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37 Amazing Uses for the Raspberry Pi

What began life as a sincere attempt to provide computer access to schools and underdeveloped countries, the Raspberry Pi rapidly ballooned into an entirely new industry, hobby, and endless realizer of ideas, without ever ceasing to fulfill its original goal.

What is a Raspberry Pi?

The Raspberry Pi is a relatively low-cost palm-sized computer that plugs into a monitor or TV, uses a standard keyboard and mouse, and is incredibly versatile. The latest Raspberry Pi, the Pi 4 B is powered by a 1.5-GHz, quad-core processor and comes with 2 or 4GB of RAM.

What began life as a sincere attempt to provide computer access to schools and underdeveloped countries, the Raspberry Pi rapidly ballooned into an entirely new industry, hobby, and endless realizer of ideas, without ever ceasing to fulfill its original goal.

There are tons of Raspberry Pi projects for 2022 — here is a list of our favorites:
  1. Incredibly mini Mac

    Programmer, Jannis Hermanns, created this incredible Original Mac after a particularly inspiring session of LEGO with his son. This particular model is created with the Raspberry Pi zero, and Jannis includes a full step-by-step on how you can create your own.

  2. Home theater

    Jamie McKane has written a brilliant article surrounding the fabulous idea of living it large with a state of the art home theater, but doing it in a way that’s upgradable, convenient and above all, within a reasonable budget. The only drawback is that the Raspberry Pi 3 is unable to play in 4k, but if this isn’t a requirement, this is a fantastic project to work on.

  3. Home security

    The versatility of the Raspberry Pi is one of its most famous features.

    The team over at Hacker House have used a Raspberry Pi Zero W and a Raspberry Pi camera to make a smart security camera. The camera uses object detection (with OpenCV) to send you an email whenever it sees an intruder. It also runs a webcam so you can view live video from the camera when you are away. This is a brilliant and modern design that keeps up with other brands offering the same solutions.

  4. Lego Rubik’s Cube solver

    In a wonderful marriage of two of the most customisable consumer items in history, Reddit creator Francesco Georg used Lego and a Raspberry Pi to conquer one of the most frustrating consumer items in history – the Rubik’s Cube.

    Francesco’s creation can solve the Rubik’s Cube in around 90 seconds, not as fast as some machines and even some humans, but they aren’t made from Lego. The BricKuber is an open source Rubik’s cube solving robot that you can build yourself with the Raspberry Pi, Raspberry Pi camera and BrickPi3.

  5. Photo booth

    This photo booth is based on a Raspberry Pi with a Pi camera module. It’s touchscreen-controlled by partygoers, and it automatically emails your photos (if you wish) and uploads them to Google Photos where anyone with the password can see and share. All the software is open source.

  6. 3D scanner

    3D printing is a huge introduction to the technology space, but comes with a heavy price tag.

    or this reason and others, the tech may take a few more years before it becomes truly accessible. However, don’t let that stop you from scanning all the things you’ll be printing when it does get there.

    For this Raspberry Pi 3D scanner project, instructables.com user the_anykey used 40 Pis and 40 cameras (although stresses it could be done with much fewer) as well as 40 8gb SD cards and, disappointingly, just a single power.

    The cameras are intended to fire all at once and so create a strong image of something which, like in Richard’s experience, could be tricky with a subject such as two-year-old.

    Once scanned, the 3D image is rendered and ready for some genius to make a 3D printer out of a Raspberry Pi (hint).

  7. Pi glasses

    The Google Glass never quite revolutionized the tech market in the way we expected it to. If you loved the idea of the Google Glass, check out open source developer Adafruit. Adafruit has developed a Raspberry Pi powered wearable display housed in a 3D printed shell which clips on. This then clips onto regular glasses to truly show Sergey and Larry what they’re missing.

  8. Beer can keyboard

    Next time you’re lying awake wondering about what the universe is expanding into, make something completely useless but awesome instead like the guys at Robofun Create did.

    With 40 beer cans connected to an Arduino powered touch controller and a Raspberry Pi controlled TV, It can be plugged into any computer, and is definitely one of the more unique ways to make use of empty beer cans.

  9. Pi hacker

    While hacking traditionally comes with negative connotations of cyber attacks and something to do with the “mainframe,” hacking isn’t always about stealing.

