MAKE Asks: Raspberry Pi Projects

Raspberry Pi
MAKE Asks: Raspberry Pi Projects

MAKE Asks: is a weekly column where we ask you, our readers, for responses to maker-related questions. We hope the column sparks interesting conversation and is a way for us to get to know more about each other.

This week’s question: Some of the most buzz in physical computing for the last several months has come from the Raspberry Pi. What projects have you been working on using this board, or what are some things you’ve seen using this powerful prototyping platform?

I haven’t fiddled around with one yet, but so far my favorite project using the Pi has to be Sprite_tm’s Mini MAME cabinet. It brings me back to the handheld arcade games of the 80s, but also boasts an OLED marquee, and a nifty laser-cut design.

Post your responses in the comments section.

58 thoughts on “MAKE Asks: Raspberry Pi Projects

  1. Adam Jahnke says:

    I’ve been working on setting up an AirPlay enabled Pi that I can wire into my car with a nano wifi adapter, so I can AirPlay from iOS devices while driving.

    1. Nick Hedberg says:

      You should try xbmc I did a quick proof of concept enabling air play and it worked. There’s a little bit of lag and the transitions between songs is rough, but xbmc is open source so you could work on it.

  2. spinstabilized says:

    I am starting to work on slowly build up my own JARVIS for my workshop based on the Raspberry Pi.

  3. Nehal Pate says:

    I’m working on a dual-use Pi project. Part A) uses a switch, relay, and ssh/web server to allow me to check and open/close my garage door remotely; B) uses motion sensors and a relay to keep pooping animals off my lawn.

  4. Nathan Lasseter (@User_4574) says:

    A friend and I built an internet controlled colour changing tent. All the details are here:

  5. scgibson81 says:

    I’ve been working on a turning my Pi into a network controlled lighting fixture. Using OLA (open lighting architecture) and the SPI and I2C bus I have network controlled lighting (addressable pixels, servos for positioning, RGB control).

  6. djnastyc says:

    A coworker and I are working on a coffee monitoring system, which includes a webcam and several sensors connected to the R-Pi, which communicates via HTTP with our company’s workflow software. The Pi monitors coffee pot temperature and position and sends an email or SMS notification when it thinks there’s a fresh pot of coffee. A webcam provides the opportunity for visual verification of the coffee status.

    1. JonnyH says:

      Hombre! I googled ‘fresh pot’ and think you are doing MORE (touché) than I had considered (project #1 total noob) how goes it?

      Are you developing in Python? What challenges have you faced and hopefully overcome? Any tips on where to even start, for an ex-code tinkerer?

      I was thinking of a ‘FRESH POT!’ voice command coffee maker, ideally adapting my brother’s existing super cool coffeemaker with alarm function. Hence the google. Very intrigued. Thanks!

  7. Dan says:

    I’m waiting for the camera attachment so I can make an autonomous sentry turret that shoots ‘D’ batteries. Until then, I’m playing Pitfall in Stella. :-)

  8. Ben Miller-Jacobson says:

    I’ve been working on a wearable computer (coming along nicely) and also on an APRS to Twitter gateway using a cheap TV tuner as a software defined radio. The second project still has a ways to go.

  9. Trav says:

    I’m working on an in vehicle camera system. A kind of dash cam when driving/motion detecting security cam when parked. I have a wifi dongle so I can communicate with it in my driveway, and have it upload picture/video to my network at home. I would like to find a way for motion software to input GPS info into the picture. I have a GPS dongle that should work,

    1. Harald Hansen says:

      I’d really like to see that project, Trav!

  10. Guillermo A. Amaral (@gamaral) says:

    I’ve been working on a game console, sporting a custom distro and some add-on hardware.

  11. Nick Kovach says:

    I am building a webserver that does internet data-mining with Python and saves this data to mySQL for remote access using PHP. Yeah, kind of boring but it sure beats leaving a laptop on 24/7 to do this for me.

    1. JonnyH says:

      LOVE what your doing man. I’m looking for something perhaps identical to what I imagine you’ve already achieved. Total noobs here, collecting info where available.

