Celebrate Pi Day with these 9 Maker Share Projects

Raspberry Pi Technology
Celebrate Pi Day with these 9 Maker Share Projects

The Raspberry Pi is a great board for rapidly building fun electronics projects. Since it’s Pi Day (3/14), we thought we’d share nine Maker Share projects that use Raspberry Pi.

Becky Stern is a content creator for Instructables, so we love whenever she shares one of her builds on Maker Share. Last year, she used a Raspberry Pi and Pi Camera to transform a retro film camera into a device that captures GIFs.

“I wanted a way to use my vintage cameras in a new, digital way. I have a few kicking around in various conditions, but haven’t used them in ages because the film is costly to develop,” said Stern.

Alain Maur built Scott TV, a Pi based television, for his autistic son. The Raspberry Pi connects the TV to six large buttons, making it easy for Maur’s son to switch channels and replay episodes from his favorite shows.

John Cole has posted several of the projects he’s created on Maker Share. Three of them incorporate Raspberry Pi. The first, called the BricKuber, is an open source Lego robot that can solve Rubik’s Cubes all on its own.

The second is a self-driving miniature car. It was designed to simulate how a life-sized car might be pre-programmed to drive to certain locations, pick-up passengers, and avoid obstacles on the way to its destination. “Getting the robot to handle turns was a challenge, but after some trial and error, using the precise movements of the motors and wheels, we were able to use a line follower to get from point A to Point B really easily!” said Cole.

The third is my favorite. It’s a M&M Color Sorter. “The Raspberry Pi M&M Color Sorter uses a Raspberry Pi with a BrickPi and PivotPi to sort out green and red M&M’s. The EV3 touch sensor acts as an on/off switch to control the EV3 motor that powers the conveyor belts to make the M&M’s pass one-by-one under an NXT color sensor. If an M&M is detected to be green or red, the servo extends an arm to pull the M&M off the side of the conveyor belt,” said Cole.

Tired of using an analog or digital clock? Try out a binary one! Frederick Vandenbosch’s Pi Zero Binary Clock uses four rows of LEDs to keep meticulous time. It takes some getting used to if you’re not comfortable with binary, but it provides quite the impressive display!

If Stern’s retro camera isn’t enough old-school nostalgia for you, you can put together Ryan Price’s Retro Admiral Television. Using a Raspberry Pi, he repurposed a bakelite TV with a modern flat screen.

Complete your retro trifecta with an arcade machine that Isidro Murillo hacked together with a Raspberry Pi. Gutting and reprogramming an arcade machine is an arduous task (take it from someone who’s tried). Pretty much anyone can do it (you mostly need patience, space, and the money for an old machine), but don’t expect this project to be a one day affair. You might want to ask someone to donate another pair of helping hands as well.

Reef-Pi is an open source reef tank controller designed by Ranjib Dey. “It allows automating day to day reef keeping chores,” Dey said. “With Reef-Pi, you can build a small piece of your own ocean reef, full of coral, within a small space.”

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Jordan has spent much of his life writing about his many geeky pastimes. He's particularly passionate about indie game design and Japanese art, but loves interacting with creators from all walks of life.

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