    By installing the network penetrating OS Kali Linux on a Raspberry Pi, not only can you crack Wi-Fi, find Bluetooth weaknesses and other penetration testing activities, you can also do it on the go.

  10. Wireless printer

    Despite constant developments in printer technology, they are still nearly universally prone to the exact same errors they were in 1989 – jammed paper, printer cannot connect to a computer, or ink that has disappeared – so if you find one that works, it’s understandable you’d want to stick with it.

    Rather than forking out for a new one that only might work, a Raspberry Pi can transform your old printer into a wireless printer so you can keep pace with the flashy, other-room-printing neighbors.

  11. Plane spotting with Stratux

    Plane spotting can be considered a niche hobby, but there are plenty of people that enjoy it and so this wonderful project was created.

    With this clever little set up, the Raspberry Pi acts as a receiver that connects to your smartphone and details all the aircraft in the sky around you and their info including decoded ADS-B call signs, location, altitude and speed, allowing you to find the best spots to pitch up with your thermos.

  12. Pirate radio

    If digital tech putting most analogue tech out of business wasn’t enough, you can also kick it while it’s down using Oliver Mattos and Oskar Weigl’s Raspberry Pi concoction.

    This device transforms the Raspberry Pi into an FM transmitter capable of ranging from 7.5 – 107.9 mhz, although you’ll probably have to find a frequency that’s not already in use or risk interfering with licensed broadcasters.

  13. Raspberry Pi Oscilloscope

    If you have spare Pis lying around, you don’t need much hardware to get started with the project. You can detect frequencies using a Pico. Using jumper cables, the data is parsed and sent to a smartphone application for analysis. When you’re dabbling with microelectronics, oscilloscopes can be useful for testing voltages and viewing waveform data in real time.

  14. Mousetrap

    For generations of mice sneaking into homes for crumbs, getting busted almost certainly carried a death sentence, either at the hands of a sadistic cat slaking a bloodlust or under the bars of a brutal spring-powered trap.

    This Raspberry Pi invention from Alain Mauer offers a harmless alternative for the mice. Working like a regular humane trap, it takes a picture of the mouse once inside and sends you an email to notify you to come let it out, preferably far away.

  15. Baby monitor

    New parents exist in a hazy state of sleep deprivation which can become so discombobulating that they begin to love being at work.

    To remedy that, and help your baby get back to sleep without getting up and out of bed each time , a clever Raspberry Pi set up can help reduce some of the difficulties of having young children.

    By incorporating a webcam and motion sensing package, it’s possible to stream the baby live to a phone or tablet using this brilliant smart baby monitor. You can also monitor the temperature and even play calming music so the baby goes back to sleep, helping you to worry just a little bit less.

  16. Picrowave

    The Picrowave runs software that can scan a barcode and look up cooking instructions and even perform voice recognition for a limited number of commands. The Picrowave also comes with an app that can be used from your phone or computer

    This is yet another fantastic example of how the Raspberry Pi can enhance and provide a new lease of life to objects in life that ordinarily could appear mundane.

  17. BrewPi

    With microbrews and craft beer here to stay, the guys over at BrewPi have come up with a way of helping with the crafting, letting you get on with the boozing.

    The fermentation temperature controller for brewing beer or wine runs on a Raspberry Pi with Arduino; it offers better temperature control and includes features like data logging, web interface and graphs.

    The BrewPi website has everything you need to get started with your own microbrewery including fantastic blogs and a store for any extras you may require.

  18. Voice activated coffee machine

    Without coffee, most people would barely be people. And with verbal and motor skills coming at a premium first thing in the morning, Developer Garden and Oracle carried out a service to humanity by allowing you to ask for a coffee in the comfort of your own home.

    The staff at Developer Garden joined forces with Oracle to hack a Nespresso coffee machine to make it work via voice controls using just a Raspberry Pi and a smartphone.

  19. Home automation

    Taking care of your home is a task in itself, you’d think a bunch of walls and wires may take care of themselves but all too often we are faced with problems that seemingly come out of nowhere.

    In order to alleviate some of the stress that comes with owning a home. you can get a whole battery of devices and apps that will help you with your power and heating, your bills and your plumbing but that then becomes a hassle itself.

