You’ve been considering it for a while and have finally made the purchase: you’ve purchased a Raspberry Pi. But, what can you do with it?
Is this little computer capable of serving as a desktop computer? As a waiter or waitress? Like a radio station, perhaps? Yes, it is possible!
We’ll presume you’re working with a Raspberry Pi 4, although the majority of these projects will work with previous devices, including the Raspberry Pi Zero.
Change Your PC with a Raspberry Pi
The Raspberry Pi’s most basic application is as a desktop computer.
An HDMI cable and a suitable monitor are required in addition to the Raspberry Pi, the microSD card, and the power source. You’ll also need a USB keyboard and mouse, just as on a regular computer.
Wi-Fi and Bluetooth are incorporated into the Raspberry Pi 3 and later. You’ll need suitable USB dongles if you’re using an earlier model (check compatibility at elinux.org’s Raspberry Pi Hub). However, if you prefer Ethernet, all Raspberry Pi models (save the Pi Zero) come with Ethernet connectors.
Following the installation of your choice operating system, you’ll find LibreOffice and the Chromium browser pre-installed.
Print With Your Raspberry Pi
Do you have an old printer that you enjoy using but can’t connect to wirelessly? You’re undoubtedly tempted to safely dispose of it, but you don’t have to. A Raspberry Pi linked to your home network and some print server software are all you need.
This is accomplished by first installing the Samba file-sharing program, then CUPS. The Common Unix Printing System (CUPS) includes printer drivers as well as a management console.
Configure the Pi so that any computer on your home network may access the printer after this is done. It’s as simple as that. It’s worth noting that this only works if your printer has a USB cord. Adaptors are available if it doesn’t.
Add AirPrint Sustenance to Your Pi Print Server
The project described above only goes so far. It’s great for printing from a PC running Windows, Mac OS X, or Linux, but what about tablets and smartphones? You’ll need AirPrint support for that, which can be implemented with only one script.
Although iOS devices have built-in printing, Android tablets and phones will need to download separate software. The majority of modern printers enable printing from mobile devices. This feature may be extended to older printers using a Raspberry Pi!
Set Up a Retro Gaming Machine
The Raspberry Pi is suitable as a retro gaming machine, which is one of the device’s most popular uses. After all, it’s small and strong enough to be useful in a variety of situations. Not to mention the fact that it may be used as one of the lightest components of a full-sized arcade system or a Game Boy kit!
For vintage gaming, there are two primary options: Recalbox and RetroPie. Others can be utilized, but they will all require a compatible controller with some initial setting. From ancient MS-DOS PC games to the Commodore 64, several systems may be mimicked. The Raspberry Pi may also be used to resurrect several popular 16-bit game systems.
Build a Minecraft Game Server
Retro gaming is only the beginning. You’re undoubtedly aware that Raspbian, the Raspberry Pi’s default operating system, comes pre-installed with a customized version of Minecraft. But did you know that your Raspberry Pi may also function as a gaming server?
Most efficiently, Raspberry Pi may be used as a Minecraft game server, allowing you to play from anywhere on your home network. If you have several Raspberry Pis, using one as a dedicated server will provide you with a fantastic gaming experience. This is especially effective if you have a large group of Minecraft lovers to play with.
Other multiplayer network games, other than Minecraft, can be set up on the Raspberry Pi. On your Raspberry Pi, open-source ports of Quake, Civilization, Doom, and Open TTD may be installed as gaming servers.
Control a Robot
It’s tough to choose just one robot-controller Raspberry Pi project because there are so many. For example, you might utilize a specific robotics package for your Pi, which would be powered by batteries and used to communicate and control your robot.
Alternatively, you may decide to create your own design using components you already own. In any case, you’ll need to pick the proper Raspberry Pi. While the Raspberry Pi 4 has higher computing power, the Pi Zero W is smaller. This tiny Raspberry Pi model comes with built-in wireless networking, making it suitable for lightweight robotics.
Do you need some motivation? Our look at film and television robots that can be made using a Raspberry Pi should be of assistance. Otherwise, robot vehicle kits may be purchased online if you want to get started right now.
Build a Stop Motion Camera
Everyone likes stop motion animation. It never ceases to entertain, from Wallace and Gromit to famed filmmaker Terry Gilliam’s early Monty Python’s Flying Circus work. But how does stop motion animation work? With a Raspberry Pi and a dedicated camera module, you can find out.
This is a time-consuming procedure that requires the Python programming language, a suitable mount (overhead for Gilliam-esque papercraft animation, a conventional tripod for clay- or toy-based animation), and a well-lit space. To achieve decent results, you’ll need to practice and add a soundtrack.
A breadboard (unless you already have a suitable plunger button that can be linked to the Raspberry Pi’s GPIO) and a Python script to snap each photograph are also required.
Make a Time-Lapse Video
By combining the Raspberry Pi camera module with a separate script, you can capture time-lapse videos with your Pi. Single frames with a timed delay are used to accomplish this.
It’s up to you how you utilize the Raspberry Pi to picture time-lapse. You may require a portable battery solution, and a tripod may be required once again. To keep the device steady this time, you might want to use a smartphone tripod (the clamp should fit your Pi’s case well).
What should you film, though? Flowers in the yard, fruit in a bowl, passers-by… clouds in the sky, or changing weather? Only your imagination and how far you’re prepared to go to get a decent film will restrict you.
Build a Smart Mirror
Have you ever wished to listen to the latest news, watch movie trailers, watch music videos, or get traffic and weather updates while shaving? A smart mirror, which is powered by a Raspberry Pi, is the answer.
This is essentially a two-way mirror with a unique display put behind the glass. Any sort of mirror may be utilized for a smart mirror project; however, you should choose one that is appropriate for your needs.