10 clever uses for the Raspberry Pi, according to Reddit

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Although Raspberry Pi is one of the best tools to learn basic computer skills without having to spend too much, that doesn’t mean it can’t be used in advanced and sometimes very clever ways. Ever since the first model was released, users have been testing the limits of using small single board computers.


From automating household appliances to giving everyday objects a futuristic twist, all sorts of fascinating applications have been found for the Raspberry Pi. Some Redditors have found some very clever approaches to using it.

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Automate your home

While smart homes are becoming more mainstream, it’s still an expensive investment to make. Luckily, by using a Raspberry Pi smartly, it’s possible to get some of the best features in home automation without breaking the bank. Editor insomnia explains how they made their home smarter using the computer.

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Using remote power outlets, relays and a web server, they were able to put all “ceiling lights around my house” on a timer, as well as being able to control them remotely at any time. Open source programs like “Home Assistant” can also make home automation much more feasible and can be run on Raspberry Pi, making it a solid resource in this area.

Creation of a small solar-powered server

There are a ton of benefits to hosting a private server, including a greater degree of control over its use as well as data security. Editor interference needed a server to run “preschool math apps” for example and found Raspberry Pi presented the perfect solution to this.

This had an advantage over setting up a larger dedicated server or using a remote server, and they were able to run it using solar power. While none of these uses on their own are particularly innovative, combining them to solve their problem in an eco-friendly way has impressed other Redditors.

Operate a sprinkler system

While many clever uses of the Raspberry Pi don’t always end up being useful in the real world, being able to control a sprinkler system remotely is an application that a lot of people could benefit from. Editor zimm0who0net considers “OpenSprinkler Pi” one of the most interesting uses of Raspberry Pi.

With an expansion board that allows Rasberry Pi pins to directly control sprinklers, they describe it as a “complete irrigation controller” and mention that, most importantly, it can be controlled from the user’s smartphone. Those learning to code can even develop their own interface.

Build an infinity table

While many people have found cool ways to make the Raspberry Pi interact with lights, the Infinity Table is one of the coolest and smartest anyone has managed to make. It uses 50 RGB LED lights to do what one Editor described as their “favorite Raspberry Pi project”.

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The lights are set around the inside of a table, and with clever coding that allows each light to change color individually, along with the careful use of a special one-way mirror, it can produce incredible effects. He gives them the impression that the lights extend endlessly downwards, giving his name to the project.

Run a black box for your car

There are many amazing tech gadgets to keep in a car, but not many people would put a Raspberry Pi in this category. Editor That’sWhyFold found a clever and practical way to make it a must-have for the car by turning it into a “vehicular black box”.

By connecting it to the OBD2 (on-board diagnostics) port, they configured it to collect diagnostic data as well as GPS data whenever the car is running. This means that all trips can be recorded and mapped against the data. With fuel prices becoming more and more volatile lately, knowing exactly how long trips take and how fuel efficient they are can be a great tool.

Build a robot bartender

For anyone who’s ever wished they had a bartender in their home to serve them drinks, Redditor bigdogyost puts forth this clever little idea that does just that. The “robotic bartender” uses “valves that dispense measured recipes for mixed drinks” to create drinks just like a real bartender would.

Although this is not a technology product for young people, and requires a good degree of engineering as well as programming know-how, it is an application that makes for genuinely fun use. and new to the Raspberry Pi for those old enough to enjoy it.

Running a home security system

In another case where clever use of a Raspberry Pi can save a ton of money over the industry equivalent, Redditor Wear it like armor think “a home security system” is one of the best uses of the computer. Hooking up a Raspberry Pi to a webcam and setting it up is something easy that anyone can do.

What requires a bit of ingenuity is the program used to detect when there are large variations in the images it sees, indicating that an intruder may be there, which can trigger the webcam to take photos and set off an alarm. As with most Raspberry Pi apps, it can be linked to a smartphone app to make it all convenient and convenient.

wake you up in the morning

While not exactly a Wallace and Gromit-style full-scale contraption to get the user out of bed and fully clothed, Redditors like MathematicsGorges were smart seeing the potential of the Raspberry Pi to help them get up in the morning. With the help of a few additions, they fitted it out so that “My curtains open automatically in the morning when my alarm clock goes off”.

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It’s not as simple as it seems because it involves using the Pi as an intermediary to detect the alarm being triggered and give a signal to the infrared remote control which opens the curtains. For people who have trouble getting out of bed, this is a nifty solution that just might make all the difference.

Create a retro game console

One suggestion has come up time and time again in Reddit threads about fun and clever uses for the Raspberry Pi, and it emulates retro gaming. Editor cdncowboy is one user who recommends turning the Pi “into a retro gaming console” and mentions that all people really need is a USB controller and some sort of monitor.

Software like RetroPie exists to make the whole process simple enough that anyone can do it, making it one of the most accessible apps for a Raspberry Pi. With all the complicated parts taken care of, almost anyone can start playing their favorite classic games using Pi.

Build a magic mirror

For smart, practical and incredibly futuristic use of the Raspberry Pi, Redditors love Crisp recommend the “Magic Mirror Project”. It’s not cheap as it requires specialized glass, but it runs on a free and open source program called MagicMirror² which allows it to do pretty much anything a user could want.

This includes the huge range of different modules it can display, including weather forecasts and calendars, and it also allows the user to change where these modules appear on the mirror. This just scratches the surface of some extremely cool technology that shows just how versatile the Raspberry Pi can be when used smartly.

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