    Thankfully, instructables.com user electronichamster has piled all these different functions into one nifty Pi.

    Using a combination of Raspberry Pi, Arduino and a lot of sensors, users can monitor lights, shut electric blinds, report water leaks and sense gas leaks. It will send all this handy info as alerts to your phone.

  20. Christmas lights controller

    Christmas lights are one of the most magical things about the festive period, but often are fiddly to put up and difficult to customize to showcase the colors you want.

    Fortunately, you can use a Raspberry Pi to rank up your festive cheer to 11. Having a Raspberry Pi Christmas lights controller can let you synchronize lights to music and even automate an entire light show using the frequency spectrum of the jolly music you haven’t turned off for a month.

  21. Smart TV

    Buying a whole new TV for a single additional feature would make all but the most devoted techies balk. Ironically though, these devoted techies are also most likely to be best placed to negate the need to shell out.

    You can transform any regular “dumb” TV into a smart TV by using a Raspberry Pi to stream Netflix, search google, stream music and watch movies. You can also install the Kodi software on the Pi to stream everything from one place.

    Credit to instructables.com user NoobT

  22. Smart mirror

    One of the most popular uses for a Raspberry Pi has been the smart mirror, which transforms another ordinary household item into something modern and technological.

    Mirror mirror on the wall, who’s the smartest of them all? Michael Teeuw created his smart mirror by mounting mirror glass over a flat black display while outputting white text on the background to display clocks, weather, calendar and news feed through a Raspberry Pi.

  23. Music streaming

    By using several Raspberry Pis you can place them around the house and stream music to individual speakers remotely, all controlled wirelessly from your phone, tablet or computer. To install Pi MusicBox, first download the latest image from pimusicbox.com. Extract the contents of the ZIP and locate the image file.

    This brilliant idea removes the frustration of other people within your home constantly pausing, stopping or changing the music you are listening to in the room you are in.

    Eat, sleep, rave, repeat anytime, anywhere.

  24. Tea-Pi

    Brewing tea is an English tradition that seems to have fallen by the wayside for the common person.

    Instructables.com user periprohus wanted to restore the idea of actually waiting for your tea to brew instead of pouring scalding brown water down your throat after 10 seconds.

    His clever, travel ready device brews the tea for a specific amount of time – default five minutes – and removes the tea and alerts you when ready.

    Drink up.

  25. Pet feeder

    Having a pet is one of the few joys in life that doesn’t need technology to still be fulfilling, but that doesn’t mean you can’t get them involved anyway.

    Whether that’s getting them their own webcam so that you are able to check on them while you are at work or following creator David Bryan to create an automated pet feeder.

    David uses his feeder to control what his cat eats so it doesn’t become overweight when he’s away but, more likely, it can also be used to make sure you don’t accidentally starve it.

  26. IoT Kitteh

    Where do cats go when they go out? Cats are a furry enigma when they’re right in front of you – what’s it looking at behind that wall, why does it love that sock so much, is it going to murder me in my sleep – so when they’re out of the house, the mind boggles.

    Hackster user Jeremy Wall, clearly wondering why his cat was coming home smelling of another person’s couch, set out to find out what it does all day. On a collar connected to the cat’s vest, he used a Raspberry Pi 2 to track the cat using GPS. Jeremy’s creation even allows him to phone his cat to see where it’s snooping around whenever he likes.

  27. Robot R2DT

    At one point in history, everyone agreed that R2D2 was the coolest, cutest movie character without a face and the beepy little wheelie bin was made into a veritable litany of different toys.

    Not content with the poor standards of the mass-produced toys however, YouTube user Greensheller decided to improve the offering for his girlfriend’s birthday.

    By including a Raspberry Pi inside a standard R2D2 toy, the cheeky little fella is now equipped with even more gadgets than the original movie character. It has Wi-Fi, speech control, face recognition, motion detection, distance detection and audio message record and replay – although no holograms sorry.

  28. Raspberry Pi Laser Tripwire

    This incredibly fun game comes directly from the Raspberry Pi projects site and would be a hit when entertaining friends.

    Using the Raspberry Pi, a laser and some extra bits you can play a game whereby each time the “intruder” breaks the laser beam, a buzzer or alarm will sound rendering that person out of the game.

