We’ve gathered a few of our favorite project ideas and applications that might inspire your next project on the Pi.
Eager to try Google Glass? With Raspberry Pi, you can create a custom heads up display for augmenting your own reality. Instructables user meztek walks you through how he made his own wearable computer.
With Raspberry Pi, you can give every-day objects their own API to help you build your own internet of things. Above, Mark Moran used the Pi to web-enable his previously-unconnected espresso machine.
The Raspberry Pi might be underpowered compared to today’s computers, but it’s perfectly suited to emulate the arcade machines and consoles of the past. Best of all, you can package up your own emulator into a small enclosure for gaming on the go.
Since the Raspberry Pi has a built-in audio output, it can be used to make synths, samplers, and other musical instruments. Pictured here, The Beet Box, which brings vegetable-based instruments to a whole new level.
Raspberry Pi makes a great companion for DIY camera projects. Above, David Hunt used the Raspberry Pi to make a custom battery grip for his DSLR.
As such a small, light, yet capable computer, it seems natural to pair Raspberry Pi and quadcopters. Matthew Watson uses the Raspberry Pi to control his copter, even though it isn’t capable of very precise, real-time control that you’d get with other microcontrollers.
In this tutorial from the University of Cambridge, you’ll learn how to use assembly to write code for the ARM chip, a fantastic way to learn how the hardware works.
Since the Raspberry Pi is so cheap and reloading a fresh copy of the operating system is relatively easy to do, you can throw caution to the wind and experiment with all those “what-ifs” you’ve wondered about. Push its processor to the limit, muck around in /dev, or make a creative fork bomb. You can always go back to square one. And if you’ve fried the Pi, well, it was only $35.
I’ve learned first-hand that Raspberry Pi goes great with portable projection projects. Attach a Pi and a pico projector to your bike, a quadrotor, your dog, or yourself for dynamic projections almost anywhere.
Can’t decide between Apple TV or Roku for streaming internet content to your TV? With Raspbmc, you can get a cheaper, more customizable experience. Our own Michael Castor walks you though it in last week’s Monday Jolt.