      Which kit did you get, and where from (please excuse my directness and curiosity! He who dares) and, erm… how did you do it? From scratch? Recycled code project?

      I’m ready to fill proverbial carts and get going these kits are awesome… but I wanna get it right first time. This project sounds like a good candidate for a first timer, do you agree?

      Hoping to find someone somewhere that’s an avid ambassador in information sharing, if nothing else I’m grateful for the ideas you’ve shared. Good stuff.

      Well done!!

  12. Chris Wallace says:

    I’m working on a talking navigation and monitoring application for walkers, canoeists and sailors. Currently I have a compass, barometer and GPS integrated. The talker uses espeak for TTS and is controlled by a wireless PowerPoint clicker. Progress reports in my blog

  13. Jason Gillis says:

    I’m building a 1-wire sensor network to monitor temp, humidity, sunlight, and barometric pressure in the crawlspace, attic and garden. The 1-wire network will be connected to the Pi via an I2C bus.

    1. mixmx says:


      Sounds much interesting! Any blog where to follow your progress? Thanks!

    2. Nick Normal says:

      Have you gotten around to documenting this yet? I’d like to see your tech in the garden.

  14. Alex Eames says:

    I’ve got a weather station logging internal and external temperature, atmospheric pressure and light levels data to COSM.

    And recently been playing with relays to switch mains light and fan based on input from temp/light sensors.

  15. Dries De Roeck (@DriesDeRoeck) says:

    I’m using my Pi as a DVB-t recorder / media server. It has been quite a challenge for me as a non-programmer to follow the excellent guide by, but after two weeks of persistance I got it working. Besides that I’m mostly on a quest to find out what the Pi does that the Arduino does not, or how I can combine both platforms.

  16. barnabypaulkent says:

    We’ve been building a radio controlled car you can control from your raspberry pi as a fun way of introducing people to programming, you can view our project at it’s been great fun!

  17. Ward Mundy (@NerdUno) says:

    We’ve ported our full-featured Incredible PBX to the Raspberry Pi. It includes Asterisk, FreePBX, Apache, MySQL, and about 40 preconfigured Asterisk applications. It also supports free calling in the U.S. and Canada with any Google Voice number. There’s also a one-click script to turn your Raspberry Pi into a full-featured fax machine. Quick Start Guide and download instructions are available here:

  18. matt whitehouse says:

    internet controlled maisto rock crawler!!!!! using raspberry pi and arduino

  19. peledies says:

    I’m working on an open source home thermostat that can be controlled from a smartphone or computer. Features include a LCD for temperature display, an array of temperature sensors for super accurate temperature sensing, push buttons for temperature adjustment on the unit and multi zone temperature monitoring. The pi is powered from the furnace and it includes wifi and a nice zero config setup assistant.

  20. Dave says:

    I’d like to make a programmable chime for a large clock I have in my living room. Right now, I have a separate battery powered chiming module in it, but I think it would be cool to have it play changeable, custom songs on the hour, like Christmas songs in December, etc. I am a tinkerer, but have done no programming since Basic and Fortran in high school. So I don’t really have any idea where to start.

  21. MAKE | Your Comments says:

    […] the piece MAKE Asks: Raspberry Pi Projects, djnastyc […]

  22. buggouts says:

    Anybody know if you could make a rendering farm with a couple of PI’s?

  23. JonnyH says:

    Great site guys. thanks for all the links and ideas, and well done y’all!!!!

Comments are closed.

Discuss this article with the rest of the community on our Discord server!

In addition to being an online editor for MAKE Magazine, Michael Colombo works in fabrication, electronics, sound design, music production and performance (Yes. All that.) In the past he has also been a childrens' educator and entertainer, and holds a Masters degree from NYU's Interactive Telecommunications Program.

View more articles by Michael Colombo
Maker Faire Bay Area 2023 - Mare Island, CA

Escape to an island of imagination + innovation as Maker Faire Bay Area returns for its 15th iteration!

Buy Tickets today! SAVE 15% and lock-in your preferred date(s).