Many millions of makers, hobbyists, and engineers use Raspberry Pi computers and Arduinos. And some of these individuals have taken the world by storm with their projects. In this quick blog post, we will explore some of these famous projects.
The Raspberry Pi is very similar to mainstream computers, thanks to its capabilities for word processing, web browsing, programming, and video streaming. It comes as no surprise that one of the first projects people completed with the Pi was turning it into a PC or laptop. The project has become so well-known that you can now purchase a special kit, called the Pi Top, that can turn a Raspberry Pi into a fully functional laptop. While the kit may be somewhat pricey (around $320), it does offer a laptop that has up to 8 hours of battery life, a 14-inch display, and a sliding keyboard for internal access.
When it comes to robotics-based projects, the robot arm is nearly universal. It’s simple, it can perform a vast number of tasks, it teaches makers about mechanical parts and servos, and a vast number of resources are available online. Robotic arms are not just seen in the hobby and education sector, but they are found in most modern production facilities, including automotive and machine production. With servo shields available for the Arduino, there is no reason to not build a robotic arm!
One project that often goes unnoticed is the DIY Arduino. At their core, Arduinos are Atmega devices with a USB-UART converter, which allows them to communicate with a PC and load program code via the bootloader. Since Arduinos are open-source, anyone can make their own, and this project lets you build your own for under $5.
Another very popular and useful project is the Pi NAS. For those who are not aware, NAS stands for “network attached storage” and can be thought of as a hard drive that connects to your network (either Wi-Fi or LAN). It can be accessed as if it were attached to your PC. Such systems are incredibly useful for file sharing, transferring data between PCs, backing up data, and being able to access those files anywhere around the world (a form of private cloud storage). So, with Raspberry Pi computers being very small and having internet capabilities, it comes as no surprise that hobbyists and professionals alike have created their own NAS systems using the Pi. This is a very useful project for those who want to learn some Linux commands, as well as understand networks.
Microcontrollers and microprocessing systems are very good at handling data, and one type of data that is especially popular to collect is sensor data. While sensors can be used to measure speed, acceleration, and force, one project in particular, which has has been done many times, stands out: the Pi weather station. These projects are popular because they take advantage of so many different sensors, including temperature, humidity, pressure, wind speed, and wind direction. This data can easily be relayed to a site that can provide up-to-date information on the weather outside, and it can be collected over time to help with weather predictions.
With the state of the world, more and more people feel like that they need to mask their online activates and not allow governments and ISPs to track them. This is one of the advantages of the Tor network, as it helps provide such protection by routing your connection through other Tor devices in the network, making it hard to track your destination. Tor needs to be set up on a computer, but, since some people don’t want their PC directly associated with Tor software, they can instead use a Raspberry Pi as a Tor router.