Cool uses for the Raspberry Pi

Hackers are buzzing with ideas from Pi-powered arcade machines and drones to the home automation and low-cost tablets. 10 coolest uses for the Raspberry Pi article tells that TechRepublic has delved into the Raspbery Pi’s developer forums, and here’s our round-up of the best ideas so far, ranging from the eminently achievable to the massively ambitious. You can use your Raspberry Pi for example as media streamer, arcade machine, tablet computer, robot controller and home automation controller. Rasberry Pi homepage offers also some more interesting projects like Retro games and a retro joystick.


  1. Tomi Engdahl says:

    Raspberry Pi prodigy can’t get funding for asthma-warning device because he’s 11

    When he was nine years old he invented AsthmaPi – a tool that detects asthma triggers, based on a platform using the Raspberry Pi – and now that he’s got a couple more years under his belt he’s invented a tool for dementia, and an education tool to teach children about food waste and sustainability.

    His work on AsthmaPi won him the BT Young Pioneer award at Tech4Good 2016, but things haven’t all been smooth sailing for the impressive youngster; he is apparently hitting a fairly significant hurdle in getting funding because of his age.

  2. Tomi Engdahl says:

    Block ads on your network with Raspberry Pi and pi-hole

    Hate seeing ads while browsing the web? Check out this tutorial on setting up pi-hole.

  3. Tomi Engdahl says:

    Raspberry Pi Soft Power Controller

    AVR-based power controller to power on and shut down a Raspberry Pi (properly)

  4. Tomi Engdahl says:

    Raspberry Pi Twitch-O-Matic

    Use a Raspberry Pi to stream almost any game to Twitch with the push of a button!

    I stumbled across this amazing HDMI to CSI-2 adapter by Auvidea. Since HD video requires too much bandwidth to transfer through the Raspberry PI’s USB 2.0 offerings, it uses the CSI-2 camera interface instead to capture any video from an HDMI source

    The Auvidea website offers several different HDMI to CSI-2 bridges, but there are only two that you’d be interested in if you’re wanting to do what this project does:

    B101 – Intended for Raspberry Pi 3 series – $86
    B102 – Intended for Raspberry Pi Zero series -$98
    And here’s a link to their technical reference manual. Are they expensive? yes. But HD streaming video capture cards are more expensive. All you have to do is connect it to the CSI-2 camera port on the Raspberry Pi.

    Both versions support HDMI audio, but the audio is split out to the GPIO pins.

    To connect the adapter, you basically just use it like you would a Raspberry Pi Camera board. The simplest way to test it out is by connecting an HDMI source and then using Raspivid to capture 10 seconds of video.

    The idea is to have a box with a button on top that when you press it, it immediately starts streaming to Twitch. I decided to go with a 16mm light up latching switch from Adafruit.

  5. Tomi Engdahl says:

    Adrianne Jeffries / Bloomberg:
    Inside the community behind Pi-hole, an open source software package designed to run on a Raspberry Pi for blocking ads and web trackers at the network level — For the advertising industry, ad blocking is an existential crisis. For the Pi-hole community, it’s a sport.

    Inside the Brotherhood of the Ad Blockers

    For the advertising industry, ad blocking is an existential crisis. For the Pi-hole community, it’s a sport.

  6. Tomi Engdahl says:

    Firewall your home network with a Raspberry Pi

    possibility of replacing a very old single-core 64-bit Intel rackmount server that I use for the primary firewall and router on the edge of my network

    I use CentOS on my other infrastructure servers, so I wanted to use it on the Pi too.

    Because this Pi is to be used as a firewall, I needed another network adapter. After taking eth0 down, I added an ASIX AX88178 USB Gigabit Ethernet dongle.

    I configured the on-board Ethernet with a static external address and connected it to my ISP’s router. Be sure to use the HWADDR= line in the interface configuration files to set the MAC address that the configuration file pertains to.

    This version of CentOS does not have any type of time synchronization installed by default, so I installed chrony and configured chrony.conf with my local NTP time server.

    The new firewalld is really overkill for my environment, so I installed iptables-services and iptables-utils.

  7. Tomi Engdahl says:

    PiGI – Raspberry Pi Geiger Counter

    PiGI is an open-source, plug & play mod for the RPi to transform it into a cheap and hackable IoT geiger counter.

  8. Tomi Engdahl says:

    Skip the Control Board and Run Your CNC Stepper Drivers Directly from a Raspberry Pi

    The drive systems of CNC machines, 3D printers, and other automated tools traditionally have at least four components in the chain. There is the computer which sends G-code commands, a controller board which interprets those commands and turns them into stepper signals, drivers that power the stepper motors, and the stepper motors themselves. Each of those parts costs money, so making any one of them unnecessary is a good thing — which is exactly what Raspigcd does.

