What Are You Doing with Your Raspberry Pi?

Raspberry Pi
What Are You Doing with Your Raspberry Pi?

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Now that I have an HDMI monitor on my workbench, I’ve started to tinker a lot more with the Raspberry Pi. I’m very interested in how programming on-screen interfaces can be integrated with programming the GPIO pins on the board. The video above shows my progress after just a couple of hours of work, which included the time it took to learn the basics of how to use Python’s Tkinter module to program a graphical user interface.

I’ve been curious to know what Makezine readers working on (or planning to work on) with their Raspberry Pi. And if you have a Raspberry Pi tip to share, let’s hear it! Is there a particular library you like? A piece of hardware that’s critical? Leave a comment and let us know!

52 thoughts on “What Are You Doing with Your Raspberry Pi?

  1. John Honniball says:

    Although I don’t (yet) have a Pi, my friend Phil does and he made up this little circuit to interface a standard HD44780 text-mode LCD: http://pbambridge.brunelweb.net/blog/?p=64

  2. Thom Nichols (@thom_nic) says:

    If you ask me, the best way to provide a graphical interface (in many cases) is via a simple web interface! You can probably guess what I’m doing with my Pi from the picture here… https://twitter.com/thom_nic/status/228099852414877696

  3. Lewis Baumstark says:

    I’m using mine to study the combined efficiency of Newark’s fulfillment system and UPS’ logistics network. :)

    After that, I hope to build the Roomba Recon project from MAKE issue 27 using the Pi as the brain instead of a router.

  4. allan says:

    I use it as an ssh/vpn gateway for the home network that can turn the other PCs on when needed, so they do not have to run continuously, but still are available when needed.
    Also, as brains for a high-tech alarm clock (music, lights, coffee machine)

  5. goobering says:

    Currently got mine running as a headless media server. MediaTomb is doing a fine job of transcoding high bitrate MP3s down to a more manageable (if less sonically pleasant) bitrate OGG and streaming it to uPnPlay on my phone. DIY Spotify. :) Grand plans in the pipeline for some kind of Brewtroller setup for all grain beers. Going to have to wait till the massive Pi queue dies down a bit unfortunately.

  6. critter42 says:

    What am I doing with my RasPI? Waiting for it to be shipped, that’s what :)

  7. Andrew Rohne, AC8JO (@AC8JO) says:

    I am considering making an intelligent surveillance system. It seems my stash of K-Cups at work has dwindled to nothing very quickly, so I’m going to hook a camera to it and a switch to the GPIO and take pictures.

    The K-Cup theft could be my imagination, but I do want to make my Pi see things.

  8. Steve Shoyer says:

    I’m using mine as an embedded processor for a custom pinball machine.

  9. Owen Tanner says:

    I’ve got mine hooked up to my Current Cost power meter, logging my household consumption to Cosm at the moment. I should really find it something more interesting to do though.

  10. Trav says:

    I have a PC dedicated to running a class bell (audio file over speakers) here at our church. The PC actually does a little more but I’m moving those functions over to my main PC.

    I believe the RasPi would be perfect for this. Built in audio, can get accurate time from the network, run a cron job to play an audio file at specific times, and low power requirements too. Can either SSH into it or plug in KVM when needed.

  11. Wilson! says:

    Waiting for the next batch to become available.


  12. Louis Leblanc says:

    Still waiting on mine. I plan on building a hybrid synthesizer with it. Digital oscillator from the audio out and have it go into a filter controlled by the GPIO. If all goes well, add a usb surround sound interface and have multiple voices.

  13. DarkStar says:

    I’m waiting for my two Raspberry Pi to arrive in the mail, but one will become a Raspbmc media computer and the other will be mated with a Motorola Lapdock for portable experimenting!

  14. Jeff Edwards says:

    “The video above shows my progress after just a couple of hours of work” — ??? I see no video but I’d very much like to since I also am interested in programming on-screen interfaces using my Pi.

    1. What Are You Doing with Your Raspberry Pi? Matt Richardson says:

      You’re the first person to report an issue with seeing the embedded video. Can you send me details about what browser you’re using and what version? In the meantime, here’s a link to it: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=t6ckK41s368

      1. Jeff Edwards says:

        I’m embarrassed to say but my employer forces us to use Internet Explorer 8 (version 8.0.7601.17514) under Windows 7 Enterprise (Service Pack 1, 64-bit), ugh. I’ve tried several times with all the standard refresh tricks; it is still not showing the video. NOTE however, that my home machine running Firefox under Windows 7 DOES show the video. So it is probably an IE problem — surprise! Thanks for the attention. :-) J

  15. Clinton Blackmore says:

    I’m working on making it so that kids can program their LEGO Mindstorms NXT robots on their Raspberry Pis using Enchanting (http://enchanting.robotclub.ab.ca/). All the infrastructural pieces are in place in Raspbian (Scratch, libusb, a JDK), and I’m fortunate enough to have an R-Pi … so, here’s hoping with a little more time I can make it work (and figure out how to package it).

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

    I’m building a game console with it, GPIO for Reset and Power-Off.

    P.S. I’m dizzy from the all that shaky-cam fix stuff, blerg

  17. wonko6x9 says:

    My first one is a RaspBMC media server in my bedroom. I have two more coming that I will be working with my sons learning Linux & hopefully some programming. If nothing else, helping them become more aware of what an OS does.

  18. MAKE | Your Comments says:

    […] In the article What Are You Doing with Your Raspberry Pi?, user Clinton Blackmore writes: I’m working on making it so that kids can program their LEGO Mindstorms NXT robots on their Raspberry Pis using Enchanting (http://enchanting.robotclub.ab.ca/). All the infrastructural pieces are in place in Raspbian (Scratch, libusb, a JDK), and I’m fortunate enough to have an R-Pi … so, here’s hoping with a little more time I can make it work (and figure out how to package it). […]

  19. Jeroen says:

    We have built a V-plotter variation using a Raspberry pi, two stepper motors + drivers, a solenoid and an Edding 550 marker. The steppers are driven via the GPIO interface on the Pi. We use C to drive the GPIO, it appears to be creating smoother IO operation then python (we tries both wiringpi and the latest iteration of RPi.GPIO).

    You can check it out in action in this stopmotion video: http://youtu.be/CYQo6lqStM8, more info can be found here: blackstripes.nl

    Regards Jeroen

  20. contractorwolf says:

    I made a Raspberry Pi Wifi Internet Radio player. It starts and loads a bunch of user defined internet radio streams as soon as its plugged in. I wired in 2 buttons to toggle up or down through the list of streams. Its “headless” (so no monitor) but has SSH so that I can update or change the list from either my PC (on my home network) or on my android (also using SSH).

    I’ve got lots of pics and detailed instructions for how to do it yourself on my blog:

  21. Rey says:

    Running a ZRTP encrypted, full featured FusionPBX server. It is currently connected to a WiFi router and providing SIP to CSISimple equipped android phones but, it will eventually run a USB WiFi dongle with NoteAp allowing me to eliminate the WiFi router.

  22. ilari says:

    Could you control your house lights from Iphone (example) via raspberry pi?

  23. Jeff says:

    I use mine with my HP laser printer as a print server with airprint so I can print from my IOS devices.

  24. Mark Anderson says:

    I use it to control my Home Automation system via Siri. i can control lights, music, security system, etc.

    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: http://hometoys.com/emagazine/2013/02/siri-home-automation-integration-from-start-to-finish-brpart-1–the-basics-using-a-linux-vm/2087

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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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