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:

    Web Accessible Security Camera using Raspberry Pi

    Monitor your home or any other asset remotely using only the Pi 3 and camera (supports motion detection).

    With the Raspberry Pi 3 B and the official Raspberry Pi camera, setting up a security system is surprisingly easy. A useful utility enables one to immediately get a web enabled system up and running. The project can be found at

  2. Tomi Engdahl says:

    Object Following Control of a Robotic Camera Arm
    Virtual Reality, Kalman Filter, and Inverse Dynamics Control

    This is a 5 DOF robotic camera arm that is capable of tracking an object while following a given trajectory. A virtual reality software package is used to generate the trajectory. The system currently exploits “record and play” operation principle. A motion control algorithm is developed and simulated in the MapleSim environment. An improved version is engineered which slides on a rail system while tracking the object. The simulation results are provided in the project logs. Fusion of the different sources of sensor data (gyroscope and accelerometer) is done by a Kalman Filter.

  3. Tomi Engdahl says:

    Btrfs for the Pi

    File systems are one of those things that typical end users don’t think much about. Apparently, [seaQueue] isn’t a typical end user. He’s posted some instructions on how to run an alternate file system–btrfs–on the Raspberry Pi.

    The right file system can make a big difference when it comes to performance and maintainability of any system that deals with storage. Linux, including most OSs for the Raspberry Pi, uses one of the EXT file systems. These are battle-hardened and well understood. However, there are other file systems, many of which have advanced features superior to the default file system for some applications.

  4. Tomi Engdahl says:


    An open source robot to inspect under vehicles, crawl spaces and any other dark dirty space you need to take a look at.

  5. Tomi Engdahl says:


    Be able to make & upload MagSpoof with variable tracks, to use it without Arduino dependencies, and implement it on the same Raspberry GPIO.

    Be able to build and upload the MagSpoof’s code to the Attiny85 on the Raspberry Pi’s GPIO. With the functionality of enabling or disabling the MagSpoof implementing a pin from same Raspberry Pi. Making a new software and hardware integration using as base the original Samy Kamkar code but with avr-gcc compiler; As result, we will be able to generate a new versatile tool to test new technologies like tokenization processes where we will be able to update tracks in real time.

    New Version:

  6. Tomi Engdahl says:

    Best Product Entry: A HSDK for Ultrasound Imaging

    As an entry into this year’s Best Product portion of the Hackaday Prize, [kelu124] is developing a hardware and software development kit for ultrasound imaging.

    Ultrasound is one of the primary tools used in modern diagnostic medicine. Head to the doctor with abdominal pain, and you can bet you’ll be seeing the business end of an ultrasound system. While Ultrasound systems have gotten cheaper, they aren’t something everyone has in the home yet. [kelu124] is working to change that by building a hardware and software development kit which can be used to explore ultrasound systems.

    A HSDK for ultrasound imaging

    Using a Raspberry-based hardware and software development kit to understand ultrasound imaging

  7. Tomi Engdahl says:

    Australian Raspberry Pi Tutorials

    There’s a new and very detailed video tutorial about the Raspberry Pi available from the Australian firm Core Electronics. There are 30 videos and 5 chapters in total. A few of the introduction videos are short, but the detail videos range from 3 to 16 minutes.

    Raspberry Pi Workshop for Beginners
    By Michael on 05 May 2017, 74129 views

  8. Tomi Engdahl says:

    eCosCentric Limited’s eCosPro

    In contrast to general-purpose operating systems for the Raspberry Pi, the new eCosPro from eCosCentric Limited is a lightweight, multithreaded, industrial-strength RTOS delivering reduced latency with bounded response times. eCosPro’s resource requirements are a fraction of those demanded by a general-purpose OS and maximize the RAM resources available to applications. The RTOS environment is ideal for time-critical control systems, and by leveraging the ultra-low-cost Raspberry Pi range of single-board computers, eCosPro provides cost-effective, full-featured performance ideal for IoT and M2M applications.