  9. Tomi Engdahl says:

    Deploying a Turnkey Raspberry Pi System

    If you only do projects for yourself, you are spoiled. After all, you know your environment better than anyone. You know what power you’ll have, the temperature range, and how your network is configured. This last part is especially problematic if you are trying to deploy something that connects to a wireless LAN. How can you configure, say, a Raspberry Pi so that it can connect to an unknown user’s WiFi network? Fixing that problem is the goal of [schollz’s] Raspberry Pi Turnkey project.

    The idea is simple. A Raspberry Pi image boots up for the first time and offers a WiFi hotspot itself called ConnectToConnect. The WiFi password is also ConnectToConnect. Once connected, you get configuration options that allow you to tailor the system to your network. Sure, you could have people log in and reconfigure via a serial terminal, wired ethernet (which isn’t always set up right, either), or a USB keyboard But that’s not a great out-of-the-box experience for most customers.

    How to make a Raspberry Pi image that can be deployed anywhere and assigned to a WiFi network without SSH

  10. Tomi Engdahl says:

    Cat Compels Raspberry Pi Flight Tracker

    He used a Raspberry Pi and a software defined radio dongle to decode the ADS-B signals coming from nearby aircraft.

    Picking up the signals and capturing them is easy thanks to the wide availability of USB radios and a program called Dump1090. However, the data is somewhat jumbled and not in a cat-friendly format. [Simon] turned to Apache Kafka — a tool for building real-time data pipelines — to process the data.

    Using KSQL, Apache Kafka, a Raspberry Pi and a software defined radio to find the plane that wakes my cat
    Using open-source streaming solutions to map the correlation between aircraft traffic and cat behaviour

    Aircraft determine their position using GPS; and periodically transmit that position along with identity string, altitude, speed etc as ADS-B signals.

    Cats behave erratically, but generally display their displeasure by jumping on your face. The post describes how we can use open source streaming solutions (Apache Kafka), KSQL (streaming SQL engine) and a Raspberry Pi to process aircraft movements in real-time to determine which plane is upsetting my cat.

    To capture the aircraft transmissions I used a Raspberry Pi and a RTL2832U — a USB dongle originally sold to watch digital TV on a computer.

  11. Tomi Engdahl says:

    Pocket Projector Uses Raspberry Pi

    Who doesn’t want a pocket protector projector? Nothing will impress a date more than being able to whip out a PowerPoint presentation of your latest trip to the comic book convention. The key to [MickMake] build is the $100 DLP2000EVM evaluation module from Texas Instruments. This is an inexpensive light engine, and perfect for rolling your own projector. You can see the result in the video below.

    If you don’t need compactness, you could drive the module with any Rasberry Pi or even a regular computer. But to get that pocket form factor, a Pi Zero W fits the bill. A custom PCB from [MickMake] lets the board fit in with the DLP module in a very small form factor.

    Make Your Own Portable Pocket Sized Pi Zero-Powered Projector

  12. Tomi Engdahl says:

    Object Detection on Drone Imagery Using Raspberry Pi

    We collaborated with Nanonets for automation of remotely monitoring progress of a housing construction project in Africa.

  13. Tomi Engdahl says:

    Protect Your Credit Card By Building a Skimmer Detector with a Raspberry Pi

    Winegarner’s design is built on the earlier work of SparkFun Electronic’s Nathan Seidle, and both rely on identifying credit card skimmers by their Bluetooth names. Not all skimmers use Bluetooth, but it’s a popular choice

  14. Tomi Engdahl says:

    Raspberry Pi Smart Car

    Use a Raspberry Pi to make your “dumb” car smarter!

  15. Tomi Engdahl says:

    This Raspberry Pi-based instant camera turns photos into cartoons

    The device, which does not have an official name, takes regularly snapped pics that one may take with an instant camera and “transforms” them into crudely drawn cartoons thanks to neural network.

    Leveraging Google’s Quick Draw! dataset, Macnish’s creation is able to identify about picture passed in front of its lens and them reinterpret it into the cartoon version and print them via a thermal printer.

  16. Tomi Engdahl says:

    Pi0drone: A $200 Smart Drone with the Pi Zero

    Interested in drones? This hack teaches you how to build a $200 smart Linux drone with the Pi Zero and the PXFmini autopilot shield.

    This tutorial demonstrates how to build a Linux drone with the Raspberry Pi Zero using a BOM (Bill of Materials) of less than 200 US$. The drone uses a real-time capable Linux kernel, a Debian-based file system and Dronecode’s APM flight stack compiled for the PXFmini autopilot board. All these components have been put together by Erle Robotics in their OS image for the PXFmini.

