What’s about the size of a credit card, costs around $35, and can be put to use in almost limitless ways? The Raspberry Pi, a single-board computer that was originally developed for educational purposes but has quickly become an all-purpose computing solution for tech hobbyists all over the world.
But even if you don’t know a motherboard from a surfboard, you still might enjoy checking out these nine cool things you can do with a Raspberry Pi – this small gadget has captured a lot of imaginations in the short time it’s been around, so who knows? It might capture yours too.
One of the coolest things about the Raspberry Pi is its openness to various kinds of modification. And if you’re more of an aesthete than a technician, you can perform modifications like the one seen in the video above, which is purely a cosmetic one. Think of it as a 21st century trapper keeper which you can change to reflect your personality.
Thanks to software like OpenELEC, you can use your Raspberry Pi as a kind of home entertainment center, with all of your media needs under one umbrella. From movies to TV to radio to music to podcasts to whatever else you might want to watch or listen to at home, it can all be covered by your Raspberry Pi.
If you don’t have the money or inclination to reacquire classic video game consoles and the games themselves, you might want to consider using your Raspberry Pi as a retro gaming device, which will save you time and money. There are several programs and emulators out there for all kinds of classic video games, so selection will definitely not be an issue.
Of course, if you have a Raspberry Pi AND the money and inclination for classic video games, you might want to put ease and convenience aside and go all out by turning your Raspberry Pi INTO an arcade cabinet. It’s the rare do-it-yourself project that you can in good conscience reward yourself with video games afterward.
That’s right, with a little bit (OK, a lot) of know-how, you can use the Raspberry Pi to power a robot with all kinds of cool features. In addition to looking and sounding like R2-D2, the one above is equipped with facial recognition, motion sensors, voice control, and more – and robots have been known to get a lot more advanced than that.
Got a lot of empty beer cans lying around? You could recycle them by turning them into a keyboard like the one in the above video. It might not be the most efficient use of space in the world, but you have to admit it’s a pretty impressive use of empty beer cans.
Here’s a pretty cool use for the Raspberry Pi for all the amateur meteorologists out there. You can hook it up to all kinds of weather-sensing equipment and before you know it you’re like a one-man Doppler radar. No picnic would ever really be safe without one.
Since it’s only a small computer board, it makes sense that there would be a massive influx of accessories for the Raspberry Pi out there on the market. For pretty much any function you could want or need, there’s a gizmo out there that makes it happen. This means WiFi, battery power, and much more.
Making a security camera powered by your Raspberry Pi may not seem like much fun, but imagine how much fun it would become if you actually caught somebody stealing your stuff! That kind of fun is what we refer to as “priceless.” And as you can see in the above video, it’s not too difficult to make a motion-sensing camera with a Raspberry Pi, and sooner or later you’ll be in the crime fighting business.