4 Projects That Prove Raspberry Pi is Amazing

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Computing has never been more accessible thanks to the advent of the Raspberry Pi.

These low-cost, credit card-sized computers plug into a TV or monitor and are capable of completing all the tasks you’d expect from a standard desktop.

Initially introduced to promote basic computer science in schools, a Raspberry Pi is now a go-to device for DIY gadget makers and programming enthusiasts.

There is no limit to what you can do with a Raspberry Pi, but we’ve picked out four projects that show just how amazing these single-board computers are.

Retro gaming

You could relive your youth or introduce a younger member of your family to some of your favourite old-school games.

Speedrunning has become more popular than ever during the coronavirus pandemic, and you could give it a go by using RetroPie to turn your Raspberry Pi into a retro-gaming machine.

Donkey Kong on the Atari, GoldenEye 007 on the Nintendo 64, or Sega classic Sonic the Hedgehog – all these games and many more could be at your fingertips.

Make it even more impressive by housing the Raspberry Pi inside a 3D printed case that looks just like a Nintendo Switch.

Control a robot

It might not be something you’ve considered before, but there are so many possibilities when it comes to robotics with a Raspberry Pi.

Whether you want to self-build a machine or hack a Dalek or R2-D2 toy, nothing is stopping you from making this an extremely rewarding project.

You’ll need some extra bits of equipment to make your robot work effectively, but the Raspberry Pi is the central component.

Plant care

Houseplants are great for making your living space more inviting, but it can be tricky to remember when to water each one and how much water they need.

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However, by connecting a Raspberry Pi to an array of sensors that monitor the soil moisture, temperature, humidity and sunlight, you can make an automated plant watering system

While the benefits of houseplants remain a source of debate, there’s no doubt that taking one chore off your list with an intriguing build will provide you with a boost.

Photography

If you’re fascinated by outer space and what goes on in the great beyond while we’re all asleep at night, a Raspberry Pi NoIR (no infrared) camera module will enable you to capture incredible videos and photos in low-light conditions. See how the stars and moon move across the night sky with a timelapse video or, if you’re in the right place, snap an image of the Northern Lights.

Feeling more adventurous? Connect a webcam to your Raspberry Pi and place it in a secure but lightweight housing with a tracking system, some batteries and any other relevant equipment, then attach it to a helium balloon and let it go.

You’ll be able to see live footage as your balloon journeys to the outer reaches of our atmosphere and capture some of the images on an SD card that you can retrieve when it comes back down to ground level. 

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