Technology advances every day and nothing shows how far it is from Raspberry Pi. It wasn’t long ago that Nokia phones were the hottest new thing. Now we can watch TV on our cell phones and have video conferences with people from other side of the world.
But some technology is advancing so fast that it is difficult for us to keep up. We can look at something like a Raspberry Pi – a tiny single-board computer – and wonder, “What in the world do I do with this thing?”
Sometimes, technology has dozens of uses if you know where to look. For example, did you know that you can use Amazon Alexa to play April Fools’ Day pranks? (These are fun all year round.) Here are 10 amazing things you can do with a Raspberry Pi kit and a little research, sponsored by the small business pros at Dell. They are experts in all the little things. More on that later.
What is Raspberry Pi?
The Raspberry Pi began as a low-cost computer alternative to expand computer access to disadvantaged children around the world. It’s the size of a credit card and can be plugged into a TV or computer. It is compatible with standard keyboard and mouse. It’s an incredible tool that can do just about anything.
The Raspberry Pi itself is a steal. You can find them for about $27. In most cases, it makes sense for the amateur hobbyist to buy a more robust kit. You’ll get more bang for your buck this way.
Willrose Raspberry Pi Basic Starter Kit
This is a great start for beginners. You get three different covers, a power supply, and a black case for playing with a few other gadgets. It doesn’t come with a fan, but it does have the bare necessities it needs to hit the ground while you’re running.
From going online to playing games, you can do a lot with your own Raspberry Pi. This opens up a whole world of opportunities at a fraction of the amount you would pay for a fully fledged computer.
If you want something a little more beefy, we recommend this kit.
CanaKit Raspberry Pi 8GB Starter Kit
Instead of buying parts individually, get everything you need with this comprehensive kit. Easy to assemble, it comes with a power supply source, heat sink, a card reader, a fan, a helpful start guide, and more. It’s the best starting point for anyone who wants to sink their teeth into the world of Raspberry Pi.
Even if your budget is small, you can still make your own take at home. Sure, it requires a little work and research, but think of it this way: You’re developing a new skill and learning more about the wonderful world of technology.
And if you’re ever looking for a job, it’s a great skill to add to your resume. Plus, it can be absolutely fun to explore your options. Speaking of which, here are ten fun uses for your Raspberry Pi.
1. Turn it into a Basic Computer
The biggest use of this nifty technique is first on the list. Who wants to spend almost $1,000 on a computer when they can afford $27? You can use your Raspberry Pi to build a basic computer that does all of the things your Windows computer does, including surfing the Internet, creating spreadsheets, and playing online games.
You only need a starter kit, including an SD card, a computer screen, mouse and keyboard, but you can still build a basic computer for about $100. Keep in mind, you’ll need to pay for a copy of Windows if you want to run it.
2. Create a Media Server
If you have a ton of content you want to store, you should be looking at some server options. Maybe you want to save copies of your favorite movies or TV shows. If you rely solely on streaming services for your content, you’re at the mercy of companies, which often remove shows with little warning.
A server is also a great way to fight a slow or finicky Internet connection. Once you’ve established your central hub for your media, you’ve got a lot of freedom. Plus, this setup saves you a ton of space in the long run because you’re not storing separate copies on different devices—everything you need is in one place.
You will need a little coding knowledge or some time to read the instructions carefully.
3. Build Your Own Robot
This project is for the more mechanically inclined. You can find instructions for this all over the web, including on the Raspberry Pi’s official site. In addition, there are many variations.
You might think it would cost a lot of money, but science teacher Dinesh Patel made a synthetic dude for just $677. He built his homemade robot out of waste materials including aluminium, wood, cardboard and plastic. With the help of Raspberry Pi and other public domain libraries, Patel hooked up his robot to the computer.
From there, he taught Shalu to read newspapers, report the weather and browse horoscopes. Using Python, you can accomplish basic tasks.