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MAKE - Best of 2012

Raspberry_Pi_LogoIt’s been a big first year for Raspberry Pi, the $35 mini Linux computer. As soon as they started shipping, makers were eager to get their hands on the board so that they could use it in their projects. In just a few months, we’ve seen a ton of great Raspberry Pi projects come our way. Below, we’re recounting some of our favorite projects in no particular order. We’re looking forward to seeing what you do with Raspberry Pi in 2013. Something tells me it’ll be a big year for the Pi.

BeetBox Sets Standard for Vegetable-based Instruments
For the ITP classes Tech Crafts and Materials and Building Strategies, Scott Garner created the BeetBox, a tuber-based electronic drum machine. The instrument uses six beets connected to capacitive sensors to play samples on a Raspberry Pi.

RPi Solar FTP Server Under Side
How-To: Solar-Powered Raspberry Pi FTP Server
This build uses a custom 3D-printed / hand assembled case from RPi hacker Cottonpickers, which comes attached to the back of a 300mA solar panel.

Tune in Tweets with Magpi Radio
“Magpi Radio uses text-to-speech to read tweets coming in from various channels. Volume and power are controlled by the knob on the left. Channels can be selected by turning the knob on the right. As you click through channels, the beak changes color so you have a “glanceable” indication of its state. Pressing the knob on the right will favorite the last tweet, indicated by a red pulsing beak.”

Raspberry Pi as an FM Transmitter
This was a project by the Imperial College Robotics Society in the UK. It’s code and instructions for using the Raspberry Pi as a low-power mono FM transmitter. When I saw how easy it looked to do, I ran over to my Pi, downloaded the code, and got it running within a matter of minutes (see video above).

Enhancing a DSLR with Raspberry Pi
The hacked-together DSLR accessory attaches to the bottom of his camera and lets the maker shoot and transmit photos over WiFi, remote control the camera via tablet or phone, and shoot in a custom time lapse mode.

Light Painting with Raspberry Pi
Adafruit’s Phillip Burgess posted this fantastic tutorial to their Learning System on how to use Raspberry Pi to paint with light. In addition to the Pi, the project uses an RGB LED strip, a recumbent bike, and camera set to capture long exposures.

Lego Raspberry Pi Enclosure
Biz, a 12 year-old member of the Boreatton Scout Troop’s Robo Team, created this excellent Raspberry Pi enclosure out of Lego bricks. The enclosure gives access to all the ports on the sides of the board and even sports a Lego-style Raspberry Pi logo on the top.

KindleBerry Pi
I have to admit, I love this project mostly for its awesome name, Kindleberry Pi. (Doesn’t that sound delicious?) To make this hack, Gef Tremblay networked a Kindle with a Raspberry Pi over USB and is multiplexing a terminal using GNU screen. The result is a portable e-ink Raspberry Pi screen.

Matt Richardson

Matt Richardson

Matt Richardson is a Brooklyn-based creative technologist, Contributing Editor at MAKE, and Resident Research Fellow at New York University’s Interactive Telecommunications Program (ITP). He’s the co-author of Getting Started with Raspberry Pi and the author of Getting Started with BeagleBone.



  1. [...] Best of 2012:  Raspberry Pi Projects – I love my RPi’s.  I just haven’t quite figured out any long term projects for them yet.  This article has given me some ideas though. [...]

  2. [...] MAKE | Best of 2012: Raspberry Pi Projects. [...]

  3. [...] Best of 2012: Raspberry Pi Projects ( [...]

  4. [...] Dies geht von der Einrichtung einer eigenen Telefonanlage (µElastix), das traute Heim automatisieren (GPIO home automation), einen eigenen Webserver (LAMP-Server), einen Media-Server in der Cloud (XBMC), einen NAS Server (eLinux), einen eigenen Mailserver (Duck Pond), einen Quadrocopter (Raspberry Pi Quadcopter), atemberaubende Bilder am Rande der Atmosphäre machen (Raspberry Pi sends images from near space) und noch vieles mehr (Best Of Raspberry Pi Projects 2012). [...]

  5. [...] Beetbox pour faire de la musique avec des [...]

  6. [...] Beetbox pour faire de la musique avec des [...]

  7. [...] And then it will be on to other Pi-projects or projects like this. [...]

  8. For those who want to use the PI with Siri, I wrote an article (and created a a working version to download). It explains how to install and how to integrate Siri with other systems:–the-basics-using-a-linux-vm/2087

  9. [...] MAKE | Best of 2012: Raspberry Pi Projects. [...]

  10. [...] Pi have been a big hit with hobbyists, who have started collaborative communities and launched dozens of interesting projects on the devices in recent [...]

  11. Dave Colbourn says:

    Is anyone stringing them together for an appliance / rack replacement

  12. [...] Best of 2012 Raspberry Pi Projects – Make magazine [...]

  13. Pablo says:

    Great work. Thanks……….

  14. […] and its low price, it has become wildly popular with the hobbyist market. Some people have done ingenious things with […]

  15. […] Pour se faire, il a utilisé un capteur qui réagit au toucher (comme ma.. Beetbox), le MPR121 Capacitive Touch Sensor, développé un outil en Python (non, pas le gros serpent qui fait peur), et utilisé un Raspberry Pi! Hé oui ! On vient ici ! C’est un des projets fous qu’on peut trouver sur cet article. […]

  16. […] ! On en vient ici (j’arrive) ! C’est un des projets fous qu’on peut trouver sur cet article. Le capteur transmet un signal lorsqu’il est touché, interprété par le Rapberry qui […]

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