Has there ever been a more versatile little computer than the Raspberry Pi? Indeed, the single-board device’s size is inversely proportional to its massive market impact, extending well beyond its initial target user base of schools and developing countries.
Just take a look at the below five home-ready projects that you can undertake with your own Raspberry Pi, to get a sense of the tiny computer’s astounding variety of potential applications.
1. Retro Games Console
[pullquote]There are a lot of ways to turn the Raspberry Pi into a gaming machine, so it’s a tall order to select just one for an article like this.[/pullquote] We, therefore, thought we’d take a look around one of our favorite online stores for all things Raspberry Pi, The Pi Hut, where we found a pretty promising Retro Gaming Bundle for the Raspberry Pi 3.
Consisting of not only the Raspberry Pi 3 itself but also the likes of a black Raspberry Pi 3 case, a 16GB Class 10 MicroSD and two ‘SNES’-style USB gamepads, this bundle might just offer everything you need to make that dream of creating the ultimate throwback console possible.
2. Home Surveillance System
One of the great things about the Raspberry Pi is its knack for making surprisingly incredible projects possible for a fraction of the price that you might have expected, as demonstrated by – among others – Instructables user Scavix.
The software developer has shown how the Pi can be put to use as an affordable HD surveillance camera, with the ability to detect motion and broadcast a live stream. Each one can be built at a cost of just $120, so you may just be tempted to set up several of them in various areas of your home.
3. Fuss-Free Smartphone
In an age in which even the smartest of smartphones are also becoming highly affordable, you might wonder what the point could possibly be of turning your Raspberry Pi Zero into one.
Well, you might want to ask that question to the creators of the ZeroPhone, who may well answer that this tiny open-source mobile phone is easy to assemble and repair, free from privacy-imperilling apps and astoundingly cheap – its parts will only set you back about $50.
You’ll find the full instructions for assembling the ZeroPhone on the Hackday website.
4. Portable eBook Library
Of course, if there are ebooks or PDFs that you would like your friends to see, there are easy ways to share them, such as a public Dropbox folder. However, there’s just no cooler solution to this quandary than creating your own mobile digital library with a Raspberry Pi.
You can find a complete guide to creating one on the Adafruit website.
5. WiFi Drawing Robot
Yes, you read that right the first time. This drawing robot kit is just the thing for getting your kids into technology, not least because it’s hardly an intimidating or difficult thing to assemble. You won’t even need any tools of your own, so you and your children can start appreciating its features straight away.
It’s called Microbot, and it helps to teach your children the basics of programming by enabling them to use simple drag-and-drop tools to control it. There are some fantastic apps that will enable you to control the Microbot in various ways, and it won’t even set you back that much. It is another great Raspberry Pi accessory that is available from The Pi Hut.
With new iterations of the Raspberry Pi continuing to emerge and fresh projects being devised to match, it’s reasonable to predict that this fabulous small computer will continue to enthral kids and adult programmers and makers alike for many more years to come – both within and beyond the home.
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