    Direct boot from an SD card provides an “instant-on” capability, enabling embedded applications to be responsive within milliseconds. eCos is portable across a wide range of embedded architectures and microcontrollers, such that applications prototyped using eCosPro on Raspberry Pi can be readily ported to other targets. eCosPro delivers deterministic, real-time performance on the Raspberry Pi 3, Pi 2, Pi 1, Pi Zero and Pi Zero Wireless boards, as well as the Pi Compute Modules 1 and 3.

  9. Tomi Engdahl says:

    We Dig This LEGO Excavator Conversion

    [Frank] was lucky enough to score a bucket wheel excavator LEGO set as a birthday present, and we won’t lie – we’re jealous. However, out of the box, the kit is somewhat limited; there is only one motor to animate the entire machine and it can’t be fully remote controlled. But don’t worry

    The first part of the build was to add motors to control the different functions of the excavator. One motor was added for each of the two tracks to allow the machine to drive forwards, backwards, and turn. Two more motors were added to raise and lower the digging buckets, and spin the tower. Finally, the original motor was left in place to turn the conveyor.

    With that done, [Frank] then used a Raspberry Pi 3 to control all the hardware, being sure to house the new electronics in LEGO for an original look. The Raspberry Pi might be a lot of muscle to simply control a few motors, but it made it quick and easy for [Frank] to implement a Wiimote as a controller over Bluetooth.

    From the original to the modified version

  10. Tomi Engdahl says:

    Softly To Sleep, My Raspberry Pi

    For all their capacity, shutting down a Raspberry Pi can be a bothersome routine depending on how you have it set up — historically and abrupt cut to the power risks corrupting the SD card. [madlab5] had to make a few changes to a Pi running in headless mode, requiring them to access it externally to shut it down to prevent any damage from pulling the plug. So, why not take the opportunity to whip up a soft shut-down switch?

    Adding a Soft Shutdown Switch to Headless Raspberry Pi

    The Easy Way

    All we really need to make this work is a momentary-on push button switch wired to a GPIO pin and a short Python script. I used a typical pull-up resistor configuration for the button.

    The Python script will use the RPi.GPIO module to set edge detection on the GPIO pin, and then use a threaded callback function to initiate shutdown. To do the actual shutdown I will use the Python module os to interact directly with the operating system.

    So now, when the button is pushed, the Raspberry Pi will execute a soft shutdown, just as I set out to accomplish. But what happens if the button is accidentally pushed, perhaps I should add in a short delay before shutting down with a way to abort the procedure. But this machine is headless, so I would need to devise a way to alert someone that the button was pushed, probably using light or sound. And I don’t want to waste any more GPIO pins than would be absolutely necessary.

    The Fun Way

    In the end I decided to use a button with a built in LED that would stay on when the Pi was up and running. I used a second GPIO pin wired to an NPN-transistor to control the LED in the button (once again a very standard way to control an LED, but the diagram is to the right if you need it). When the button is pushed the LED will flash for 30 seconds to show that the shutdown procedure has begun, and it will go off when the Pi has shutdown. To abort the shutdown procedure I will use the same shutdown-button so I don’t waste a third GPIO pin. When pressed the second time, shutdown is canceled and the LED goes back to always-on.

  11. Tomi Engdahl says:

    Pixel Player
    A beautifully framed retro style pixel display with a web based music player

    The Pixel Player is a beatuifully framed retro style pixel display with a web based music player. Simply connect to a local WiFi connection and control the Pixel Player with a USB remote or from any device with a web browser (laptops, smart phones, tablets and more!). Search for music from the internet from different sources (currently only YouTube) and watch the video in a pixel art style or switch to many different visualization options. Create playlists from songs all accross the internet!

    The Pixel Player is really just a full desktop computer powered by a Raspberry Pi 3. Behind the scenes, the Pixel Player opens a browser tab and automates streaming music from different websites. This opens up a very vast library of music from all accross the internet. Also, when the Pixel Player connects to a WiFi network it starts up a small web server which allows other devices, connected to the same WiFi network, to access it’s play controls and music search as a simple website.

