Raspberry Pi
Best of 2012: Raspberry Pi Projects

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.

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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.

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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.

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Matt Richardson is a San Francisco-based creative technologist and Contributing Editor at MAKE. He’s the co-author of Getting Started with Raspberry Pi and the author of Getting Started with BeagleBone.

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