It doesn’t matter if you’re a computer science major or just someone who likes to tinker with electronics.
The Raspberry Pi is one of the most versatile computers on the market, and it’s surprisingly affordable too!
Cool things you can do with the Raspberry Pi
Creating a retro gaming console
Many old-school gamers are familiar with MAME (Multiple Arcade Machine Emulator).
This allows them to play classic arcade games they enjoyed years ago, but did you know there’s an even easier way?
Thanks to RetroPie, all you need is a game controller and SD card to transform your Raspberry Pi into a retro gaming console that will have you reliving the old days in no time.
Create an Amazon Echo alternative with AlexaPi
Have some fun by creating your very own Amazon Echo using Raspberry Pi. With AlexaPi’s simple setup process, a few voice commands to get started are all it takes.
Build a Plex Media Server
Another great use case for the Raspberry Pi is turning it into a personal cloud storage device that acts as both network-attached storage (NAS) and streaming platform, thanks to Plex.
This makes it easy to access your media and stream it across any device.
Turn it into a home media center
There are several reasons why having an HTPC (Home Theater PC) is beneficial.
One of the essential benefits is watching online streaming services like Netflix and Hulu on your TV without hooking up any additional peripherals or wires.
With Raspbmc, all you need is a spare USB port for the wireless remote receiver and another free HDMI port for connecting your television.
While XBMC can also be used instead if preferred, this guide provides instructions specifically tailored towards setting up Raspbmc.
Create your own cloud server
For those in the IT industry, having your own cloud server is necessary when working with clients or simply storing private data.
The great thing about creating one on the Raspberry Pi is that it’s incredibly affordable to do so, especially if you already have an old monitor lying around like this guy.
Thanks to the RasCloud project, it’s now possible to create your very own private cloud server using nothing more than your Raspberry Pi and some storage space on an external hard drive or USB thumb drive.
Build your own game emulator
While RetroPie makes it easy to turn the Raspberry Pi into a retro gaming console if you’re looking for something with even more versatility than this is what you want.
Thanks to projects like Lakka, turning your new tiny computer into an all-in-one emulation station capable of playing hundreds of different titles spanning dozens of consoles and home computers has never been easier!
You could 3D print a case for your emulator and with some used plastic machinery parts build a case for your device.
Use it as a portable computer
This one is perhaps my favorite use of the Raspberry Pi, turning it into a pocket-sized Linux machine that I can take with me anywhere I go.
Thanks to projects like Pidora and Raspbian, not only is it possible to turn the Raspberry Pi into a fully functional Linux computer but it can also be used as a portable workstation to take with you when traveling for business or pleasure.
Make a DIY digital photo frame
Digital picture frames were all the rage back in 2008 but quickly fizzled out because of their high price tag and limited functionality.
Fortunately, times are changing thanks to new open-source projects such as FotoFrame again.
Use it for robotics and automation projects
If you’re into tinkering with things like Arduino, then the Raspberry Pi is perfect for you!
Thanks to its small form factor and GPIO (General Purpose Input/Output) pins, the possibilities are endless for robotics and automation projects.
Whether you’re looking to create your own home security system or simply want to learn more about coding, the Raspberry Pi is a great place to start.
Use it as a smart home hub
If you’re looking for an affordable way to get into home automation, the Raspberry Pi is a great place to start.
There are tons of different open-source projects out there that will let you control everything from your lights and appliances to your security system and even your HVAC unit, all with just a few lines of code.