  12. Tomi Engdahl says:

    Automating Plant Care

    [Daniyal]’s goal is to build an automated garden that allows him to grow plants in any environment he chooses. He’s got a good start with this rig, which is controlled by a Pi Zero connected via serial to an Arduino Mega clone, which in turn controls a bank of relays and sensors.

    Monitoring the environment is a temperature and humidity sensor as well as a series of six soil moisture sensor spikes. The relays control the water pump(s?) and lights, allowing [Daniyal] to maintain specific conditions depending on what he’s growing.

    Built this computer controlled tank that allows me to grow

  13. Tomi Engdahl says:

    Hey Mycroft, Where Is the International Space Station?

    Mycroftt Skill ISS Location – tested with Picroft 0.8
    This repository contains all the files needed to implement this SKill on Myrcoft

  14. Tomi Engdahl says:

    Monitoring an Aquatic Ecosystem Using Raspberry Pi

    Use sensors from Atlas Scientific to measure the water quality of a sealed aquarium.

    I will use sensors from Atlas Scientific to measure the water quality of a sealed aquarium. The aquarium will consist of a nominally balanced ecosystem – shrimp, snails, plants, and other organic matter. The aquarium will be sealed to prevent exchange of air or other mass with the outside environment. With that constraint, the ecosystem can be monitored to see what effects the animals and plants have on the water. Changes in water quality may occur before changes in the rest of the ecosystem.

  15. Tomi Engdahl says:

    Sneak Thieves Beware: A Pi Watcheth

    Ever have that strange feeling that somebody is breaking into your workshop? Well, user [Kenny] has whipped up a tutorial on how to scratch that itch by turning a spare Raspberry Pi you may have kicking around into a security camera system that notifies you at a moment’s notice.

    The system works like this: a Raspberry Pi 3 and connected camera module remain vigilant, constantly scanning for motion and recording video. If motion is detected, it immediately snaps and sends a picture to the user’s mobile via PushBullet, then begins recording video. If there is still movement after a few seconds, the process repeats until the area is once again devoid of motion. This also permits a two-way communication with your Pi security system, so you can check in on the live feed whenever you feel the urge.

    setup requires setting up a PushBullet account as well as installing it on your mobile and linking it with an API. For your Pi, you can go ahead with setting up some Python PushBullet libraries, installing FFmpeg, Pi Camera Notifier, and others. Or, install the ready-to-go image

    Build a Camera Alert Application With RaspberryPi

    How to build a simple application that detects motion and sends notification to the your smart phone using raspberry pi and camera Module.

  16. Tomi Engdahl says:

    Smart Gates

    This project was created in order to automate the process of driving cars through gates, barriers, etc. using Raspberry Pi + Telegram.

    The principle of operation:
    The car drives up to the gates.
    Camera reads the car plate numbers.
    Checks the read number with the database; if it finds one, then it opens the gate and lets the car pass.
    Each car at the gates is photographed, then a photo is sent to the Telegram application with the car plate number and its status.
    Telegram bot has the ability to open and close the gates, take a current photo and add an unknown car to the database.
    It’s done with OpenCV + Python + Bash + Telegram Bot.

  17. Tomi Engdahl says:

    Entrance Master Remote (w/ Raspberry Pi)

    Build a remote control that triggers all your smart home automation workflows based on a scenario system.

    In a very simple and inexpensive way, you can create a DIY remote that will trigger all your favorite appliances, lights and devices by setting up pre-organized scenarios based on your daily needs. The main place of transition of your house is your doorstep, where you leave/enter your house, the place where you go from one scenario to another. That’s why we decided to create a master remote control installed right at the entrance of your smart home so that you can tell what you want to your home right when passing its threshold.

    Prota OS can be downloaded for free on It’s only 3.8GB and easy to burn on a SD card (make sure to use a 16GB card).


