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10 of the Coolest Raspberry Pi Projects... So Far


The Raspberry Pi is a $35, credit card sized computer that was created so that kids could learn programming. One of the coolest things about the Pi is that it has a set of general purpose input/output pins (GPIO) that allow you to communicate with items outside of the computer. This allows hackers to build some pretty cool projects.

Here are ten that I am watching closely:

Camera Pi

David Hunt is a professional photographer who has embedded a Pi into a Canon battery grip.

PiCameraGrip

This opens up all sorts of cool functionality including wireless tethering, image backup, remote control, time lapse shooting, and on-the-fly image conversions.

Coffee Table Pi

I am a sucker for arcade and pinball games, so I am very happy to see the Pi being used in MAME projects. instructables.com user grahamgelding posted the steps he took to make a cocktail arcade game from scratch.

Cocktail Table Pi

He is using GPIO inputs for the joystick and button controls. Love this idea, but lacking the woodworking skills so I will be looking for a cocktail arcade cabinet to repurpose.

Advice Machine

I am currently working on a an animatronic fortune telling machine based on the Pi, which is why I was SUPER excited to see this project. Nick Jonson has built an advice machine.

Advice Machine

The machine communicates with the user through an LCD and thermal printer. I love that the quality of the advice is determined by the amount of money that is donated to the box.

The Social Drink Machine

I wish there was more information on this project, because I want to build it. Robofun who does some kick ass technology based marketing created The Social Drink Machine.

social Drink Machine

Users download an app on their mobile device that produces a QR code when a drink is selected. The code is shown to a camera and the machine gets to work making the drink. I would love to have this during parties, I could actually hang out with friends instead of playing bartender all night. I am not sure how much work is being handled by the Pi versus the Arduino, but thinking with one of the many expansion boards the Pi could do it all.

Pi as a PBX

I have been wanting to setup an Asterisk server for sometime, the Incredible PBX allows you to run one from a Raspberry Pi.

PBX

Free calling with google voice, call routing, voicemail, IVRs, music on hold, and text-to-speech and speech-to-text are just some of the things you can do with this PBX.

Wearable Raspberry Pi

It will be a while before we can get computers implanted directly into our brains, but for around $100 you can create a wearable computer today. Zack Freedman hacked together a pair of MyVu glasses, a mini keyboard and a Pi for some cyborg goodness.

Wearable Pi

While it’s not exactly Project Glass and you might get your lunch money taken away by wearing it… It would be nice to write code while on a walk.

Netlight

Anyone that deals with servers knows what a pain in the ass it can be when you are having problems with one. The folks at haxogreen 2012 needed to keep track of a faulty switch so they built a network light that signals when the network is up.

netLight

They have made the python code available for anyone to use along with a schematic of the relay board to turn the lights on and off.

Pi in a Commodore 64

I love projects that bring old broken technology into the modern age. Retrotext had a C64 that suffered water damage. Instead of tossing it into the landfill he decided to put a Pi into it.

CommodorePi

I am not a big fan of his choice to paint the case, but I dig how clean he kept the build looking. His blog has quite a few details and makes for a interesting read.

Repurposing a Roomba

Another project keeping technology out of the dump is this Roomba hack. Ben J had a broken Roomba 400 that he opened up and tracked down the transistors that make the wheels spin. He then used the Pi GPIOs to control the movement and added an IP video camera.

Roomba

Ben has made his python scripts available that allow you to control the robot with a Wii Remote.

Audio Book Player

Some of the best projects are the ones that seem the simplest. Michael Clemens designed a One Button Audiobook Player for his wife’s grandmother. She likes audio books but is visually impaired and can not handle normal audio players. Giving her one simple button that controls play, pause and will restart a track shows the brilliance of this design.

AudioPlayer

The code and schematics are available on the site. While some of the other projects here are flashier, this audio book player solves a true problem and shows how great thoughtful design can be.

What projects are you excited about? Let me know in the comments.

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