    You would be surprised at how quickly this game gets competitive, whether it’s you against your friends or all of you against the machine!

  29. Treasure box

    Adafruit user Tony DiCola, perhaps fed up with people stealing his keys, has created a treasure box which will refuse to open unless it sees its owner looking down at it.

    The box, connected to a Raspberry Pi uses facial recognition to detect faces before deciding whether to open. It might not keep a burglar out but should restrict access to the posh biscuits.

  30. Xbox Zero

    Whoever designed the original Xbox controller had seemingly only had a fleeting glance at a pair of human hands, perhaps through a bus window or something, as it was notoriously unwieldy.

    However, its huge size means other things can fit nicely inside, things like a Raspberry Pi Zero. Crafty tinkerer Terence Eden decided to do away with the actual Xbox and make the controller an all in one games console. Using a Pi Zero and some steady hands, Terence’s contraption plays a variety of classic games on any TV.

  31. Virtual rhinoceros

    Three of the five species of rhinos are endangered, a shameful statistic only likely to get worse unless Spielberg casts one in a blockbuster.

    Until then, more needs to be done to raise awareness for their conservation. The University of Southampton did this by creating Erica, an interactive art exhibit.

    Made from a white fiberglass shell and equipped with five Raspberry Pi single board computers, it uses sensors and actuators to interact with the audience who can feed and stroke her to prompt a reaction. Remote users can also get involved by tweeting to change her behavior. Let’s hope she doesn’t bite.

  32. Gameboy

    Nintendo’s Gameboy is one of the most successful ways of getting kids to pipe down in car journeys ever but their technology is no longer capable of keeping up with the advances of modern phones i.e. it can’t get Snapchat.

    However, with the Raspberry Pi you can convert an old Gameboy with retro games into a new one with a color display, more buttons, brightness control, color contrast and a USB Bluetooth adapter.

  33. Raspberry Pi Cycling Computer Companion

    Ever since Chris Boardman figured out you can shave seconds with shaved legs, there’s nothing cyclists love more than the chance to analyze every aspect of their rides.

    Using a [likn-external address=”http://spectrum.ieee.org/video/geek-life/hands-on/video-build-a-better-bike-computer” linktext=”Kindle and Raspberry Pi”] along with a bunch of sensors, magnets and pins connected to a bike, this device displays information such as how fast the wheels or pedals are turning on a screen bigger than a match head. You can also access JavaScript libraries to download maps so you don’t get lost.

  34. Raspberry Pi quadcopter

    Drones are one of the most customisable toys and not including a Raspberry Pi would be like going to see the Beatles and only Ringo Starr shows up with a tambourine.

    The Drone Pi, created by instructables.com user reglisse44, is a Multiwii powered quadcopter which is controlled by a Raspberry Pi 2. Using a camera and a Debian-based Linux file system for drones, the quadcopter can live stream directly from your neighbor’s bedroom windows.

  35. H20 IQ

    Previously, you couldn’t be considered a proper grown up until you could keep a plant alive for more than two weeks but, like almost every other walk of life, technology has allowed us to cheat traditional life. Creator Valkyrie Savage integrated a Raspberry Pi into a clever irrigation system which can automatically keep your plants alive.

  36. DIY Pancreas

    The Raspberry Pi isn’t just for fun or convenience, it isn’t a toy and its seemingly endless potential has quickly reached the medical industry. Having Type 1 Diabetes is hardly fun and can quickly result in a serious medical situation. In order to reduce her stress, diabetes sufferer Dana Lewis’ husband created the Do It Yourself Pancreas (DIYPS) to continually monitor her condition.

    Using a Raspberry Pi to monitor data from the Continuous Glucose Monitor (CGM) the DIY pancreas can pump the correct dose of insulin even when you are having a snooze.

  37. Braille teacher

    Learning Braille has always been a monumentally difficult task, even if you can see.

    Students from the Birla Institute of Technology and Science in India developed Mudra, a Braille teaching device powered by a Raspberry Pi. Creators Aman Srivastav and Sanskriti Dawle used Google’s speech API to augment the tactile output and help students learn Braille by translating speech into Braille symbols.

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