    You need two things for this step: RF sockets and an RF transceiver module with an antenna.


  18. Tomi Engdahl says:

    DIY Dedicated YouTube Live Streaming Camera!

    As a YouTuber, I’m always looking for ways to streamline different tasks. Live streaming is definitely something that has the opportunity to be a LOT simpler. It would be nice if you just had a camera that you can take with you, turn on, and live stream. So that will be the primary goal of this project: to make a dedicated camera for live streaming to YouTube.

    My idea is to make a video camera using a Raspberry Pi 3, 2.8″ LCD Touchscreen, and the Pi Camera as the basic platform. We’ll also need a small USB microphone to record audio, and some type of rechargeable battery to power it all.

  19. Tomi Engdahl says:

    Sensly HAT for Raspberry Pi Air Quality & Gas Detector

    Sensly is a portable pollution sensor capable of detecting the pollution levels in the air using its onboard gas sensors.

    This information can be fed directly to your smartphone for real-time push notification updates. Sensly uses industrial sensors that assure an accurate reading of the office, home, or work environment. Being aware of this data helps you to take action and bring the pollution levels down around you.

    We’ve developed the Sensly Hat for the Raspberry Pi. Initially launched on Kickstarter

    There are a few ways to do this, first you can download the Raspbian image here . This will be preconfigured to work. Secondly, you can download the install script from

    Now we need to calibrate the Gas Sensors to be able to calculate the PPM. To do this we need to put the Sensly HAT in a clean air environment.

  20. Tomi Engdahl says:

    Pi Zero Speaker – DIY Audio HAT and Audio Player

    Convert an old speaker into something cool powered by Pi Zero.

  21. Tomi Engdahl says:

    Almost An Amiga For Not A Lot

    For Amiga enthusiasts without the eye-watering sums required to secure one of the new Amiga-compatible machines with a PowerPC or similar at its heart, the only option to relive the glory beside finding an original machine is to run an emulator. [Marco Chiapetta] takes us through this process using a Raspberry Pi, and produces an Amiga that’s close enough to the real thing to satisfy most misty-eyed enthusiasts.

    He starts with a cutesy Amiga-themed Raspberry Pi case

    We’re taken through the set-up of the Amibian emulator distro, then locating a set of Amiga ROMs. Fortunately that last step is easier than you might think, even without trawling for an illicit copy.

    Build A Killer Amiga Emulator For Under $100 With The Raspberry Pi 3

  22. Tomi Engdahl says:

    Amibian is what you need to transform your raspberry pi3 into an Amiga.

  23. Tomi Engdahl says:

    Hackaday Prize Entry: Dongle For A Headless Pi

    Mass production means that there’s a lot of great hardware out there for dirt cheap. But it also means that the manufacturer isn’t going to spend years working on the firmware to squeeze every last feature out of it. Nope, that’s up to us.

    [deqing] took a Bluetooth Low Energy / USB dongle and re-vamped the firmware to turn it into a remote keyboard and mouse, and then wrote a phone app to control it. The result? Plug the USB dongle in, and the computer thinks it sees a keyboard and mouse. Connect the phone via BLE, and you’re typing — even if you don’t have your trusty Model F by your side.

    [Deqing] points out that ergonomics and latency will make you hate using this in the long term, but it’s just meant to work until you’ve got SSH up and running on that headless single-board Linux thing.

    BLE Keyboard Mouse Dongle

    A CC2540 dongle firmware to control Raspberry Pi/HTPC with Smartphone via BLE

  24. Tomi Engdahl says:

    Review: SmartPi – smart meter extension for Raspberry Pi

    What is the SmartPi?
    The SmartPi is an extension board to turn a Raspberry Pi into a smart energy meter. All the parts, including the enclosure, are available separately but it is also possible to buy a fully assembled device (discussed here). The assembled version is built on a Raspberry Pi 3 model B.