  17. Tomi Engdahl says:

    The NODE Raspberry Pi Mini Server Is Perfect for the Decentralized Internet

    When you access a website, or Internet-based service, you’re relying on the technical fortitude and goodwill of just a handful of large companies.

    The decentralized Internet promises to fix that, and NODE’s Raspberry Pi Mini Server is perfect for that purpose.

    The Mini Server, at it’s core, is a case and components that can be used to optimize a Raspberry Pi for use as a server.

  18. Tomi Engdahl says:

    Raspberry Pi supercomputers: From DIY clusters to 750-board monsters

    The Pi clusters that push the $35 board to its limits.

  19. Tomi Engdahl says:

    Watney Is an Adorable Raspberry Pi Rover You Can 3D Print Yourself

    Most of the robots we come across fit into one of two categories: expensive, professionally-built robots, or homemade robots that look, well, homemade.

  20. Tomi Engdahl says:

    Raspberry Pi Smart Car

    Use a Raspberry Pi to make your “dumb” car smarter!

  21. Tomi Engdahl says:


    The idea is that the Arduino gathers a whole heap of voltage samples as fast as it can and stores it in memory. It then transfers that memory to the Raspberry Pi, again as fast as possible. The Pi plots the data and displays it, then the software allows measurements to be made on the samples.

  22. Tomi Engdahl says:

    Karaoke Machine Salvaged as Raspberry Pi Display

    On the software side, the device is using Resin and a Screenly OSE Docker image, an open source digital signage solution, to push videos and websites to it at will.

    Use Cases
    Open Source Edition
    Sign in
    Screenly Open Source Edition
    The leading open source digital signage software for the Raspberry Pi
    Screenly OSE, or Open Source Edition, is a free digital signage software backed by the community and maintained by Screenly, Inc.

  23. Tomi Engdahl says:

    Universal Arduino Wireless Shield
    Run a pair of wireless modules at the same time

    KITE Shield: Universal Arduino Wireless Shield, which is capable of not only supporting different module manufacturers but also different communication options while still maintaining a footprint the size of a standard Arduino.

    The secret sauce behind the KITE is its pair of dedicated slots that can accept most any communication module

    3.3V to 5V logic modules, no matter the slot and can handle I2C, UART, SPI with a pair of extra GPIO pins.

    The KITE Shield is currently compatible with the ESP8266 family, HC-05 Bluetooth module, RFM69 FSK/OOK RF module, LoRa SX127x lineup, and XBee modules with more on the way.

    the fact that the Shield is open-source is just icing on the cake.

  24. Tomi Engdahl says:

    Build the Night Vision Goggles You’ve Always Wanted for $100 with Raspberry Pi

    Luckily for the child in all of us, technology has come a long way since 1993, and you can now build a set of night vision goggles for less than $100 using a Raspberry Pi.

    Redditor Mtnbikerdunn came up with the idea in a dream — probably about Jurassic Park — and set out to make the goggles an affordable reality. He started with an inexpensive FPV headset that’s intended for flying a drone in first-person. The headset has a 5″ 720p LCD inside that accepts input via HDMI, so he was able to connect that directly to a Raspberry Pi Zero W. The environment is lit with infrared LEDs, and a infrared camera module passes a video feed to the Raspberry Pi and then out to the headset.

  25. Tomi Engdahl says:

    HALexa 9000

    The 9000 series is the most reliable computer ever made. No 9000 computer has ever made a mistake or distorted information.

    Putting Alexa on your Raspberry Pi is a complicated process. Luckily, the team at amazon has put together an incredibly detailed guide with step by step instructions to take you from start to finish.

    Replicating the voice of HAL is impossible in practice without a voice actor, so I opted for the next best thing. While Alexa will still have the same voice there are a few sound bites we can change.

    The final result is Alexa running on your Raspberry Pi with a few HAL effects for under $80.

  26. Tomi Engdahl says:

    PiPFS: Portable Pi Printer Console

    Connect to the Interplanetary File System and print documents on-the-go with this spaceworthy console!

    What is IPFS? It’s a blockchain-based alternative internet, which shares files peer-to-peer, similar to a mesh network. You can get files from other people nearby, even when the actual Internet is down!

    A peer-to-peer hypermedia protocol to make the web faster, safer, and more open.

  27. Tomi Engdahl says:

    Oil-Immersed Raspberry Pi Keeps Its Cool Under Heavy Loads

    [Lord_of_Bone] was curious to see if an oil-cooled Raspberry Pi is possible, and the short answer is: for the most part, yes.

    Oil-Cooled Raspberry Pi


Leave a Comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *