10 cool projects to exploit the potential of your Raspberry Pi - The Happy Android

The Raspberry Pi has gone in just a few years from being a mere curiosity to becoming a key element for learning electronics, programming, creating your own retro console, carrying out robotics projects or learning how to sauce with the Internet of Things. One of the great attractions of this small plate is that it has always moved at very low prices, being the most accessible for a large number of people.

In today's post we take a look at some of the more interesting projects shared by the Raspberry community. A community where there is room for everyone: first time users, advanced level experts and even children. The only requirement is to have a positive attitude and eager to learn new (and fascinating) things.

What can you do with a Raspberry Pi?

Raspberry Pi is a computer the size of a credit card and consists of a motherboard on which a processor, a graphics chip and a RAM memory are mounted. This is what is known as a single board, single board, or SBC computer. Single Board Computer) developed in the UK and launched in 2006 by the Raspberry Pi Foundation to stimulate computer science education in schools.

Currently the Raspberry Pi is an excellent tool used by makers, enthusiasts and hobbyists to develop and tinker with software and hardware of all kinds to create from simple electronic circuits such as LED lighting systems, to life-size robots with computer vision and machine learning. All ideas have a place within the world of Raspberry Pi.

Today there are a large number of Raspberry Pi models and variants, the most prominent being the Raspberry Pi Zero W and the Raspberry Pi 4. The first is a very simple board, with a 32-bit single-core CPU, 512MB of RAM and a price of around 10 euros. The second is a board aimed at obtaining better performance, with a 64-bit quad-core CPU with 2, 4 and up to 8GB of RAM memory (depending on the variant chosen, price starting at about 35 euros). Both models feature Wifi, Bluetooth, USB 2.0, HDMI connections and universal support for 40 GPIO pins (general purpose input / output pins). The Raspberry Pi 4 is also compatible with 4K monitors, offers an Ethernet connection and includes 2 USB 3.0 ports.

Best Raspberry Pi Projects for Beginners

Raspberry Pi is a great device for learning new programming techniques, but also for developing new hardware fiddling and manipulation skills. If we are entering the Raspberry Pi environment for the first time, it is therefore interesting to develop both techniques, and from there, see what interests us the most or catches our attention.

Note: many of these projects are in English, so it is necessary to have some knowledge of the Shakespearean language to bring them to fruition (or use Google's automatic translator).

  • About me: This is a project in which we learn to program an application with Python. It is a very simple program aimed at learning the basics of Python, as well as making small drawings using ASCII code. | Access project
  • Physical Computing with Python: In this project we will learn how to use the GPIO pins to interface with electronic components, such as LEDs and switches. They also teach us how to wire electronic components on the Raspberry Pi and how to interact with them using Python. The project also covers infrared motion sensors along with bells or buzzers, among others. | Access project
  • Time-lapse animations: Learn how to create a small script with which to capture multiple images through a Pi camera over a long period of time. Unlock the power of time-lapse photography by combining all those images into one animated GIF. During the project we will learn how the Pi camera works, more advanced Python features, and how to use ImageMagick to create animated GIFs. | Access project
  • GPIO sound table: Build a sound table activated by buttons that make different sounds when pressed. In this project, you will learn how to use sounds in Python and how to detect button presses using the Python GPIO library. | Access project

Best Raspberry Pi Projects for Power Users

If we already have a little more experience working with Raspberry boards, we can find somewhat more complex projects that can give a lot of play.

  • Raspberry Pi Supercomputer Cluster: Supercomputers are expensive, they require a powerful power source and a lot of cooling. However, we can build a supercomputer cluster using nothing more than a Raspberry Pi board. For practical purposes we get a similar machine, but without the need to spend electricity in huge amounts. With this project we will learn the fundamentals of distributed computing and how a supercomputer is programmed so that it is capable of solving some of the most complex problems in the world. | Access project
  • How to build a NAS with Raspberry Pi: Any single board or SBC computer such as the Raspberry Pi, the ODROID or the NVIDIA Letson can be used to mount a NAS server (Network Attached Storage o Network Storage Device). The only requirement is that you can run Linux, have a USB port, and be connected to the network. This guide explains how to configure a Raspberry Pi to share any storage unit connected to the machine with the rest of the devices connected to a local network. Access project
  • Turn your Raspberry Pi 4 into a router: The Raspberry Pi 4 is a very versatile device. Among its multitude of functions, it offers the possibility of managing traffic from one network interface to another. In this project, the “Gary Explains” YouTube channel gives us all the keys to create a router between two Ethernet networks that also works as a Wi-Fi router. | Access project
  • Get flight data with a Raspberry Pi: This is a most curious project that will undoubtedly attract the attention of aviation enthusiasts. Most commercial flights send ADS-B messages with the aircraft's location, speed, altitude, and other informational information. With a Raspberry Pi and a USB DVB-T dongle we can receive these messages and track the flights that cross the sky of our town. In addition, we can also upload this data to services such as FlightRadar24, which offers real-time flight information to millions of fans. By doing this, we can also get a free Flightradar24 Business subscription, which is valued at almost 500 euros / year. Another excellent guide developed by Gary Explains. | Access project
  • MQTT with Raspberry Pi and Arduino: MQTT (Message Queue Telemetry Transport) is a protocol used for machine-to-machine communication. This allows us to send data from IoT (Internet of Things) devices to smartphones or upload it directly to the cloud. The MQTT protocol can also be used in microcontrollers like the Arduino or on boards like the Raspberry Pi. In this guide a complete review of the whole thing is carried out through a demo that uses Android, Mosquito on Raspberry Pi and an Arduino. | Access project

In addition to these we can find many more tutorials and guides on the official website of raspberrypi.org, which also includes more than 50 projects in perfect Spanish with step-by-step instructions to carry them out, perfect for first-time users.

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