    The SmartPi can measure current (up to 100 A, with a hardware modification up to 300 A is possible), voltage (up to 400 V) and frequency on three phases plus neutral and calculate several flavors of power (active, reactive & apparent) and consumption.

    The software is open source and available from GitHub.

    The evaluation SmartPi came with three current sensors.

    The web interface showed three currents, three voltages and three frequencies.

    The SmartPi is a Raspberry Pi extension board for makers, not a consumer product. The software supporting it is basic — three-phase only, configuration over SSH —, documentation is insufficient. People without RPi or Linux experience will be lost quickly.

    On the other hand, if you are looking for a platform on which to build yourself a smart energy consumption metering system, the SmartPi definitely is a good start.

  25. Tomi Engdahl says:

    Single-cell Li-Ion Powered UPS for Raspberry Pi

    A simple yet complete UPS solution for most Raspberry Pi embedded applications, using a single-cell Li-Ion Battery.

    This UPS (uninterruptible power supply) is designed to provide at least 2.5A @ 5VDC to provide power to a Raspberry Pi (or other) single board computer. It keeps power available until the Pi issues a shutdown command or the battery is exhausted. It will also automatically restart when power becomes available again. These seem like simple things, but there are few commercial products available that have this performance and functionality.

  26. Tomi Engdahl says:

    Hackaday Prize Entry: Open Source Patient Monitor

    Vital sign monitors are usually found in developed countries; they just cost too much for less affluent communities to afford. The HealthyPi project aims to change that by developing an inexpensive but accurate monitor using a Raspberry Pi, a custom hat studded with sensors, and a touch screen. The resulting monitor could be used by medical professionals as well as students and private researchers.

    [Ashwin K Whitchurch] and his team created HealthyPi, a Raspberry Pi hat that includes an AFE4490 chip serving as the pulse oximeter front end, an analog to digital converter that interprets the ECG and respiration data, and a MAX30205 body temperature sensor. The hat has its own microcontroller, a ATSAMD21 Cortex M0+ that can also be loaded with the Arduino Zero bootloader.

    Connected Health: Open source IoT patient monitor

    This project describes the use of Raspberry Pi as an IoT connected vital signs monitor. The HealthyPi HAT for Raspberry Pi used.

  27. Tomi Engdahl says:

    Huge Functionality, Small Package: A Custom Tablet, Raspberry Style

    As the adage goes, “if you want something done right, do it yourself.” Desirous of a tablet but preferring to eschew consumer models, [Stefan Vorkoetter] constructed his own compact and lightweight Raspberry Pi tablet, covering several extra miles in the process.

    The tablet makes use of a Raspberry Pi 3 and the official touchscreen, with the final product marginally larger than the screen itself. Designed with a ‘slimmer the better’ profile in mind

    A Compact Home-Made Raspberry Pi Tablet

  28. Tomi Engdahl says:

    The Perfect Tourist Techno-Cap

    How many times are you out on vacation and neglect to take pictures to document it all for the folks back at home? Or maybe you forgot just exactly where that awesome waterfall was. [Mark Williams] has made a Raspberry Pi Zero enabled cap that can take photos and geotag them with the location as well as the attitude of the camera.

    The idea is to enable the reconstruction of a trip photographically. The hardware consists of a Raspberry Pi Zero W coupled with a Raspberry Camera V2 and a BerryGPS-IMU. Once activated, the system starts taking photos every two minutes. Within each photograph, the location of the photographer is recorded like most GPS enabled camera.

    Raspberry Pi Embedded Cap With GPS & 10DOF

    In this post we will show you how to geotag and capture the “attitude” of photos taken with the Raspberry Pi camera and record these values within the photo itself using EXIF metadata

    We used a modified (hacked?) cap to take the images in this post. The cap took photos, geo-tagged and recorded attitude as we walked around Sydney Harbour.

    Components used were;

    Raspberry Pi Zero W
    Raspberry Camera V2
    A cap

    The BerryGPS-IMU was used to capture the GPS coordinates as well as “attitude”. No external antenna was needed as the BerryGPS-IMU includes an internal antenna.

