11 Clever Uses for Your Raspberry Pi

Raspberry Pi is a credit card-sized development board and it is the perfect tool for students, artists, hobbyists and hackers. It is a very versatile board with application in several areas. Here are some awesome uses for your Raspberry Pi.

1. Retro Gaming

retropie

Do you miss Nintendo, Sega, GameBoy and arcade games? You can transform your Raspberry Pi into a retro game console (RetroPie Project).

There are instructions available on the internet on how you can do it, and it doesn’t take much than 30 minutes. Pretty amazing!

You can use it in the simple way, or you can go beyond and build an awesome cabinet.

2. Raspberry Pi Tablet

tablet

You can transform your RPi into a tablet using a RPi Touchscreen. Adafruit has put together a simple guide and parts to help you building your own tablet without struggling and with a great final result.

3. Low-Cost Desktop PC

The Raspberry Pi can make a useful desktop computer if set up properly. To turn your raspberry pi into a desktop PC you’ll need other gadgets than RPi itself such as a screen, a mouse, a keyboard and if you want, an extra storage device.

You also need to install an  operating system like Raspbian or any other operating systems available for RPi. Some apps such as email and web browsing apps are included and many other are available for RPi.

4. Raspberry Pi Cluster

cluster

Build a supercomputer out of RPi boards. Check out  David Guill’s impressive project about the construction of 40-node computing cluster based on RPi.

5. Raspberry Pi Cloud Server

owncloud

With your RPi you can have your own cloud server, like Dropbox to store and access your data.  For that, you need the software ownCloud that will be running on the RPi. When you have your cloud server set up you can store your files in your very own private cloud storage.

6. Raspberry Pi Media Center

You can have your media center application for your TV running on your Raspberry Pi.  Media center allows you to organize and play media, including pictures, music and videos. You just need to use the Raspberry Pi and Kodi software.

7. Web Server

wp-info

The Raspberry Pi board is a great alternative to launch lightweight Web Server. It can handle a small amount of traffic and you can learn web programming languages such as HTML, CSS, PHP and MySQL. It can even handle WordPress, if you want to launch your own blog/web site you can easily do it.

8. Home Automation System

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The Raspberry Pi is capable of hosting a powerful home automation application. You can attach sensors, a camera, relays, etc. And you can monitor and control your house remotely. To extend its capabilities you can also add Arduinos or other similar boards. This is what someone made and documented over at Instructables.

9. VPN

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Free, unencrypted wireless is everywhere, but you shouldn’t be checking your accounts on it unless you don’t mind somebody else snooping. The solution? A virtual private network (VPN). A VPN extends your own private network into public places, so even if you’re using Starbucks’ Wi-Fi connection, your Internet browsing stays encrypted and secure.

10. PiPhone

phone

Yes, it’s true! With your Raspberry Pi you can build a PiPhone, a phone that actually works. Dave Hunt put together an home-made smartphone using a Raspberry Pi. The parts to build the phone cost him less than $160.

11. Robotics

robotics

Build and control awesome robots with the Raspberry Pi. Some cool projects out there include control robotic arms (example), drones (check out this example), humanoid robots (check this example), etc.  There are many examples of robots out there that you can do or adapt to build your own original robot. Just use your imagination!

Wrapping Up

Have you used your RPi in one of these applications? What would you like to build with a RPi?

If you want to get started with Raspberry Pi, you might found this post useful: Best Raspberry Pi 3 Starter Kits.

Leave a comment down below!

Share this post with a friend that also likes electronics.

Thanks for reading,

-Rui


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22 thoughts on “11 Clever Uses for Your Raspberry Pi”

  1. Excellent list, one that I have fun playing with is FlightRadar 24 on my original Raspberry Pi, simple to set up via the FR24 site and with a cheap DVB+T+DAB+FM USB Receiver and small antenna, all available from ebay, you can become part of the FlightRadar 24 network reporting on aircraft in your area, great fun and helping keep tract of aircraft in your area all of which helps in an emergency.

    Reply
  2. Hi Rui

    Thanks for the post! The Pi is such a creat little ‘PC’.

    Here are my thoughts and what I think clever Raspberry Pi projects…

    I’ve done the webserver and Media Center and they work great and is not so difficult to set up. Making the WP web server live on the internet impo with a Pi 2 was just a bit slow, but it might have been network/internet issues.

    I will definitely try the Cloud server!

    I’m also currently working on my own home automation system. It is a self build php network system where you can trigger Bash scripts from an IP-ed web page. The guys can check it out:
    behind-the-scenes.co.za/running-bash-scripts-from-a-raspberry-pi-home-web-server/
    Through this system I can for example access randomly generated music mp3 playlists through the audio jack and I trigger light switches through RF modules and the GPIO. This method makes it possible to access any RF connected microcontroller and Raspberry Pi Bash & Python commands making the possibilities literally endless.

    Also don’t forget voice command and speech related projects like PiAUISuite (I think it’s discontinued from Google’s side) but it sparked many ideas like translation and other voice command projects. Jasper and eSpeak also comes to mind.

    I’ve also made an alarm clock using Bash, Python, VoiceRSS, a short mp3 playlist, Google Calendar and a weather API that wakes me up in the morning.

    Then I’ve written a ‘Big Ben’ script that simply plays mp3s on the hour (cron) acting as a nice sounding clock in my house.

    Keep up the good work!

    Reply
    • Hi Renier,
      Thank you for sharing your project ideas and what you are currently working on.
      The Raspberry Pi has endless possibilites this was just a snapshot for those new to the board.

      Thanks for reading,
      Rui

      Reply
  3. Great post!

    I will try the Cloud server. It looks so cool!

    I recently put this on my Raspberry Pi: github.com/pi-hole/pi-hole
    Specially useful for those in-app adds in iOS and android.

    Keep up the good work!

    Reply
  4. Thanks for writing this awesome blog post. I never knew that I can use raspberry pi as a web server. I was using linode secure server to do the job which was managed by Cloudways.
    But, now since we can use raspberry bi to do the job. I will definitely give it a try.

    Reply

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