  29. Tomi Engdahl says:

    Hackaday Prize Entry: Pan And Tilt Sprinkler

    There are a few very popular irrigation systems entered into this year’s Hackaday Prize. In fact, last year’s winner for the Best Product portion of the Prize was the Vinduino, a soil moisture monitor for vineyards. Most of these irrigation systems use drip irrigation or are otherwise relatively small-scale. What if you need something a little more powerful? That’s where [Patrick]’s PTSprinkler comes in. It’s a massive lawn sprinkler coupled to a computer controlled pan and tilt mount. Think of it as a remote controlled Super Soaker, or the Internet of squirt guns. Either way, it’s a great entry for this year’s Hackaday Prize.


    Smart sprinkler on a Pan/Tilt mount to programmatically water the lawn with a fill pattern

    So whether you read “PTSprinkler” as Pan/Tilt, Polygon Trace or Pretty Terrific Sprinkler, the goal is first of all to cover the lawn area accurately, then make it smart with weather data and/or sensors.

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  31. Tomi Engdahl says:

    Raspberry Pi Tracks Office Happiness

    [Katja]’s company has a two-day hackfest where employees can work on some cool non-work-related projects. [Katja]’s team decided to use a Raspberry Pi and some buttons and LEDs to create a ‘happiness tracker‘ for the company.

    The resulting project is mounted near the entrance to the office and when they come in or leave, an employee can push one of four buttons to indicate their mood at the time, ‘bad,’ ‘not so good,’ ‘good’ or ‘super.’ The result is tracked and an overall impression of the office’s happiness is the result.

    The project consists of the aforementioned Raspberry Pi, four push buttons, five LEDs that animate when a button is pressed and another LED that shows the system is currently up and working. When a user presses a button, the five LEDs animate in the shape of a check mark to show that the button press was successful. A Python script running at startup on the Pi takes care of detecting button pressing, lighting LEDs and sending a message to the server which monitors the level of happiness.

  32. Tomi Engdahl says:

    Hackaday Prize Entry: Pi-Driven Google Glass

    [Ricardo Ferro] didn’t want to buy a Google Glass, so he made his own.

    The Raspberry Pi Zero Prism consists of a 3D-printed headset the side-pieces of which hold a variety of electronic components, including a Pi Zero running Raspbian Jessie, a Pi Noir IR camera, a WiFi/Bluetooth module and a whole mess of SMD tactile push buttons. Video output is provided by a Kopin 922K display module. This module is usually used in smart goggles and uses a prism to reflect information into the wearer’s field of view.

    Raspberry Pi Zero Prism

    Pi Zero Prism is the upgraded version of Pi Zero Smart glass.Uses Image,Facial,ocr recognition,and browse Internet on it.

  33. Tomi Engdahl says:

    Optogenetics for 100 Euros

    Larval zebrafish, Drosophila (fruit fly), and Caenorhabditis elegans (roundworm) have become key model organisms in modern neuroscience due to their low maintenance costs and easy sharing of genetic strains across labs. However, the purchase of a commercial solution for experiments using these organisms can be quite costly. Enter FlyPi: a low-cost and modular open-source alternative to commercially available options for optogenetic experimentation.

    FlyPi is based on a 3D-printed mainframe, a Raspberry Pi computer, and a high-definition camera system supplemented by Arduino-based optical and thermal control circuits. FlyPi features optional modules for LED-based fluorescence microscopy and optogenetic stimulation as well as a Peltier-based temperature simulator for thermogenetics. The complete version with all modules costs approximately €200 with a layman’s purchasing habits, but for those of us who live on the dark side of eBay or the depths of Taobao, it shouldn’t cost more than €100.

    The €100 lab: A 3D-printable open-source platform for fluorescence microscopy, optogenetics, and accurate temperature control during behaviour of zebrafish, Drosophila, and Caenorhabditis elegans

  34. Tomi Engdahl says:

    OpenCV Turret Tracks Motion, Busts Airsoft Pellets

    In the eternal struggle for office dominance, the motion-tracking Airsoft/Nerf/whatever, the autonomous turret seems to be the nuclear option. [Aaron] and [Davis] built a motion-tracking turret that uses openCV to detect movement, before hitting a relay to trigger the gun.

    There’s a Raspberry Pi controlling a Logitech C210 Pi-compatible webcam, with a stepper hat for the Pi controlling two NEMA steppers that aim the gun. The design is simple but elegant, with a rotating base and an assembly that raises and lowers the weapon.

    Motion Tracking Airsoft Turret
    An Raspberry Pi powered autonomous motion tracking airsoft turret.

    In this video we show you how to build a DIY motion tracking airsoft (or nerf gun) turret with a raspberry pi 3. The airsoft turret is autonomous so it moves and fires the gun when it detects motion. There is also an interactive mode so that you can control it manually from your keyboard. We used an airsoft gun for this project, but you can easily change modify this build to use a Nerf instead. This project is small, lightweight and entirely battery operated.

  35. Tomi Engdahl says:

    Ultrasonic Pi Piano with Gesture Control

    This project turns ultrasonic sensors into a high quality musical instrument. It’s somewhere between a piano and a theremin.

    Here’s a demo of the Ultrasonic Pi Piano configured to play a different instrument for each sensor. The distance from the sensor determines the note that gets played.

  36. Tomi Engdahl says:

    Raspberry Pi Rear Seat Entertainment
    Low cost in-car rear seat entertainment with RetroPie and Kodi using official 7″ touch display

    Entertaining your children on long road trips could be very challenging. So I decided to mount one Pi per child at the head rests combined with the official 7″ touch screen and a cheap head rest mount. Using RetroPie and Kodi, my kids are now able to play retro games, hear their music or watch videos. Since installing this system, no more “How long do we have to drive?” questions any more… :-)

  37. Tomi Engdahl says:

    Hackaday Prize Entry: FabDoc is Version Control for Project Images

    FabDoc is an interesting concept that attempts to tackle a problem many of us didn’t realize we had. There are plenty of version control systems for software, but many projects also have a hardware element or assembly process. Those physical elements need to be documented, but that process does not easily fit the tools that make software development and collaboration easier. [Kevin Cheng] sums FabDoc up as “a system to capture time-lapse pictures as pre-commits.”

    With FabDoc a camera automatically records the physical development process, allowing the developer to focus on work and review later. The images from the camera are treated as pre-commits. Upon review, the developer selects relevant key images (ignoring dead ends or false starts) and commits them. It’s a version control and commit system for the physical part of the development process.

    FabDoc – Version Control Tool for makers

    Simplify the way of documenting projects in software and hardware, based on Raspberry Pi Zero and camera module

  38. Tomi Engdahl says:

    There is an Open Source project underway at:

    This basically allows one to use the Arduino IDE in conjunction with a cross compiler that generates executable code that will compile arbitrary Arduino sketches and allow them to fully run on the Pi. This project is still in a very early phase but so far I have been able to take arbitrarily sophisticated Sketches and have them run on the Pi.

    Arduino Framework for RaspberryPI

  39. Tomi Engdahl says:

    Can I use the Arduino IDE to compile an Arduino sketch to run on the Pi?

    Why would you want to do this? Sure, many Arduino sketches could be compiled to run on the Pi, but many more would not because of the differences in hardware

    The interesting thing is that, so far, we have found very few sketches that a actually don’t work and in most cases, these highlight areas where the PiDuino library that provides an implementation of the Arduino library on the Pi hadn’t gotten it right. Obviously any sketches that assume that they are running on ATmel processors or try be super efficient by poking Arduino registers and memory won’t work … but these appear to be the exception rather than the rule. Other than that, the premise can be that if one learns Arduino APIs … why not use them?

    Yes you can compile programs on the Arduino IDE on Windows or Linux and the resulting executables can run directly on the Raspberry Pi. In order to achieve this there are a few steps to follow including installing the Arduino IDE, downloading a tool chain and, most importantly, installing the Github project found here:

    A tutorial video illustrating the installation steps can be found here:

    A tutorial video illustrating how to publish directly to the Pi from the Arduino IDE can be found here:

  40. Tomi Engdahl says:

    Building Visual Studio Code on a Raspberry Pi 3

    Compiling Visual Studio Code on a Raspberry Pi 3

    From the VS Code GitHub, you need Node, npm, and Python. The Pi has Python but it has an old node, so needed a newer node that ran on ARM processors.

    There are some NPM native modules like node-native-keymap that didn’t work when I built the first time, so you’ll need some supporting libraries first:

  41. Tomi Engdahl says:

    Cayenne, Python and MQTT Tutorials-4 – Analog Input

    Get temperature sensor value with DS18B20 from anywhere with Cayenne IOT Dashboard.

    This tutorial will show you how to get temperature sensor value from Cayenne IOT Dashboard.

    You will need the following parts for this tutorial:

    1x Raspberry Pi

    3x male-female jumper wires

    1x 4.7k ohm resistor

    1x DS18B20

  42. Tomi Engdahl says:

    Five Ways To Run a Program On Your Raspberry Pi At Startup

    In this tutorial we show you five ways you can run a program on your Raspberry Pi at startup. The five methods that are available to run a program at boot are:

    init.d tab

  43. Tomi Engdahl says:

    Pi Chart
    A wireless nautical chart plotter based on a Raspberry Pi and a sunlight readable screen.

  44. Tomi Engdahl says:

    photo booth, Fotobox

    a photobooth for wedding and other parties. Build with a Canon EOS 500d, raspberry pi, computer monitor an a Canon Selphy Photo printer.

  45. Tomi Engdahl says:

    Raspberry Pi RTL8723BS SDIO GPIO 150Mbs WiFi + BT

    A board for adding WiFi and Bluetooth without using a USB port to any Raspberry Pi with a 40 pin header. Supports 802.11n upto 150Mbps.

    Upon looking for a solution to take full advantage of the SDIO bus on the Raspberry Pi I compared about 10 chipsets and it looks like the RTL8723BS offers the best combination of low cost module ($8 single, probably $3 in qty in Shezen), speed (150Mbps) and Linux drivers (not yet mainline though).

    The same chipsets is used in some android and windows tablets and the C.H.I.P SBC from nextthing.

    Interestingly the new Pi 3 uses a similar WiFi + BT chipset, but from broadcom.

    The only downside is no on module antenna, i’ve tried to use the popular TI application note.

  46. Tomi Engdahl says:

    Multiple Monitors With Multiple Pis

    One of the most popular uses for the Raspberry Pi in a commercial setting is video walls, digital signage, and media players. Chances are, you’ve probably seen a display or other glowing rectangle displaying an advertisement or tweets, powered by a Raspberry Pi. [Florian] has been working on a project called info-beamer for just this use case, and now he has something spectacular. He can display a video on multiple monitors using multiple Pis, and the configuration is as simple as taking a picture with your phone.

    [Florian] created the info-beamer package for the Pi for video playback (including multiple videos at the same time), displaying public transit information, a twitter wall, or a conference information system. A while back, [Florian] was showing off his work on reddit when he got a suggestion for auto-configuration of multiple screens. A few days later, everything worked.

    Automatic video wall configuration with info-beamer hosted

    This is an exciting new feature I’ve made available for the info-beamer hosted digital signage system: You can create a video wall consisting of freely arranged screens in seconds. The screens don’t even have to be planar. Just rotate and place them as you like. Configuration is as simple as creating a picture of your screens once you’ve physically set them up. The rest is completely automatic: You don’t have to configure screen resolutions, orientation, size or anything else really. You just have to take a picture. It can’t get easier.


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